Friday, November 12, 2010

Lulu: 18 Months


I feel a little bad that I haven't kept up with these letters, or this blog. But I have a good reason, it's because I've been too busy having fun with you. I think it's probably time to admit this blog is over, time to print out the pages and set them aside for when, maybe, you are one day pregnant and wondering what it was like for old mom.

Your 18-month-old self is so much FUN. You don't walk, you run. You don't giggle, you guffaw. You have so many hugs and kisses to give, it's overwhelming. My poor heart. I love you so.

At 1.5 years of age, you are still really into Elmo and Sesame Street in general. No other TV show really gets your attention. Your favorite books are Olivia and Madeline. You say Olivia "Oliliya" and Madeline "Mamamamine". You would happily listen to me read them several times a day, and I usually do.

Your favorite foods are unpredictable. You still adore cheese with every fiber of your tiny being. It was one of your first words, cheese. You love fruit and like to hold the whole banana and take huge bites. You like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches cut into strips, which you eat daintily like they are small cobs of corn.

You are just cutting your 16th tooth, meaning you cut 12 teeth in the 6 months since your first birthday. This has been rough but you've been a good sport. Your teeth are tiny and straight and perfect. You love having them and being able to eat crunchy things like tortilla chips.

You love to close doors and then knock on them, saying "knock knock knock!" When you say mama it's with a sweet smile and always "ma ma ma". Your current favorite activity is to collect rocks and then drop them in the lake, one by one. When I throw a big rock out in to the water, you clap for me every time.

My favorite word to hear you say is "more." You always say it like it's a question and I'm determined to record it. You said it the most when we're at the park and you want to go down the slide again. More? More? More? Then you figured out how to climb up there on your own. One more time you don't need me to do something for you. I need to get used to that.

You're gorgeous. I know everyone thinks their child is secretly the prettiest, but come on. I love you so much and I wonder if this heart swelling, catching of breath feeling that I've had in my chest since the second you were born will ever go away. I hope not.

Monday, November 2, 2009


My darling, darling girl. It's November now, the month you turn 6-months-old. How we could possibly be in November already is unfathomable to me. I swear we just brought you home from the hospital, so tiny but so mighty. Those first few days, when I could only go 45 minutes between feeding you and quite honestly went out of my brain with exhaustion, seem both miles away and like they were just yesterday.

You are such a big girl now. Still petite but so strong and fun and seriously a joy. Every day your dad and I marvel at what a delight you are. You rarely cry, you laugh all the time, and your personality is just infectious. I can't get enough of you and I miss you so much while I'm at work every day.

I regret not writing more during these first six months, but honestly any free time I could devote to writing is time I could be spending with you. It's been really hard on me, being away from you every day. Even though you are in such good hands with your dad and your grandmother, I hate not being there. The good news is, when I come get you at Meno and ChuChu's house every day I am greeted with the most amazing, huge smile and you reaching your little arms out to me. You cling to me like a little monkey and nustle your head into my neck, breathing me in. My whole body relaxes and I could just eat you up, I love you so.

Speaking of monkey, you were a sock monkey for your first Halloween. You didn't really get it but as usual you were a great sport during yet another photo session. We already have so many photos of you that I'm glad we have a second hard drive. You are just such a gorgeous thing that I can't help but take a million pictures of you! Sometimes I catch myself sitting at my desk looking at all of them again.

Right now you are really into grabbing any and everything with your hands and shoving it into your mouth. You sit in your exersaucer and stretch your little neck so you can taste all of the different toys. Your sweet mouth and little tongue kill me.

You also really love things that crackle and crunch, like the cellophane pages in your favorite cloth book. However, you did NOT like being put into a leaf pile. Maybe next year.

At night we get into bed together and you scootch yourself over against me and start cooing and chirping your little song. We read Goodnight Moon and you nurse and you pat my chest while you eat. As you drift off to sleep you get all sweaty and rosey and I don't want to be anywhere else in the world. I love you, little girl. I hope you know that by now.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Two weeks and change.

You are so delicious.

Your mouth is just like mine and I can't stop looking at you. You make the best faces, asleep or awake.

You make tiny piglet grunty noises when you are hungry. You try to latch onto my cheek and I die from cuteness.

All of your newborn clothes are too big on you with the exception of some expensive designer baby clothes that were gifts. I feel like this justifies expensive designer baby clothes all of the sudden.

You are just so tiny, such miniature perfection.

I knew, having a daughter, that I would one day face the fact that I am now old and that you are much prettier than I am. Silly me thought that day was in the future but you are so pretty. Your skin and your perfect rosebud face and everything about you already puts me to shame. I can't begin to compete and I really don't care to.

I'm just so amazed that I even get to take credit for you.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

My labor story.

Monday found me going to my 38 week OB appointment as planned. I was scheduled to get another ultrasound to make sure that the baby was growing properly, since she was measuring on the small side at 36 weeks. I literally didn't think that having the baby any time soon was an option--everyone loved to tell me about how late they went with their first baby.

Ha. Haha.

Well, not only was the baby still a bit smaller than they would like, my amniotic fluid was low, earning me a first class ticket to the labor and delivery ward. My OB kindly gave us an hour to go home and make some arrangements.

After coming home to pack our bags and eat a quick lunch of burritos, we head to the labor and delivery ward. I had already filled out my admission paperwork, so we were checked in within minutes. We're directed to our room where we just kind of hang out for a half hour or so. It feels strangely like a hotel. Eventually, the nurse comes in, gives me a gown, and gets me strapped in to the monitors and hooked up to the saline IV that I'll be getting overnight. My doctor stops in to tell me that she has another option for me--originally my options were get fluids overnight and IF my amniotic levels go up, go on bed rest for two days to wait for natural labor, then get induced, OR get induced in the morning if the levels are the same. She said I could try Cervadil, a string that they put up in there that is infused with prostaglandin, the hormone that ripens your cervix. In most women it has a 20% chance of starting labor, but because I was already dilated to 2cm and 80% effaced she said that she would put my chances at 50-60%. I was all for this as it's a much less invasive way to get things going, so they put in the Cervadil. It stays in for 12 hours. Chris runs out to feed Buster and pick up soup from Panera, since I won't be allowed to eat after midnight. He also gets the DVD player and we watch episodes of The Office for a while.

