Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Robby's very first Halloween!
I love his cute little face poking out of the costume... he didn't want me to put the little mittens on but that's ok... do I make an ok safari guide? I had my video camera bag over my shoulder but forgot it for the picture...
I have to say we really missed Robby the dad today.... he left at about 4 am to catch his flight down to New Mexico and he'll be back around 1o pm tonight! Long day for him but sounds like the interview went well and he had a good time!
Hope everyone's night went well!
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Here's Becca's description of how things went last Friday (she is my sister-in-law and was their doula):
"Yesterday they decided to get induced, and started with a gel late last night. She had cramps throughout the night. This a.m. around 9 am Kristine was 1 cm, they broke her water & started pitocin. An hour later she was 4 cm! So they turned off the pitocin since she was moving right along on her own. She decided to get an epidural then, but when they came to do it, she changed her mind. An hour and a half after that, Kristine was completely dilated! It was amazing. She pushed for a little less than half an hour. Baby Joe was ready to come! He was born at 11:55 am. Kristine handled everything so well, and Joel was a perfect support. I feel so, so lucky I got to be there. Welcome to the world Baby Joe!!"
It sounds like everything is still going well and they are happily back at home. Joel started a new job today so I'm sure they'll be busy!
I can't wait to meet baby Joe at Christmas time!
Friday, October 26, 2007
Is that what it was called, girls?
So tonight for the first time in my, what, 6 years of living in Provo, I walked down Center Street just looking at each of the shops. There are so many different places to eat - who knew? Rice King may not be the only gem on the strip! I probably won't find out though to be honest... tonight's experience only reinforces to me why I stick to tried and true eating establishments...
This girl in the new Gelatto shop next to Los Hermanos (which ps the Gelatto was good but the prices were pretty steep so go in for your free sample and see for yourself if it's worth it) recommended this Mexican place on Center Street called Joe Vera's (at least I think that's what it was) so we headed in that direction trying to decide between that and Rice King and when we saw that it looked pretty normal we popped in to try it.
First of all we waited for at least 10 minutes for them to "get our table ready" while they seated numerous other parties before us. What is really so difficult about adding 2 highchairs and a booster seat? And right as we were walking to our finally prepared table the waitress swipes the chips and salsa platter off of it right before our eyes. Um, that was what we were there for! She hands them to a party who came in after us and got seated at the same time we did. Ok.... maybe you have to order them? No, I checked with the couple at the table next to us.... they were complimentary.
We waited another 10 minutes for a server, waiter, bus boy.... anyone! No one talked to us. Our only thought was maybe it was because we had 3 small children with us so we look like we could be ignored?
Well I tell you what - nobody ignored us when we stood up and walked right out of there! Sure the waiter was just on his way over at that time but it was a day late and a dollar short. We did have plenty of time to peruse the menu and found it it to be a tad on the pricey side for who knows what reason.... we'll never know I guess!
So we ordered take out from our usual favorite, Costa Vida, and ate at my house where hopefully Liv and Linds will say the service was a tad bit better. At least we don't discriminate against those with small children.... ;D
Ok so the Target photo shoot didn't produce the perfect family picture so we tried again today! We went up into the Provo Canyon to Sundance with the Carters and took turns taking each other's pictures. It was a beautiful sunny day - not always the best light for pictures but a great day to be up in the mountains.
I don't think that baby Robby smiled for real in any of the pictures... yeah, pretty sure.... I don't know why - he smiles so cute in our photo shoots at home! Oh well, at least he was looking at the camera most of the time.
Some of them had this weird blasted out white lighting thing going on and I was able to take the one above and use Picasa to turn it into something I now love! And then here are just a couple extra ones!
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
We had fun going to Farnsworth Farms to pick apples and pumpkins with Liv, Taba, and the kiddos today. This place didn't have a ton going on, the orchards were pretty picked over, but it was a beautiful afternoon and their apple cider was delicious! I think we all went home with a gallon for ourselves...
Now I need to find something wonderful to make with all these apples....
Last Saturday us girls went to Witches Night Out at Gardner Village. It happened to be raining and hailing that night which was not so awesome but we braved the weather and had a ball! It was especially nice for me to have a night out sans the little one - thanks, Robby the dad!
