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.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tiny clothes, tiny diapers.

Dude, your room! How cute is your room? This will likely be a pretty boring entry but I really want to document some sources before I forget where I got things or what I did here. First of all, that adorable rug is from Ikea and was a complete steal. Buster loves it most of all. The Eames-knockoff rocker is from eBay and is really uncomfortable. I'll probably sell it on Craigslist but for now it looks great with an Ikea sheepskin on it.

The crib is another Ikea bargain ($99!), and I love the simplicity of it, and that it isn't a massive hunk of furniture. The artwork comes from your talented aunt Helen, who also helped me make the mobile. More on the mobile in a second. The hippo joins us from Ikea and I think I'll name her Penelope.

Dwell Target bird sheets, a family heirloom quilt (in grey, purple, and pink--how on trend are these colors on a really old quilt? very nice!), a super soft receiving blanket, and a felted "lovey" blanket.

Helen and I made the mobile--she made tons and tons of these paper flowers for an art installation. We strung the small ones on fishing wire with a bead and hung them from embroidery hoops. I love how this turned out, especially since some of the paper mobiles I was admiring were over $80!

Now I think Helen and I should go into business with these babies.

You don't have a lot of toys yet, but I have to say the stuff you have is incredible nice. Here we have a Steiff teddy bear that my dad gave me years and years ago, a knit BlahBlah doll from your great-great-Aunt Angie, and an organic cotton peapod toy. The yellow bin I already had and the toy chest is from, where else? Ikea.

Strawberry print from the ever-talented Helen.

Dwell Target glider purchased to replace uncomfortable, but very stylish, Eames shell rocker. This glider is great and seems to be really well made. Thrifted Russian table, thrifted lamp and Ikea lampshade. The quilt was a shower gift from my grandmother.

If you have to deal with poop, it might as well be a cute set-up, right? Ikea changing table. Vintage flour sack changing pad cover (I know this will get dirty immediately, I have a whole stack of them in various patterns). Diaper pail (read: trashcan) from Target with Whammies waterproof pail liner from Cutie Tooties. Baskets from Target; diapers, wipes, and other supplies from Cutie Tooties. Large pink print from Helen.

I love this collection of teeny art! "Spring" tin sign from anthropologie, Ichabod and Susannah paintings and Hawaiian "sisters" chalk drawing collected over the years. Mini woodblock art from my other talented sister Sara Kate.

Turn your nose up at cloth diapering if you must, but they are really cute.

Speaking of cute, teeny clothes! Everything for 0-3 months is organized, washed and folded.

It's satisfying to see all of this tiny cuteness in one place.

My mom brought over some clothes she save from when I was little, and this vintage hanger was in the bag. This picture isn't the best, but it has bunnies on it.

So, I decided to use one of your frocks to decorate your closet. This is from Boden by way of eBay.

AH! Someone is having a girl.

I love the way this bookshelf area turned out. Vintage bookshelves I've had forever.

I picked up some great Charley Harper stuff from Old Navy last year--board books, a coloring book, and some games. We've also been given some classics.

One of Chris' students gave us the teensy Vans, they kill me. The giraffe teether is from France (via Cutie Tooties), and the letter "L" from eBay.

Paper cut-out from Etsy.

Nashville Puppet Festival print from my friend Emily. I guess that's pretty much everything! We are waiting on the frames for two more prints to hang over the dresser, so I haven't shown that side of the room yet. But otherwise, everything is ready, we just need to add a baby!

Monday, April 13, 2009

34 weeks

First of all, this:

Most of the nasty things people have been promising these last few weeks would bring seem to be true. The heartburn that makes me (try to) sleep sitting up, having to pee more than EVER, tiredness that stems from either the lack of sleep or increasingly unweildy body, UGH. And you show no sign of calming down, or sleeping more often, or having movements that are more gentle and rolling since you're running out of room. No, you seem hellbent on damaging my internal organs 24 hours a day.

In cuter news, I can see your feet when you stretch out across my abdomen. You can feel me when I press on these little feet, you jerk them away and then kick back out again. It's cute, even though it hurts.

Also cute? Your nursery. Oh man, this room is cute. I think it's my favorite room in the house.

I'll have to do a more complete nursery post soon, because it's seriously ridiculous in there. So bright and cheerful and fun.

Friday, March 27, 2009

32 weeks

You made my OB laugh yesterday. She pressed lightly on one side of my belly and you immediately kicked back--hard. She chuckled and tried the other side with the same results. Then you kicked the fetal doppler once, twice, three times. You are not a child that likes your space infringed upon, it seems.

Like I didn't know this. Like you don't kick me--hard--if I lean over, or wear pants that are too tight, or lay on a side you find unacceptable. Like you don't love to press against my poor ribcage until it literally feels bruised!

