Friday, August 22, 2008

Holy Heavens Can I Maybe Brush my Teeth Today?

What a long morning!

So, I've been slowly trying to get back into the groove of working from home again, which can be, ahem, challenging with a colicky baby. I woke up late this morning at 9:00 because I was trying to catch up from a very sleepless night last night (Matt was gone overnight because of this insurance training thing, I can't sleep without him, and apparently neither can Natalie). As soon as I get up Matt texts me to throw together a client invoice. Okay, easy peasy, as soon as I take the dog out to potty, go outside to find her because she ran off again and isn't coming when I call her (meanwhile nursing Natalie), then clean up the "present" Tink left in the bedroom dangerously close to my favorite shoes. Finish the invoice, text Matt, "Done.", he texts back, "K Dan's on his way to pick it up." Dan's one of our employees. On his way? He lives 15 minutes away, maybe I should put on a shirt and, if I'm lucky, a bra. Success! My top half is dressed by the time he arrives (yoga pants are sort of like being dressed...even if I slept in them...right?). I give him the invoice, he tells me Matt said he could pick up his paycheck. Oy, he didn't tell me! Dan's been with us four days, I don't have his W-4 yet, I don't know his withholding rate, I don't know what Matt agreed to pay him, man I don't even know his last name! I print the W-4 for him, throw in a load of laundry while he fills it out, roughly estimate his withholding and scribble out a check. Meanwhile Natalie is oh mama so STARVING! Please feed me now right now aaaaaaaa!!!!! Okay, Dan's figured out and he leaves, I feed my girl, and think, "Lord this payroll thing is something I could do without and that payroll service I talked to before wasn't that expensive." So, baby still latched on, I email my rep that I want to do the month trial. I go dress Natalie, think maybe I'll take a speed shower while waiting for the response email, but Tink has to potty again. I take her out, mother in law calls, says they're coming to stay with us next weekend, Tink wanders off again and I have to go collect her. Phone rings, it's Matt, he says he's sooo tired. We commiserate for a sec, as soon as we hang up my payroll rep calls (I was really banking on doing this via email...), I go back to the computer to fill out forms she's leading me through, Natalie wakes up and explosively poos through her outfit (and my pants), starts wailing, I rush through the last of the forms, rep says she can do the next section for me if I dictate, I change a megapoo while dictating the easy part, grab my diapered but otherwise naked baby and dig out my business checking info, federal EIN, etc. to give to the rep. Finish up, dress Natalie again, Matt calls and ask how much we should pay Dan for driving his own truck to work. Uh, people have to drive to work for free. Sorry. We're paying him well and we're giving him health benefits soon. Matt says well he already told him we'd give him some compensation. "What? No. Just buy the guys lunches when our projects are a long drive."
"Well I already buy them lunch every day."
"What? Baby, that's unnecessary. We're going to go broke being nice bosses."
"Well we need an employee handbook with all our policies."
"Yes, definitely."
"Can you do that today?"
"I'll work on it."

I take a look at my massive to do list that doesn't include any of this, and think screw it I'm going to blog about this (typing while nursing, of course)! So... she's awake again and is sick of sitting here in the office. My teeth are still unbrushed and I should probably eat before the sky falls again. ;-)

Friday, June 27, 2008

Natalie's Birth Story

Our little Natalie has arrived! It was a fantastic experience and one I'd like to share. Here's the story of our baby girl's birth:

Monday evening, Matt had been home from work for about 20 minutes when I suddenly felt a little rush of liquid, then another, and another. I walked into the living room, where Matt was lying on the couch, and told him, "Either my water broke, or I just wet my pants three times in five minutes." He looked utterly dumbfounded for a second, then broke into a huge grin and said, "You didn't pee your pants! We're going to have a baby!" We had invited over our childbirth class to barbecue, and they were set to arrive in an hour. Matt handed me my phone and told me to call everyone and cancel. I decided since I was having no contractions at all I'd actually love the distraction, the company of the great people in our class, and the food. :-) I was a distracted mess the whole time, of course, but we had a great night. My childbirth instructor and her sweet year and a half old daughter helped me make a batch of chocolate chip cookies and it made me so excited to have a little girl of my own!

The next morning I woke up and called my midwife to give her a heads up. She told me I should have called her as soon as it happened. I could hear in her voice she was irritated. Apparently if you haven't gone into active labor within 24 hours of your water breaking it's a huge infection risk and they're required to induce labor. For some reason I thought I had 48 hours. Shoot. So the midwife told me to cook some castor oil into eggs and eat it to try to kick-start things. Ugh. This was the worst part of the experience! Eating it wasn't so bad, but the stomach upset it caused was awful! We spent the day trying everything I could to get the labor going. No dice. The midwife told me there was nothing else we could do and I'd have to transfer to the hospital and induce labor with pitocin. I was so angry and discouraged! I wanted so badly to give birth with no interventions whatsoever, and was concerned that with pitocin I'd fall into the "cascade of interventions". My mom's water had broken for almost two days before her labor started - why couldn't I have the same luxury of time? Our local hospital has a 65% C section rate, and I just simply would not go there. The midwife coordinated a transfer to the Group Health hospital in Seattle that has a midwife that would be noninvasive and respectful. Thank God! She was fantastic.

We checked into the hospital, then they started my pitocin IV at 12:20 am. Our nurse was wonderful and attentive, but let me do my own thing and respected my choices. Our hospital midwife arrived and actually READ my birth plan carefully and discussed it with me. I could tell right away she'd do everything she could to help me. My mom, Dani (my best friend/certified doula), and Matt were there to support me.

Dani in all her awesome doula-ness, and me in my birth necklace my friends made me at my Blessingway.