Dancing and drinking hot chocolate.... my favorite parts are always getting ready and then going out to Chili's afterwards for chips and salsa.... yum!
It's been a crazy month trying to figure out what I'll be doing after college. It' hard to believe that it's really going to be over. I've interviewed with several companies and I'm just starting to hear back from them. The next month or two should be even more interesting than the last month. I'll be flying down to New Mexico probably next week to meet with some people at a company called Rinchem. The company has about 350 employees so it's not huge, but definitely not tiny. I'll post some more later as I get more information!!
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Last week I said to my sister-in-law Becca that I thought Robby was getting a tooth. I said, "well, I feel something sharp and see something kind of white but I'm not sure..."
"Um, I'm pretty sure that's a tooth then!"
She was right! I think I was just a little bit in disbelief... He had been fussy for a day or so before but not too bad. I'd always envisioned sleepless nights and screaming when I thought about teething. I have to say I was pretty pleased with how the whole thing went. Now that was only one tooth and I'm sure we'll have lots more chances to have some bad teething experiences but I'm grateful this one was fine.
The hardest part about this whole tooth thing is trying to capture the little guy on camera!!
Here are some of my attempts:
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
So last week we took our very first professional photos! It was kind of a lot of work... you know, picking out everyone's outfits, actually blow drying my hair (which ps - every time I do people ask me if I cut it... I guess that shows how often I get ready, huh?), making sure Robby doesn't spit up on his outfit, waking him up early from his nap (of course the times he actually sleeps long I have to wake him!) to get ready, getting there barely on time, waiting....
But then the actually photo shoot didn't take very long. I liked the experience just fine - not great, just fine. The girl taking the pictures said it was her first time working at that studio. She put us in only 2 poses as a family and then did just baby Robby. I wish you could see the picture right after they take it so you know what needs to be fixed - like my hair, or the fact that I look like I'm hiding behind Rob's head....
We didn't come away with an awesome family shot that I wanted to turn into a big portrait but we bought a couple 8x10s. These are the ones we purchased:
Then here are a few others....
It was fun and I learned a few things for next time... like don't wear my hair just plain ol' down -- I kept fiddling with it between every shot and it just was not working... and try on everyone's outfits first! Baby Robby's shirt was a little too big - he looked kinda gangsta which Robby the dad liked of course....
Oh well! We will try again another time!
Saturday, October 13, 2007
This week I got to see a lot of my family which was a lot of fun! My sister Tabitha recently moved out to UT from GA which is awesome - it's been a while since I've had a sibling in state. Then my parents were in town over the weekend... driving across the country for business and visiting family. And THEN my brother Andrew and his wife Becca were in town all week - Becca just ran the St. George marathon and then they spent the week in Provo.
The best is seeing all the little cousins together...
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
So we've been doing rice cereal in the mornings this last week and just the other night we did sweet potatoes to try something new.
HE LOVED THEM!
It was so cute! Here's a little clip of him enjoying them. Sorry my hand gets in the way during it but the cutest part is his face when he sees the spoon coming toward him!
I thought there was no way he'd eat the entire container - maybe half then and half the next night...
Oh no.... he gobbled the whole thing and cried when it was gone! Look:
This new game called eating is kinda fun!
It's a good thing we have a 1 GB memory card for our camera when I upload pictures like twice a day to put stuff on our blog so it's always empty....
Oh well! Of course on trips it's useful and more important but it seems kinda funny to me these days! I literally upload pictures and clear our memory card several times a day. It's great.
Real quick - um.... I'm watching a show on Discovery Health called Amazing Births and this woman gave birth in a TREE during a FLOOD!!!! Oh my goodness..... wow.... could you even imagine? Wow...
PS - Discovery Health has tons of great baby shows! Have you ever seen Jon and Kate plus 8? So fun!
Monday, October 08, 2007
You've probably guessed already this post isn't about me! Ha ha!
We had Robby's 6 month dr apt last week on Oct 4th and it went pretty well. Turns out our little munchkin has been losing some weight! He has grown taller and is more active but still, he lost about a pound and a half since 5 months. He definitely spits up all the time.... after every time he eats... a lot. So we discussed this reflux and what we could do about it.
