Catching up

It's been a whirlwind of a month, and I've been remiss in my blogging duties, so I thought it would be a good opportunity now that Sarah is settled down to catch up on a Sunday morning.

We just celebrated her one-month birthday (not officially, with cake and parties) and are gearing up for the holidays with a lot of excitement. I've refrained from putting up Christmas decorations just yet, but we do intend to get a small, live tree next weekend and decorate then. Shopping for Thanksgiving is complete, and my turkey is thawing in the fridge as we speak. I even found a cute little turkey onesie for Sarah to wear on the big day, so she can be all festive for pictures and Skype with the rest of the family.

Things have been going rather well. Initially Sarah lost more weight than the doctor wanted right after her birth, and was not gaining as much as she needed with breastfeeding alone. We added formula supplementation, and now we're mainly formula feeding, with breastfeeding mainly at night and when Sarah seems to want nothing else. I think it may be a comfort issue for her, because she doesn't nurse as much as she just latches on and snuggles up. Either way, her weight went up appropriately and we're not doing twice-weekly nurses' visits anymore.

She's already grown out of her newborn things and is filling out the three month clothes nicely. Her length is the biggest reason we moved her out of the newborn clothes; everything was just too short. That obviously comes as no surprise to anyone who has met John or me as neither of us is exactly short either. I've passed on her newborn things to someone who can use them, and will probably do the same as she outgrows others. We also moved into size one diapers, and I'm thankful for the Amazon Mom program, as we can save a lot on the cost of diapers ordering them online. (Seriously, if you are a parent, take a look at their stuff. I can get a huge box of diapers for a lot less than any store has them, even with coupons.)

On the everyday front, things are going smoothly most of the time. The office moved to our new location in Humble, and although John is tying up loose ends in Livingston, his day-to-day is now here, and we're both grateful for that. The long commute was hard, especially on evenings when he worked late, and the week he traveled was very difficult for both of us. We managed, but it was such a relief to have him home, even if he was still busy with work.

One of the things I've been doing is getting back in the kitchen a bit more. There was a period of time that just smelling food made me feel nauseous, then it was so hot this summer I didn't want to heat up the kitchen for anything, and then with the move it just was difficult to cook or bake a thing. Now that we're getting more settled, I find myself wanting to get back in there and experiment with new things. I'll post later on about the Dutch Baby I made yesterday morning, but I'm enjoying looking for new recipes to try, and finding things that are ridiculously easy but taste great.

I'm feeling more like myself than I have in a long time, even before we moved to Livingston a couple of years ago. Things were so hard for the last four years or so (seems like right after we got married, the caca hit the fan and there was a lot to splatter everywhere) and I don't know if it was moving to Kingwood, or the baby, or a combination of those things, but I just feel like me again. I want to create things, I want to get out my craft supplies and my KitchenAid, and make this feel like home for us (even if it's just another apartment.) I'm grateful for that, and looking forward to finding a church home here and putting down some roots in Texas. I miss my Alabama family dearly, don't get me wrong, and it will always be home to me, but for Sarah, this is home and I want it to feel like that for her.

Speaking of her, here's a picture of her asleep at Five Guys burgers a couple of weeks ago. We had a late lunch, visited a friend of John's, and got out of the apartment for a bit before the craziness of moving began. Sarah was fighting sleep so hard; she wants to watch everything.


Better late than never - Sarah's Birth!

After all the preparations from our no-go on Thursday the 14th, we went in Sunday night the 17th at 9:00 to start the induction process.

By the time we arrived, I had already dilated past four centimeters. We walked a lot on Saturday and Sunday, finished putting together her room, and even went to a car show in Kingwood on Sunday afternoon to try and help move things along. I was having regular contractions every 10-15 minutes, wondering the whole time if I would just go into labor on my own. Happily, they did not have to give me anything to help dilate my cervix, so we just spent the night at the hospital.

They gave me an Ambien to help me sleep, and it just made me sick a couple of hours later, so I really did not get a lot of rest. I was hooked up to the IV already, had the external fetal monitor in place, and my blood pressure was being monitored regularly already, so it was kind of uncomfortable. However, the plus side was knowing this was the real deal, and that at some point on Monday, Sarah would be born.

They started Pitocin early in the morning, and Mom and Zane arrived around 6. The contractions were getting stronger, and the anesthesiologist was great putting in the epidural. By 11, I was getting uncomfortable, and asked Mom and Zane if they would step out. I got a "booster" shot of anesthetic, and by then we were at 9 centimeters and she was making her way toward the exit (single file, please.)

At some point I started feeling like I needed to push. I can't explain it, it was harder to not push than it was to feel the contractions. John got the nurse, and we pushed for probably 45 minutes or so. The doctor came in (and lord love her, there were three other babies being born right at that same time, so she was very busy) and we welcomed Sarah into the world at 2:02 pm on Monday, October 18th.

She weighed 8 pounds, 10 ounces and was 20 inches long. I remember thinking when they laid her on my chest that she was heavy - I didn't realize how heavy, but she felt quite sturdy. John watched her being born, although he did not cut the cord himself. We were both tearing up, and I simply could not believe she was really here with us, in my arms.

She latched on well, and we nursed a bit. They cleaned her up, and gave her back to me quickly so we could nurse some more. I know every mom thinks her child is beautiful, but Sarah didn't have the cone head thing going on, there were no bumps on her face. Her complexion was just perfect. She got 9s on all her Apgar tests, and was just absolutely perfect.

These last two weeks have been such a blur. Mom and Zane were here until the following Sunday, and we've been to the doctor a few times to check her weight (more on the breastfeeding saga later) so my days have been relatively busy. Fortunately we're figuring out things as we go along, and I finally had a minute to update the blog and share our good news with everyone.

One of my favorite pictures from the hospital, to tide the blog over until I can write more: