A good day.

My boys.

Mike's eyes look so happy.

He likes being swaddled.

He really likes having a hand near his face


5 ounces in 3 days.

Our feeding plan is working--he has gained back 5 ounces in the last few days. I feel soooooo relieved. Now we just need to keep this trend on the rise.

love his feet

his little mohawk

and can't say enough about his ears.

Note: before I had a child 18 days ago, I thought, "I won't just let our blog turn into a baby blog and say nothing about anything else or show anything else..." HA! But now, this is my world solely and completely, I can't believe he came out of me so cute, and I have no desire of posting pictures of Mike or myself in our state of disrepair. Maybe in a year or 2.


2 weeks.

I can't believe that 2 weeks have passed since our little man joined us because each day actually feels like it lasts forever but then they all sort of begin to gel together in one sleepless mass. Somehow we have made it 14 days and he is still alive.

And a snapshot into what we get to look at all day --especially for liz and pete in NZ and Joy in Illinois.
He is such a funny little guy with his little squished face.

He is sleeping right now which means I should be sleeping but I really want to make sure I document a few things about this experience unlike EVERYTHING else that I have either forgotten or have absolutely no time to do anymore.

This has been the hardest, strangest, and most amazing thing to happen to me and Mike. Out of 14 days, only 1.5 of those days has been really awful (I felt totally incapable of doing this) and now I just have moments each day but then every time I see his little face and kiss his little cheeks I forget the hard stuff.

2 week thoughts:

~ Right after he was born and they put him in my arms, he sneezed.
~ When I saw his full head of dark hair I said (in my total post-pushing haze) "this is exactly the baby I wanted".
~ I immediately loved his perfect round little ears.
~ In the hospital the nurses actually called him "kiwi" because we hadn't picked a name.
~ He makes the funniest, grumpiest little faces most of the time but then there is the occasional gassy Elvis style lip smirk.
~He really knows how to relax when he wants to--little rag doll and he likes to drape his arm over his face.
~ He likes movement--like when Mike accelerates in the car.
~ He does things in his own time--our pediatrician says "laid back".
~ Even though he is slow to gain his weight back and isn't a very proactive eater, he is a very healthy looking baby with a beautiful color.
~ He has very clear and alert eyes--when they are open.
~ Sometimes when he cries, he makes a little squeak.
~ He is very kind to his new parents and has let them get a 3 hour stretch of sleep every night.
~ He is such a cute little person. love him.

July 10, 2009-- for my records.

Through out the week I had been having little contractions (mostly in the evenings) that felt like gas but they would come and go for a few minutes. At our Tuesday appointment I was dilated 1cm and about 50% effaced but the midwife didn't seem super optimistic that I was going anywhere very quickly but the baby was doing well and I was feeling alright so we got the green light to keep going (as opposed to the induction previously planned)

On Thursday my lower back was pretty achy all day and by the evening I felt relatively uncomfortable by the time I got into bed. Mike was working so I stayed up reading and by 11:30PM I was feeling some pretty consistent pain so I actually started watching the clock and I wrote down my first contraction at 11:40PM and they were between 5-8 minutes apart. By the time Mike got home, they felt pretty consistent so he started timing them for real and they were about 4-6 minutes apart lasting 30-45 seconds for about an hour so I called the midwife to check in at about 2AM.

It was Deb, (the first midwife we saw here at our local hospital before all the drama began and we started having to go to Dartmouth) and she was very excited to hear things were happening and on the due date nonetheless. She told us to get some sleep and check in if my water broke or things started to hurt but at that point the contractions were workable. But the minute I was horizontal in bed, they hurt more and there was NO WAY I was going to be getting sleep. I let Mike sleep because I figured that at least one of us should sleep.

For the next 4 hours I sat on the exercise ball and paced our room as they came and went every 5 minutes. Some of them really started to hurt and I had the thoughts, "I do not want to do this" and "This is really going to hurt". I tried to finish up a few projects (the last projects I would work on for who knows how long) and waited for the sun to rise. At one point, they felt pretty bad so I got in the shower and that slowed them down a bit. They felt low and the pain was dull and pressurized. This was it but I knew I had a long day ahead of me.

