Monday, October 25, 2010

Lilian's 1-Month Letter

You could have been a little more "cheery" for your 1-month photo, kid!

My Little Lilian,

My oh my, how time does fly! It seems like I just found out I was pregnant with you, and now here you are a month old already! And maybe more amazing is how much joy you've brought to our family in such a short length of time.

You've been such a perfect little baby. Do you know we haven't had a bad night of sleep around here at all? Not only did you let me sleep the whole night prior to your noon arrival on your birthday, but you have slept well every night since then too! Right now at a month old, you are going to bed about 10:00 and sleeping until 10:00 the next morning, waking briefly only once between 4 and 6:00 am to nurse. Once or twice a week, you still wake twice in the night (around 2:00 am) for a feeding as well. You've never been up more than twice in the night your entire little life though. And now you are stretching your daytime feedings 2-3 hours apart! After about the first week, we introduced you to the bottle and you'll take a bottle of breastmilk without any hesitation at all! (Which is great so that Papai can give you your bedtime feeding and free me up to do something else in the evening!)

You are quite the little cuddler and love to be held. Luckily, you're also laid back enough that you're usually okay with chilling in your swing or on the floor when your sister needs attention and no one is available to hold you. Bath time is your favorite and you've never ever cried while in the tub! (You are so relaxed in water - give you a glass of wine and you'd greatly resemble your mother! hehe)

You are gaining a lot more control over your head, and you can actually keep your head level with your body if we pull you up by your arms. You love to nap while being held belly-down, but you only tolerate tummy time for a few minutes before fussing to be rolled over onto your back.

After being home for a week, you had a little hangnail on your right ring finger that started to look infected. Over the next few days your fingertip turned bright red and swelled up twice the size it should be. We soaked it in epsom salt and put a topical antibiotic on it. It was a little better by your 2-week check-up, but the doctor felt it was a staph infection and really wanted to clear it up before it spread. So, you beat your sister to one milestone: you were the first one to take antibiotics! (Gabriela's made it 18 months so far without any meds!) For 10 days you got a 3-times a day dose of the pink stuff, and then I also gave you some L. acidophilus once a day to prevent thrush.

Gabriela is absolutely in love with you and spends much of her day covering you in hugs and kisses. You've started to grimace a little when you see her coming, but hopefully you'll learn to love all her affection. She acquired a cold and, of course, you were quick to catch it. So at 3 weeks old you had your first cold complete with a very snotty, congested nose.

While you were stuffy with a cold, sleeping flat was pretty much out of the question as you were unable to breath that way. You slept best in your swing, so I was swaddling you up and putting you down to sleep in your swing at night. It was going well for the first few nights, but one morning your Papai peeked in your room to find you fast asleep face down on the carpet...underneath your swing. (One more thing that makes you an awful lot like your older sister!) I'm still not sure how a 3-week old, swaddled tight (although you did free one arm at some point), managed to wiggle herself out of her swing and onto the floor. Or why you didn't cry when you got there. But I am thankful that we bought the small travel swing that only sits a few inches off the ground!!! (And no more sitting in your swing unbuckled anymore!)

The last week you've really been working on that smile of yours. I can almost always get a big open mouthed grin out of you now when I ask, "Onde está seu sorriso?" (Where is your smile?) And apparently tongue-protrusion is a genetic trait around here (from your father, no doubt). Just like Gabriela, you seem to spent a lot of time with your tongue poked out!

You were born 7 pounds 3 ounces, weighed 6 pounds 11 ounces when we left the hospital, gained back to your birth weight after the first week home, and you weigh 8.8 pounds now according to our home scale.

We are so very thankful to have you as part of our family. You bring out a very sweet and affectionate side of your sister and bring so much joy to your Papai and me. We love you so very much!

All my love,

Thursday, October 21, 2010

18 Months Old

My Dear Gabster,

If the last three months had a theme, it would be GROWTH. Physically and developmentally, you have just exploded since I wrote your 15-month letter!

