Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Slip slidin' away

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Charlotte Arrives!

You may remember from reading here that I was scheduled to be induced on Monday, March 4, which meant we expected to meet our little girl on Tuesday, March 5.  Well ... the best laid plans, as they say.  Due to a very busy L&D department, we were rescheduled for Tuesday morning and thanks to a very stubborn little girl, didn't meet our Charlotte Rose until Wednesday, March 6.  They also say that everything happens for a reason, and I truly believe that’s the case here.  Because of our “delay,” Charlotte shares a birthday with my maternal grandmother, Anna’s namesake, and I can't think of a more appropriate way to remember such a special woman. 

The labor process was loooooong ... starting at 9am on Tuesday and ending at 2:20pm on Wednesday.  I guess it’s a compliment that both of my girls enjoyed their tenure in the womb so much that they didn't want to leave?  I was given Cytotec for about 10 hours in hopes that it would both help me dilate and start mild contractions.  When that yielded minimal results, we moved to Pitocin and eventually manually broke my water.  All of that combine with walking the halls, some precarious positioning by my nurse, and the fact that Charlotte finally read her eviction notice, led to us meeting our newest angel on a snowy afternoon in March.  I saw a total of five nurses, two OBs (I outlasted the 24 hour shift of the OB that scheduled me and wound up delivering with the same OB that delivered Anna), and felt like I may never leave that labor room. 

But, of course, it was all worth it!  I pushed for about 30 minutes (versus the 3 hours with Anna) and had a much better epidural this time around;  I could feel enough to wiggle my toes and the pressure of contractions, it was actually really neat to feel the urge to push and to know that I was doing it right.  As soon as she’d been given a quick once-over by the OB and nurse, Charlotte was handed to me and stayed on my chest for over an hour.  The nurses assessed her APGAR scores as I held her, and within 10 minutes of birth she was nursing ... she also peed on me twice during her first hour of life, but I was so happy in that moment that I didn't care one bit.  It was amazingly serene and almost seemed too quiet this time around; we didn't have any family at the hospital, so Mike quickly sent text messages to our parents with the news.  Because the newborn nurse hadn't yet taken her from me, we didn't even have weight or length information, but knew she was 100% T-totally perfect. 

This recovery has been much harder than I remember with Anna; probably because with Anna I didn't have an “Anna” : )  Without getting into too much graphic detail, I've had a higher level of pain and don’t feel as I though I recovered nearly as quickly; I've also felt much more hormonal and utterly exhausted at times.  It doesn't help that one, or all, of us has been dealing with a cold for what feels like the last three months; I *really* wish we’d purchased stock in the Kleenex company right about now!  But, I feel better each day, we’re all adjusting and new routines are slowly finding their way into our lives.

At the end of the day, the memories of an uncomfortable pregnancy, a long labor, a more difficult recovery, the lack of sleep, the craziness of hormones, and working to find new routines are completely overshadowed by the fact that I’m now the mother to two of the sweetest and most perfect little girls in the world.  I’m SO grateful that God chose me to be their Mother and can’t wait for all of the adventures that lie ahead!

Love at first sight!

For those of you that stuck around to the end ... we had family pictures taken in our home over the weekend, for a sneak peek, click here.  

Friday, March 22, 2013

Introducing Charlotte Rose

Apologies for the delay, but we've got a new member of our family that deserves a formal introduction ...

Please meet Miss Charlotte Rose!  Born on Wednesday, March 6 at 2:20pm, weighing 6 pounds, 9 ounces and checking in at 19 3/4 inches, not to mention 100% perfect!  I'll share her full labor story, the details on her name, and more pictures from her first few days of life in a few days just as soon as I can, but in the meantime here are some shots from her week-old birthday for you to enjoy ... I wish I could share that new baby smell over the computer, but you'll just have to imagine it for yourself : )

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Letter to Anna: Month twenty-two

Dear Anna,

What a month!  I’m going to take the liberty of saying that this month has been the most eventful of your short life ... you gained a sister!  I’m not sure you see the true significance now, but when you grow older and look back I know you’ll agree with me.  So far you’ve handled the transition very well; we’re all still working out our new routines and learning to live life with another tiny human at home. 

Obviously coming home with a newborn made me realize just how grown-up my “little girl” is in comparison, but outside of that, I truly think you’ve grown by leaps and bounds this past month.  We were in the hospital for 4 days and 3 nights and your Gigi stayed at home to keep you company ... although I think it was you that did most of the entertaining as well as successfully wearing her out at the end of each day.  We thought we might bring you to the hospital to meet your sister, but in the end it seemed like a lot of car time (40 minutes each way) and work for a short visit ... not to mention that I wouldn’t be able to lift you or go home with you and we didn't want to cause more harm than good.  Your Dad wound up trading off with Gigi one evening and treated you to a Daddy-Daughter date on the town; it was the perfect solution and also allowed your Gigi to get some baby snuggles.  When I arrived home on Friday afternoon, having last seen you at bedtime Monday, I swear it was like someone had traded my baby toddler girl with a grown up.  Physically you seemed HUGE, but mentally you had developed SO much in just a few days.  I feel like your vocabulary doubled in size, your mannerisms were more purposeful and thought-out, and I had a brief vision of packing you up for college the next day, which of course made me tear up. 

Those first few days were hard for both of us.  I was dealing with post-partum hormones, the new responsibility of a baby and a toddler, and still trying to figure out how I’d be able to make enough time for both of my girls throughout the day.  You were very clingy with me and very tentative around Charlotte, both are reactions we expected.  We’re all getting more comfortable as each day passes, it will take time for everyone to adjust ... and then as soon as we are in a new groove, something will change.  You've been going to school about half the time and I think the schedule there, as well as the interaction with other children your age, is just what you need during this time of change. 

