Friday, December 12, 2008

Vivian's Birth

The short version: After a couple nights of mild and inconsistant contractions, we went in the our doctors office on Monday morning for a non-stress test and learned that I was already 5-6 cm dialated and 75% effaced! We took the doctor's advice and met him at the hospital for a controlled breaking of the waters to avoid a prolapsed cord. After he broke the waters, my midwife checked me and said I was already 7 cm dialated. I couldn't believe I was this far and not yet feeling any pain and hardly any contractions. It took a couple hours before contractions really started picking up. For about an hour and a half I was in hard labor but dealt with the contractions using the relaxation techniques TJ and I had practiced from the Bradley Method. At around 7:00 I started pushing and within 10 minutes Vivian was born! No drugs, no epidural, no IV, no internal fetal monitor, and no episiotomy. Vivian's birth turned out to be easier, shorter, and less painful than I had expected. What a blessing.

The Long version: It all started on Saturday night. At 8 days past my due date I was running out of time before they would want to induce my labor using drugs. So, I used my breastpump to help get contractions started. This was not my first time using the pump to start contractions. I had also tried Friday evening and Saturday morning. Both times resulted in a couple hours or consistant braxton hicks contractions, but never any pain and the contractions usually started close together only to slow down and finally stop within a couple hours. Saturday evening wasn't much different. I pumped, and then TJ and I went out to my parents house to visit for a while. As expected, the contractions faded away within a couple hours. When we headed home though, I started getting contractions again, this time accompanied by slight menstral-like cramping. I was very pleased to find that these new contractions were coming about every 13 minutes. We thought for sure this was it! So, we packed our bags, left Estelle with TJ's parents and prepared for labor.

By Sunday morning though, the contractions had died down and were only coming sparatically throughout the day. We spent the day sitting around the house waiting for things to pick up. I went to bed discouraged. Sometime during the night though, the contractions came back, painful enough to wake me from my sleep every 6 minutes. I breathed through the contractions pretty well by myself and only woke TJ up a couple times. By Monday morning though, we were back to square one. The contractions had quit entirely. We thought it best for TJ to stay home from work and he joined me for my non-stress test (routine when you go past your due date). Vivian did fine through the non-stress test, but when the doctor checked me, he said I was already 5-6 cm dialated! Talk about shocking! The doctor recommended a controlled breaking of the bag of waters because Vivian's head was not engaged and was not angled correctly to block the pelvis. He was worried that if I waited for my waters to break on their own, the cord might slip in there before her head, resulting in a prolapsed cord and emergency c-section. Not wanting to risk that, we agreed to meet the doc at the hospital in a couple hours.

We checked into Memorial hospital at around noon and waited for a couple hours before the doc arrived. When he arrived, he broke the waters while the midwife helped to push vivian's head into the appropriate position so it was engaged. This went very smoothly. After that, the doc left and Sylvia, my midwife stayed. She checked me shortly after Doctor Hucker had left and said I was already 7 centimeters dialated and almost entirely effaced! Now that was shocking! I had expected to be in severe pain by the time I got that far! The next couple hours were spent walking the halls, talking with Sylvia and the nurses, and watching TV while we waited for things to pick up. I was having contractions but they weren't very close together. We prayed they would pick up soon.

By around 5:00 they were closer to 5 minutes apart and were finally starting to feel a little more serious. By 5:30, they were strong enough to take all my attention and I remember having very little time between contractions. Just enough time to eat a bite of my popsicle and prepare for the next contraction. The next hour or so I moved from the bed to the shower, to the birthing ball, and walking around. Close to 7:00 I told sylvia I felt like I could push. She checked me and said I was 9 cm and that we could try a push to see what happened. That next contraction I pushed and Vivian's head moved down and started crowning! At this point they told me NOT to push and it took every ounce of effort for me not to. Sylvia had to put her gown on and all the nurses were rushing around trying to get ready for the baby. I was on my hands and knees at the foot of the bed and decided this wasn't a good position for baring down, so I tried another contraction standing up, but this too proved to be ineffective. I wanted a position where I could really bare down. So, with vivian's head already crowning, I climbed back on the bed and turned around so I could grab my legs and really push. Within a couple pushes her head was out. Then they told me I needed to push the shoulders out now! I was so exausted from pushing her head out, I said that I didn't have the energy to push her shoulders out. But they told me that I had do so I finally decided to give it all that I had left. Sure enough, her shoulders came out with that next contaction.

