Friday, January 30, 2009

He is here!!

This post has taken me more than a week to type... I love how my life has changed.

Ethan John was born on January 24, 2009. He was 6 pounds, 12 ounces, and the hospital nurses measured him as 21 1/2 inches long. He is absolutely amazing.

Here is his birth story...

I was having random contractions on Friday, January 23rd. Matt arrived home from work and suggested we take a walk since it was the first day above 40 degrees in weeks. We had dinner and commented on how tired we both were. We made plans to sleep in on Saturday, make a big breakfast, and thought maybe our son would arrive sometime over the weekend.

As I climbed into bed I felt a pop...then started leaking. My water broke!! I told Matt to get some rest (he wasn't feeling well) while I timed contractions (they were pretty mild at that point). I decided to wash and dry my hair, finish packing our hospital bag, and painted my toe nails between contractions. I never did get to schedule a pedicure but it wasn't impossible to paint my own toenails over my big belly :)

I called the doctor around midnight. It seemed he didn't believe me based on the color of what I assumed was my water! He even asked if I planned to go back to bed! I told him that I planned to go to the hospital b/c my contractions were 5 minutes apart.

We arrived at the hospital around 1:30am on Sat, Jan 24th. After being checked, the nurse confirmed that my water had broken but I was only about 1-2 centimeters dilated. I was hooked up to the monitors and the nurse noted that the baby's heart rate dropped. It stabilized shortly after. Matt and I decided to try to get some sleep. I barely slept as the contractions were becoming much more intense. The nurse offered pain meds through my IV. That medication helped for a very brief time. It did help me sleep between contractions. I woke up in pain every 5 minutes and the contractions were becoming unbearable. I was squeezing the bed rails and nearly crying through each contraction. The nurse asked if I was ready for an epidural. I asked if it was too early. She checked and I was 4 centimeters dilated. She made the call to the anesthesiologist but he had just left the hospital to go home. It took more than 2 hours for him to arrive back. I decided tensing up was not helping. I started relaxing as much as I could and focused on my breathing through each contraction, while Matt rubbed my back.

The epidural was heavenly. I planned to try to get some sleep but the baby's heart rate kept dropping so I had to lie on my side. I couldn't sleep because I was afraid of moving the wrong way and causing his heart rate to drop again. The nurse was AMAZING. She stayed with me, watched his heart rate on the monitor, and made sure I was laying in the best position for his heart rate.

I progressed quickly and was fully dilated before 9am. The doctor was concerned that pushing too soon would cause the baby stress and the heart rate to drop again so they let him come down on his own. I could feel the pressure of his head/him coming down.

Shortly after 11am it was time to push. After 4 and a half contractions and 15 minutes of pushing my baby boy arrived!!!! I couldn't believe it when I saw him. It was UNREAL! His umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck twice, which is what was causing his heart rate to drop.

He was beautiful. As soon as I saw him I felt like I had known him forever.

We waited a day to officially name him and I'm glad that we waited. When he was first born we thought he looked like a Preston. Our final three choices were Ethan, Grayson, and Preston. After a day we realized that Ethan was more fitting. Ethan was our favorite throughout my pregnancy and is perfect for him!

Our hospital stay was GREAT. I miss some of those super attentive nurses. Ethan only lost about 4 ounces by the time we were discharged.

Our first week home was great too. He was super sleepy and ate/slept/woke about every 2 hours. He'd have short periods of awake and alert time, which we took full advantage of, just gazing at each other.

His first appointment with the pediatrician was also really positive. He gained back his birth weight in just those 3 days. He measured 19 1/2 inches. The doctor explained that the hospital measurement is often incorrect b/c they are measuring so quickly. It could have been off due to his cone head too, which is already MUCH better!


Friday, January 23, 2009

Happy Due Date to me!

I could sing this (to the tune of Happy Birthday)!
I must say that there were times when I doubted I would ever get to be where I am today. I feel so fortunate to be here- patiently waiting for our baby to arrive. I LOVE being pregnant but in these final days I'm even more excited to meet our son.

How did I spend my due date? Working. Blah. Well, that and scaring one of my coworkers :) One of my cases will be transferred to her so she went along with me to a home visit today. She drove and every time I made the slightest noise that might indicate pain (some of these contractions are painful!) she looked frightened and threatened to take me straight to the hospital. I'm still here though... not in labor. I did think that I was possibly in labor yesterday. I even took off of work in hopes that it was going to be his birth day! I woke up several times with mild contractions between 10:30pm and 2:00am. Finally at 2am I decided to start timing them. I stayed up until 5am doing some paperwork and timing my contractions, which were about 10-12 minutes apart. I decided to get some sleep after 5am. They were still consistently 10 minutes apart until noon. Then they stopped being consistent. For the rest of the day and evening they were much more random... indicating that I was not in labor. Oh well, I had a relaxing day at home. Matt was home with me until noon so we cleaned the house, I gave him a hair cut, and then I napped and lounged around ALL day. It was heavenly.

