Friday, May 30, 2008

Hayden's Story

I love birthing stories. And it seems us ladies love to tell them. So this is Hayden's story, complete with pictures. Enough pictures that you could probably skip the narrative and still get the idea if you become bored :)

I had my doctor's appointment Wednesday morning and told him I was not interested in being induced. I've always felt it was better to let your body do its thing. With that being said, I was super anxious to have this over with since J had a week off school and it would be convenient to not waste it waiting around. He and I debated back and forth that night whether we should go ahead and schedule it but I couldn't get up the nerve to do it.

The next day I (luckily) had some friends over and errands to run at the mall. So I showered, did my hair and makeup. That all worked out nicely :) Around noon I realized I hadn't felt Hayden move. This was unusual for her so I laid down and pushed on my belly trying to get her to respond. My doc told me I should feel her about 10 times an hour and if not, to lay down another hour and count again. Lay down for two hours? With a toddler? Yeah right. So we took off for the mall where they have a great indoor play place and I could sit and count. It had been a good three hours since I'd felt anything, even after a lot of prodding, so I called J and the doctor. We went straight to the ER to put me on a monitor. I felt silly when her heart rate looked great the second they hooked me up. Silly but relieved.

About seven minutes into it the monitor showed a contraction and Hayden's heart didn't respond well. Then it happened again. The tech said "I don't think you're going home today," and left to call my doctor. I was not ready to hear that. After all my impatience, I was not ready to have this baby today. It didn't feel right. I felt like they were overreacting and I felt like I didn't have control. It was all happening fast and nobody asked my opinion. Looking back, it was the right thing to do. You can't send someone home after seeing a baby's heart rate drop like that. And rather than keep me hooked up to the monitor for four more hours, they hooked me up to pitocin and I had her four hours later :)

And I thought Abbey's labor and delivery was easy. This one was a cinch! An hour into it they asked it I wanted the epidural. I hesitated, thinking it was too early--I'd gone 12 hours with Abbey before getting it. But the contractions were intense and they said if I waited too much longer I might be too late. My worst nightmare! I was ready to go natural with Abbey but I was not planning nor was I prepared to do it this time. So bring it on. Then it didn't work. For an hour. I started flipping out--this had happened to several of my friends and I was not ready to do this on my own. I begged them to turn off the pit to slow things down--just long enough to get the epidural under control. Not that the contractions were unbearable but I knew what was coming up would be. They just sent some more happy drugs down the tube and I was good to go :)

Then it was go time. You should have seen me, I was on cloud nine and almost giddy. This whole thing had seemed wrong, so completely unnatural. But it was working. Perfectly. I was relieved and excited and laughing and ready to go. I think it was contagious because my nurse and my doctor all got excited and you would have thought we were having a party in there. Four pushes. They told me to stop and she just came.

I cried when I watched the birthing part in Juno a few weeks ago, so I'm sure it was no surprise that I couldn't stop the tears for my own.
Is there anything better? They put her right up on my belly. Some people think that's gross--I didn't think anything. I just looked. And cried.
And I guess looking back this might be a face only a mother could fall in love with at that second. :) Covered in...whatever that stuff is called. Totally swollen. I thought there was nothing more beautiful.
The rest is a blur. By the time I thought to call people, it was too late to call. Luckily our parents are in a different time zone so we could let them know. I suppose it was for the better-I didn't feel obligated to start the phone calls and could just sit and look at our miracle.
I couldn't wait for this one to come the next morning. And she hasn't taken her hands and her lips off her since.
Our college buddy, Kyler, came up from Little Rock to spend Memorial Day weekend with us. I guess he got more than he bargained for since he got put on Abbey Duty. He did great--he bought her this 'I'm The Big Sister' t-shirt and her pony tails stayed in for a good half hour :)

On Saturday afternoon J was packing up my things to leave the hospital, I was nursing Hayden and Abbey was climbing all over me. I think I started having a panic attack--what did I get myself into? I'm constantly chasing after Abbey before she falls off a jungle gym or eats a stranger's lunch at the park. How many times am I going to have to abandon Hayden to save Abbey from provoking an angry duck? (Yes, it happens.) Am I going to be one of those parents that resorts to leashing their child in the airport?