You grew almost three inches in three months bringing you up to 32.75 inches (75th percentile!) and 22.5 pounds (15th percentile). Which explains why all your pants are either too short or too big in the waist! Your height is becoming a problem though as you can now reach up over the edge of the kitchen counter, reach door handles, climb into any chair, and just generally get into a lot more now. :)

Your sign language has progressed, and your signing vocabulary is limited only by the signs I've learned myself. Right now you sign eat, milk, more, all done, potty, want, help, up, please, thank you, and sorry. Some of the signs you have created yourself include: A palms-up-shrug that you use when we ask you a question that you don't know the answer to or when you lose something (indicating "I don't know" or "Where is it?"), your "I want to hold the baby" sign (wrapping your arms across your chest in a sort of hug), rubbing your hands together when you want to wash your hands, rubbing your fist to your mouth when you want to brush your teeth, the hilarious fish face you make when you want Goldfish crackers, and the kissy-face you make followed by pointing to whoever you want to kiss at that moment (usually Lilian). Oh, and we can't forget your hands in the air "touchdown" anytime you hear the word or see football on TV.

Spoken language is moving along at a rate that your pediatrician says is normal. You jabber all the time, but what we can understand and that you use regularly consists of: Mama, Dada, Momo (what you call my mom), nana (which is both banana and how you pronounce Nena -which is your papai's mom), nenê (baby), que-shee-shee (queijo/cheese), bobo (bonê/cap -which you use in reference to all hats), boba (which is how you pronounce three different words: bola/ball, bolsa/purse, and balão/balloon), ho-ho (cachorro/dog), ssssssh (lixo/trash and also how you say sujo/dirty), vroom-vroom (car or anything with wheels).

You can point to all of your body parts (or someone else's) when asked in Portuguese, including your head, hair, neck, eyes, ears, nose, teeth, tongue, mouth, chin (sometimes), shoulders, back, arms, elbows (sometimes), bellybutton, legs, knees, bottom, feet, hands.

Except at nap time and overnight, you are not using diapers at home anymore. You've gotten really good at letting us know when you need to go potty (using your sign language) and will usually even "hold it" and wait until you are taken to the toilet when we are out (even if we have you in a diaper). Now at 18 months, you very rarely have accidents anymore!

You are definitely entering the toddler phase of eating now. One day you eat so much I'm certain your belly will explode. The next day you hardly eat a bite. On Monday you love peas. On Tuesday you won't touch them. Pretty typical toddler behavior. Your papai and I decided to not make food a battle in our house though. We've taken the approach of we get to choose what you're offered, where it's offered, and when it's offered. We figure what you eat, how much you eat, or even if you eat is entirely up to you. No games. No "just one more bite". No cleaning your plate. It makes mealtime pleasant for everyone this way! (And hopefully encourages a positive relationship with food and good eating habits.)

You drink about 24 ounces of whole milk per day and all the water you want (usually around 8 ounces/day). Your favorite foods of the moment are plain yogurt, cheese, tomatoes, steak, and pretty much any type of fruit. Your favorite snack is Goldfish crackers (the most processed thing we give you). Despite some toddler finickiness, you are not a picky eater. Most days you eat a really well-rounded diet, and we've managed to still keep junk food and sweets out of your mouth (you haven't shown a particular interest in ice cream or cookies, so we haven't offered it to you. Pretty simple.) And now that you've finally gotten more teeth (three on the bottom, two on top, and four molars) you can actually chew up all that food you eat!

You sleep like a champ even despite us taking the crib out of your room and putting you in a toddler bed. You sometimes fuss for a moment or two right when we lay you down, and sometimes you get up and sleep on the floor in front of your door (in protest, I think), but you still sleep from 7:30 or 8:00 at night until about 9:00 the next morning (waking around 8:00 for a cup of milk before sleeping that last hour.) You still take two 1 1/2 hour naps each day, although it may be time to transition you to one nap soon.

