Monday, November 29, 2010

Winter Migration

I know why Florida is filled with old people in the winter- this place is NICE the end of November! I lived in FL for 10 years and was too busy hating June, July and August to see the good of November. It took me moving to NYC and spending 6 winters there to really appreciate it.
We spend every Thanksgiving down here but it is usually just a long weekend and everything is all jammed packed and you have to leave just as you're starting to get settled. This year was different.
My parents recently moved from their house in the boring suburbs west of Ft. Lauderdale to the beach. When I say the beach I don't mean they're near a beach, they are ON the beach. As in you walk out the door and the only thing separating you from the Atlantic Ocean is sand and Sea grass. It's nice. So, since I am off work a few months and my parents are first time grandparents, I thought I'd come down for a couple weeks and let them get as much Sonny as they wanted up close and personal.
Thanksgiving was cool. Small- just me, mom, dad, cicely, josh and sonny. With the exception of the pumpkin pies josh made, the cranberry sauce my dad made and the mashed potatoes I made, everything was from Whole Foods. My favorite was the Quorn Turkey Loaf. It was a complete Vegetarian Thanksgiving.
I got to catch up with some old friends which is always a treat and everything else has been pretty good. Here are some pics from the trip so far.

We met Cicely and James in Port St. Lucie at my Mom's sister's house to see my Abuelo and for everyone to meet Sonny and James. That picture is the first time Cicely held Sonny, Abuelo taught josh how to play dominos, then it's Dad and Mom taking turns holding Sonny.

Sonny barfed on me. Josh loved him for it. I just figured out how to download more than one pic at a time to this blog. This makes posting pictures easier.

I'm a pretty good photographer. I even messed with the DOF (I just had to ask josh was it was I was adjusting) So, I really love those three pictures, I have the cutest little family.

Sonny is CUTE

Today the weather was PERFECT. Josh and I sat outside, he wrote in his journal and I finally got to open a book and read for the first time in a while. Sonny slept soundly in the shade. He really likes the ocean air. Does wonders for his lungs.

This was an accident, but he sure does look like Glow Worm in this picture.

I'm here a few more days. Oh I will miss this weather as soon as I get to NY. I am already shivering.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

My boy likes to smile all the TIME

My boy likes to smile all the time, smile all the time, smile all the Tiiiiiimmmmmmmmmme
(sing to tune of Eddie Murphay's awesome song Party all the time)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

4 weeks old

Two posts in one day?! Goodness gracious.
It's been 4 weeks since Sonny was born. He's adjusted to life on the outside just fine. He fits right into our family and it feels like he has been here forever. He is strong, and handsome, and funny, and makes cute cute cute faces. He sleeps well - enough. He eats - a lot. He poops - a lot. He can focus on faces and follow us and objects with his eyes. He smiles and laughs sometimes. He is just wonderfully perfect to me. Here are a few pics taken today. Try not to fall in love too hard.

Midnight Snack

My parents recently sold their house and moved into their 1 1/2 bedroom beach condo. They're doing construction next store to expand their space but in the meantime we (parents, josh, Sonny and I) are all staying in this space. It's all open, no real walls that separate the rooms. Anyway, last night my Dad was watching some movie on HBO and fell asleep after it ended leaving HBO on. We weren't really paying attention to it, Sonny was chillin on the couch and josh and i were just talking and doing random stuff getting ready for bed. We were in the bathroom brushing our teeth and came out to find Sonny glued to the TV. He was laying on the couch sandwiched between pillows staring intensely at the big screen TV. I don't know if my eyes went from him to the TV or from the TV to him, regardless, he was watching porn. It wasn't the part in the porn where they are explaining the plot with words. It was the full on porn part.
If there was a thought bubble over Sonny's head it would have looked like this:
I think he was even drooling a little.

I didn't take a picture of it, so here is a picture I just took after he got done eating. If you squint your eyes right and cross them a little bit when you look at the picture, he looks just like josh.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

You should Buy these

When I was looking for cute things to buy Sonny before he was born, I found the most perfect stuffed animals. They are called Aminals. They are my favorite because:
1) They are Awesome to look at
2) They are Organic Inside and Outside
3) Even the dyes are organic
4) The conditions at the Aminal plant are regulated and the workers are treated very nice
5) When the Aminal is ready to pass on, you can compost it and turn your little ones friend into soil
6) They are special
7) They are reasonably priced
8) The calm look of Liun helps calm down Sonny when he cries

9) They make good pillows

Cicely bought Sonny Liun and I just ordered Eflant. I think the next one I get will be Wayul.

You should buy one for your kids, or next time you know someone who has a kid and you need an awesome gift idea. Buy an Aminal.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Birth of my boy Sonny

Here it is. I wrote the body of this soon after he was born, and just finished editing it. I'm glad I wrote it when i did, because if I would have waited then it would have been a lot less true to how I felt then. Now looking back, it just didn't seem that bad. But the truth is what was written. It was hard, and painful. Like a lot of women say, "if you remembered how tough it actually was then no one would ever have a second baby." Good thing the joy and love you feel for that thing when it comes out, over shadows and replaces the memory of the pain.

All the pictures were taken by josh, and had I not needed him by my side throughout the whole thing, we would have had A LOT more pics. He said there were a lot of good potential shots if he could be in two places at once. I'm happy with what we have.

Thursday during the day sometimes I would think that maybe “today is the day.” Just maybe I felt a little different, had more pressure, felt a tiny bit of cramping, and just maybe the baby was ready. MAYBE. But every other day was also kinda like that and I would work myself up to thinking, “OK, today could be it.”

I went throughout the day and night doing business as usual. I left work around 6 and headed to the gym, thinking I would just do my standard workout and add a walk on the treadmill to get things going. Guess it helped.

Josh and I made dinner, watched TV (this wonderful Nature episode about Echo the elephant and her herd, very interesting), and then I nested a little bit. I went into the extra room, tried to organize stuff, dusted some furniture we are selling and got ready for bed. I think I was in bed at 12am and was not very happy it was so late since I had planned on going into work on Friday, although I didn’t really want to.

Josh came to bed around 3am, and soon after he got in bed and fell asleep I started to feel little contractions. I wasn’t sure what the deal was but they were long and seemed to have a pattern. I counted and they were about 45-50 seconds each with 5 minutes apart. After a little while I woke josh and told him. We stayed in bed for a little bit, but they didn’t change and there was no way I would be falling back asleep.

When I made the decision to have a home birth, I made the decision to not over learn or over think anything that “could” happen - or that “may” or “may-not” help me. This was my labor and it was going to be different than anyone Else's. I made the decision to surrender entirely to my body and just count on the support of the many women over eons of time who had done this before in less comfortable situations. Also, I’m not one to judge anyone else on how they choose to deliver their babies. To each his own and I don’t knock any other way – this is just what was right for me.

When we got out of bed a little after 4am, I knew at least it was time to blow up the pool. While josh blew up the pool I sat on the couch and kept timing the contractions. The length was still the same; the only thing that changed was the intensity.

At 5:03am I called the midwives’ emergency # and spoke to Karen (after I woke her up). She didn’t seem to think my labor was going to progress quickly, she just said, “ok, sounds good. Go rest or take a bath and call later when something happens.” I bet she thought that was going to be hours! Ha! I called Colleen – my doula – at 5:22am and told her what was going on. She agreed that I should take a bath and to call her when I wanted her to come. I ran a bath; josh made me some Red Raspberry Leaf tea and the warm water felt nice. The contractions were already fast and hard and the water gave me some relief.

I have no idea how long I stayed in the bath; we (actually josh- I wasn’t about to talk to ANYONE) called Colleen again at 6:25am and told her to come.. When I got out of the bath I just lay on the bathroom floor for a while and asked josh to fill up the birthing pool. I couldn’t even think about walking down the hall to the living room. It seemed 18 miles away. That bathroom floor seemed like the perfect place to have a baby. I sat on the toilet at some point and started to bleed, that was my cue to call Karen and tell her the latest. Josh called her at 7:46am told her about the bleeding and she said she would be RIGHT over. I guess that means things were progressing quickly?

I really don’t remember much in between breaks of conscious thought. I remember breathing a lot of deep breaths and concentrating on breathing during each contraction. I would try to imagine spinning at the gym and bringing down my heart rate through deep breaths: in through the nose and out through the mouth. I would repeat that over and over again in my mind. It helped but the pain was intense and I would just want to push through whatever I was touching. I remember sitting on the toilet getting a contraction and just wanting to push my feet though the wall in front of me and push the sink over with all the strength of my upper body.

Somehow josh got me on my feet and helped me out of the bathroom and into the pool which was in the living room. He was so helpful and great and would tell me to remember to breath deep and relax and it helped. I knew I needed to, but hearing it come from him helped so much and I would focus on the deep breaths and keeping relaxed.

The pool was better than the bathroom floor, I liked how it was big enough for me to really spread out and stretch my body when a contraction would come – which was every minute. I have no idea what time Colleen got there, she showed up and helped josh lower the temp in the pool and took over josh’s duty of putting a cold rag on the back of my neck (which was heavenly). I had VERY LITTLE time between contractions at this point and the feeling was unlike anything I had experienced before. Josh told me he had to go park Karen’s car I think that was the call on my phone at 8:31am. I was draped over the side of the pool and unaware of anything going on outside of my mind and body. I tried to picture each contraction as a wave with the tide coming and going it helped for about 2 contractions and I was over that. I tried the flower opening image and that didn’t last either. I just had to not think. Not picture anything, just concentrate on pushing my air and breaths down throughout my whole body. This is what brought me the most peace and made the pain manageable.