I'd barely slept the night before because of the excitement of my water breaking, and had such a long frustrating day that they suggested I rest while waiting for the pitocin to kick in. I gladly grabbed the opportunity! After a couple hours I could feel it taking effect. My mom rubbed my legs while Matt and Dani slept, preparing for what we expected would be a long night. It was so wonderful to wake up to my mom, still lovingly doting on me after 25 years. At about 3:30am my labor began in earnest, and everyone woke up and started helping me through the contractions. I sat on the birth ball, walked the halls, tried laboring on my side, then they asked me if I wanted to sit in the jacuzzi. You're not supposed to get in the tub until you're about 6 cm, but they assured me I was ready. I was thrilled by the idea that I was already at that point! I had asked to only have my dilation checked when I wanted to push, so I had no idea what phase I was at. The jacuzzi was wonderful, and I entered into transition while in there, which had sounded so intense when we'd learned about it in class that Matt and I didn't believe the nurse when she said I was in it! She asked a few times if I felt "pushy" yet. I didn't but when she had me get out of the tub suddenly I had the infamous urge to poo feeling, and so second stage had begun!

Just getting back from walking the halls. One of the more intense moments, but Matt was an amazing support.

The midwife came and checked me for the first and only time- only 7 cm? I was surprised because now I had the irresistible urge to push and couldn't fight it. She told me to go with it. I kept asking, "Are you sure it's okay to push?" She said it was, so I did! I was convinced I'd fall off the hospital bed if I did hands and knees or squatting position up there, so they laid out a mattress for me on the floor, and that's where I gave birth to Natalie, in "classic position" (leaning back slightly, knees bent), stark naked on the floor. Didn't seem odd to me at the time. :-) They set up a mirror for me so I could see her being born. At first I was too focused on pushing, but suddenly I looked down and realized, "Holy heavens my daughter's head is coming out of my body! There's really a baby and I'm giving birth to it oh my God!"Until this point I still had a strange subconscious feeling of disbelief about there actually being a baby. If you watch the birth video carefully you can spot this moment. :-) In less than an hour Natalie was born!

Her cord was only 12 inches long, so they had to cut it before it was done pulsating. Natalie looked "stunned", so when they put her on my chest they rubbed the vernix off vigorously to get her to cry. Finally she let out a good scream! No one had said, "It's a girl!" because we had an ultrasound so everyone knew it'd be a girl, but I still had to ask, "Is it really a girl?" I guess the Hollywood image of birth was in my mind - someone has to shout the baby's sex! ;-)

She was born at 7:34 am, which was convenient because breakfast magically appeared at 8:00am. ;-) Matt fed me honeydew melon and pancakes soaked in butter and maple syrup while I nursed and snuggled our sweet new baby girl. Pancakes have never tasted so good! It was the most enchanted breakfast I've ever experienced.

No episiotomy or tears, no medication other than the required pitocin, no screaming, no "I can't do it" moments. It was a phenomenal birth and I feel so blessed with how it all worked out and all the wonderful support I had. It was all so beautiful!

We did it!!!
Our precious girl, still covered in vernix. Such a proud daddy!
And an ecstatically proud grandma!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Where the heck have I been?

See how mysterious and elusive I've been? ;-)

Okay, I'm back! All of you probably know this already, but I'm now nine months pregnant (Only 4 weeks to go! Yes, there are 10 months in pregnancy. Why in the world does everyone talk about nine months?)! I've been pretty busy working part time at the Restoration Hardware outlet (but I left them last month), continuing to run the business, and, well, napping and eating nonstop. ;-) Now that I'm back to running the business from home again, I have lots of important things to work on, which means I'm spending lots of time procrastinating and goofing off! So... the blog will be updated on a regular basis again. At least until my little one gets here. Then I'm sure the blog will become babytastic once I get the hang of nursing while typing.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Great Site for Guy Gifts

Matt's birthday is coming up (and Christmas behind it...), and I don't know about you guys but my husband is the most impossible person to shop for! The only things he ever mentions wanting are outlandishly expensive (such as welding equipment, a helicopter, boat, Lamborghini, and heavy machinery for our business... oh gosh babe I'll have to save up for a while!). So I have been watching him like a hawk for gift ideas (and making notes), but today I stumbled upon this blog all about great gift ideas for guys, and they have some really creative ideas. Thought I'd pass the link on in case anyone else is hurting for gift ideas for those with a Y chromosome.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Happy Birthday, Tinkerbell!

Yes, I had to wish my pup a happy birthday, too. She probably doesn't read my blog, but the more love you put out the better, right?

She's the world's greatest snuggler.

She is absolutely honest in her affection. If she doesn't love you, you know it, but if she does love you holy geez look out 'cause she'll be in your face (literally) the second she sees you.

She makes hilarious "conversational" noises.

She is an excellent "mother" to our kitty.

She knows she's pretty and poses. She also crosses her ankles like a lady.

She loooooves babies.

Happy (belated) Birthday, Dan!

Happy birthday, Dan!

He's a little crazy. We like crazy.

He tells obtuse jokes.

He's always concerned about the comfort of others.

He always checks with me to see if the restaurant we're going to will have something for lil' vegetarian me to eat.

He has lots of wild hair, which he passed on to Matt, meaning my husband will never be bald. I really appreciate that.

He's incredibly smart, and has to be as he's one of the very few medical report editors in the world (only about 1000 in the entire world).

Happy (belated) Birthday, Lisa!

Lisa is a very attentive, wonderful mother.

She's a fantastic dancer.

She's a sweet soul with greater strength than you'd expect.

She's open to new experiences.

She's the most phenomenal artist in the universe. Seriously.

Happy (belated) Birthday, Kristi!

She sets a pretty table.

She's passionate about her faith.

She makes people feel welcome in her home.

She is loyal.

She's a very dedicated grandma.