Archive: August, 2011

Wednesday
August 31, 2011

Wednesday

It is hard to believe that today is the LAST day of August! When September begins, I always feel like summer is over. I am actually sooo happy summer is ending. This has been an unbearably hot summer and I am so ready for chilly, oversized sweater days!

We are enjoying these last few weeks before preschool starts. We spent the morning at Paws Farm. The kids had a blast. Rexford is big enough to climb and play now…& I am just getting comfortable with it. Isn’t it scary when they first start climbing at the playground? I always get so nervous when they get to the second level and there are all sorts of holes to fall from.

After naps we stopped over at Target to take a look at the clearance racks. Rex got his 1st box of crayons and was SOOOO excited about them. We got the large/washable Crayola crayons – they really make a difference for toddlers learning how to color. (BTW, Rex is almost 16 months now.)

Categories: family/personal
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Wednesday
August 31, 2011

photo of the day

Hi!
I just love your blog! I’d love to share a photo of my son, Louis. It is from a series of photos I took of him just this past July when he turned 9 months.

Thanks for your consideration!
Cheers,
Ann
Ann Hamilton Photographer

do you have a photo you would like featured for “Photo of the Day?”
please email it to spearmintbaby@gmail.com (subject: Photo of the Day)

Categories: Photo of the Day
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Wednesday
August 31, 2011

It’s a… cute little blob!

By Amy from dandelion paperweight
Read all of my posts here.

Let me start by thanking my dear, sweet, incredible husband for writing not one, but two posts on his own fertility ordeal. Weren’t they great?

Ok, I know some of you have been waiting for this announcement and I’m sorry for all the hints (on my blog) lately. It’s so hard for me to keep such a big secret, but I’m glad to finally be writing about it!

We’re pregnant! I’m nine weeks along and everything is going very well so far. We got to see the heartbeat two weeks ago, which also happened to be my first day of school. It was incredible and I cannot wait for my next appointment. I’m not sure if I can make it three more weeks, though!

I have had a bit of sickness (not typically in the morning), but nothing crazy. I haven’t thrown up at all and usually I can make it go away by simply eating. I feel lucky that I don’t constantly have my head over the toilet and that I can eat more than saltines. However, some days I don’t feel sick at all, and that worries me because I know that symptoms mean things are moving in the right direction. I try to stay positive, but it is really hard with the year I’ve had.

Want to know how it all went down? Well, I took clomid for the second time and we took a little trip to Big Sur and San Francisco. I’m pretty sure we conceived while camping (tmi?), which I think is pretty cool. I didn’t test until the day after my missed period because I know how crazy early testing can make me. I called my doctor that day when I got a positive digital and they made an appointment for me to come in two days later. I was nervous that I wouldn’t get a positive there and that I’d have another chemical pregnancy or early miscarriage.

Remember what I wrote about my new doctor? He’s great. The nurse said they didn’t even need to do a urine test because the doctor would do an exam and would be able to tell by the size and shape of my uterus if I was indeed pregnant. I was, and then we discussed progesterone suppositories. I told him that my (our actually, my husband felt the same way) inclination was to go without them. My doctor didn’t think they were necessary at all, so that was that. I left with paperwork for some blood tests to ensure that my hCG levels were increasing at the correct rate and was cautiously optimistic.

Every blood test came back with great results and we got to go in for an early ultrasound at just 5 weeks. All we saw was a blob, no heartbeat as is was too early, and we scheduled another one for about a week and a half later. Yay! A heartbeat! And a more shapely blob! I said it looked like a sour patch kid. Maybe that was a craving talking?

I know how lucky we are. Many couples struggle for several years and go through much more invasive treatments before finally being blessed with a child. It only took about 14 months and two rounds of clomid for us. Thank goodness, because I’m not sure I could handle or afford much more.

I have a couple of posts that I wrote over the last five weeks to share with you guys and I’m going to start taking bump pics this week. I’m excited to share this journey with you all!!

 

 

Categories: Amy, articles, fertility
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Tuesday
August 30, 2011

Bitsy Bags

When my children were babies I spent so much time trying to get them swaddled just right. But somehow they always managed to undo all of my hard work! I have to admit, I really don’t think that all babies enjoy being swaddled (especially as they get older!) I would have loved a wearable, secure sleep sack option that gave them some freedom to move.

How do you keep your baby snuggly and warm when blankets are a suffocation risk?

I wish I had known about the Bitsy Bag. They keep your baby cozy & warm, yet your little girl/guy can still kick, move, & even sit up during the day!