They continued to come and at 6AM I called Mom and figured it was time to get my team in so she woke up Joy and they came over. I moved the ball down to the living room and we watched episodes of "The Office" which was a nice way to laugh through some of the contractions and Joy and Mom traded off rubbing my lower back and my upper thighs--a lot of tightness in my upper thighs. They talk about back labor, I felt like I was having thigh labor. They stayed right around 4 minutes for the next 4 hours. I eventually got Mike up to join the contraction team and all my sisters in law stopped by at some point and both Josh and Lucy got to wake up to a party of people rubbing different parts of my body. They went and got popsicles which I really liked. I also had my hot water bottles from NZ that I rested on my thighs and my lower back that really helped. Turned out that they were actually burning my skin but I think it helped trick my brain of the contraction pain because my skin was burning. Great huh?

Around 9AM I called the midwife to check in again. Out of the 9 midwives, I had met them all (in our frequent appointments) except one, and she was the one on call that day. Figure that. Although, in retrospect I am glad because she didn't know about all the drama in my case and that allowed me to have a very "normal" experience. I think most of the other midwives would have had me come in pretty early --just in case -- and Karen told me to hold on at home as long as the pain was manageable and see if I could make it to my 2PM appointment and go from there.

I tried lots of different positions but most of the time was sitting on the couch or on the exercise ball. Around 12:45 I started not talking (thanks to Joy's handy notations in my journal) and was lying across the bouncy ball. The pain started to feel pretty intense and I was feeling like I might not make it to my 2PM appointment with the midwife and actually needed to go in. Mike had to run a few errands and we called him to come home and I had him call the midwife on call and let her know that we were coming in.

From that point on, things were progressing. When I got up to walk to the car, I felt a lot of lower pressure and things moving down. Joy rode in the backseat with me and tried her best to rub my back when the contractions came. This was hard. I held on to the back of the headrest in front of me and used it to sort of leverage my weight through the pain. What was actually quite brilliant was "The Last of the Mohicans" soundtrack that Mike blasted. It was the absolute perfect music for working through the pain and I would visualize the movie while I listened which helped distract. I would open my eyes occasionally to see how close we were and Mike said he got up to 100 mph at one point. When we were about 2 miles from the hospital I said. " I do not want to have this baby in the car" because it actually felt like it was coming. We arrived about 1:35 PM.

Mike pulled up to the entrance and yelled to get a wheelchair. I got all loaded in and the security guard began pushing me towards the escalators with Joy running beside. The Birth Pavillion is on the 5th floor and not the closest of areas so that was also a pretty awkward and painful ride. He asked me if I wanted him to run and I said "YES" but after a few paces and the bumps making it worse, I had him stop and he walked briskly until we got to the BP. Once there, they all seemed pretty laid back and looked at me casually trying to decided where to put me. First, they had me go into a room with another woman behind a curtain to get all settled in but as we entered the room a big contraction was coming so I couldn't move and then I sat down and another one came and I let out my first moan which the midwife heard and came straight in and said something to the fact that "this was it".

The nurse told me we were going to move to a room and I needed to walk down 2 rooms and I remember thinking "if I walk, this baby is going to come out of me". Mike made it up from parking the car and they were still cleaning the room so a lot of people were scurrying around and I felt another big contraction coming and I held Mike around the neck and the craziest sensation I have EVER felt occurred as my water broke (literally like a water balloon) on our feet at 1:47PM. I was really suprised at the moans that were coming out of me--I couldn't control the sounds I was making, it was nutty.

They got me on the bed and Karen checked me and I was dilated 10cms at 1:51 PM. According to Joy's notes, at 2:01PM the "baby was coming fast!" From then on out I closed my eyes and didn't open them until he was born. Karen asked if I could pull my legs up and I felt like I couldn't and they ended up putting one of my legs over Karen's shoulder (it was up pretty high) and I was sort of on my side. They gave me some oxygen which really helped me to relax and I just started taking really deep breaths to help the baby because I could hear them say his heart rate would drop but when I took in deep breaths it would come back up so I concentrated solely on my breath. My blood pressure was actually really good through out which was awesome. Go figure.

