Saturday, July 31, 2010

And this is why God gave me a girl. . .

So that I can teach myself to crochet for the mere purpose of creating this adorable little number.

I loosely followed these instructions.  I say loosely because I couldn't understand half of it and sort of did my own thing (right or wrong, I have no idea).  

It's not perfect, but it's a good start.

I thought the flower turned out nicely.

Poor thing- she has no idea what's in store for her!

Friday, July 30, 2010

College girl

I went to an all girls' college and loved every single minute of it.  I kind of hope my girl will go there one day too!  Peace College hopes so too.  They send these cute bibs to all babies born to alum with a little welcome to the family letter.  Of course, we have a few years to decide, but in the meantime . . .

Her daddy may want her to go to NC State though . . .

Monday, July 26, 2010

Baby Leggies

I love baby leggings. I think they are so adorable (and functional). I made a few for Coraline using women's knee socks from Target. There are so many tutorials out there, but I used this one.

Aren't they cute?!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Garden Stuff

We have had great success with our garden this year. It's been super exciting to have fresh vegetables to use every night. Of course, now I'm running out of ideas on how to prepare zucchini.

A walk down memory lane if you will--

You might remember our garden looking like this:

It now looks like this (who knew cantaloupes were fence climbers?):

Our fresh produce looks like this:

Grant cutting up our first cucumber looks like this:

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Photo shoot

She's just starting to smile- so cute!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

I love my Moby Wrap

The moby wrap is awesome. Whenever Coraline needs to be held (but I've got things to do) I put her in it. She instantly quiets down and eventually falls asleep. I can then finish dinner or vacuum or finish whatever else needs to be done.

I was so intimidated by it when I was doing research on slings (it is one long piece of fabric), but the manager at the boutique walked me through it and it really couldn't be easier. There are detailed instructions that come with the wrap, so I won't go into detail here.

Too sweet

Isn't this quilt adorable! I think it will be my next project for Coraline. Detailed instructions can be found at the Moda Bake shop.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Cloth Diapers

(Coraline in an AIO cloth diaper)

I love being able to cloth diaper Coraline. We save lots of money and we are helping the environment! To start our stash off, I bought a lot of different covers, pocket diapers and all in ones, since I didn't know what would work for us. But through trial and error, I have finally found the system that works for us.

Grant and I both love the BumGenius All in Ones (AIO). Essentially AIO are treated just like disposable diapers except you put them in the washing machine instead of the trash. They fit her well, they are easy to put on and they contain blow outs well! So, I like to have 10 AIO and I also will continue to have two Thirsties diaper covers and prefold cloth diapers on hand. With this stash, I do diaper laundry every other day.

I'm thrilled that we are able to cloth diaper her at night with no leakage. The AIO allow for inserts to be put into the diaper, so you get more protection at night.

(diaper laundry)

(another cute cloth diaper and baby legs shot)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Fourth of July Skirt

In an attempt to be festive (and since it is Coraline's first holiday) I wanted to make a Fourth of July skirt for her to wear to our family barbecue.

Without spending any money I wanted to use things I had in the house. Unbelievably I did not have any red or blue fabric that would work from my quilt scraps, so I went to the pile of clothes that are slated to go to the church's yard sale and found the perfect material- one of Grant's old work shirts. It was red, white and blue! Perfect. I added a little red ribbon to the bottom, so she would stand out in a crowd. If I had more time I would have freezer stenciled something on to her white onesie. Oh well, next holiday!

(Grant's old work shirt)

(her festive skirt)

(she was thrilled- can't you tell?)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Father's Day

We finally got our new computer in, so I need to play catch up big time!

Grant had a fun first Father's Day this year.

We started the day with french toast (with fresh bread from Panera), bacon and mangoes. Yummy!

Miss C got her daddy some real Kona Coffee. You know, for all those early mornings he spends with her! He appreciated it very much.

He had to go to work that day, but when he got home we were able to go to his parent's house for a fun dinner.

Miss C sure does love her daddy!

Happy first Father's Day Grant!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Our Birth Story

After being in complete denial that I was in labor, I realize that our birth story begins on Monday, May 17 (2 weeks before she was due). I remember talking to my sister in the morning and telling her that I was feeling, what was most likely, braxton hicks contractions. I felt a very mild tightening in my lower abdomen that wrapped all the way around to my back. I had not had braxton hicks contractions at all during my pregnancy, so I just assumed that was what I was feeling. This tightening sensation continued all throughout the day at about 20-30 min. intervals. I continued on with my day- walking a mile on the treadmill and hanging out at the house.

I remember on Monday night being woken up once or twice by these contractions. They were so mild and unimpressive, so I was sure they were still braxton hicks. Tuesday came and I was still having them (about 20 min. apart). They were so mild, so Grant and I went about our day. I had a checklist of things I still wanted to get done before the baby was born, so we went to Lowe's to get a carpet steam cleaner and proceeded to steam clean the whole house! Can we say serious nesting here! All the while these contractions were happening at a steady consistency. Still in denial here. Well, that night Grant and Marty installed all our new kitchen appliances. I remember about 8:00 or so going downstairs and telling Grant that the contractions were still happening, but assured him that we were not going to have the baby any time soon.

