Sunday, April 29, 2007

Busy weekend

We had a busy yet wonderful weekend.

Friends RSG and Sacha, Alayna and Mateo came to visit, bringing gifts and food and laughter. Thanks so much!

Kylie is back to her birth weight of 7lbs 12 oz.

She LOVES to eat at night. Starting at around 8:00pm she'll do three to four 45-minute feedings with around 15 minutes in between. During these cluster feedings, I sit and sweat profusely and ask the nearest person to bring me a glass of water every half hour.

At around midnight she'll settle down and will let us sleep 4-5 hours before waking us for the next feeding (God Love Her!) Karen has done most of the 3-4am feedings.

Each day Kylie improves with nursing. Today I had to put a bib around her because she was dribbling milk onto her outfit. I absolutely love to see her blissed-out, milk-covered, smiling face.

So far, she tolerates her baths really well.

I like to just rinse her with a warm washcloth. We only give baths with soap every 2-3 days. So far, her skin is doing really well--no dry patches.

My mom-aka Granna- brought her this beautiful dress.

She also brought me sweaters and shoes and such that both she and I wore as babies. I love having some of these heirlooms to pass on to Kylie. Here's one of the sweaters that both Mom and I wore modeled by Kylie.

I"ll be sorry to see my Mom leave tomorrow night. But Karen's mom and sister will be here in a few weeks.

Hope your weekend was as good as ours.


Friday, April 27, 2007

All is well

My Mom is here from her home in TN to take care of us.

Kylie had her first ride in her Bugaboo stroller yesterday.

And Kylie has gained 2 ounces (bringing her to 7lbs 11oz-- just one ounce short of her birth weight)

All is well!


Thursday, April 26, 2007


It's been my intention to write a nice, long post about my experiences with breastfeeding. But, of course, there is not enough time nor mental capacity to write it. I can't imagine that this post will be worth reading but I really wanted to jot a few notes down.

On Tuesday, Kylie was off her wallaby bilirubin belt and was a bit lethargic. We had to wake her to feed her and she kept falling asleep at the breast, even with all our attempts to wake her. We have to make sure she's getting enough nourishment to combat the jaundice. So for the majority of her feedings, she got breast milk by bottle. For her one week birthday, she got breast milk all day (for the first six days we supplemented with formula).

On Wednesday, she made up for lost time by staying on the breast for most of the day. Her feedings were an hour long and came in clusters. I still managed to get in some pump time and had three bottles waiting for her last night. Bottles are a godsend at night. If we bottle-feed her breast milk, a feeding takes around 30 minutes. If we breast feed, it takes a good hour and a half to two hours. So bottles rule at night so that 1) Karen can do a night feeding and 2)so that we can all get some more sleep.

When Kylie breast feeds, she tends to latch on, have a few good sucks, then pops off the breast to "talk" about it. Sometimes the "talking" is grunting and sometimes it's an all-out scream. Then she latches on again and we repeat the process. I have no idea why she does this. But here are my guesses:
1) she's still learning and is vocal about learning
2) she voicing her frustration at not having her mouth instantly filled like she does when she bottle feeds
3) she hates the breast shield I'm using (but she can't latch on without it)
4) she just screams because she can!

Did your babies do this? I'm not concerned enough to call the lactation consultant but am interested to hear from my blogger friends about it.


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

One Week

Kylie's bilirubin test is down to 11.5 so she is off the wallaby. Hurray! Here's Kylie striking a Halleluja pose.

She has to go back to the hospital for one more blood draw tomorrow to assure that she isn't going to rebound. But then we should be doctor-free until her two-week appointment next Monday.

I was able to put some clothes on the sweet girl and bring her out of the nursery. I'm so excited to have her untethered that I'm just walking around the house holding her. Hmmm... do we want to go to the office, or the bedroom, or the tv room?

I don't know if you remember this post but last night as I saw my shadow in profile, I had my heart jump up into my throat. "My baby is here", I thought. She's not in my body anymore!"

And the tears came spilling out. I rushed to the nursery. I just had to hold Kylie and look at her and kiss her and assure myself that she is safe living outside of me. The whole shaky, hormonal, crying episode only lasted two minutes but it was an incredible rush of emotions.

Today I'm filled with such joy, relief and gratitude. I swear there is a special place in heaven for those people who bring food to your house when you are first home with your newborn. Our good friends, Jeff & Heather, have brought us three delicious dinners with outstanding deserts and have made grocery store runs for us. Our friend Catherine brought us some additional groceries. And our friends Jozette and Michele have brought us dinner for tonight.