You are talking SO MUCH these days and I love it.  Most of what you say we can understand, but there are times that you will have a full blown conversation with us or one of the cats, talking to fast that you are out of breath at the end of the monologue, where we have NO CLUE what just came out of your mouth.  As long as we seem to pay attention and nod in all the right places, you don’t seem to notice and I just hope we’re not promising anything we can’t live up to in a few years.  You imitate most words we say if they aren't already part of your vocabulary and love to use them in real-time as soon as you can.  Your Gigi was so proud of herself at the end of her week with you that she’s learned most of your vocabulary and I must say that I really enjoy being part of the secret club that knows what you are saying and gets to translate to others.   You still use “meeeeee” or “miiiiiinnnneee” when there’s something you want, but can’t find the word ... or, for some reason, those are the only words you will use when you want a banana. 

You are hilarious and have the cutest personality of anyone I know, or course I’m biased, but others agree, so I can’t be too far off the mark.  You have too many mannerisms to list here, but one of my favorites is all of the different walks you have.  You will walk away from us, turn your head back, tell us “buh bye” and then go off in some silly walk that just cracks us up.  You have the “baby steps” walk, the “penguin” walk, the “slouch” walk, the “gimp leg” walk, the half run, and the full run.  You love to enter a room and tell us “Hewwwwoooo” and announce your exit with a “BUH BYE.”  You’ve also started using “ta da” in your everyday play ... anytime you do something worthy of it, you’ll finish an activity or run into a room, will flail your arms out to your side and exclaim “TA DA”, we love it!  You LOVE to play with the cats are often times more elated to see them than us upon arriving home.  We’re working on using words to express frustration and ask for help and you’re getting there.  You can work your puzzles like a champ and love to see if we’re paying attention by occasionally placing a piece in the wrong spot and then looking for a reaction.

Although you’re still warming up to your little sister, you continue to be a great Mommy to your babies.  Your Paw Paw brought you a very realistic baby bear this month and you have taken your role as his caretaker VERY seriously.  He’s the first thing you look for when you wake up, you loved feeding him with his bottle until you lost it, will rock him in your chair, and even put him in Charlotte’s bouncy chair when she’s not lounging there.  You’ve held Charlotte a few times and are showing more interest each day.  We’re working on her name, but right now she’s “Baby Char” to you.   

You’re starting to recognize family members and place faces with names.  You’ve known how to say and associate “Gigi” for quite some time (to be fair, it’s pretty easy to pronounce), but this past month have started to associate Paw Paw, Pap Pap and are working on Grandma (Ma Ma, or Mimi, maybe?).  Your Paw Paw took you (and Daddy) to the circus and I almost melted when he arrived at our house, you saw him walk in the front door and exclaimed “Hi Paw Paw!!” and then ran over to see him. 

You’ll hear about Charlotte’s birth (as well as your own) many times throughout the years, but one thing I’ll always remember that may not make the full story is how sad and nostalgic I was to leave for the hospital.  We were delayed a day for my induction due to a full L&D department, but since your Gigi was already in town and we were ready, your Dad and I took advantage with a dinner-out on Monday.  Upon returning home, you were already in bed and we’d anticipated seeing you in the morning; however the doctor called and scheduled us for a 7:30am arrival the next day.  I went to tell your Gigi about this and immediately broke down in tears as the thought of not being able to tell you good-bye in the morning (there was a chance you’d be up, but we didn’t want to wake you if you weren’t).  It wasn’t just not seeing you, though, it was knowing that I’d leave you as an only child and come back with your sibling.  I knew we’d figure things out as a family, but was scared to death of having to share my love, I just couldn’t imagine it going any further.  You are one of the loves of my life and I didn’t know how I’d share that love with another human.  I’m still figuring that out, we all are, but we’re getting there.  You will always be a love in my life, and I will always be sad to leave you, sad to see experiences and moments in our lives slip away to memories; but I know that what’s ahead is going to be even more amazing than what we’ve already been through.  And I can’t wait to share that, and all of my love, with my very first baby girl. 


Monday, March 4, 2013


Coco Chanel was once quoted as saying "When accessorizing, always take off the last thing you put on."  Not sure if Anna heeded that sage advice when accessorizing on this day, we've got a tutu, apron, chef's hat, and a purse along with some pretty sweet PJs : )

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Baby Bump: 39 weeks

I'm officially 39 weeks pregnant today, a week "more pregnant" than I was with Anna.  I'm still being watched for pre-eclampsia and had a non stress test, blood work and check-up the past two Fridays.  As of last Friday everything looked good as far as the baby's heart rate and swelling were concerned, but my blood pressure was elevated and a few counts were still "off" according to the labs.  After discussing with my doctor, we decided it was best to schedule an induction for this week to ensure the baby continued to stay safe ... sooooo, I have an appointment at the hospital for 4pm tomorrow, Monday, to start the process, but we'll likely not meet our little girl until Tuesday.

I was off work last week and can honestly say that we feel as ready as we're going to be to make our family of three into a family of four.  I've cooked and cleaned and done laundry, painted trim and even saw a movie.  We've had tons of fun with Anna, our bags are packed, and lists are made.  All this said, the one thing I know I'll never be prepared for is for my heart to double in size.  I've gotten fairly emotional over the past week just thinking of the joy this baby will bring to our lives and I can't even begin to fathom what it will feel like to fall in love all over again.  I'm a little nervous, but mostly excited and counting down the hours.  If we're friends on Facebook, you'll probably see that announcement first, but I'll be sure to post additional details here as soon as we're home and settled ... I may even get crazy and attempt to post a few pictures via my Blogger app : )

No comparison this week ... last pregnancy picture!  
The moment my heart first melted upon meeting Anna ... can't wait to do it all over again!