I also have to post about how awesome Matt is. I haven't had many absolutely-have-to-have cravings but yesterday I saw someone drinking orange soda on television and HAD to have some. I called my wonderful husband at work and he agreed to run to the store for me. He's the best! Thank goodness his work is only 3 miles from our house. I made his favorite dinner last night.

So the weekend is here and I'm looking forward to spending it with Matt... relaxing until until "it's time". Soon enough, we will be PARENTS!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Nursery Pics -- FINALLY

I'm such a slacker with certain things. I've wanted to post pics of our nursery for so long but kept waiting to add a piece here or there.

As you enter the room. Please note the FABULOUS & PERFECT blue curtains Jen made for me. I couldn't find the 'right' blue curtains so Jen generously offered to make them for me (my lovely friends. Thanks Jen!). They really are perfect!
The sun is intense in here in the morning so we have black out panels to add as well.

Matt made this shelf in 8th grade :) The bird accessories were chosen by Charlene and Jen for my baby shower and I love that I can add them to his room decor. The silver cup is in some serious need of polishing. It has Matt's birth info on it. The 'first year' frame was a shower gift. My mother-in-law brought us the Eddie license plate home from a beach weekend this past summer. Both sides of our families still refer to this baby as Eddie. I'm not sure he'll ever get away from that nickname. The Hope star might be one of my favorite things in this room. I bought it when we were having trouble getting pregnant and felt hopeful every time I saw it.

Hanging above the dresser is something else Jen gave me. It was an adorable piece of scrapbook paper. I painted the sides of a canvas and 'modge podged' the paper onto the canvas. It was SUPER bumpy at first but it evened out. Before realizing that it evened out I had a meltdown, including throwing my shoe across the room, b/c I was so upset over ruining it. Pregnancy hormones? :) Thank goodness it wasn't ruined.

The bedding took me forever to choose but I'm really happy with my final choice. I love it!

Hope the pics were worth the wait. It's one of our favorite rooms now.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I'll wait for him

I had my weekly OB appt today. After checking and seeing that there has been no progress since last week my OB surprisingly mentioned the possibility of setting up an induction date for next week. She wasn't pushy about it but said that they don't recommend going more than a week past EDD. I told her that I'd rather wait to see if he comes on his own. Inductions come with other possibilities/risks which she reviewed with me too. I've waited more than 2 years for this child. I don't mind waiting a little longer.

While waiting I finally uploaded pics from Christmas and after. Disclaimer... lots of pics posted here and our cats must have been very entertaining for me this month b/c I took a lot of pics of them :)

Kylie (my belly) and I enjoying the view of the Christmas tree.

Do you see those little ears?

They hardly ever lounge this close to each other. I don't blame them... the glider is COMFY!

I wrapped up baby gifts for Matt to open on Christmas:

A Halloween costume! I couldn't resist a clearance sale and it's cuteness.

He LOVED this. Thanks again to the etsy seller... see 2 posts down for her info.

A shirt for the baby for next fall. We both thought it reminded us of something Eddie Vedder would wear :)

I need to crop the kitchen mixer out of this one but there it is... my 36 wk belly.

37 weeks

37 weeks bare belly. Sorry to those who don't care for this kind of belly shot.

This one makes me laugh. His tushie is sticking out, and well, hers is right there too.

Lately she loves to lay on my belly. So cute! That's an undershirt/cami, btw. At first glance I thought my skin was a weird color.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Single digits! He'll be here soon!

I haven't updated in so long b/c I feel like we've been getting ready for him or thinking about it every moment. I've been working on meeting with my clients as much as possible, catching up on paperwork, and getting things set for my maternity leave. It will be so strange not to see any clients for 12 weeks!

Each weekend we've been running errands to pick up last minute things in preparation. We've also been organizing and cleaning our home. I've been keeping a few to do lists. Matt laughs at my lists but I think he secretly loves them. Every time I start cleaning out a closet he thinks that I'm going to go into labor that night. There have been a few times when we thought it might be the start of labor, but those pains must have been some serious Braxton Hicks contractions that ended after a little time, rest, and water.

Two of our dear friends were due with their babies on 1/19 and 1/21. One was born on 1/9 and the other is at the hospital, likely about to be born as I write this. So exciting!!

I haven't been too anxious yet b/c I still feel great, patient, and am enjoying this time. I think I'm going to miss being pregnant. I already miss the 'cute belly' stage a little...because now it's MUCH bigger and not quite as cute. Matt tells me daily that it is still very cute... what a wonderful, supportive, husband! Although, he also laughs at me when I waddle to the bathroom after sitting for a long time. When walking through stores I get a smile and sympathy looks from strangers. I may miss being pregnant eventually but I'm REALLY looking forward to meeting our baby boy and seeing what he looks like. I have a feeling he'll look just like Matt.