If you are one of our blogger friends who are waiting for yourr baby to be born, I really recommend that you let people help you and bring you food once your child arrives. It's a real godsend.

Here's a few more pictures for you. And if you click here you can see a few more

Midnight watch

It's midnight and I'm on Kylie watch. :)

Wendy and I have been splitting up the nights into shifts so that we each get a stretch of 3-4 hours to rest while the other takes care of Kylie. We've been feeding her every 1.5-2 hours to help her jaundice and it appears to be working! Woo hoo! On Friday, she weighed in at 6 lbs. 15 oz. at our pediatrician visit and today she weighed in at a whopping 7 lbs. 8 oz! That's quite a change in 3 days and we're very pleased. We have to take her in to get a blood draw tomorrow so they can test her levels again but we're hoping that's the last time. She's looking more pink and heading in the right direction for her weight to get back to her birth weight within just the next few days ... right on target.

It's only been a week since Kylie joined us, but I'm already wondering what in the world we ever did before she came. Our days and nights are filled with taking care of her needs and things like email and blog surfing and TV watching seem like distant memories at the moment. And...I wouldn't have it any other way.

As I sit here in the nursery listening to my daughter's breathing and watching her sleep, I feel such a sense of peace and joy that I can hardly put it into words. I feel a love unlike any I've ever known before for both Kylie and Wendy. It's so strong it is a physical feeling in my chest and in my gut. It's as if there is a tether between the 3 of us that ties us all heart-to-heart and soul-to-soul. I've always felt it with Wendy but what I feel now seems even richer and deeper now that Kylie has been added. I am grateful beyond description for this wonderful, blessed child. I look at Wendy and my heart almost bursts with pride and gratitude for how fantastic of a job she did at caring and nurturing and growing Kylie these past months. And, as I watch her hold Kylie and nurse her and speak to her and be able to care for her as the child in her arms vs. the child in her belly, it almost brings me to tears. It's just so beautiful...truly, gloriously, miraculously beautiful.

While Wendy's body continues to recover from the birth and her hormones seem to ebb and flow throughout the day, I find that my "mommy hormones" must be kicking in too. I seem to be very emotional and sensitized...and I didn't even birth Kylie! I can only imagine how it must be for Wendy. I think there is something truly biological involved here. My body may not have undergone the ordeal of pregnancy, labor and delivery, but my heart did...and there seems to be plenty of hormones (or whatever it is) being pumped through me just the same.

I love my daughter...even more than I ever imagined I would. And, no matter what the nay-sayers of the world may say or think, Kylie is my daughter. Yes, I must adopt her so that it is "legal"...and that's already underway...but she is truly my daughter and wouldn't be more so if I'd been the birth mother. I love saying "my daughter" it.

I'm just rambling here, but's the midnight watch and when your precious child is sleeping and your heart feels so full it might burst, I guess stream of consciousness blogging is a good fit. Ah...I hear Kylie's breathing beginning to change, so it looks like it's about time to feed my girl. Sigh...I love it....

- Karen

Monday, April 23, 2007


We took advantage of some bright sun today. I snapped this sweet photo of Karen as she watched over Kylie in her sun tent.

Yesterday was the third day that we've treated Kylie for her jaundice. Her treatment has consisted of feeding her every two hours and keeping a wallaby phototherapy strip wrapped around her naked belly. Her bilirubin test was down two points on Saturday so we didn't have to go to the hospital for another blood draw on Sunday. We see our pediatrician for a follow-up appointment today. It would be wonderful if she thought Kylie was healthy enough to stop the Wallaby treatment but I'm not holding my breath.

I would love to start dressing little Kylie instead of keeping her naked all the time and wrapping blankets around her. She loves to be swaddled and that has been a challenge with the wallaby strip. It would also be nice to be able to move around the house more freely instead of being confined to the room where the wallaby machine is plugged in. But of course we will do whatever we need to do to improve her jaundice.

Kylie was so happy lying in the sun. Karen and I had a lovely time passing the camera back and forth taking pictures of our lovely little girl. You can find more pictures


Sunday, April 22, 2007

Birth Story

Here it is. Kylie's birth story!

Monday 4/16
5:45am Lost mucous plug.

9:00ish Karen and I decided to go for a walk. We started walking and I felt a small gush. I bent over laughing and telling Karen, “I can’t stop peeing on myself”. I would take a few steps and have another gush and another big laugh. We walked about a mile and a half.

12:30 I’m still having uncontrollable gushes but I'm not sure if it's amniotic fluid or if the baby has shifted and is pressing on my bladder. Karen asks me to call the doctor’s office. The nurse on call tells me to head to the hospital for an exam. Karen packs our hospital bags.