That night I had an awful time sleeping because Lulu was moving a lot and the monitors kept losing her, setting off an alarm. Plus, the bed was just uncomfortable and I was pretty anxious. Around 2am I started noticing mild contractions, like menstrual cramps. The nurse gave me Ambien to try and get me to sleep, which helped a little. I still barely slept, which became a factor the next day.

The next morning, I had dilated to 3 and was having more regular contractions. My doctor told me that she was 98% sure that if she broke my water I would go into more serious labor. So, she broke my water, which didn't amount to much because my levels were still low in spite of the saline (saline I lugged around for days but seem to have lost now, thank you very much). Within an hour my contractions got more intense, but were still bearable. I kind of let them wash over me and breathed through them. Because I was trying to go natural as long as possible, they agreed to let me off the monitors for 45 minutes out of every hour. I paced around and ate popsicles and huffed and puffed. This whole stage of labor tastes like grape popsicles to me. They offered me a birthing ball and sitting on that for 45 minutes made me dilate two more cm. At this point I'm at 6cm and it's getting really fucking intense. Because I am so tired I'm having trouble controlling my breathing and I keep hyperventilating. There is a period when every time a contraction ends I say "it just feels so good when they stop". The contractions are not peaks and valleys but are long plateaus, the longest ones lasting well over 3 minutes, with just seconds in between. When I reach 8cm my hands went numb and I cried uncle and said bring on the fucking epidural.

Getting the epidural sucked because my contractions were still nonstop but I had to be really still. Once it kicked in, though, I felt like a million bucks. In retrospect, I likely would not have made it through pushing if I had stayed natural because I was just so exhausted. I felt so good now that I was just chatting about recipes and stuff. My OB came in to check me and said I seemed to be just about ready. While she was doing the cervical exam, she had me do a practice push and the baby moved forward the last three inches all in one go. Suddenly it was Time To Have The Baby and the room sprung into action.

The only real negative thing about the epidural is not really knowing how to push. I just kind of squeezed and concentrated my effort the best I could. I had a nurse on one leg, Chris on the other, and my mom supporting my shoulders. Even though it didn't hurt at all pushing was REALLY fucking hard work for me. I was still so exhausted from the night before and the day's labor. Regardless, after only 45 minutes of pushing, she was Right There and I just needed a couple of really strong pushes to get her out. Here is where I did something I never thought I'd do, I asked for the mirror. My OB told me if I could just see how close she was I would find the strength to push that much longer. So in comes the mirror and I can see a good three inches of the top of her head and her wavy hair. At this point I thought her head was abnormally small and actually thought "I will love her in spite of her pinhead". My mom thought the same thing. Once the mirror was in the room I only pushed two more times and she was here! It was actually really neat to watch, and I was so distracted by the baby that I didn't see the placenta being delivered. My mom did, though, and really wishes she didn't. I will say that I wish they had removed the mirror while they cleaned/stitched me up, but it was easy to ignore because hello, baby.

My doctor worked really hard to keep me from tearing, massaging literally a whole bottle of astroglide around my perineum during labor. Because of this I only had a small tear that didn't go into the muscle and required one stitch. I am SO thankful that she is anti-episiotomy and all about preserving the integrity of my vagina. TMI once again, but it's so true. Because of her patience I didn't have any bruising and I'm feeling pretty good by now.

I'm so happy that I still got a mostly natural labor and didn't have to get the Pitocin. So happy. Even though the situation was not my complete ideal I don't think it could have gone better. Plus, in the end I got to take home an awesome, good-smelling, incredibly sweet and adorable baby.

She's here!

Lucille "Lulu" Marie Canada. 5 lb. 9 oz. of awesome.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Little Peanut.

This is what my OB has taken to calling you. You're a wee thing, but oh so fiesty. And you are moving right on down and getting settled in my pelvic area. It's taken the pressure off my poor stomach and lungs but OH MY GOD. My poor bladder!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

36.5 weeks

Oof, would you take a look at that belly. Here we are, just a day from being considered full term. I can't believe it. While I know that most likely I am still going to be pregnant for another 3-4 weeks, it's still thrilling to know that you're basically in the clear to come along any time now.

We had our 36 week ultrasound at the beginning of this week and it was so cool to see how much you've grown. To see your fat little hands and your long, strong leg bones and your heart beating away. You got the hiccups and if I was more tech-savvy I would insert the video here, because it's pretty damn cute. You're also pretty damn tiny. You are on the petite side, but your father and I were both pretty small babies so it's not entirely surprising. As long as you keep growing, you're in good shape. And apparently your powerful kicks and endless hiccups are good signs that you are in fact petite, and not malnourished or something. I am such a perfectionistic hostess, I couldn't bear it if you weren't having a good time in there.

You are still kicking and twisting and moving as much as ever. You are head down and in the right position and I'm just so PLEASED with you right now! Yes, I'm tired. I'm so tired that it makes me a little weepy, and also our air conditioner is broken and that's an unpleasant adult thing to have to deal with. But regardless, no matter that being pregnant is starting to lose it's charm, I just can't wait to meet you. I never thought I would enjoy being pregnant so much and I have to owe some of that to you. You've been a charming little partner in crime and I just can't wait to see your face and those fat little hands in person.