For now my hubby and my mom are home to ease the transition. So I'll worry about it later. People have done this before afterall. Maybe it will be survival mode for a while. Maybe it will be awesome. Probably both.

I'll leave you with some yummy neck rolls to ogle.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Our Wait Is Over!

This miracle finally made it!
Hayden Julie Pace
came Thursday night, weighing 7 lb 4 oz, 19 inches long, and is absolutely perfect.

When I had Abbey I remember thinking it was a big injustice that a woman didn't get to enjoy that first week of her newborn because of the healing, adjusting, swelling, engorging, exhaustion, hormones etc. I just experienced quite possibly the world's easiest labor and delivery ever. So I am soaking up this week with my newest love.

But I know friends and family are anxiously and patiently waiting to see her. Here are some quick pictures of our hospital stay and the beautiful baby--more details to come :) Back to soaking it up...

Sunday, May 18, 2008

17th: Here and Gone

It didn't happen. I had my hopes set on the 17th. I woke up feeling awesome, not a good sign for someone hoping to go into labor any minute. But the day was fabulous anyway and I still feel awesome and I think I can hold out another week or longer.

The best days for me are usually unplanned and end up in unexpected water fun. The other day I was watching water run down the gutter and remembered a great day from my childhood. We had just driven home from a violin performance so our hair was done but the gutters were overflowing after a summer rain. We ended up having a huge water fight with my mom--just plastic cups and a gutter full of water. Totally gross but it was a great memory and I'd do it again.

Yesterday the fountains were on unexpectedly at the park. I can't think of anything better than a bunch of kids splashing around in their clothes or better yet, just undies and diapers.
Then I went out to eat with my favorite people here for my 'baby shower'. I felt silly having a full blown shower because this is my second and I really have most the things I need. So I loved taking the afternoon off and just spending it with some great company.
There just is no good way to take a picture of people at a table. My big half head is covering up Lisa and McKayla. McKayla is my one and only beehive and I was so excited to see she was there. Although, I think she'd had it when we started in on the nursing and labor stories :)

That evening we walked. And walked and walked. You know, one last ditch effort to make it by the 17th. But it was a beautiful evening so not a total loss. I'll keep you updated...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

And Then There Were Four

Dear Abbey,

I am completely enamored with your little face (which happens to have a mouth full of cheese in this picture). You've been getting away with a little bit lately. I just feel like I should spoil you and apologize to you for how your world is going to be rocked in the next few weeks. My 'Parents As Teachers' lady gave me a pamphlet last week on what older siblings go through when a new baby is born. As I glanced down the list of 'Abandonement, Resentment, Loneliness' my eyes started tearing up.

I know it is normal. I know you'll be fine. In fact, I think it is sad when kids don't have siblings. And you are a particularly social kid and become almost giddy when you see babies. But I regret the inevitable transition feelings. And while I can hardly wait to welcome this new baby into our family, a part of me is going to miss this thing we have going. Daddy's school has been demanding and it's just been you and me a lot of days and nights. That dynamic is going to change and it makes me sentimental.

I was talking to a friend about this concern last week. She said something to the effect that even though she couldn't give her oldest all the attention he had been used to, she felt there was even more love to go around when they had their second. More because he had the love of his younger brother now as well. They say a mother's love grows and grows with each additional child but I hadn't thought of the love you and your sister will have for each other.

I hope the feelings of abandonement and loneliness are shortlived. I hope you step into the special role of 'big sister' naturally. I hope you are a good example and show her respect as she will be looking up to you. You sure are lucky little girls.

Love, Mom

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Sixteen Candles

The J-Bird. 27 years old now. His birthday landed on Mother's Day this year so...hmm. What do you do? We went out to eat the night before and made sure to have plenty of leftovers so neither of us had to cook :)

We had friends over for cake and ice cream that night. (A german chocolate cake with a coconut and pecan filling on top of a chocolate torte layer covered in a dark chocolate ganache. Mmmhmmm. Recipe here.) And yes, I only had 16 candles. One candle for every 1 year, 251 days. Standard birthday candle ratio if memory serves.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Sewing Lessons

In 7th grade home ec, my teacher made us memorize and label every part of the sewing machine. I wish that time would have been better spent learning to sew. Katherine caught the sewing bug. Bad. And has her own etsy shop now here. I think she has flawless taste and isn't charging enough yet, so get them while you can. We stayed with them a couple weeks ago and now I have the bug. Bad. We had both her machines out working one day and she taught me how to make adorable bags and this hot item these days:
In the meantime, this was the state of our offspring:
It was pretty late in the afternoon when I looked over and loved what I saw. Still in pj tops, no pants, licking the oreo crumbs around their mouths and watching some youtube.