Oh and then the pushing. Holy Crap--it was hard. I would push until I felt like I was going to pass out, grunting low and trying to push low. I had the best group of cheerleaders around me and Karen was awesome. It was hard work. The pushing lasted about 20 minutes and then at 2:23PM he was born. I felt like it was A LOT longer than that but talk about instant relief. Even just being 2 weeks from the experience, I can't exactly describe the sensations or find the right words. It was unlike anything and it felt so so so so so so so so so so so so good when it was over.
We have a video of me right after and I am panting like I just finished a marathon--sort of feel like I had actually.

So we arrived at the hospital and 48 minutes later he was here. 13 hours of contractions at home and 48 minutes at the hospital. For WEEKS, I had prepared myself for inductions and all sorts of interventions I didn't want but might "need" due to my high blood pressure etc etc and in the end, they didn't even have time to give me an IV even if I wanted pain medication. Karen didn't even have time to read my bible of a file. After everything, all the ups and downs for the past 8 weeks, I had the birth I wanted, surrounded my an awesome support team (Joy, Mom, Mike, and Chelle) and an excellent staff. I am glad I was able to stay home for so much of it and have family come and go--thank you everyone.

Now if we can only make it.



sometimes he completely folds over--impressive little yoga master

mike sportin' the wrap--which does make you look like you have a big uni-boob since he so small an you can't see his head popping out yet.
getting out for little walks in the lovely summer evenings
has been a life saver right now.

I love summer evenings by the lake.


Out and about.

My good friend, Kasey, is headed back to Bangladesh but stopped by to see the little kiwi and me one last time before leaving. He actually really likes that SleepyWrap--I think the snugness reminds him of his previous home in the womb and it is very comfortable for me to wear.

I love this picture of me and Mike--totally wasted new parents. We are living in haze right now.


the boys.


4 days.

He likes to have a hand up by his face
check out the leg extension--tiny little body and giant socks!



Lars' shoulder fuzz.


Day 2 with Lars

We are still at the hospital--Dartmouth Hitchcock is sort of like the Marriott of hospitals and it has been quite relaxing. They just leave us alone unless we ask for help and has been a nice way to transition into our new lives together. I feel really great (considering) and will detail the birth adventure from yesterday at some point (i had the baby within 45 mins of arriving at hospital--yeah, fast.)

Mike is awesome. Lars is gorgeous. Chris is very happy.

And the name is...

but we will call him LARS

love this bw version of Lars that Gail did--

Introducing the Little Kiwi.

He has arrived and on his actual due date nonetheless.

7 lbs.
18.5 inches long
full head of dark hair
blue eyes
perfectly round little ears


Is this it? Due Date.

I am currently doing the contraction thing. 5 minutes apart--certainly not comfortable but I am seeming to deal with them alright for the moment. The midwife told me to try and get some sleep--yep, tried that, not happening so I am sitting on an exercise ball trying to distract myself every 5 minutes up and walk around and then back down for 5 minutes. I am letting Mike get a little sleep but he's about to be rudely awakened--no he's excited.

So lookey here, right on my due date July 10 2009. Not that this means it is for real but it is certainly seeming more for real. Here we go!


ok--this is the week

The past 7 weeks, the midwives and doctors have been telling me what I can't do but now this is the week. Come on kiwi.


oh baby.

So I am 39 weeks tomorrow and looky here I am still pregnant! I am feeling it. I can't sleep more than two hours in a row at night, have a huge back ache, and feel like I could roll away. We feel pretty set (as set you as you can be) just because for the last 7 weeks we thought he could come at any time.

We met with the midwife today and my blood pressure was actually low for me, the Non-stress Test looked great, and as I measured small (again) she had us do an ultrasound and he is in the 44th percentile (again, we are short people) and the fluid looked great so they are just going to keep letting me go on my own unless some evil symptom arises. This also means that my sister will most likely make it back for the birth :)

getting excited to meet this little kiwi--finally. feels like it is taking forever.

Oh and check out THESE pix of the Inn.