I complain, but I really love that you are so strong. That you impress even my doctor, who pressed on pregnant bellies all day. That you are growing ridiculously, measuring over 33 weeks this week. I know most first time mothers go past their due date but you just seem to be so anxious to get out and stretch those long Farmer legs, it makes me wonder.

Just please, stop trying to get out via my belly button. Not only does it feel so weird that it wakes me up in the night, gasping, it's just not medically advised.

Updated belly pictures to come...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Baby shower #1

My mother, sisters, and sister-in-law threw me a lovely baby shower and invited all of the wonderful ladies in my family. It was such a wonderful afternoon and I'm so touched by the thoughtful gifts!

These are the hostess gifts I brought:
I wanted to keep one for myself but I'm really trying to be less selfish. It's hard.

The decorations were just too cute, featuring mounds of paper roses that my sister Helen made (and later we fashioned into a fantastic mobile, more on that to come):

We had a great crowd to enjoy delicious food and drinks:

And really, I got such lovely gifts!

Overall, a delightful afternoon and I'm just so touched by everyones support and love. What a wonderful family I have.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

So now we've got that out of the way.

I've been wondering if I would have my very own trip-to-labor-and-delivery-for-no-reason story, and now the wait is over. Little one, last week...last week was not good. I am not sleeping, still, and my 30-weeks pregnant body is now pumping 45% more blood than before. 45%! That is really quite a lot of extra blood, my goodness.

So anyway, this extra blood has my heart working extra hard and has apparently brought to the forefront a very, extremely mild arrhythmia. My heart just kind of skips a beat occasionally and then POUNDS for a little while afterwards. This is also, not surprisingly, aggravated by getting NO FREAKING SLEEP. Ahem.

So last Thursday, the pounding was really getting to me, and it took even less than usual for me to feel completely short of breath. By Friday morning I figured I might as well give my OB a call, just because I've had it drilled into my head that it is ALWAYS better to call. Imagine my shock when my normally laid-back OB does not tell me to just go home, get some rest, lay on my side, and drink water, which was what I was expecting. No, she calmly but firmly tells me to drive myself straight to Labor & Delivery where they will be waiting to hook me up to monitors and give me an EKG.

Honestly, it took me aback.

So I did as I was told (making a 5 minute detour to pick up Chris) and lickedy spilt found myself in a gown and bed in L&D triage. Everyone was SO nice and the hospital was really quiet because no one was scheduling things on Friday the 13th. As expected, there was nothing seriously wrong, just the little blip on the EKG but nothing that can hurt me or the baby. I was sent home and finally told to get some rest and stay off my feet for the day. Happy to oblige.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Maternity fashion, week 30.

My favorite outfit this week:

3-10-09 - by mariannecanada on

The rest of the week has been a blur of ill-fitting sweaters and schlubby t-shirt and hoodie combinations. I am not sleeping and so uncomfortable and really it's a wonder that I made it in to work at all.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Kick Count

So, these days I am supposed to take some time and count your kicks. To make sure you're moving enough and all that. I find this adorable--I picture a glowing pregnant lady, hands gently clutching her protruding stomach, as she goes, "Ooh! There's one! I think that's another one..." counting these sporadic movements.

Sporadic. Ha.

I would do better to count when you aren't moving. The handful of times a day you are not finding new ways to make me aware of my anatomy. Currently I am sore from your new game of wodging yourself on my right side, using your toes (I think) to gain purchase under my ribs and banging your...head? Shoulders? Against my hip bone. When I lie on my side, as is dictated by every resource out there, you press so hard against the side of my stomach that the skin feels impossibly thin against my mattress. When I read at night I can't perch my book on top of my stomach because you are too busy practicing for your debut on Dancing With The Stars. I think you're doing the Rumba.

I am comforted by your movement, even though I swear sometimes I'm harboring some kind of weasel rather than a baby girl. Even when I wake up 11 TIMES IN ONE NIGHT to pee a dribble of urine, because you are doing something impossible to my bladder. It seems to me that from the day I started feeling you move you've been dissatisfied with your accommodations and you want to get out. I understand. Just sit tight for 8-10 more weeks and then this whole great big world? It's all yours, kid.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Nursery progress.

I made an epic journey to Ikea with my mom and sisters and got all sorts of goodies. So in the past few weeks the work on the nursery has begun in earnest. We are painting the room a very vivid green with bright white trim:

Your aunt Helen has provided some of her amazing and fun artwork (it is fuzzy with flocking and glitter!):

And Buster is in love with the new rug:

There is so much more to come--a new glider, a crib, more art, a homemade mobile, and wait until you see the goodies from the first baby shower!