2:15pm Arrive at hospital. A nurse confirms that I am losing amniotic fluid. She says we will be staying at the hospital.

3:20 Dr. Murray, the on-call doctor, conducts a speculum exam. My cervix is still long and not very thin.

4:50 Cervadil is inserted to ripen my cervix. Have to stay flat on the bed hooked to a fetal monitor for an hour.

6:00-10:00pm Taken off monitor. Walked around the maternity ward and bounced around on the birthing ball. Have a few mild contractions.

10:15pm I’m asked to shower to hydrate my veins. An internal exam shows no labor progress.

11:05-1:55am Pictocin drip is started. Start to have contractions on a regular basis. I’m hooked to a wireless monitor so that I can move around the room. Drip is increased twice and contractions become regular and very uncomfortable.

Tuesday, April 17th
2:00-4:15am This was the hardest part. I was having hard, powerful, make-you-cry-out contractions every two minutes. The contractions would last for 90 seconds, giving me only around 30 seconds of rest. Many times it felt like I would have four to six minute contractions before getting a break. Karen does a great coaching job encouraging me and loving on me through every contraction. But the hard and fast nature of these contractions for two hours has worn me down. Even while experiencing the worst pain of my life, I still manage to be funny. Karen tells me I had a string of curse words for several minutes that would have made a sailor blush. And at one point I asked her to take off her dang “Life is Good” tshirt insisting that life is really painful and that it just sucks.

4:15am I’m checked and I’m only 1 ½ cm dilated and 25% effaced. I’m told that the pictocin drip would have to be increased to speed things along. This is a hard blow because I can’t imagine labor getting any harder. I ask for an epidural.

5:05am Epidural is in. It takes the doctor two attempts and thirty minutes to get it in. I experience over ten contractions while in the hunched-over position praying that the epidural is going to work. Pictocin drip is increased.

5:35 I smile at Karen for the first time since 11pm the previous night. I tell her “this is the way to labor” and tell her I have absolutely no regrets in getting the epidural.

6:35 Nurse examines me and tells me that I’m 2cm dilated and 50% effaced. Pictocin is again increased.

7:00ish We meet Gayla, the wonder nurse. She has the most lovely disposition. Very calm and soothing and not at all chatty. Karen and I heave a sigh of relief and gratitude that this wonderful nurse will be delivering me.

8:10 My doctor comes in, examines me and tells me I’m 3cm dilated and 90% effaced. Pictocin is increased several times.

10:30 Start to have lots of bloody show. I’m 4-5cm dilated and 100% effaced.

11:00-1:00 Epidural feels like it’s worn off so at 11:00, I get it increased. Labor is in a very regular pattern. The baby’s heartrate has been fantastic throughout this entire labor process. At some point, it’s determined that the baby is facing up rather than facing down. Nurse Gayla puts me on my right side, almost on my belly, with my legs in a certain position to get the baby to move. Then we repeat this position on the left side. Because of this unique positioning and the fact that the baby is moving, Gayla stays at my side for two hours constantly moving the fetal monitor to assure that the baby is okay. When checked again, the baby is now facing down. My father arrives at the hospital from his flight from TN.

1:00 Once again, it feels as if the epidural has worn off. I’m really feeling those contractions again. But the good news is that I’m told that I’m ready to push.

1:00-3:28 Pushing for Kylie. Around 3:00 I ask for the epidural to be increased one last time. Thank God I did that because her head crowned for over 30 minutes. For a half hour I can see her lovely brown hair in the mirror at the bottom of the bed. Karen places a pillow behind my head and for every push during these two and a half hours, she gets her arm under the pillow to lift and support my head and neck. At the same time, she’s helping me to pull back on my legs. After each push, she wipes my face and neck with a cool washcloth and tells me what a great job I’m doing.
The labor room environment is perfect for me. Only one person is talking at a time (one of my greatest fears was that lots of people would be yelling at me during the pushing) and their voices are low yet very supportive and encouraging. There are lots of excited smiles and sweet, loving comments.

3:28 Kylie is born. Karen cuts the cord. My dad takes lots of pictures. The sight and feel of my daughter, here at last, is beyond description and beyond words.

I’m sure I’ll think of other things to add to this birth story as soon as I post it. As I read over it, it strikes me as a “just-the-facts” kind of story, but right now I can’t begin to touch on all of the emotional and spiritual aspects of the birth.

Thank you to everyone for all of your comments, your well wishes and your prayers. They mean more to me that you know.


