Monday, March 30, 2009

No More Breastfeeding

Oh, my aching breasts! After steadily decreasing her feedings throughout the last couple of weeks, on Saturday Michaela started getting upset every time I tried to breastfeed her. So yesterday on Sunday I decided to try the "don't offer, don't refuse routine." I didn't offer to breastfeed her at all the entire day, and I never had to refuse because she didn't even think about asking for it. Although this is a little bittersweet, I'm actually quite happy about it. I wanted to have her self-wean, but at the same time, I'm not sure I would have felt comfortable breastfeeding her past her second year. So I am incredibly relieved to find that at 13 months she was more than ready to self-wean. The only problem now is how to relieve my poor overfull breasts that just feel ready to explode!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

And so it starts...

Do you know what this is?
It's a white hair.
From my head.


I'm only 24 years old! What the heck?

Friday, March 20, 2009

Thank You Notes for Pre-Writers

As I sat down to make thank you notes for all of Michaela's birthday gifts, I came up with a pretty neat idea. I wanted to make it more personal so I was thinking of adding a little imprint of her foot or hand. Unfortunately, she is very active and won't sit still for more than a couple of seconds so I knew this wouldn't work. Then it came to me, picture thank you's! We basically just set her up with the toy, book, or outfit that was given to her and had her sit next to or under a set of her blocks with the words "Thank You" spelled out. I thought this was great because then each person could see her enjoying the gift. Some were better than others which is inevitable with a small child, but all in all I think this is a great way to personalize a thank you note if they can't write one on their own yet.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Happy Anniversary!

To the man who makes my heart beat a little faster...
To the man who brings out my silliness...
To the man who is so ridiculously stubborn...
To the man who randomly breaks into song and dance which makes me smile every time...
To the man who turns me on just by wearing a tight pair of pants...
To the man who loves my food...
To the man who always knows how to make me feel better when I've had a bad day...
To the man who likes to hum while he eats...
To the man who uses his handyman magic to make our house a home...
To the man who understands that it's more important to work through problems to make our relationship stronger than to never argue...
To the man who feeds my book addiction every chance he gets...
To the man who supports me when I'm trying to lose weight and yet manages to never make me feel fat...
To the man who shares my love of board games...
To the man who is just as happy as I am to play miniature golf on our child-free date nights...
To the man who I know I can trust to protect our daughter and me...
To the man who is such a wonderful daddy...
To the man who shares my faith and helps me to grow in my relationship with God...
To the man who works so hard so that I am able to stay home with our daughter...

You are the love of my life and every day I am married to you is a blessing from God. Te quiero mucho.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Dear Michaela

Dear Michaela,
Happy Birthday! In many ways it is hard to believe that it has only been a year since you were born. I already can't remember what life was like before your constant presence. Yet I can still remember those first few hazy days with you. The joy I felt when I held you for the first time and when I recognized some of your daddy's features in your smushed little newborn face. The feeling of complete helplessness when I was unable to breastfeed you for the first few days (thank goodness we finally got the hang of it!). The anticipation of finally taking you home from the hospital and the terror when we realized that we were completely on our own and had to figure out our way as parents as best we could.

The first 6 months of your life you gave us a trial by fire in parenting. By the time you stopped being colicky I knew every calming technique in the book and already felt like a veteran parent. You always have had plenty of personality, but when you finally stopped crying all day it was amazing to see the little quirks we had missed before. And now, 6 months later, a little bit of your babyness is shedding away every day and I can start to see the toddler and child that you are becoming. I am so glad that I am able to stay home with you so that I can witness this constant transformation and enjoy all the little moments that I will look back on with love many years from now. I can't imaging being unable to share all the little smiles and giggles or witness the milestones as you become a fully mobile little girl.

In case I ever forget to tell you enough, know that I love you mijita, now and forever.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Birth Story

It was on this day last year (ok, technically it was Feb. 29th) that I went in to the hospital to have my labor induced. My little baby had been measuring small throughout my entire pregnancy, so we had been having weekly ultrasounds to make sure that she/he was still ok. (We had decided not to find out the sex of the baby). That day we discovered that the baby had not grown at all from the previous week, meaning that my placenta was no longer delivering to it the nutrients that it needed. I knew all along that there was a possibility of induction, but when it became clear that an induction was the only option and that it had to happen that very day, 3 weeks ahead of my due date, my heart broke just a little bit. This was my first pregnancy, I wanted to do it my way, all natural, with minimal hospital intervention.

In any case, after my 4pm appointment my midwife told me to be at the hospital by 8pm. I rushed home, calling my husband to update him on the situation. My dad's suprise 50th birthday party was the following day and I had volunteered to make all the food.....all the food that I hadn't started making yet! As soon as I got home, I rushed to get some of the food made, so that they could at least reheat it the next day. When my husband arrived home from work, he found me in the kitchen sweating over several enchilada casseroles. Never mind that the baby's room was unfinished, there were still a few things missing from my hospital bag, and I should seriously consider eating something and taking a shower before we left, I had to get that food ready!

We left for the hospital at 7:30pm with most of the food done, and my sisters planning to finish what I hadn't. When we got there, all of the rooms were full, but most of the women had already given birth, so within an hour we were escorted to our own room. When they checked me, they found that my body was in no way ready to have this baby. I wasn't dilated in the slightest, my cervix was not ripened at all, and the baby hadn't really even dropped! I told them from the very beginning that I did not want to have my water broken unless it was the last possible option. I didn't want to be forced into a C-Section situation. Let me skip most of that weekend and let you know that by Monday afternoon, after trying every possible induction method, my midwife told me gently that if I didn't want to stay another week in the hospital, I should probably have my waters broken. At this point I was 3cm dilated and my cervix was very high, so I decided to go with it.

At 2pm my water was broken. By 4pm I was seriously considering changing my stance on no pain medication, but I held out and just convinced myself after each contraction to just get through one more. I had planned to move around and try different positions to help with the pain and help get the baby into position, but at every contraction I just wanted to curl up into a little ball on the bed until it was over. By the time they checked me at 8pm I was only 6cm dilated and my arms and shoulders were sore from squeezing the bed rail during every contraction. At this point, Philip and I realized that I might be in labor for the rest of the night so he went down to the lobby to grab something to eat. Right after he left I got incredibly nauseous and threw up all over my sisters bag (she was with me while Philip was eating). After they finished cleaning it up I felt like I had to push. I told them and they said they would check me again even though they had just checked me. Philip came back into the room at this point and was there when they told me I was almost at 10cm and if I wanted to push to go right ahead. After about 30 minutes of pushing, our sweet little Michaela came into the world at 9:18pm. A whopping 5lb 1.4oz, Philip and I fell in love with this little angel and knew our lives would be forever changed. I love you, my little monkey!


I'd love to hear your birth story(ies)! If you've already written one, let me know if the comments! :)