Sunday, July 12, 2015

Maggie, week by week

For Will, I did a photo project where I took pictures of him every week until he turned one.  I'm so glad I did it, but looking back, it was a pretty daunting task sometimes...and now there are TWO of them.  So I hadn't planned to do this for Maggie...I was just going to take monthly pictures...but, I wanted her to be able to look back at how much she grew in her first year just like her brother could.  However, this extreme guilt didn't set in until week 4...I hate that I don't have pictures for weeks 1-3! But, nonetheless, here we go! 

I decided to make my life easier, I would just take Maggie's picture in whatever she was wearing that day (rather than putting her in a white onesie like I did with Will).  And even though I crocheted her a blanket, I decided to lay her on this colorful quilt that was my Grandma Maggie's (little Maggie's namesake).  Here are weeks 4-11...with some of my other favorites along the way at the end!

This was the best one, I promise.

Saturday, June 27, 2015


People keep asking me if Maggie looks like Will as a baby.

Um, yes!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Will turns TWO!

Holy cow! Where has my baby gone?

About four weeks after Maggie was born, we celebrated Will's second birthday right in the middle of Strawberry Festival madness.  Will is obsessed with vehicles, machinery, yard equpiment, etc. So I decided to throw him a construction themed party.  To say that was the "theme" is a stretch...I hung a few strips of Caution tape, put some dirt pudding with gummy worms in the back of a toy dump truck, and got him a construction cake. There were no special invitations or favors...and you know what, he didn't care one bit.  All we needed was our family and some cheese puffs!


Everyone got to take a turn loving on Maggie, which was a nice break for this 24-hr-milk-machine-mama.

Will got all kinds of awesome gifts...yard tools (rake, shovel, hoe), power tools, a leaf blower (with safety goggles, of course), some new trucks and books, some adorable clothes, and a John Deere tractor.  Oh brother! Look out!

He pretty much had us all in tears wearing these goggles.  Hilarious! (Yes, our couch has a sheet on it that I forgot to take off. We were still in the sleep-anywhere-the-baby-will-sleep stage, and that just so happened to be in the swing in the living room.  Our house looked like a war zone for a while.)

He didn't quite get how to drive it at first.

So he was content going for a ride with his cousins around the beginnings of our raised bed garden.  Boo thinks chasing this thing is awesome.

It was the most perfect, laid-back party for our most perfect, laid-back two year old. Goodness, I love this little boy. I can't believe I've gotten to be his mama for two years now. It's all going too fast! I'm going to go cry myself to sleep now.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Welcome, Little Sister: a birth story

Back when our sweet Will was born, I wrote out his birth story so that I could remember it.  I must do the same with Little Sister since the stories are so different. This is a long one with far too much detail.

I really struggled with Will's c-section delivery. For a lot of reasons. I was completely blindsided by it. It took me (what felt like) forever to heal. My milk didn't come in for at least 5 days which meant Will was our first days home were rough.  Looking back, I think I had some of the "baby blues" after bringing Will home...I just didn't feel like myself for many weeks.  And, being completely selfish, I didn't get the "birth experience" I had been looking forward to.  I don't mean to diminish the birth of my favorite little boy in the whole world, but if given another option, I did not want to go through that again.

SO, I started looking into those other options...namely a vbac (vaginal birth after caesarean). As I asked around, I found a local doctor and her midwives who were very supportive of vbac's and had the lowest c-section rate in the state.  I had many, many, many conversations with them about it, and they assured me that I was the perfect vbac candidate.  I was still unbelievably nervous about it though.

This pregnancy was much harder than the first. I threw up almost every day at least once for the first 20ish weeks. I had a TODDLER to take care of...during basketball season. And I was giving three consecutive lectures as I grew bigger and bigger. So on a Thursday at 39 weeks when there was no sign of this girl wanting to make an appearance, I had a bit of a meltdown. That weekend, I had contractions in the middle of the night that were about 10 minutes apart but stopped in the morning. When Monday rolled around, the contractions were irregular, but sometimes 5 minutes apart and painful! I didn't know what to do. My mom told me to go to work to keep my mind occupied. So I gave a test at 9 and lectured at 10 and 11. I'm pretty sure I completely freaked my students out because I had to stop and breathe through contractions (college kids think babies just fall out with minimal effort). After class, I had my coworkers time the contractions-still irregular but sometimes three minutes apart. We decided maybe I should go get checked just in I ran home and ate some banana pudding and too much meatloaf! :-) 

Brian got home at about 12:30, loaded our bags, and we headed to the hospital. When my midwife checked me, I was shocked to already be 3-4 cm dilated. Wahoo...we were going to have a baby!  Luckily, a basketball mom was my nurse, so she got us all situated and comfortable in a delivery room. It felt terrible to just lay, so I spent lots of time on the birthing ball and pacing the halls. During contractions, I would wrap my arms around Brian's neck to hold all my weight and quietly breathe through them. By 6-7 cm, I decided it was time for the edidural. I had considered a natural birth, but my doctor recommended the epidural so that in case anything went wrong, they could get me into surgery quicker...and let's be honest, by 7 cm I WANTED one! The anesthesiologist was awesome. The epidural was quick and just enough, and I could still move my legs. He also hunted down a heater to blow under my blankets because our room was FREEZING (he did this because he said he was thankful to have a patient who had showered and wasn't obese...yikes!). My doctor broke my water to get things moving. Then I was able to relax and sleep a bit, until the nurses turned me on my left side. All of a sudden, baby girl's heart rate dropped to nearly nothing. The nurses tried putting me in different positions and adjusting the monitors, but nothing was working.  All of a sudden I was surrounded by four nurses and my doctor.  Brian, my mom, and his mom were in the room but had no idea what was going on. They quickly put me on oxygen and yelled to breathe deep. When that didn't help, my doctor hooked up an internal monitor to baby girl, which sounded different than the external monitor but confirmed baby girl's heart rate was still far too low.  This seemed to go on forever, and all I can remember is saying over and over, "Is she ok?!"  Finally, and for no apparent reason, her heart rate picked up again, and everyone relaxed.  My doctor said it could have been a lot of things but was most likely her pinching her cord somehow.  I'm going to have to yell at her for scaring me when she is older.