Saturday, April 21, 2007

Short update

All is well...we're just getting used to our new routine (or lack of one!). Kylie has been a bit jaundiced and we've had to have her on a light blanket but as of today, her blood work shows she's on the mend and should be fine in a day or two. Wendy's milk is coming in and we're excited about that (so is Kylie!). I know we owe you a lot more details and they'll be forthcoming (we promise) but I thought I'd give you a few shots of our sweetie to hold you over.

This is our OB with Wendy and Kylie the day after her birth.

And all these are Kylie in all her glory! I could stare at her for hours (and do)!

More to come!

- Karen

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

It wasn't a false alarm! She's here!

Well, we thought it was a false alarm, but our little girl was ready to come a couple of weeks early! At 3:28pm on Tuesday, April 17, Wendy delivered our beautiful 7 lb. 12 oz., 20 inch little girl with a head full of dark curls after 36 total hours of labor (story to come later) and 2.5 hours of pushing. Mom (actually both moms!) and baby are doing wonderfully.

Here we are just after the birth (look at all the vernix on that baby!).

You can check out a few more photos (out of the almost 200 we've already taken!) here. I'll get more photos uploaded a bit later after we get home and settled.

Woo hoo!

- Karen

Sunday, April 15, 2007


We had our doctor's appointment on Friday and everything looks great. Blood pressure is good (108/70), no protein in my urine, fundal height is right on target at 37cm, and the baby's heart rate is 140. And although my cervix is thinning, it's still long.

The doctor snickered a bit when I let loose with a few choice expletives when she told me there was no dilation. I know first babies are usually late, not early, but I couldn't help but feel a bit disappointed.

Fortunately, Karen knew just what to do to make it better. She bought me some yummy lo mein for lunch and then took me to the scrapbook store. I was able to finish the baby shower scrapbook pages I had been working on. If you are interested, you can see them here.

On Saturday, we saw over thirty acres of beautiful tulips at the Wooden Shoe Tulip farm. It was a feast for my eyes and spirit and I had a wonderful time taking over 150 photos.

You can see a few more pictures here including a funny belly shot.

There were hundreds of people at the tulip festival. Many families were posing their small children among the flowers. It was touching to think that next year, I would be able to do the same with my almost-one-year-old.

We walked around for over an hour, soaking in all the gorgeous colors, listening to all the many languages of the visitors, watching the kids romp around in their galoshes. I felt fine at the time (just moving slowly) so I was surprised to see in one of our photos that my lips were turning blue!

My feet swelled up a bit more than usual that night but seeing all those stunning flowers was so worth it!


Thursday, April 12, 2007


Thanks to everyone for all of your wonderful comments on our pregnancy photos. Wow!

It was particularly nice to read the comments as they came in because yesterday I felt very crampy and achy and yucky. I was convinced that I was in the early stages of labor. All day yesterday I thought to myself, "Okay...when you go to the doctor on Friday, she's going to tell you that you are a wee bit dilated/effaced. That's what you are feeling".

But today, the crampy feeling has gone away and I'm just sore and tired like I just ran a 10K. I wouldn't be surprised if the doctor told me there was no dilation/effacement and that the baby is gaining weight and what I feel is the extra poundage/pressure on my pelvic floor.

That's the weirdest thing about these last days/weeks. I know stuff is happening to facilitate the birth of the baby but it's so freaky to have very strange sensations in one's body and NOT know exactly what it is.

Anyway....I have distracted myself marvelously with scrapbooking.

The idea of scrapbooking came to me because I couldn't find any fill-in-the-blank baby books that I liked. And I know several people who scrapbook and rave about it. So I thought I would create a scrapbook to record all of the baby's firsts (first smile, first word, yadda yadda).

And I thought I could keep the baby's scrapbook "small and simple". (Feel free to laugh outrageously at that one. It's like saying you want a small wedding.)

Dang! It's an expensive yet addictive craft. You would gasp if I told you what I've spent on start-up supplies and paper. And I've only made three pages. As I've made the three pages, I've had a little angel and little devil sitting on my shoulders bickering.

Angel: "You should stop this now. You already have an expensive hobby in knitting"
Devil: "But it's so pretty and creative. And it's for the baby."
Angel: "Who are you kidding? Just buy a regular photo album and add notes like you've done in the past. Or make one of those cool iPhoto books."
Devil: "But scrapbooking is so fun and pretty".
And on and on--you get the gist.