Vivian was handed too me as soon as she came out and nursed like an old pro almost immediately. I felt on top of the world. I couldn't, and still can't, believe I'd given birth entirely without drugs. I honestly thought I'd be begging for an epidural before I hit 8 centimeters. I couldn't have been more thankful for my support team. Sylvia, my midwife was WONDERFUL. She encouraged me to do whatever felt natural during labor. I wasn't pushed into doing things I didn't want to and I felt like she was there helping to make sure that I got the birth expereience I wanted. TJ was an awesome coach just like last time. He so supportive and encouraging me all the way through. My mom was there and even got to catch Vivian when she came out. And my friend Erin, who'd had a natural birth herself, both took pictures and helped encourage me during labor.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Walkin and Talkin

Estelle at 13 months. I found her wandering around the house chatting on my phone. Lol.

Saturday, June 07, 2008


At almost 13 months, Estelle is officially walking. She can walk all the way accross a room without falling. She's been taking steps for a few days, but usually dropped to crawl after only one or two steps. Now she's able to walk accross the room.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Tooth Ache

I think I know what Estelle feels like when she's teething. My wisdom tooth has flared up again leaving my gums swollen, red, and sore. I think there might even be an infection in there. My OB/GYN just perscribed antibiotics for a bladder infection. Hopefully that will clear up this gum infection too. I've been using Estelle's baby oragel. It really works so much faster than tylenal. But still, it hurts. Last night all my dreams related to the pain. Ugggh.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Friday, April 18, 2008


Estelle slept through her first Earthquake last night. The whole house was shaking and creaking and she didn't even wake up. I guess I'm not surprized. She's so used to being carried around while sleeping in her carrier. Lol.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008


We found a wasp in Estelle's room last night. Fortunately we saw it before we put her to bed. It was on the wall near a window, big, black, and scary. I killed it with the swiffer wetjet which I have found works considerably better than the standard broom method. I still don't know how the wasp got into her room, but is scares me that it did. Hopefully this will be a single incident and it won't happen again.

Monday, March 31, 2008


We just got back from our trip to Wichita, Kansas. Estelle did ok with the journey, although there were some rough patches. For the most part, she slept, but when she was awake we did have to stop more frequently because she was getting antsy stuck in that carseat for too long. That's ok though. It was nice to stop and stretch our legs occasionally. The wedding was colder than expected... a lot colder. It was an outdoor wedding at the botanica. I felt bad for the bride and bridesmaids in their knee-length, sleeveless dresses. Poor things were shivering. Estelle napped through the whole ceremony, thank goodness. I had her nicely bundled in her stroller so she wasn't cold. For the rest of our trip we enjoyed relaxing, shopping, and eating out at nice resturants. Traveling is different when you have a baby. We couldn't go to a couple of the really nice resturants because they didn't seem all that baby friendly and we certainly couldn't do anything that we would need a sitter for. But it was fun nonetheless. Estelle really enjoyed the hotel pool and she behaved well for the most part.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Straw Sippie Cup

Estelle has finally started drinking from something other than juice boxes. I bought her a sippy cup with a straw and she's been using that. Now I just need to teach her how to hold it herself. She's lazy and wants me to hold it for her when she drinks.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Recipe - Baby Formula Pudding

At only 10 months old, Estelle is practically weaned off breastfeeding, but refuses to drink formula from a bottle. She drinks juice and water, but refuses milk and formula. So, I've resorted to other methods of getting formula into her diet. Here's my recipe for Baby Formula Pudding. Estelle LOVES it!

1/3 cup sugar (less if desired)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
14 oz baby formula
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Prepare formula as directed on package to make 14 oz (about 2 cups).
In a microwave-safe mixing bowl, combine sugar and cornstarch. Beat in milk and egg yolks until smooth. Microwave on medium for 5 minutes. Beat well. Microwave on high for two minutes; stir. Blend in butter and vanilla. Pour into small plastic containers and place in fridge. (old baby food jars/containers work great because they are just the right portion sizes)Chill for 20-30 minutes before serving.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Glorious Sleep

