Saturday, March 31, 2007

Newborn Portraits

I regretted the fact that I didn't have any photos taken of me when I was 9 months pregnant. I was determined not to let Daphne's infanthood pass me by without artistic photos. Truthfully, I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to do it or not, but after a little experimentation, I took some photos I am very happy with. What you see below are the ones that will stay in my personal collection, but the top two ones are the ones I consider the cream of the crop!!! Enjoy! I know I did.

Artistic Daphne

Surprised Daphne

Daphne Back

Inquisitive Daphne

Newborn Portrait Details

Daphne Meets her Great Grandma

Great-Grandma Diane came to meet Daphne this weekend. Here is a photo of grandma in the rocker with her. It was special for both grandma and I that they were able to meet.

Cousin Eli

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Daphne Sleeps on Daddy

Sunday, March 25, 2007

The 19 Days Old Test

This has been kind of fun for me. I found a photo of me when I was 19 days old. I took a similar photo of Daphne at 19 days old. Check them out for comparison. People keep telling me that she looks like Jared, but I'd say the baby photos look pretty similar. You be the judge.

Chris as a Baby

I found some old baby photos of me. I just wanted to share them for fun.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

More Daphne Photos!!!

Bubbles and Squeaks

Not only is it getting a lot easier and a lot more routine to have a baby around, but it's getting to be a lot more fun. During her awake time, Daphne likes to be taken out of her blanket and her moby wrap, and she likes to lay on her back and stretch and kick her legs. She's adorable when she is awake and has nothing that's upsetting her. She lays next to me or on my legs and kicks her legs and swings her arms (watch out!).

Additionally, she's learning to "talk" a little, and she makes all kinds of bubbles and squeaks now as attempts to communicate. She hasn't learned how to smile yet, so all of her faces look like grumpy faces, but her talking sounds much happier. I'm looking forward to the smiles, though I am amused by trying to figure out of it is a good face or a bad face!

Daphne spends her awake time with her mamma making all kinds of kicks, swings, bubbles and squeaks.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Figuring Things Out and the Moby Wrap

I guess there are a lot of things to figure out when you become a mom for the first time. These are things that don't come in the instruction manual when you are pregnant. Don't you think that when you give birth that they should give you some sort of an instruction manual so that you're not ENTIRELY lost. I feel like I don't know anything, but Jared and I are slowly discovering that we can find solutions to almost any problem.

The one lucky thing for us is that Daphne sleeps through the night. Last night, I had to wake her up once to feed her because it had been a long, long time since she ate the night before. She didn't mind being woken up, but she sure didn't eat for long. We love that she sleeps with us through the night. It makes life a lot easier for everyone involved because we're not up all night trying to handle things, and she gets to sleep all night and not be fussy all day.

One miracle thing that I'm discovering is our moby wrap. Its a long piece of fabric that you tie around yourself in various ways. You have the ability to put the baby in it in dozens of different positions. You are supposed to be able to nurse in it, but I'm thinking that it's going to take a while before we can do that, she has control over her head, but not as much as she needs to be able to nurse without a lot of support.

The miracle of the moby wrap is that when you eventually get it on and then get the baby in it that they are up close to you and they eventually fall asleep. It makes it so that you have your hands free to walk around the house, and the baby doesn't have to be in another room with you worried about her all the time.

I'm staring to discover how much of a miracle the moby wrap is for me. Daphne screams whenever I put her down, so I've been carrying her one way or another non stop since she was born. Now I can carry her, and still do other things. I have both my hands back. The other cool thing is that I'm not having to shift her around a lot, so she actually will stay asleep for several hours at a time, giving me more mommy time to clean the house and get back to work! I like that.

To find out more about the moby wrap, look here

Friday, March 16, 2007

The Daphne Burrito!

So, I've learned how to wrap her up good and tight to keep her warm and make her feel secure. This is a blanket that was given to us that we absolutely love, and it works perfectly for the occasion. This is Daphne freshly wrapped up as a Daphne burrito!

Daphne and Daddy Working

Sometimes, Daphne likes to help her daddy work.

Daphne and Her Daddy

This is Daphne hanging with her daddy while momma makes dinner!

Cloth Diapering

When I was pregnant, one of the big things that came up for me was the diapering options. I don't know if you realize, but there are a LOT of options in this area, especially if you live in or near the city.

We pretty much assumed that we were just going to be using the basic disposable diapers that we could buy in bulk from Costco, but one day, we were actually driving home from Costco, and Jared and I got into a discussion about cloth diapering.