We just started him with some rice cereal this week which he seems to love - not necessarily the cereal but the whole experience I think. We are going to try to nurse him tons and give him some solids and see if we can't fatten him up a bit. Not that being skinny is bad but since he has lost weight it's not as good. So we will go back for a weight check in 2 weeks to see if we're making progress on our own and if not maybe talk about some reflux medicine.
For those who love "stats" his are:
I took some naked pictures but none turned out totally modest... oh well I can't resist posting at least this one... sorry....
and then some diaper ones...
to show how tall and skinny he is! It's so fun he's been making lots of noises and even has said "da" and "ma" - I don't think he meant to say dad and mom but it's still fun. He is such a sweet snuggly little boy. I just love him to pieces!!!!
Ok, I know this is going to be extremely long - sorry...
Sunday April 1st, 2007 – two weeks before my due date, April 16th. It was conference Sunday and in-between sessions we had a wonderful brunch with Vanessa, Liv’s family, and Lindsay. I remember feeling sore and achy and saying, “I want him to come soon but if he came today I don’t think I’d have the best chance of doing it naturally because my body doesn’t feel at its best.” That’s probably because I was on my way into labor… Also for the last week or so I’d had a horrible pinched nerve in my right lower back that made it really painful to walk.
After brunch we watched the second session of conference with everyone. I spent part of the time stretching out on the birth ball or on the floor. When it was over I felt so tired so I said goodbye to everyone and went to take a nap. Robby came to tuck me in and, as Angie (my doula) said, we “did what we could to prompt labor.” I put on my Hypnobabies fear release track and then I slept from about 4:30 until 6:30 pm. I remember waking up to feeling a little pop inside of me and then feeling what I thought was a little bit of leaking. I had had this teeny leaking feeling a few other times so I wasn’t quite sure what it was but the pop feeling was different.
I got up and told Robby and Vanessa that I thought something might be going on but wasn’t sure. I called my doula Angie and left her a message. I wondered if there was anyway I could do it without her if she were to not call back… I tried to relax and just not think about it. We put on Extreme Home Makeover (one of my most favorite shows that we watch practically every Sunday night) and I sat on the birth ball. I told Ness and Robby that I just wouldn’t think about it but as the show went on I consistently felt cramping… and I started to casually time the intervals that this feeling was coming. “Guys, I’m feeling… something… every 5 minutes.” By the end of the show that something was more like every 3 minutes. I told them I thought it was time to go to the hospital. It didn’t hurt but it was consistent and getting stronger.
I had envisioned having tons of time at home to sit around, go walking, watch movies, and bake cookies… not one hour of thinking, “what the heck? Are these contractions? Maybe… yeah, I think so…” and then packing up to go to the hospital! I had planned on taking a shower but Robby wanted to also – I told him to go first and I laid down and started listening to my Hypnobabies birth guide track and switched my lightswitch ( Hypnobabies tool we use to “numb” key parts of our body) to the middle position – where it stayed until the baby was born! By the time his shower was up I felt the contractions coming faster and they were getting more intense, but still not painful – in other words, we had to skip my shower and pick up the pace. As Robby was getting dressed he said to me, “I think I want to do the fourth.” (He meant he wanted to name our son Robert Ernest Parsons IV) We had been going back and forth on this for the entire nine months. I had told Robby the decision was his and that’s when he finally made up his mind.
Robby and Vanessa packed up the Blazer with everything on my “packing list” and then helped me get to the car. By that time I had to pause when the contractions came and really focus on relaxing, but still I was not in pain. We had also gotten a hold of Angie and she was going to be meeting us at the hospital which was great news. We left the house at 9:16 pm.
As we drove I had my iPod with earphones on with the birthing track still playing. I closed my eyes and focused on deep breathing and relaxing. It was dark and raining. We raced up Center Street and had to dodge through some construction. The one time I did open my eyes I saw Robby was about to hit a median in the road – I literally opened my eyes only long enough to look up, get his attention, and thankfully we avoided it… that would have been awful! I know he was a little frazzled on that drive – understandably so!
When we arrived at Mount Timpanogos Hospital I didn’t feel like getting out of the car and walking. I was happy to sit in the car and wait for a wheelchair and continue closing my eyes and listening to my relaxing birth track. Nessa and Robby went in and Robby told the lady at the check in desk, “My wife thinks she’s having a baby.” Apparently even at that point Robby was in denial that this was the real thing. Also it was kind of humorous that it was he and Vanessa because she was obviously NOT pregnant or in labor. Anyways, they came out with a nurse and a wheelchair to the car to get me.