This week, we started putting Estelle into her crib at night. Previously she'd shared our bed, but she's just gotten too big for that now. So, I decided it was time for the switch. The first night was rough. She woke up every 5-20 minutes and screamed most of the night. I didn't get much sleep until 5:00 in the morning when I brought her back into our bed. Sooo, the next evening we went out to Bed, Bath, & Beyond and forked out $30 bucks for the Homedics Lullaby Sound Spa. It was well worth it. This little machine is great. It plays a variety of soothing "white noises" including heartbeats, rain, ocean, and soft lullabys. Estelle seems to enjoy the rain. It also projects a moving picture on the ceiling to entertain baby until they fall asleep. There are three different picture "disks". So far we've only used the one. At first I wasn't sure if the white noise would help much, but it has. The first night using it, Estelle only woke up once an hour and usually just for a few minutes only crying a little before falling back asleep... a deffinate improvement. Our second night using it, Estelle seemed to associate the rain sound with sleep and went to sleep just 10 minutes after I put her down. She woke up a few times that night, but went back to sleep without much of a fuss. And last night, was heavenly. I got up once to feed her and once to put her binkie back in and that was it! And this morning, I thought she might like to come into our room to cuddle, but she couldn't fall back to sleep in my bed. She just kept tossing and turning and whining. So, I took her back to her crib, put her "rain" on and she fell back to sleep almost instantly. I was amazed.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Oatmeal and Oranges

This morning I made myself some oatmeal for breakfast. And, since Estelle isn't a fan of oatmeal, I gave her some manderine oranges instead. Because my oatmeal was hot, I would blow on each spoonfull before eating it. Estelle watched me and soon I noticed she was blowing on each piece of orange before putting it in her mouth. I didn't realize baby's could mimic actions so early on. It's so cute!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Sweet Success

Last night Estelle slept for a full 7 hours! I couldn't believe it when I woke up and it was 5:30 am! We'd gone to bed at 10:00 and Estelle finally fell asleep around 10:30. I still can't believe she slept that long without nursing. I have no idea if this is going to last or not, but I'll take it while I can. This was night five of the ban on nightime nursing. Hopefully she's realized that waking at night isn't worth it and she'll let me get my sleep at night.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Night Progress

The second night that I refused to nurse Estelle when she woke up went much better than the first. Estelle only woke up 2 times and both times her crying with brief. She did have a little trouble with her stuffy nose though. Poor thing couldn't keep her binkie in and breathe at the same time.
On night 3 Estelle hardly woke up at all. I fed her at 11:00 and she woke up once at around 1:00 but only for a few minutes. I didn't nurse her, but soothed her back to sleep. After that, she slept until 5:00 am! That's quite possibly one of the longest stretches of sleep she's ever given me.
So last night, night 4 of no-nursing, we had a bit of a relapse. Estelle woke up more often again. I finally gave her water in a bottle and she took it quite willingly. She's normally not one to take a bottle so I guess it surprized me. Perhaps she was just thirsty and not really needing to nurse. After that I rocked her and sung to her until she fell asleep and she slept until around 4:00 in the morning. I would have liked to hold her off until at least 5:00 am, but it was a rough night so I let her eat a little early.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Nightime is for sleeping, not eating

Estelle is old enough to sleep though the night, but she doesn't. I've been far to generous in feeding her at night and she's come to take advantage of that. At nearly 9 months old, she still wakes up two or three times a night to eat. And it's time this came to an end. She has to start sleeping through the night. Or, if nothing else, at least learn how to get back to sleep on her own without nursing.

So last night was the first night withtout nursing. She woke at around 1:00 in the morning, hoping to nurse and I didn't feed her. The little stinker spit her binky out every time I put it in. She proceeded to cry and kick her legs in frustraition for the next 7 minutes followed by sniffling for another 40 minutes before she finally went back to sleep...only to wake up exactly one hour later. Fortunately her second night waking was a little easier than the first. Her fit was shorter and she fell asleep more quickly. I plan on continuing the nursing-free nights, so I hope she does better tonight.

Ladybugs and Toilets

Estelle ate a ladybug the other day! She was on the floor playing while I was getting some work done there at the table next to her. I looked down and saw that she was chewing on something, but my attempts to remove the offending object failed. Whatever it was that she put in her mouth was swallowed before I could get to it. And then I smelled her breath....ladybug. The distinct smell of ladybug is unmistakable...strong and earthy. Upon a quick inspection of the area, I found a couple lady bug shells on the floor by the window. Darn critters were all over the place last fall. And then yesterday, I was made certain of my theory. Estelle pooped out a ladybug shell. Yep. She ate a ladybug.

If that's not enough to gross you out, that very same day I caught Estelle splashing in the toilet...clean of course, but still gross. She's only recently been able to pull herself up on things, so I didn't think anything of her playing the bathroom. Then I heard the splashing. The stinker was having a jolly ole time splashing in the toilet. I guess I'll have to remember to shut the toilet lid when I'm done from now on. Lol.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

At 8 Months Old...

I noticed Estelle has teeth coming through on the bottem. She's also started pulling herself up to a standing position when she can get ahold of something strong enough to support her. It's cute.