Right after Marty left the contractions got stronger. They were about 7 min. apart. Now I started feeling the pain! I tried to go to sleep that night, but it was like a switch had gone on and they were real contractions. I still didn't believe that I was in labor. I thought I would be feeling this way for the next two weeks! (I was in denial, because the contractions were in my back- I no longer felt anything in my abdomen). Around midnight, Grant and I decided that we needed to clean the kitchen. If this was the real thing, then we wanted to come home to a clean kitchen. So we cleaned. Around 1:00 that morning, I still couldn't sleep (not from excitement, but from pain), so I tossed and turned for a few more hours. At 3:00 I got up and went to play around on the computer (looking up real labor vs. false labor, of all things). The contractions were 6-7 min. apart. I remember the pain was so intense in my back that I would have to get out of the seat and lean on it to get through it. I also infected our computer with a nasty virus, causing the computer to freeze on itself and never answering my questions about real vs. false labor! Go figure. I never went to bed that night. We weren't too concerned yet, because we had an appointment with the midwives at 8:00 on Wednesday morning.

Well, Wednesday morning came and we packed ourselves up and went to Chapel Hill for our appointment. I thought it might be wise to go ahead and pack our birth bag- you know, in case this was real labor! Well, we got to to the Birth Center and went ahead and got myself checked to see if this was real labor. I was 2 cm. dilated. She said we would probably have a baby later that night or tomorrow. I was in shock. Complete shock. I naively thought this was still braxton hicks and we would have a few more weeks of this. (I know, I'm a genius). The midwife suggested going home, getting a massage and taking a nap.

I happened to have a scheduled massage that day so I went ahead and had that done. My good friend, Meridith, did the massage and she knew some trigger points to get labor going. Sweet! So after that, I went home and took a "nap." Side note: there is no sleeping through contractions! There is resting, but no sleeping! The rest of the day went by with contractions staying consistent and getting closer together. I think that's when it hit me that this was really happening. I tried to sleep that night, but it just wasn't happening. The back labor was so intense. When I laid down the contractions were around 4-6 min. apart. When I was walking they got to 2-3 min. apart. I thought it would be wise to walk around in the middle of the night to get things going (another side note: when it is night time, you try to sleep- you don't keep yourself up)! I remember eating peanut butter sandwiches and bananas. Grant was insistent that I keep myself well fed and hydrated, so I would have all the energy I needed (we learned this in the Bradley classes).

Around 2:30 in the morning we called the Birth Center and told them that our contractions were 2-3 min. apart and they told us to come on in. We got there around 3:30 in the morning (I-40 was a breeze at that time in the morning)! She checked me when we got there and we were 4 cm., so we could be admitted. The only thing we could do at that time was try to sleep. She offered me Nubane or Morphine, but I declined, so she gave me some Tylenol PM and let us "sleep" for a few hours! My sister, Rhea, came in shortly after 3:30. Another thing they let me use was the Tens unit for my back labor. It had four probes that are taped to your back and sends out electrical pulses that I could control with a remote. It was an amazing device and helped my back labor so much. It never took the contraction pain away but helped in between the contractions.

None of us really got any sleep, but we were "awake" and ready to go around 7:00 on Thursday morning. Labor was continuing and it never stopped. I continued to use the Tens unit throughout the morning. I remember trying different laboring positions, with my favorite being standing up and leaning on the bed. I walked around the room a lot and took a shower around mid-afternoon. My contractions never got worse during this period- they always stayed about the same intensity (which was seriously intense, for the record), so we could never figure out when transition actually happened. At first, I didn't want to know how many centimeters I was dilated, but the Midwife was smiling and said it was good news, so we went ahead and found out that we were 9 cm and very stretchy. This was around 12:30 and she said we could go ahead and start our pushing- practice pushing she called it. She also suggested getting into the tub as that might help with the back labor. I remember debating with myself about the tub vs. the Tens unit. I finally decided to get into the water and give it a shot.

(Grant and I after we find out I am 9 cm.)

So, I got into the tub and started pushing. The water was nice, but the back labor was still so intense! The midwife then suggested a sterile water injection in my back. She said that it helps in 75% of women and could take away back pain up to an hour. The payoff is that the needle injection stings like a *&^% (and, yes, for the record it did sting like that). I decided to give it a try because the thought of pushing with the back pain was starting to scare me. They gave me five injections (one injection didn't take the first time) and, amazingly, the back pain immediately subsided. Enough for me to push comfortably. I tried a few positions in the tub and even got out for a few pushes. My water broke somewhat shortly after I got in the tub. I got another set of sterile water injections, so I could get through the next hour of pushing. She was finally born at 2:30 in the afternoon. She came fast and took one look at me and started crying (but just for an minute), because she was very calm after that. I am actually the one that grabbed her and I got to hold her for at least 15 minutes before I got out of the tub. Because we didn't know the sex of the baby, Grant was able to be the one to announce it to everyone. She was able to nurse immediately and was a champ! We were able to leave the birth center around 12:30 that night.

(Our room at the birth center)

(She's here)

(Going home from the birth center)

It really was a wonderful experience. I never once "lost control" (seriously, ask Grant), never wanted any drugs, and never thought I couldn't do it. It was a challenge to say the least (41 hours of hard, "take your breath away" contractions), but I was determined to do this naturally.

The midwives were awesome and respected our birth plan and wishes. They really let Grant and Rhea do all the coaching. And Grant and Rhea were amazing coaches. They never stopped massaging my back, giving me food and water and words of encouragement.

I am so glad that things happened the way they did. Miss C is a beautiful baby and was so calm and alert after the birth. It was truly a great experience.