Cloth diapers were used long before disposable diapers came about. Every grandmother out there can tell you the trials and tribulations probably of doing cloth diapers without a washing machine in their home. The systems were a little primitive back then compared to what you can get now. When I talked to my grandma about doing it, she expressed concern over having to use the diaper pins and the fact that when you accidentally poke your baby with the pins, it's not nice. I would tend to agree with that.

I started to think about it, and I've been on a "natural things" kick lately. Until my plans changed unexpectedly, I was going to have a natural and gentle water birth with her. I decided as a part of this kick that I wanted to give cloth diapers a try. Disposable diapers seem like such a waste of landfill space and paper materials.

Currently, I'm taking the easy route with this whole cloth diapering issue. We have a diaper service that comes once a week and leaves 70 diapers outside the door and all we have to do is pick them up, use them and put them in a pail as we use them. Then they come pick them up, launder them and leave 70 clean ones. It works just like disposable diapers.

The cool thing about the cloth diapers is that it is totally apparent when she has wet herself. We have had disposable diapers on her for the past 12 hours because we ran out of cloth diapers this week (yeah, who would have guessed that we would actually be changing 70 diapers a week), and it has been impossible to tell if she is wet at all. I definitely don't like them.

The coolest improvement is the fact that they now have fasteners that are fast and that don't involve pinning the baby. They are called snappies, and they work similar to an ace bandage fastener. They are pretty safe, and I really like them.

There will come a time when our diaper service weeks run out and I will have to decide if it is worth it to continue or to launder them myself, but for these first five weeks of her life, I'm enjoying the break.

Look into cloth diapering. It's got all kinds of benefits--including the fact that they potty train an average of a year sooner!!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Daphne Elle Anderson's Birth Story

To say the least, my pregnancy with Daphne was not an easy one. I guess the fact that I had severe morning sickness through the entire 40 weeks didn’t help. Nor did my decision to spend three months running around Italy and Greece without my husband. Food was the hardest issue the whole time. I often had a desire for a particular food, which was then no longer desirable once it was in front of me. The month of July was especially hard on my husband and I. I remember that we spent well over $600 on food that month trying to figure out what I could eat. This dilemma continued for the duration of the pregnancy. There weren’t many days that I didn’t spend time in front of the toilet losing my lunch…or breakfast.

Needless to say, as the months rolled on and we actually made it to February (March 4th was her due date), we started to get anxious. Right after Valentines Day, I got the idea in my head that I really wanted to have the baby, and I was starting to get anxious. By the end of February, I was convinced that she was never going to come out, and that I was going to be one of those women that would have to be induced at 3 weeks past the due date. We tried everything we could to get labor started naturally—everything except castor oil (yuck).

On February 28th, Jared and I were talking a little nap together, and I got up and decided that it was time for me to make the baby come. I took our little Pug named Flaff and decided to go for a walk. I wasn’t planning on the walk being really long, so I didn’t put socks on in my shoes. Nor did I have protective rain gear because the rain was really only mist, and I wasn’t going that far anyway. I ended up walking about 5 miles. My feet were bleeding so much that my shoes had turned red, and I was soaked through. My trusty dog was tired, and had the look in his eye that he gets when he thinks he has walked too far and wants to be carried the rest of the way. When I was still 3 miles away from home, one of my friends drove by and saw me. She scolded me for being so pregnant and walking in the rain and gave my wet dog and I a lift home.

I spent the rest of the night telling my husband that it was absolutely hopeless to get the baby out and the “walking” method to start labor didn’t work well. We went to bed, and I woke up at 12 AM with mild contractions that were exactly 5 minutes apart and that lasted for 60 seconds each. This is the classic time to head into the hospital, but I was not convinced that I needed to call the midwife just yet. I called her the next morning, and we spent the day going back on forth with her telling me to relax and to call her when the contractions got stronger. They stopped at a few points and then turned on again, but they never really seemed to develop into anything. We went through this for two days. I was intent on having her on the 3rd of March, and ironically, I woke up on the 3rd with intense contractions. They continued through the day, and I was convinced that “this was it,” but it never really turned into labor. I again went to bed discouraged, and I woke up at 1am with intense contractions that were 5 minutes apart and that lasted 60-90 seconds. I called my midwife and she told me to go into the birthing center at 4am.

I woke Jared up and convinced him to help me clean the house while I took a shower. Then, we headed down to the birthing center. Jared was swerving through the streets trying to miss all the potholes. I was just happy that the cops weren’t out or we would have had one of those “my wife is in labor” scenes.