Playing at a beach along the St. Croix River

Your favorite activities now are reading (we read so many books during the day!), finding trash and putting it in the garbage can (you get so excited to throw something away - we have really, really clean floors with you around - any little speck of anything gets picked up, shown to me to confirm it's trash, and then you take off running saying "Ssssshhh" the whole way to the nearest trash can), relocating things from one place to another and then returning them all to the previous location, helping sweep the kitchen floor, wiping down any surface imaginable in your constant attempt to keep everything clean, playing outside, anything with Papai, and, most recently, loving on your baby sister.

Memorized by fireworks!

Some of the fun we've had these last three months included a trip to Minnesota and Wisconsin the end of July for the Peterson wedding followed by a camping trip along the St Croix River (where you got your first leach-YUCK!), hosting a baby shower for Aunt Tammy, attending a Bee's baseball game and watching fireworks for the first time (that you didn't sleep through), Andrew and Mandi's wedding in Cedar Rapids, a Labor Day weekend trip to Chicago flying on a tiny little commuter plane on a very windy day, walking a 5K with a very prego mommy, spending a couple really fun nights with the Andersons when Mamae and Papai were at the hospital to have Lilian (you didn't want to come home after all the fun you were having with their girls!), and getting completely spoiled by your Grandpa, Momo, Grandad, and Grandma for a week when they came up to help out around the house after Lilian was born and Papai was back at work (you love all your family, but you especially loved your Momo that week and spent lots of time looking at books and playing with her.)

Your world changed a lot at 17 months and 4 days of age when your baby sister was born. We figured you'd handle the change okay, but we are still amazed at how awesome you've been! You never showed a bit of jealousy except that you whined to be held anytime Papai had Lilian for the first few days. To help ease the transition, Papai took a week off work to stay home with us girls. You were his little shadow and followed him around the entire week "helping" him with whatever project he had going on. You are still his little buddy and you love to spend time in the garage, in the yard, or running errands with your dad. You are about the farthest thing away from a Mama's girl, but it makes me melt to see you and Papai together. You two are adorable, and I totally understand why you're so crazy about him (I am too!)

Taking a break for milk while helping Papai in the garage. (You love hats now and insist on putting anything you find on your head - although a helmet isn't such a bad idea for you anytime!)

And about that little sister of yours: you are completely crazy about her! As soon as anyone walks in the door you quickly shout "nenê, nenê" and point to Lilian to make sure they know you have a new baby at home. You completely smother the baby in hugs and kisses and have gotten to be really gentle and sweet with her (and only occasionally try to poke her eyes out in curiosity.) Anytime you enter or leave the room where Lilian is, you insist on running over and kissing her. And if, say, we are on our way to the potty and you get distracted by something in between kissing the baby and exiting the living room, you have to turn around and go give her another kiss before we can proceed down the hallway to the bathroom. You love to help anyway you can, including trying to put her pacifier back in her mouth when it falls out (usually missing and shoving it into her nose or eye), helping to hold the bottle (or my boob) when we're feeding Lilian, getting a clean diaper out at changing time, constantly bringing her toys you think she might like, offering her your sippy cup and snacks, and rocking her in her bouncy seat/swing/carseat.

I thought it was just the addition of a new baby at home that made you look so big. And while that is definitely part of it, you have grown up a lot these last few months! You're a smart girl, well behaved, and a lot of fun to be around! Having a little sister has made you even more affectionate, both with her and others. Your constant babble makes me giggle, your giant toothy smile brightens my day, and your big hugs and kisses melt my heart. I love you so much, minha princesa!

Eu te amo!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Lilian's Birth Story - Part II

Shortly after being placed on my chest, Lilian proved that her plumbing was just fine by peeing on me. Twice. And then after the umbilical cord had been cut, she had nursed, and the placenta was delivered, Eric picked her up to take her across the room to the scale. And she proved the other side works too as she pooped good ol' sticky meconium poo on her dear Papai. (Beating her older sister's poop-on-dad standard by a good week!)