After sleeping and relaxing until about 2 am, my doctor checked and said it was time to push. Even though I could still feel a lot with the epidural, I could not tell what or where I was supposed to be pushing.  Brian and a nurse held my legs.  Thank goodness that nurse coached me through every contraction to tell me if I was doing it right.  In desperation I told her at one point, "You have to tell me when I'm doing it right, and I'll just keep doing that-because I can't feel anything!"  Brian kept telling me that he could tell I was making progress, and that helped me stay focused. My mom and Brian's mom said they were pushing with me! Ha! When baby girl started to crown, my doctor pulled the mirror over so I could see.  She had a full head of hair, and seeing this was all the motivation I needed to get serious.  After a few good pushes, I could feel her head come out.  They wiped her head and shoulders, and my doctor said, "Ok, mom. You want to pull her out?"  So as I pushed, I reached down and pulled her right out and onto my chest. Miss Margaret Imogene was born at 4:43 am. C.R.A.Z.Y. It was awesome.  She started crying immediately, and my doctor scolded the nurses for fussing over her too much.  She told them she wanted the baby on my chest for an hour without anyone poking or prodding. After about 45 minutes, she was wiggling her way to the good stuff and started nursing like a champ.  Then daddy and the Nanas got to hold her.  She weighed 7 pounds 5 ounces and was 20 3/4 inches long.  After this point, I couldn't tell you what happened, because I was SO EXHAUSTED!

Later that day, it was time for big brother Will to meet his new sister.  Maggie got her brother a lawn mower.  He still pretty much ignored her but loved the mower.

There are some (most?) women who are worried about hair and makeup after birth for picture purposes. I am not one of those women.  That first shower always feels amazing, but the thought of having to wash, dry, and fix my hair is exhausting.  I will likely regret this when I look back at these pictures some day.  First family photo. Will is eating some cheese puffs.

Finally after two days, we were on our way home.  Let the fun begin!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The final countdown

Things have been busy over the last month or so as we frantically prepare for little sister. The official countdown is 3 weeks and 1 day (due April 23)!

Brian was the assistant coach for Buckhannon Upshur High School's girl's basketball team from November through the beginning of March.  The girls had an amazing season (like, the best season in 15 years or so), winning sectionals and regionals to send them to the state tournament!  Going to games in your third trimester with a toddler is an exercise in endurance, patience, and ingenuity, but I survived.  When the girls would make a basket, Will yelled "touchdown!"  The team was knocked out in the first round at the tournament, but it was just so amazing that they got there in the first place.  Brian is already talking about next season...oh my!

after winning regionals...with a piece of cut net!

Local celebrities

on the civic center floor!

Once basketball season was over, it was finally time to get serious about preparing for little sister (before i had a nervous breakdown)!  Will's "big boy room" needed painted and furniture, the nursery needed lots of work, I had no clothes ready for little sister, and our house was generally a wreck (although that doesn't seem to change much day to day).

 Will's room went from this lovely place with wallpaper and red trim....

to a nice, clean, gray space that now has furniture and is inhabited by one excited big brother.  I'll share some more pictures once I get it a bit more organized.

My mom and I were also able to knock out painting the nursery.  I had planned to keep it gray (or at least that's the story I told brian ;-) but I just couldn't get it to work with the ideas I had in my head. So, we painted it. I'm slowly working on getting it decorated with pictures on the wall, french door curtains, some homemade bunting and twinkle lights, and a pompom mobile....

Somehow, Brian and I were able to find about 24 hours to get away.  We took a quick trip to Stonewall Resort and did nothing but eat and sleep.  It was glorious.

35 weeks at stonewall

And after all of that, Will and I have been completely exhausted ;-)

Friday, February 20, 2015

31 week update

Everyone says things are different with the second child. So true...already.  With Will, I took belly pictures all the time. With this baby, I've taken about two....I either forget or just don't have the energy.

This is a comparison at 25 weeks last time versus this time....

I am now 31 weeks.  Only 9 to go. Maybe. My friend Krista just had her baby three weeks early, so I'm pretty much having daily panic attacks now!

Last week, I had some wardrobe issues....surely a non-maternity dress with plenty of rouching could still handle my belly, right? Nope. That sucker pulled in all the wrong places. But I wore it anyways...with a long sweater to cover as much as possible! Changing would have been exhausting. If Tony Kornheiser had seen me, there would have been more sausage casing comments. Regardless, here is the 30 week belly....

The only thing I have ready for Little Sister is her blanket.  I got my yarn in the mail and finished it in about a week.

We have been talking more and more with Will about his sister.  He gives my belly a kiss each night and giggles about her teeny-tiny clothes.  Maybe he's practicing up for this sister business, because when Brian picked him up from school a few weeks ago, he was dressed like this....

phone cameras aren't designed for reconnaissance photos

His teacher said he likes dancing in it. BAHAHA!!!!  At least it is blue and yellow.

::My father-in-law brought to my attention that he couldn't comment on posts. I think I've fixed it-use Name or Anonymous.  Comment away, Ed! ;-)  ::