So, things are continuing to go well. I could still eat Mexican at least once a week! I also still crave sweets but I love sweets when I'm not pregnant too.

The baby has dropped down some but has some more to go. There isn't much room in there so the kicks feel much different than they used to. It's more like body parts pushing out. Actually ... check out this blog post.

LOVE it! That is exactly what used to happen to my belly. Now that's he's bigger it's usually an elbow or foot pushing out instead. It freaks Matt out (I seriously wish I had his reaction on video) but I think it's amazing!

4 days until my due date!!!!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Etsy Raves

I wanted to post a rave about three etsy sellers who have provided fabulous products and saved us money. First, we ordered our Christmas card from this etsy seller:

She was quick at responses, easy to work with, and made some adjustments until it was just what we were looking for. We plan to return for baby announcements!

Next I ordered a Pearl Jam onesie from this seller:
Matt had been looking at some on the Pearl Jam website but there weren't any available in the size we were hoping for (something for our little guy to wear this summer). Lucky for us this lady made one and I wrapped it up for Matt for Christmas! I think it was his favorite gift!

I've been reading about different kinds of baby carriers and the raves about Moby wraps. I found this one, a knock off, on etsy and Matt ordered it for me for Christmas. I've tried it out and put one of our cats in there :) She looked pretty comfy! Wish I had a pic to share! Looking forward to using it with an actual baby.

Etsy is such a great resource. I love that it's supporting creative, small business, men and women.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Recipes: crock pot and freezer meals

I've been trying out a few new recipes in addition to making some freezer meals. I thought I should post them here in case anyone is interested in trying them.

First a slow cooker chicken and dumpling recipe:

I made a few changes after reading the reviews. Instead of 2 cans of condensed cream of chicken soup I used one can of cream of celery and one can cream of chicken. I think both were the low sodium kind. Instead of water I used chicken broth. I added frozen peas and carrots when I added the refrigerated biscuits. The biscuits took more than 90 minutes before they weren't raw in the center. Only one tube of biscuits was needed in the crock pot. I used the other to bake in the oven just in case. They were nice to have with it but not necessary.

1 lb. Boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
2 c. water
1 c. mild salsa
1 pkg. Taco seasoning mix
2 cups instant rice, uncooked
8 - 12 flour tortillas

In skillet or saucepan, combine chicken, water, salsa and seasonings.
Bring to a boil.
Add rice and simmer on low for 5 minutes.
Spoon mixture into center of tortillas and wrap. You can add cheese to mixture before wrapping, if desired.

To FREEZE: Simply wrap each folded tortilla in tin foil and place in 1 gallon freezer bag. I like to have 8 to a bag (for our swaps).
To SERVE: Reheat and eat.
*I tried the filling for these and it was very good!

1 lb. Ground beef, browned until crumbly and drained
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped broccoli, thawed and drained
1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
½ c. chopped onion
¾ c. sour cream
¼ tsp. Salt
¼ tsp. Garlic powder
½ tsp. Italian seasoning
1 loaf frozen bread dough, thawed
To FREEZE: Combine ground beef with other ingredients (except bread dough) in a bowl. Roll our bread dough to a 9"x13" rectangle. Spoon filling onto one side of the dough, leaving a border of dough on three sides. Fold over bare side of dough and pinch ends together. Spray lightly with cooking spray and wrap in plastic wrap. Wrap again in tin foil and freeze.
To COOK:Thaw overnight in refrigerator. Unwrap calzone and place on cookie sheet. Loosely cover with plastic wrap to prevent drying. Allow to rise, but not double. Cook 20-30 minutes in a 350 degree oven until golden. Slice and serve.
*I thought the filling made enough for 2 BIG calzones.

Sweet and Sour Chicken

1 jar (8 oz.) Fat Free French Dressing

1 can (8 oz.) jelly whole cranberry sauce

1 package Dried Onion Soup Mix

1 bag stir-fry frozen vegetables

4 Boneless Chicken Breasts (you can add more or less - cut into cube pieces)

TO FREEZE: Dump all ingredients into 1 gallon Ziploc freezer bag. Lay flat in freezer.

TO SERVE: Mix all ingredients in a 13 x 9 glass pan. Cover with tin foil. Bake 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Stir and serve over rice or noodles.

*This smelled good. I thought the combination of cranberry sauce and french dressing would be strange but it looked good.

A homemade Mac and Cheese recipe:

* This isn't the healthiest but it was good! I made double and froze half of it. I'd use less bread crumbs the next time.