I don’t recall when Karen came in or what she started to do, I felt my water break and Colleen said it was good and clear - I think that was when Karen was on her way upstairs (which later she told us that when she came into our building she took the stairs to the left! You NEVER take the stairs to the left to get to us! She had been here countless times and her hurried actions; cost her extra five flights up and down with all her medical supplies). My first memory of Karen’s presence was at one point she was using her Doppler to listen to the heart beat and I asked her if this was what transition was and if I would be having the baby soon, she told me that if I felt inside a little I would most likely feel the head. After another set of strong contractions, I did just that and sure enough the head was not very far away. I don’t know what that really meant to me, but it did give me light at the end of the tunnel. But too far down the road was not very visible. I was living second by second doing everything I could to conserve my energy for the big pushes.

not the most flattering picture

I started feeling like I had to push -it wasn’t a conscience decision to push, I just pushed. My body knew it had to push and it did. I could not have stopped or started pushing on my own if I was told to. It was natural and undeniable. That’s the first time I remember making any noise aside from the long deep breaths I was taking all night. I screamed, well maybe more of a grunting scream- not the blood piercing scream they show in movies and TV. Man it hurt. Badly. There was little time for rest between. I only had time enough to remember to ask josh to call my mom and tell her I was in labor. He called my parents and I remember hearing him say something like “the weather?? I dunno check the internet!” (Apparently, my Dad thought that it was the perfect time for him to ask my Mom to ask josh what the weather was like in NY so they would know what to pack - We all laughed) I called for him to come back. You see I needed him. I needed him there to give me his hand to grab and squeeze and pull and just feel. Oh, and pop his thumb. I remember once when I was deep in a contraction, I squeezed his hand so tight I popped his thumb and thought “oh good I popped his knuckle”. I also needed him there to keep me from putting my head and face entirely under water. With each push and contraction I would put my face down and blow bubbles.

Karen was having a hard time getting a heartbeat and when she found it she said it dropped a little not to worry but she’d like me out of the pool unless I had my heart set on a water birth. I didn’t really care; I just wanted the quickest safest way to get this baby born. We moved to the little sofa (luckily josh thought ahead and there was already a mattress protector over it). Karen’s birth assistant still hadn’t arrived so josh and colleen were both playing multiple roles. I was on my side with my right leg bent and on the sofa and my left leg bent toward me. Sometimes when I had to push, my left leg would cramp up so bad, half my pain copping attention would be dealing with that and I’d yell “Leg Cramp!!!”, start to laugh and they’d stretch me out.

Ok, so there were about 4 giant pushes one right after another on the sofa. Karen told me to use my energy and screams lower and direct them through my body all the way down, to scream the baby out. She said next push and the baby could be here in my arms. The first half of the push I felt the head come out and I immediately wanted to suck it back in stand up and say: “ok, thanks it’s been fun, but party’s over I quit.” I’d rather keep this baby inside than push it out and feel that again. The end was so close, I just had to push the baby out, all 40 weeks of pregnancy and five hours of labor were about this moment right here, this is what it was all for. So I took a deep breath and as soon as I felt that push feeling coming, I went for it. For a fraction of a second, I thought I would die right there. It burned. I felt the baby descend through my body fast. SO fast, and then I looked and saw him go right into Karen’s hands and then he was on my stomach and it was over. Well, mostly.
I don’t remember when – I think then they lifted him up to put on my belly I saw his penis and I said “Oh it’s a boy!” The umbilical cord was too short to lift him all the way up to my chest, so he hung out on my belly for a little until the cord stopped pumping and Karen thought it was good to go and we got that placenta delivered (9:29am).

She asked josh if he wanted to cut the cord, he did. I’m glad about that. What else? I think that’s all you want to hear/read. The rest might be too much information – in case the rest of this wasn’t already. But it involved some stitching up. Fast forward a little bit, I was in my bed with my new nameless babe and being taken care of. He was weighed, 7 lbs 4oz. and measured 19” long. He had a normal sized head and everything else was just right. We lay in bed -he nursed and they cleaned up, fed me and said their good byes. Then there were three. We were in our bed, in our apartment and no one was there to poke or prod me and Sonny It was wonderful. It was everything I wanted. The pain, the experience, the rollercoaster of thinking I couldn’t do it followed by the feeling that I HAD to do it and I WANTED to do it. Finally knowing I COULD do it. That is the best part. I did it, drug free, with my husband by my side the whole time, encouraging and supporting me. I was surrounded by good women who cared for me, and wanted to help me delivery this baby. I could not have asked for anything more. And we lived happily ever after.

Colleen, Karen, Karen's Assistant

Sonny's first real picture

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Can't Decide

I made another blog a while ago to dedicate just to the babe (never posted). and I can't decide if I should keep my blogs separate or just have one? I don't blog enough to justify two I feel like, but I don't want to over baby this one, not that I have that much else going on to blog about. But someday soon I might. So thoughts? Anyone?

Also I have been finishing my birth story and meaning to post that too. It should be done today.

The other night josh was testing a new lighting technique and needed me to stand in. It was a loooong day, and it was pretty late. Here are a few shots from it. I look tired (to be expected)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Patriotic Baby

This morning Sonny and I left the apartment for the first time since he was born! Neat huh? Josh carried us both down the stairs (two trips) he is the strongest man i know. My hero.

Where did Sonny and I go you may ask? We went to a breastfeeding group and then to VOTE. What a nice first day out. Then it was right back home and josh carried us up the stairs (two trips) and that was that.
Happy Voting!

(I asked a nice lady there to take our picture)