It was 9:30 pm as we wheeled by the check in desk and one of the nurses said, “Put her in room 3.” Thankfully Robby remembered our tour of the hospital earlier and that room 7 had the tub in it and that’s where we wanted to go. He spoke up and requested the room and they asked if I was trying to do it natural, which I was. I don’t think I would have said anything for some reason and so I’m so glad Robby took the initiative then.
The rest of the night is increasingly hazy – probably as the intensity of the labor progressed my memory declined.
We met our nurse, MaryAnn, and she seemed very nice. She had worked with other Hypnobabies moms and I was grateful for that. Turns out also that when I told MaryAnn she had the same name as my mother-in-law she informed us that her mother-in-law’s name was Esther… too weird! We gave her a copy of our birth plan and she seemed like she would be pretty accommodating.
We got the room set up with low lights and my Hypnobabies music playing in the background on our iPod sound dock. I knew they would have to do an initial strip of monitoring the baby and an internal exam but lying on my back in the bed was very uncomfortable! I was anxious to know how dilated I was – I’d been 2 cm dilated for about 2 weeks already and 70% effaced. I was pretty surprised but excited when MaryAnn announced I was 6 cm dilated and totally effaced. She seemed impressed that I was so calm this far into labor.
Probably the very worst part of my entire labor was this time being monitored and then when MaryAnn put in my heparin lock. She wanted to do it while I was being monitored because then it would all be over about the same time and she could go and do what she needed to do but I was so uncomfortable laying on my back during the monitoring that I made her wait till it was over to do the heparin lock (it’s what the put in in case you need an IV so they can get the fluids in you right away without messing with needles). As my friends can atest to, I have never been more…. What is the word? Selfish? Sure of myself? Insistent? As when I was pregnant. I was grateful for this confidence or whatever it was because it helped me take the best care of myself possible during this important time in my life. And throughout my labor I was not afraid to voice my concerns or to express myself.
Anyway the heparin lock really was the most annoying thing and next time I will want to do without it for sure. I never once needed to use it (didn’t need any IVs) and it just got in the way… it made me queasy looking at it and it prevented me from bending my wrist too much… I
t’s interesting to see that during the monitoring Nessa noted, “Esther’s listening to her Hypnobabies tracks and handling everything so well. She looks as if she’s asleep.” This was her observation of me during one of the worst parts of my labor. Hypnobabies works!
Angie arrived during this initial monitoring period and instantly started providing emotional support. It was as if she knew exactly what I needed when I didn’t even know what I needed – does that make sense?
After the monitoring and everything we decided to move to the tub (apparently my water had not broken earlier so we were allowed to go in the water). Robby and Angie helped me in and poured hot water down my back using a cup. I felt the contractions in my back quite a bit because baby Robby was facing up (we later learned). I remember feeling much more comfortable in the tub with the water and being able to move around. I was using my “low tonal noises” to channel the intensity which helped tremendously (again, not really any ounce of self consciousness, thank goodness!). Angie helped me through each contraction, guiding me, giving me the visual image of riding each one like a wave… This helped so much as they peaked and then would descend. My back was aching but the contractions were not gripping me with pain as I would have expected (before taking my Hypnobabies classes at least!).
At about 11:00 pm my body became very shaky and I was becoming a little concerned. This was one moment where my doula was key because she was able to inform me that what I was experiencing was a positive thing – my body was going through transition! This knowledge gave me such confidence and a sense of excitement, instead of fear – was I really almost there? We would be meeting our new little son so soon! Would he be an April Fools baby and come before midnight?
At 11:15 pm we decided to get out of the tub to try a new position. Angie suggested I go to the bathroom as a full bladder can impede the labor process. As soon as I sat down on the toilet there was a loud clap – Vanessa heard it from outside the bathroom and across the room! My water had broken right there – a pretty convenient place for it to happen if you ask me. Robby, who was on my right side, thought for one second that the baby had fallen out of me and splashed into the toilet! Oh if only getting him out would be that easy!