P.S. I LOVE the baby blue jumbo polka dots – wouldn’t it be so cute to photograph baby in this during your hospital stay?

Categories: Apparel, Baby Gear
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Tuesday
August 30, 2011

Birth Story

I wrote out my birth story last year; a few days after the birth of my daughter, Abby. Her birthday was also the day I turned 30… also the day we learned Abby has Down syndrome. She is 13 months old now and continues to be the love of my life!!
— Melissa
babypelly.livejournal.com

and then there were three

Well I said I’d work right up until this kid forced herself out of me and that’s what I did… To start, I had come home from my 39 week appointment on Thursday, June 10 with absolutely zero progress and talk of induction sometime over the following week or two. Booo… So I went to work on Friday totally cool, laughing off everyone’s “are you still here?!” craziness. Came home around 5:30 and sat down for dinner that Matt had made for us. My 30th birthday was the next day so we talked about what we might spend the day doing. Finished up, stood up, and told Matt I needed to go chill on the couch cause the baby was moving around in there.

Wrote back to some “is the baby coming on your birthday?” emails with some “um ya, doubt it” replies. My mother-in-law had sent me one asking if I’d had any contractions and that when she’d had her kids, she thought they were just the baby stretching. I wrote back “I’ve been having contractions like crazy since I got home tonight but I think they are braxton hicks. It hurts a bit but not too bad. It does feel (and look) like she is stretching like you said! But there doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to the timing of them and she’s still really high in my belly so maybe she is just moving down? Time will tell I guess!”

TIme told! Turns out there was a rhyme and reason to them once I started timing them – every 6 minutes from about 6:30 until midnight-ish when I stopped timing to try and sleep. They went from barely noticeable to needing to stop what i was doing to needing to squeeze something with my hands to some pretty crazy pain. It was all in my back, too – I think she was sunny side up. Somewhere before crazy pain, Matt called the hospital nurses for me (this was around 11:30) and they said it sounded like we may have a baby in the next day or two but to hold out until they get to be 2-3 min. apart. I said OK cool because I was in serious denial – the hospital is nearly 40 minutes from my house and I didn’t want to go and get sent home. So around 4:30 when I couldn’t talk through them or focus on anything, I said Matt call the hospital, call the parents, let’s go.

The drive to the hospital was kind of like in the movies with us running red lights and everything – ha! We’d also stupidly brought my dog to my parents house (on the way) because she was visibly nervous watching me in so much pain. So anyway, we got to the hospital just before 6am… at this point it’s June 12 which is my birthday so all the nurses were like hey happy birthday! and I was like o thanks now where are the drugs?  One of the nurses checked my progress after I had changed into a gown, telling us she’d be impressed with 1 or 2 cm dialated. 10 seconds later she’s like wow you’re like 5cm. Now at this point I remember saying WHATTTT but Matt says that was accompanied by “the f…” So classy.

The next few hours are kind of blurry – I made BFFs with the epidural doctor and the nurses. Props to those who push their kids out without drugs but I had absolutely zero desire to join that club. Life was perfect for the next few hours… we watched HGTV for an hour or two and then got the show on the road. Pushing was kind of hard because I couldn’t really feel it so it took a few times to really get a feel for what worked. We pushed every other contraction for about an hour. Early on, abby’s heart rate went down and everyone (except me and matt) freaked out. They turned me this way and that, upside down practically to get her off her cord. They kept telling us not to worry… real easy when you don’t know what’s going on! Not for a minute did I doubt everything would be fine. And it was. Then we got back to pushing. I swear by this time, every single contraction was “the one.” Matt was the only one I believed – he kept telling me I was doing great and although I thought beforehand that I would get mad at him, he was the one that gave me strength to get our peanut out. But not without a vacuum and apparently multiple episiotomy cuts. Eventually, at 10:53 am, we got our little girl out.

She cried. I cried. Pretty sure daddy cried. They put her on my chest for a second when I lightly rubbed her little head and felt her super soft hair. After probably 30 seconds, they grabbed her back because she had meconium in her fluid when she came out. The doctors cleaned her out and cleaned her up. (I think this is the order it happened in… makes more sense that they cleaned her out before they gave her to me but I can’t quite remember.) Matt went over to take some pictures while they cleaned her up. I remember he was so nervous I kept telling him it was okay to touch her and talk to her. The nurses eventually weighed her – 8 lbs, 3 oz., and measured her – 21 inches. Then we got her back for some bonding time.