At 7 pounds 3 ounces and just over 19 inches long, Lilian scored 8 and 9 on her APGAR. (She was a little purple at first but quickly got pink while laying on my chest.) We opted out of the goopy eye ointment seeing as how that is sort of a ridiculous protocol when the mother doesn’t have syphilis or any other STDs. We had them give her a vitamin K shot but decided to wait on the Hep B vaccine until her 2-week doctor’s appointment. She checked out totally healthy except for having low blood sugar right at birth (most likely due to MY low blood sugar from not eating anything! I was pretty pale and a little shaky after the birth until I gulped down a few cups of juice.) After she nursed a second time, her blood sugar stabilized and stayed up where they wanted it.

After a little discussion post-birth, Eric and I decided to name our little girl Lilian Scarlett. There is no major significance to the name. We both just really liked Lilian (plus it is pronounceable in English, Portuguese, and Spanish) and I’ve always like the name Scarlett from Gone With the Wind. (My girls might not be born in the South, but that doesn’t mean I can’t raise them to be good Southern Belles!)

It was an incredible pregnancy, labor, and delivery! Less than 5 hours from waking up in labor to having a baby in my arms! I was able to achieve a very deep level of relaxation with the hypnobirthing and stayed relatively comfortable throughout the entire process. I never pushed at all – I just let my body do its thing (which is something that hypnobirthing really stresses.)

I've always had only good things to say about Gabriela's birth in Brasil. And I said multiple times throughout this pregnancy that I would go back to Hospital Santa Fe in Belo Horizonte and deliver with Dr. Joao again if I could. But, Lilian's birth was just as fantastic and met/exceeded all my expectations! (With the exception of testing positive for Group B Strep and having an IV for antibiotics - but it was taken out after only about 30 minutes, so it wasn't too bad. And actually it was probably pointless since it wasn't in long enough before the birth for baby to receive any antibiotics anyway.)

I couldn't be happier with the Hypnobirthing (Mongan Method) and am more a believer now than ever in its effectiveness for some women. It takes some commitment to preparation (although this time around, I only practiced relaxing/fell asleep with the scripts for 25 minutes each night for the last month before the birth), but, once I was able to train myself to completely relax and let go, I experienced a very easy birth with relatively little discomfort. It's amazing what happens when you don't have tension in your body during labor and birth! And when I say I never pushed, I literally never had to bear down, never strained, nothing. I laid back with my eyes gently closed and focused on deep breathing and relaxing every muscle in my body. The contractions of my uterus did all the work. The baby just sort of fell out. Except for the fact that it almost happened on the toilet, it was quite anti-climatic, actually. Well, I mean, I did have a baby at the end of it, so I guess I shouldn't say "anti-climatic", but they wouldn't use my birth on a TV show or anything: not enough drama!

With Gabriela, I did push a couple times as the pediatrician in the delivery room was getting nervous about how long she had been hanging out low in the birth canal and was probably a little concerned about how long she was going to have to wait around for baby to be born. So, my OB and doula suggested I push a little. It got her out, but the straining caused a tear that required several stitches. The stitches and swelling caused me a lot of discomfort for a couple weeks after delivery. This time around, I had a teeny tiny tear, but it didn't require a single stitch. I never had any pain or soreness, just a little swelling for the first 24 hours or so. With the exception of some after-pains during nursing, and a little soreness in my back and obliques (probably from picking up Gabriela too much too soon after delivery), I've had a very quick recovery after having Lilian.