As soon as my water broke my contractions became very, very intense. It felt like my body was trying to expel the baby right from me and I had no say in the matter. At 11:26 we were making our way slowly back to the bed where MaryAnn came to check how dilated I was – almost 10 cm, with the baby’s head at +1 station! They quickly called Dr. Savage.
Nessa noted that at 11:35 I was going through a contraction, my biggest yet. MaryAnn and Angie took turns pushing on my knees which helped relieve the pressure. Again, the intensity was tremendous but I felt like I had such a wonderful support team that I was not scared and didn’t feel like I was in pain. I think back on this so often and it still seems almost magical to me. I think the only thing that would have made this any better would have been being able to go on my hands and knees but due to my heparin lock on my wrist I didn’t feel I could do it.
Dr. Savage arrived at 11:40 pm and found me to be completely dilated so we began to push. She could feel that the baby was in a transverse position (face up) and I vaguely remember her and Angie exchanging quiet words about this but no one felt the need to alarm me. With the next push or two he turned OA (face down) making the delievery a lot smoother than it could have been – I am so grateful for that!
While I was pushing I remember thinking, “ok, just get the baby out. You just have to get him out.” Robby was standing up by my head on my left – his job was to hold my neck up and his poor arm got so tired because I got so mad when he let it down so he had to keep it up the entire time. Angie, MaryAnn, and Nessa helped hold my legs which was also not easy because inbetween contractions I didn’t want to put them back down. I did not like having to “get back in position” when the contractions started so I found it was easier (for me at least) to stay “in position.” I had such an amazing team!
I had my eyes closed until they brought in a mirror (thank goodness for birth plans because I had forgotten that I wanted this but it was in our plan and they just got it all set up for me). They told me to open my eyes and I was shocked to see his head, with dark hair, right there! It helped being able to see his head and the progress I was making.
After about 40 minutes of pushing Dr. Savage told me he was so close but I needed to listen to her very closely – she knew how scared I was of tearing and also wanted to avoid an episiotomy so we were going to do this next part very carefully. We allowed his head to just stretch out the skin and Dr. Savage did what she could – all while I was trying not to push.
At 12:37 am (after 45 minutes of pushing and about 6 total hours of labor) we had our new little baby! Dr. Savage laid him on my chest and my first words were, “Oh, Robby, look!”
He had stayed by my side but we could both see everything thanks to the mirror that had been brought in. It was so amazing to see this little person that I had carried inside of me for so long! Here he was… our little boy!
We were able to wait until the cord stopped pulsating and then Robby cut it – even though he didn’t think he wanted to originally. Before the cord was even cut the nursery nurse, Carol, came and tried to pick the baby up – Dr. Savage informed her he was still “attached.”
He had a strong healthy cry and they let me hold him on my chest for several minutes before taking him to be weighed and measured – he was 8 lbs 2 ounces and 20 inches long.
When they asked what the name would be Robby announced, “Robert Ernest Parsons, IV.”
Right after the birth I felt so full of energy and excitement! I did it! I birthed my baby! And without any drugs whatsoever! This goal of mine had taken a lot of preparation on my part but really having my doula there made the biggest difference of all I believe. I feel so confident about my body and my strength as a woman. Having a child is an amazing experience… I replay that night so many times in my mind… It always makes me smile…
Angie spent the next few hours with us, making sure his first feeding went well and that we got transferred to our recovery room ok. She took down some of our thoughts of how the whole birth went:
Robby mostly commented on how quickly it all happened… especially once he started coming out. There wasn’t as much walking around as he thought there would be. He thought I had good focus while I coped with each contraction.
Vanessa thought the bath tub was an important part – especially when I changed positions and she could tell things were getting more intense. She was impressed with how controlled and relaxed I remained.
I said I would most remember the importance of having Angie there – she knew what to say and do. Robby and Vanessa were extremely helpful as well but none of us had anything like the experience Angie did. I also said I felt like it was the hardest thing I’d ever done and it was more painful than I thought (compared to a Hypnobabies NO PAIN birth story – not to a normal birth story). I commented on how I had a really great support team.
Overall I could not have asked for a better experience! I will definitely be using Hypnobabies again for my next birth and a doula – I just wish we could have our next baby right here in Provo so I could use Angie again and still have Dr. Savage too… but that is a different story! :D