So...are there any scrapbookers out there? If so, how did you get started? Did you take a class or did a friend show you or did you learn from magazines like I'm doing? Do you have any scrapbooking blogs you like to visit? Are you terribly glad or sorry you started scrapbooking?


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Aren't we cute?

We picked up our pregnancy portraits today. You can view all six pictures by clicking here


Monday, April 09, 2007

Just a kid at heart

Wendy and I visited with friends over the weekend and I got to have my little girl fix playing with their 17 month old daughter. We took a bottle of bubbles with us and little Jillian and I had a blast playing together with them. She doesn't quite have the whole process down (i.e. dip, place bubble wand in front of mouth, pucker and blow gently), but she's close! She tended to want to press the bubble wand right against her lips and ended up with a pretty soapy mouth, but seemed to enjoy it anyway. It was absolutely delightful and as you can see by my face, I think I was having more fun than she was.

This picture is from a few weeks ago during another visit. Jillian and I had made dinner napkin kerchiefs and were quite a sight!

I can hardly wait for Kylie to arrive and give me more opportunities over the coming years to let my "inner child" out to play. I find that I'm getting more and more excited with each passing day waiting on our little girl to arrive. It's hard to sit still sometimes! I know it'll be a while before Kylie is ready to romp and play with her momma but in the meantime, it's fun to let my inner kid out to play whenever I can. :)

- Karen


Swollen fingers

Swollen toes and ankles (complete with sock wrinkles)

I must be at 37 weeks!

I feel like I'm standing in line for a really scary roller coaster ride. One where I will be flipped upside-down numerous times and sent screaming down incredibly steep hills. There's a strong possibility that I could collapse, faint or puke. As I'm standing in line, I'm excited and nervous and breathless. My mind is screaming "Are you nuts?! Get out of line!" but I know that I can't. So I just stand there with sweaty palms and a stupid grin on my face.

And the only thought in my mind is "Can I get on the ride now?" Can I please start labor now? Please?


Thursday, April 05, 2007


After alternating wearing the same two maternity dresses for six weeks now, I'm officially ready to burn them. The dresses are oh-so-comfortable and are the closest thing one can get to a mumu but I'm ready to cast them aside and wear something different for a change.

And speaking of's two questions for you:

For your baby's first few doctor's appointments, did you
A) dress your baby in a simple onesie or
B) dress your baby in one of his/her cuter outfits?

At the first few doctor's appointments, does the pediatrician want want the baby to be nude?

[40 Babies R Us visits]

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Wipe down, not up

Last night I dreamed that I was visiting my old friend Kim who gave birth to daughter Brianna.

In real life, Brianna was such a sick little baby. She caught lots of colds and was particularly prone to getting kidney infections. Turns out that the reason for so many kidney infections was that her family had a tendency to wipe her bottom and special parts in an upwards direction when they changed her diapers.

In the dream, Kim was dressed like a drill sergeant and yelling at me, "Repeat after me--wipe down, not up!"
"Wipe down, not up," I dutifully answered.
"No poop in the hoo-hoo!" she cried. "Repeat it, you nugget!"
"No poop in the hoo-hoo!" I yelled back.
"Girls get infections," she yelled.
"Girls get infections!

I actually woke myself up mumbling "Wipe down, not up". It was good for a late-night giggle.

Went back to sleep and dreamed of beautiful women, dressed like prom queens and riding a float in a parade. All of the women in the parade were trying to conceive via IVF. The "queen" of the float was the woman with the largest, prettiest eggs. She got to sit highest on the float and wear the biggest crown. And the streets were lined with people throwing money at them to pay for their conceptions.

Who knew that spaghetti would yield such weird dreams?!


Tuesday, April 03, 2007


Pregnancy can be so dang fickle and crazy. Here is a perfect example-

I've been eating really well and managing my gestational diabetes but have been plagued with horrible indigestion that likes to rear its ugly head between 1:00 - 3:00am every morning.

Last night, after a very hard day, I broke down and indulged in three Taco B*ll tacos, a handful of fritos, and several bites of chocolate chip cookie dough......And then slept through the night!

I got up four times to use the bathroom but was able to go right back to sleep. It's been WEEKS since I've slept through the night. I'm so thrilled to get a decent night's sleep!


Monday, April 02, 2007

Google cracks me up!

Well, the folks over at Google have added to their long list of hilarious (at least I think so) April Fool's day pranks. Take a look at this. And, to get a little history of previous pranks, see this.

I have to admit that for about 10 seconds when I first started reading the press release, I wanted to believe it. But, one look at the installation page and I was cracking up.'s got to be a hoot to work for those guys!

- Karen
[39 Babies R Us visits]