We very seriously considered a home birth so that I could have a water birth, which isn't possible at any of the hospitals around here. After talking at length with my midwife about my desire for an intervention-free birth and her confirming that my wishes could be accommodated at our local hospital, we went that route. We were pleasantly surprised at how supportive my nurses were and really had a good experience (minus being woken up multiple times during the night to check my vitals,waking up the baby check her vitals, etc. - I was really ready to get home so we could all get a decent night's sleep!) Besides making sure I had everything I needed, a couple of the nurses were always concerned about Eric too: bringing him snacks or drinks, making sure he had enough blankets/pillows for his little cot, etc. In fact, Eric decided that they could keep us in the hospital an entire week if they were going to wait on him too! :)

Basically, I just can't get over what a great experience we had with Lilian's birth. Eric has commended me on letting him have a full night of sleep before going into labor and for having Lilian born in time to still watch some football that afternoon/evening. (As compared to last time when the hard labor started about 10 pm and then we were up all night until Gabriela was born at 7:30 the next morning!) It has been recommended by several people that he get some training on delivering babies himself if we have more kids though. The first labor was a total of 23 hours. The second 4 1/2 hours. At this rate, the next kid could be born in just 20 minutes! ;)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Lilian's Birth Story - Part I

Disclaimer (to my brothers, among others): If you’re not comfortable reading about things like mucus plugs and crowning baby heads, might I suggest you stop reading now and come back later when I’ll try to write about puppies and butterflies or something equally benign.
(Although I don't specifically mention a mucus plug in this birth story, as I had been losing chunks of it the entire week leading up to the actual birth day, there are still plenty of references to pregnancy and birth-related lovelies that I suppose might make you throw up a little bit if you're not cool with that kind of stuff.)

Three days past my due date, I woke up on Saturday morning, September 25, at 7:15. I got up to empty my very-cramped-by-baby bladder. On my walk across our bedroom, I had a pretty good contraction. Over the next 10 minutes, I had a couple more. Still sleepy, I climbed back in bed, cuddled up next to Eric, and fell back asleep. We both woke up about 8:00 when we heard Gabriela awake and wanting her morning cup of milk.

Contractions were rather strong and coming every 3-5 minutes apart. I thought it might be important to finish packing my bags for the hospital and rounding up everything Gabriela would need over the next couple days while she stayed with friends. While I packed, I suggested that Eric go ahead and get his shower while Gabriela was sleeping. In between gathering things, I crawled onto the bed, assumed something close to a fetal position, and breathed through my contractions.

At some point among my running around, I noticed Eric sitting at the computer looking up game times for the Iowa State, Iowa, and Georgia football games. I "gently" suggested that was probably not the most useful activity at the moment. After he responded with something about “well if you’re going to be in labor all day”, I told him, “Well, if things continue like this we’re going to have a baby by lunch.” He laughed at me. (Note to future husbands of laboring women: If you intend to have more children in the future, never, ever laugh at your laboring wife when she says something like this. Now is not the time to be questioning her! And no, I didn't actually punch Eric in the groin...but the thought did cross my mind. ;) )

A little after 9:30, Gabriela woke up for the day and Eric got her ready to go and took her over to our friends’ home. As they got ready to leave, I made my way down to the Jacuzzi tub in the basement. Contractions were getting very close together and more intense and all I wanted was to curl up in warm water with my Hypnobirthing scripts and relax.

Just before leaving with Gabs, Eric asked if I needed anything. After he called my midwife to give her a heads-up that I was in labor, I suggested that he bring a bucket and put near the tub. I threw up three times during transition when I was in labor with Gabriela, and I felt like I would probably do the same thing again. And knowing that I would probably see again anything I put in my mouth, I purposely didn’t eat that morning; I just sipped on a Powerade.

The tub was so fantastic! I was able to really reach a point of deep relaxation. And while I was a little uncomfortable, I wouldn’t describe my labor as painful. (This completely reinforces my desire to have a waterbirth one day!)

Eric was back home shortly after 10:00, and, after I assured him there was really nothing I needed him to do for me, he went to work loading the car and gathering a few last things on my packing list. I told him we would need to go to the hospital pretty soon. To which he responded skeptically, “Already?” (In his defense, he knew I didn’t want to arrive at the hospital until the birth was very near. And I was in labor for about 23 hours total the first time, we arrived at the hospital 7 cm dilated, and still had 5 hours before Gabriela was born. He also adds that I seemed comfortable enough that he really didn’t think I was very far along in the process. But still, note to future husbands of laboring women: Unless you are prepared to personally deliver a baby, don't question your wife's judgement on when it's time to go.)