When we got to the birth center, they took a look at me and told me that I was still only 1 cm dilated. They gave me the option to go home or to stay, so we decided to stay. Jared and I climbed into bed and worked through each contraction. They became even stronger, and at 8am, we asked them to check again. I was about 3cm, which was quite a bit of progress. We decided to jump into the birth pool so I could relax in the warm water between the contractions. Jared trustily sat by my side the whole time getting me everything that I requested. By about 11am, I was checked again and I was 6cm. That was excellent progress. I was convinced that she would be born by dinner.

However, things took a turn for the worse. The contractions got to be much, much stronger, and when they checked me again at 1pm, I was still only 6cm dilated. At 3pm, I still hadn’t made any progress, and I was clamoring to go to the hospital where I could get some pain medication. We decided to stay, and I made slow progress until about 10pm when I was again checked and told that I was at 9cm. We decided to try to break the water and see if that would make any change. I was terrified to try it because it was possible that the contractions would change into pushing contractions rather than dilating contractions, and I wasn’t ready for that.

Shortly after my water broke, the contractions did change. They felt different, but I didn’t feel the urge to push. My midwife suggested that I give it a try in a different position, so we gave it a try. I sat backwards on the toilet holding onto bars on either side of me with Jared slamming his knees into my back with each contraction. It hurt like hell, and it didn’t feel right, so after an hour—I gave up. We decided it was time to try to head to the hospital and get some additional help from some pain medication because I was exhausted as it was, and the baby wouldn’t make it out safely at the rate we were going.

Of course, they wanted me to come by ambulance, so we called the ambulance and waited for them to come. The fire truck came first, and tried to ask me questions while I screamed about how much pain I was in. When the ambulance finally did come, I pushed the man aside and sat in the back. I refused to be put on the stretcher. They went to the hospital and dropped me off. They went the speed limit with no sirens or lights and gave me a full liter of liquid in an IV on my way.

When we got there, we were wheeled into a room, and things moved fast. They tried to check me before giving me any medication and it hurt a lot. I screamed and they got the anesthesiologist to come in and start an epidural. I’m the natural-birth kind of girl, so I was feeling very discouraged about this, but I knew it was the only way to get my baby girl out of me safely.

It turns out that I was not 10 cm anymore, but that I had gone down to 8cm, so it was necessary to use drugs to jump-start my labor and get me to dilate before I would be able to push her out. This took from about 1am until about 5am. Eventually, we started talking about me starting to push, and I got into it. It took a lot of describing exactly what to do for me to get the hang of it. I was doing it wrong before, and I hadn’t been fully, fully dilated. When I got the hang of it, it started to make a lot of sense.

I pushed and pushed and pushed. They told me that I was making progress, but I didn’t feel it. I started to get extremely tired. It was to the point that I would fall asleep between contractions and wake up when they started again. At the 4-hour mark, they told me that they would let me push for a little longer, but that if there was no progress that we would need to discuss other options. At that point, we decided that it was best to go ahead and help the process along with a c-section. After we made the decision, my little girl went into distress, and it really scared me. They wheeled me out of the delivery room and into the OR quickly.

The anesthesiologist was very nice, and he took good care of me. The team moved fast, and they had me cut open before my husband was at my side. Before I was convinced that they had cut me open I heard them talk about being ready to get her out, and I heard her cry only seconds later. They cleaned her off and brought her over and put her cheek to cheek with me before giving her to Jared. It was beautiful to see him walking around the room with her, even though I was so nauseated and reality was so far away.

They finished sewing me up, and we went to a recovery room where Jared, Daphne and I got to know each other. She started nursing right away, and wouldn’t quit, which I was glad to see.

Eventually, we went to a room where we would spend the rest of the recovery. This is where the birth story ends. The story in the hospital was a whole new adventure. It started with the epidural breaking right after the surgery and progressed to me being given so much pain medication that I was sent into a heavy drug trip. It was an experience I will never forget, but my husband was by my side the entire time watching over me and keeping me safe. Then there was the fact that I was holding on to our amazing little bundle that I wouldn’t let go of.

This is not the birth story that I was expecting to write at all. I was looking forward to a natural water birth that would go smoothly and easily, and I have to admit that I am still processing all of the things that happened. Jared tells me every day how brave and amazing I was while I contemplate being a wimp. At this point, I don’t know that it matters anymore. The only thing that matters is that we have our amazing little daughter with us now and that we are starting off our life as a family.

Daphne Elle Anderson is Born