Conveniently enough, we went and picked up my mother-in-law that night from the airport. My mother-in-law: the queen of sewing and pattern design. I'm not really into letting people relax when they come visit so it worked out nicely that she came right at the initation of my sewing addiction.

Like I said, she designs patterns so all I had to do was sketch out my ideas and she drew up the plans and knew exactly how much fabric to buy. Awesome. I wanted coordinating outfits for the girls that match but aren't exactly the same. All in all, we made four dresses, two pairs of pants and this ensemble:

This is my favorite outfit we did this week. And my favorite part came from the scraps--how cute is the headband?

And while we're on the subject of creating, a fellow med wife started up a new line of LDS greeting cards that are to die for. We had a get together at her home a few years ago and I couldn't leave that night because she and her husband had me laughing so hard. Her cute sense of humor comes right through and I think they are so clever.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Waiting Watching Waiting Waiting

I feel a bit bashful about showing my bare, outie belly button for everyone to see. (That belly button will go back in, right?) There's something so disturbing {and a little gross} yet beautiful about a pregnant belly. We're down to the home stretch. J's mom predicted, nay, decided it would be the 17th. And since she was dead on with Abbey, I'm going with it. Seriously. With Abbey she said it would be the 12th and literally, at the stroke of midnight on the 12th, I went into labor and had her 13 hours later.

Right now I'm as big as I ever got with Abbey. I don't feel like I'm going soon but I also can't imagine holding out three more weeks until my due date. My thoughts are in constant vacillation--I'm ready, I'm not, I'm scared, I'm fired up. I don't plan on being induced but the unknown is getting to me. Well that and the constant fear of my water breaking in public. I honestly wouldn't be too embarassed but I would feel obligated to clean before I left :) I was discussing this with my mother-in-law this week and said I didn't actually remember it being that much of a mess last time. It broke at her house and she begged to differ :)

Friday, May 2, 2008

Mango Tango

Erin made this for cooking club last year--now we can't walk past a mango without Justin giving me the puppy dog face. He served his mission in the Dominican Republic and I think there is some sort of emotional attachment to the fruit. We found perfectly ripe ones at the Farmer's Market this week-- so I thought I'd share this delicious recipe:
Frozen Mango Cream Cake

  • Vegetable-oil cooking spray
  • 2 ounces salted dry-roasted macadamia nuts (about 1/2 cup)
  • 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin (1 scant tablespoon)
  • 2 firm but ripe mangoes, peeled (each about 1 pound)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat inside of a 9 inch spring form pan with cooking spray.
  2. Make the crust: Pulse macadamia nuts and granulated sugar in a food processor until finely ground. In a bowl, combine nuts, flour, and butter with a fork until mixture resembles coarse meal. Spoon mixture into pan and press into bottom. Bake until golden brown, about 14 minutes. Let cool.
  3. Make the mousse: Pour orange juice into a small saucepan. Sprinkle with gelatin, and let stand until softened, about 5 minutes. Heat over low heat, stirring, until dissolved. Remove from heat.
  4. Start with a firm but ripe mango. To remove the skin without wasting any of the juicy flesh, use a vegetable peeler. Then, with a knife, carefully slice the fruit lengthwise along both sides of the seed. Cut one-quarter of one mango into 1/8-inch-thick slices for garnish (halve large slices); cover, and refrigerate. Coarsely chop remaining mangoes. In a blender, puree chopped mangoes, granulated sugar, and lemon juice until smooth. With machine running, add gelatin mixture in a slow, steady stream, and blend until combined. Transfer to a bowl.
  5. With a whisk or an electric mixer on medium speed, beat cream until soft peaks form. Add confectioners' sugar, and beat until soft peaks return. Whisk one-third of the whipped cream into the mango mixture. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in remaining whipped cream.
  6. Pour into spring form pan. Cover with plastic wrap, and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours (up to 1 week).
  7. When ready to serve, let cake stand at room temperature for 5 minutes. Serve garnished with mango slices.