About 10:45, I got out of the tub and threw up (glad I thought about that bucket!) a couple times. I was going back and forth between being really hot and really cold. Eric was a trooper as I ordered him to get out the box fan and turn it on high in front of me. And then turn it off. And then, oh-for-the-love-of-everything-good-and-holy-turn-that-fan-on-I’m-burning-up!

My mind was going back and forth between a totally relaxed hypnotic state and reviewing everything from my recent doula training. I knew I was going through transition, so I was probably somewhere in the 7-8 cm range. Although part of me was questioning that given that I had only been in labor for 3 ½ hours!

At 11:00, I told Eric I needed to get ready to go and asked him to help me back out of the tub so I could go upstairs and get dressed. He told me to stay put and he’d just bring my clothes down to me. Which was probably a good idea, since contractions were one on top of another and I could only really walk in the 30 seconds or so between them. (It would have taken me a long time to get upstairs, get changed, and get back downstairs and into the car. Lilian probably would have been born in the living room . . . and that would have required some serious carpet cleaning.)

After dressing, I made my way to the car and gave Eric the go ahead to start driving once a particularly strong contraction had passed. (Why do contractions always get stronger when you’re uncomfortably seated in a vehicle?) I “gently” suggested that he get us to the hospital quickly and oh-my-gosh-don’t-hit-any-bumps. He called my midwife again to let her know we were en route to the hospital. She said she would leave her house and head that way too.

About 7 minutes later, Eric dropped me off at the front entrance to the hospital. I told him to go park and then come meet me. He suggested I sit on the bench and wait for him, but I knew I would be making a very slow journey to the OB department (as I could only walk in between contractions). I assured him he would catch me before I made it to the OB reception desk!

He caught up with me about 50 feet from the OB receptionist. As I rounded the corner, the receptionist asked if I was Emily; my midwife had already called and they were expecting me. We had pre-registered, so there wasn’t much to do except verify a couple things. While she finished getting me into the system, the telephone rang, she answered it, and I was hit by an especially intense contraction. I squatted down, rested my head on the front of her desk, and let out a low groan as I tried to take myself back into a relaxed state. The nice receptionist seemed to not notice that the woman in front of her was very near giving birth as she chatted away on the phone. Eric was getting impatient with her, but calmly rubbed my shoulders. About that time, a nurse came out, saw me, and told us to come on back. She asked if I needed a wheelchair, but I assured her I could walk myself…just not in the middle of a contraction. We walked down the hall to my room, stopping twice more as I worked through contractions.

As soon as we walked in the room, I felt like I really needed to empty my bladder and my bowels. I went in the bathroom and got comfy on the toilet while Eric handled some admission details in the room with the nurses. It was about 11:30 now. Besides clearing out my system, I passed a pretty good size clot of blood (which I did in labor with Gabs once I was fully dilated) so I knew I was getting close. A few minutes later, Eric brought in a hospital gown and helped me get changed and make my way out into the room.

My Group B Strep test at 37 weeks had come back positive, so (after much research and consideration) we had decided I would take a single dose of antibiotics when I arrived at the hospital to help protect the baby from infection. I therefore needed an IV for the antibiotics, so we got that started.

The nurses had spoken with my midwife and she was on her way, but meanwhile the doctor on duty (I believe she is a resident) asked if she could check me. It was about 11:50 now. As I crawled up onto the bed, I felt a gush as my water broke. She checked my cervix and said I was about an 8, fully effaced, and at 0-station. A nurse checked the baby’s heartbeat with a Doppler and found her to be tolerating labor well.

The nurses asked if I wanted to sit in the rocker or have them bring in the birthing ball. I told them I really just felt like I wanted to sit on the toilet. (When in labor with Gabriela, the toilet was the only place I could get comfortable and relax – I think I spent about 5 hours laboring on the toilet!)