I fell in love in about 1 second. She was perfect. Before she was born, coworkers and friends had told me they didn’t feel a connection to their baby at first, in fact they didn’t even like them for months. I had been so worried about that but as soon as they gave her back to me for a real good look, those fears were gone. She was perfect… we took pictures on our phone and sent to all our friends, so proud of our peanut. I must’ve said (and even now more than a week later, am still saying) “I can’t believe this perfection came out of my belly” a million times. Matt held her and kissed her too and our little family was born.

Then the nurse came back and took her for some tests because she said Abby wasn’t breathing very well. The drugs in me kept me from worrying too much about it but I remember thinking she looked fine and being worried that I couldn’t tell she wasn’t breathing well. Weird but okay nurse, please do what you need to do!

Saturday night, the doctor came in and told me (Matt had gone out for a sandwich with my brother Ron) that Abby has a few features that are reminiscent of Down syndrome. And that because both level 2 ultrasounds we’d had at UConn over the winter that basically ruled it out, he wasn’t sure (yes he said he wasn’t sure… what??!!) so he was sending her blood out for chromosome testing. There are different degrees of this syndrome and he said if she has it, she likely has a really slight version as she has very few indicators – but enough to raise the flags. Surely this had to be wrong, I thought, because hello – the baby that came out of me was perfection. But let me go look at her. The nurse wheeled me next door to the nursery where Abby was in a baby warmer. I looked at her, touched her, and asked the nurse what it was they saw. She said her eyes are a little almond shaped, her grip isn’t strong, and she has a little marker on her ear. Hmm… okay.

I looked up and my parents, Matt, my brother and my aunt were looking at us from outside the nursery, super eager to come in. We called Matt in and the nurse told me to let the doctor tell him about her down syndrome. That was against my better judgement but I did as I was told. Matt nearly passed out – they had to sit him down and give him some water. I knew he would be okay and tried to stay strong telling him that it doesn’t matter and they weren’t even sure so we’ll wait and see what the tests say. At this point, my parents came in and I told them. I told them it would be okay too.

They told us we’d have to wait until Friday to get the test results back so we kind of floated through the rest of Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday (what day is it now?) in this weird, horrifying limbo. This child has been SO perfect – she’s sooo chill, sleeps really well (knock on wood), has only really cried a handful times (I’ve cried like 800x more than she has in her nine days of life), and lets you do pretty much anything to her without a fuss. That and she’s stunning if I do say so myself. How can this perfect child possibly have anything wrong with her?

Wednesday night, we were spared the extra day and a half wait – our pediatrician called to tell us that the tests came back positive. (insert more mommy/daddy crying here.) We called our parents and cried but they stayed strong. They offered to tell our relatives for us and we took them up on it. Within an hour we had a handful of super supportive, touching emails. (A format for which I am extremely grateful as we had enough trouble just telling our parents.) Friday, we took Abby to the pediatric cardiologist for an EKG and echocardiogram where they gave us a clean bill of health for her heart. That was a HUGE relief. Our pediatrician also had her thyroid tested – the results of which were normal as well.More sighs of relief. We have to take her to a geneticist soon to find out what aspects of it she has, what she doesn’t, and what it all means in terms of her development and her future.

All of that said… with all of the uncertainty and fear ahead… I have to say (especially to those without kids) that this child is the most amazing thing that’s ever happened to us. She changed my life the second they put her in my arms. I always thought it was kind of lame how new parents would talk about how their lives were instantly changed with the birth of their kids but it’s so true. Suddenly, everything that ever mattered doesn’t matter anymore. Anything I used to worry about suddenly seems so trivial and stupid. Everything I thought I knew about love was so… incomplete.

So where do we go from here? Same place everyone else with a newborn goes – to the next day and the next day. Lots of pictures, lots of kisses and lots of love. I want to freeze this child in this perfect newborn stage but at the same time I can’t wait to see what a little pip she turns into. She looks like her daddy but I think she’s got her mommy’s determination in there. Time will tell.

Categories: birth stories
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Tuesday
August 30, 2011

Trendy Things | Polka Dots

I’m so glad that polka dots are “in” for fall. Black and white is always a classic color combination, but polka dots seem to add an extra bit of playfulness and whimsy. And while you’re back to school shopping, mom should have a new dress too, right?

Source: Nursery, Dress, Photograph, Skirt

Categories: Apparel
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Tuesday
August 30, 2011

photo of the day

One overcast day, uber photographer Tim Coulson came to The Beetle Shack to document a family gathering. Here is the Little Lady.

To meet the rest of us, visit thebeetleshack.blogspot.com
xo em

do you have a photo you would like featured for “Photo of the Day?”
please email it to spearmintbaby@gmail.com (subject: Photo of the Day)

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GILT