Another link full of freezer recipes:,main-dish?categ=285%2C89&ls=h&pg=3&Search=Search&s_type=%2Frecipes.php

Hope you find something you enjoy!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy 2009!!

Wow, it's been a long time since I've updated this. I got caught up with the holiday season and neglected certain things.

First, HAPPY NEW YEAR!! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and best wishes this year!

It's hard to believe that we will have our baby boy this year, let alone this MONTH! Matt kept reminding me of this yesterday. He said "we're going to have a baby this month". Seems it is becoming much more real for Matt lately. At my OB appt last week the doctor said that the baby could come any day now or it could be weeks before his arrival. I'm officially 37 weeks pregnant today!

What has happened over the past month?
-I've developed acid reflux and Zantac has been a friend of mine. Most days it helps. I truly feel for those who suffer from non pg-induced acid reflux and have to deal with it on a regular basis. What a pain!

-My slow and steady weight gain is a thing of the past. At 32 weeks I had gained 15 pounds. 4 weeks later, A LOT of holiday eating (I seriously couldn't resist the cookies!), and hopefully added weight to the baby, has helped me gain 10 more. Still not terrible but not comfortable either.

-The added weight and looser joints have taken a toll on my knees. Both of my kneecaps dislocated in a 2 week timespan. I usually only have one dislocation a year (since the age of 13). It occurs out of no where, no warning, it pops out, and I immediately fall over. I fell down a few stairs but everything was fine. Just a bruise on my belly. I'm seeing an orthopedic next week in hopes that he'll have some suggestions to get me through this. I'm more concerned about it contining to happen after the baby is born. He is protected inside of me right now but I'm worried about falling while holding him after he's born. I'll still be carrying extra weight and the OB said that joints can stay loose for more than 6 weeks post partum. I hope the orthopedic can give me knee braces to help keep my kneecaps in place. Those will be something else oh so attractive to wear.

-Speaking of attractive, I'm sporting compression hosiery due to varicose veins. Getting those things on takes quite a bit of effort and must be a comical site. Thank goodness they are only thight highs or else I'd have to deal with them on each trip to the bathroom.

-I'm moving a lot slower these days. Christmas shopping was a whole new experience. I ventured out on Black Friday and laughed at myself several times. I had to stop for breaks, ask employees to reach items on very low or high shelves for me, and pack even more snacks & water than usual. It was great though. I got a lot of good deals on clothes for Matt and the baby.

-I'm not swelling very much. Just this past week my rings felt tight for the first time.

-I'm still walking fairly normal. Well, most days. The days following my last dislocation I took some funny looking strides. Matt asked me what time the gun show was.... you know, the way the cowboys walked in old western movies before a shootout challenge? I pulled a muscle in my leg when I fell so between the bum knee and pulled muscle I had a bit of a limp/waddle/bow legged walk. Guess he thought it was best to help me laugh at it. He was right :)

-Some days I remind Matt of his grandma! Sweet, huh? We have an awkwardly placed light switch in our kitchen. It's in a corner and my belly makes it difficult to reach. I've resorted to using spatulas to reach it and that is something Matt's grandma used to do (use utensils to reach things). Matt just laughed the first time he saw me do that. I also lean over the grocery cart when I'm getting tired. I guess Grandma used to do that too :)

-I'm starting to get tired more easily and often. Thank goodness for my flexible job. I'm able to go to a home visit, come home and lie down for a bit, then go to the next appt if it works out to schedule my day that way. It depends on when clients can meet too, but this was especially helpful during the week when I was feeling sick with a cold.

-The baby has moved down a little bit. Not enough to make me uncomfortable in my hips/to waddle but enough to give me some more breathing room. I'm not as winded after walking up our stairs. His moving down seemed to cause my belly measurement to change at my last OB appt. At my 34 wk appt I measured 36 wks. At my 36 wk appt I measured 33 wks. The doctor was concerned that I might have been leaking fluid, though I didn't see any signs of that, so she sent me for an ultra sound. I was scared that something was wrong but was excited to see him again. I ended up not seeing very much because he is so squished in there. His head looked rather large and it freaked me out! I kept thinking "I have to push that out?!". Thankfully, the results showed that he is head down (he had been breech for a few weeks) and my doctor wasn't concerned with my fluid levels.

-His movements are less frequent because he doesn't have as much room in there. They are also less like little kicks and more like jabs. The bulges he creates on my belly are funny to see. I still love feeling him move!!

-Each weekened we've spent some time working on getting things ready for his arrival. That includes a few trips to Babies R Us, putting together things like the pack and play, swing, etc, organizing his room & closet, and washing his clothes, bath items, and bedding. We've also been working on lists for our hospital bag and items that might be necesary the first week home. I've also made a few feezer meals to help prepare.

I'll post pics of his room soon.