It was just a minute or two before 12:00 now. Eric accompanied me into the bathroom and let me rest my head against him while he rubbed my head and shoulders. No sooner than we got in there though, I had a contraction and suddenly felt a huge amount of pressure and knew that baby was ready to come! I announced to Eric, “Pressure . . . I feel lots of pressure. Go! Tell them!” He threw the bathroom door open and said to the nurses, “She’s feeling lots of pressure!”

Two nurses rushed into the bathroom and said, “Okay then, we need to get you back to the bed. Put your knees together and let’s walk back to the bed!” Eric and the two nurses supported me as we scampered across the room.

There was a flurry of activity as nurses tried to prepare the room, Eric got the video camera set up and started, and the doctor on call rushed back in. As I laid on my side, a nurse took a glance and said, “Oh, yeah, we’ve got a baby. A baby with a head full of dark hair!”

I laid back and took a deep breath to let my entire body relax. As the doctor positioned herself at the end of the bed, I mumbled to her that I wanted to protect my perineum. She nodded and said that she had read my birth plan. But baby’s head was already out at that moment, so I think it was sort of a moot point. This is the point when Eric said to me softly, "The baby's head is out . . . but I guess maybe you know that." Nodding, "Yes, I can feel it." (If you had something that large passing from your bottom-region, you'd probably be aware of it as well. But thank you for making sure I knew I was presently delivering.)

After her head passed through, there was a brief few-second pause at her shoulders before she was fully delivered at 12:04 (hitting my lunchtime prediction perfectly!) Baby let out a series of hearty cries and let her presence be known. As soon as she was lifted up and placed on my bare chest, she immediately relaxed her body and didn’t make another sound. It was as if she already knew her mama and knew that she was in a safe place. My heart swelled and I couldn’t stop grinning. I looked up at Eric who was beaming by my side and gave me a big kiss. Nurses placed warm blankets over us while they suctioned out baby’s mouth and checked her out briefly. A little later they clamped her umbilical cord and Eric made the cut.

And then my midwife walked in the room. Eric grinned and said, “Hey, you’re just in time!” After a brief glance at the new baby and declaring, “She looks just like her big sister,” she helped the delivering doctor collect the umbilical cord blood (as we decided to bank it) and deliver the placenta.

Upon reviewing the video that was recording from a bedside table over my left shoulder, we see that I had just settled in bed as the record button was pressed. Less than two minutes into the video, you hear baby’s first cry! So we were probably about 3 minutes away from baby being delivered on the toilet.

(Part II of Lilian's Birth Story coming soon...)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Troops Are Here!

After a week at home with his three favorite girls, Eric returned to work on Monday. I managed to survive my day alone with a 17 month old and newborn but was excited when an Explorer with Georgia plates arrived on Tuesday afternoon.

My parents and grandparents drove up to spend a few days to help me wrangle Gabriela and steal cuddles from Lilian.

As grandparents tend to do, they started the spoiling about 3.2 seconds after they walked in the door. Gabriela ripped into presents while I drooled as they carried in goodies from my Dad's garden: okra, zipper peas, tomatoes. And they brought me a gallon bag of boiled peanuts. Oh my postpartum goodness. Gabriela and I have both been feasting on boiled peanuts. So. Yummy. {Insert huge content grin and happy sigh.}

My family has been cooking and cleaning and letting me take long showers without munchkins in the bathroom with me. They mentioned today that Eric and I should have a date night and let them babysit for an evening.

They say they're leaving on Sunday afternoon. But I don't think they'll be able to drive away from the grandkids/great-grandkids. Especially after I steal their car keys. ;)

In very happy mommy news, Lilian, at 11 days old, slept 11:15 pm to 8:15 am last night. It looks like I might have another good sleeper on my hands! She had been waking up once around 4:00-5:00 am each night to nurse, but if she wants to sleep 9 hours straight I'm really okay with that!