Monday, November 28, 2011

Two weeks old

 At the baby shower that was in Chicago, I told a little story about how my mom used to use the washer and dryer to calm fussy babies.  Here is our little Harper, not fussing, but still enjoying the motion.  This was Thanksgiving morning, her two week anniversary!  The basket she is napping in is the same bassinet that Dan and Nora used as babies, as well has their mother, Linda, and her brother David.  It has a lovely stand with wheels, but we've taken to placing the basket about the house without it. 

 Happy Thanksgiving!  I hope you all had a great holiday!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Our Caring Neighbors

I have shared with some of you (over the phone) that Dan and I have the sweetest neighbors.  Ibrahim and Aysha have two small children and have been living across the hall from us for the last year or so.  Our friendship started last winter when Dan saw Ibrahim trying to scrap his windshield with a credit card.  Dan offered to let him use his scraper, and for the next few days, it was passed back and forth in the hallway until Ibrahim was able to pick up one of his own. 

As a thank you, Aysha sent her son over to our door to offer us dinner.  It was huge and delicious.  Later, for a holiday, they sent over more food.  We sent over some pumpkin scones (a food they had not had before).  When Ramadan was over, they sent over yet more food to celebrate the end of the fasting season.

Yesterday, the family came over to meet Harper.  Aziz, their son, was thrilled with the lazer pointer and how the cats would chase it, and their daughter, Dozi, was all giggles following the cats around the house.  Aysha gave me (specific to say not to share with Dan) small cinnamon rolls to help with healing ("cinnamon is very good for new mothers.") and as expected, they were delicious.  

Tonight, more food!  I finally thought to take a picture of it to show you just how thoughtful and kind this family is.  Aziz knocked on our door, "Are you home?  My mom wants to know if you want some Saudi food."  Then five minutes later, what you see above was sent over. 

We are very thankful that we have such kind people living near us. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Amish Rocking Chair

Yesterday I got to feel just how attached I am to this little girl, who is just now a week old.

My dad is here visiting for a few days.  He has made a harrowing journey (again) from Washington state out to see me, then to see my brother in Boston, now back to see Harper, and will be going through North Dakota to help his brother.  When he came in the door on Tuesday he says, "You don't have a rocking chair!"  And then we made plans to remedy that.

Dad has made the acquaintance of a shop just south of Champaign called Amish Land.  It is a giant red barn and inside is furniture, food, and a playground of second hand goods.  Dad's name was recognized by the nice furniture sales lady - he's a regular and he lives in Washington state!

It takes about an hour and 10 minutes to get there from Bloomington, which meant figuring out some logistics.  Baby, Mom, car, milk, room for new furniture?  I had pumped some milk on the 15th, as breast feeding is a bit of a circus in the beginning stages,and Dan volunteered to take his first solo run watching Harper.  It seemed like the only compromise outside of taking two cars.

Everything turned out fine, but for the first 50 miles, I was saying over and over in my head, turn around, go home, too soon, what if we get in an accident, what if she won't take the bottle, what she won't stop crying... and on and on.  I was texting with Dan to see how things were going, and his first reply reinforced my dread.  After about 50 minutes, all was right again, with Harper fed and already back to sleep, but I couldn't wait to get home - and we weren't even half way done with our trek!

Amish Land was pretty amazing, however.  There were beautiful hand crafted pieces for kitchens, offices, bedrooms, and kids rooms.

And while we were gone, Dan did great at home.  He mastered the bottle warmer, gave Harper her first lesson in bottle feeding, and got her both changed and back to sleep.  Success!  When I walked in the door ( fast as a healing momma can rush) he was sashaying her about the room, bouncing and talking up a storm.  I gushed a bit for both of them.  :)

And so...The Chair!

This is the chair I picked.  It is already Kodak approved, as you can see.  In fact, every time I've gone to sit in my Harper-tamer, I've had to kick him out of it.  We will figure out where all of our furniture will get placed once the stream of visitors lessens, and I'm sure this will be a favorite landing spot for not just Kodak, but the whole fam.  I don't know if it looks it to you, but this is a super comfy chair!

Thanks Dad! 

Monday, November 14, 2011

I had a baby!

Hello world!  It's been a bit of a whirlwind here the last few days.  Harper finally decided to come into the world (after a bit of prompting) and we've been enjoying her company.  I'll write on her arrival at a later date, but here are some photos from the day of the delivery, and first days home. 

Auntie Nora!

Auntie and Grandma Linda

Grandma and Grandpa


Whoa, we made that.

D'awww!  Daddy Dan

Dr. Laura Lawson (the best midwife in BloNo) taking a gander

Grandpa Gus

Little Harper

My super supportive doula, Dionne Otto.  

My mom was the trooper taking all of these great photos of the big event. 

The Mom! 

I think this one sorta speaks for itself. 

The beginning of many photos taken by Grandma


Greg with is son, Oscar, on the left and Harper on the right.  They are 7 weeks apart!

Kristy claims she doesn't like holding babies. 

The Great and Mighty Harper!   

Grandma and granddaughter. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Dr. Appointment

I met with my midwife today.  It was an interesting appointment.  For about 15 minutes there was talk that the baby had flipped and was breech, but after a sonogram,  they said that no, that wasn't the case.  It was great to see her spine.  All of the bones lined up so perfectly. 

After listening to heart tones (120 bpm) and confirming she was in the correct position, they decided to put the fetal monitor on me to make sure that the correct hills and valleys were happening.  (I'm sorry, I don't remember the technical terms.)  For about 25 minutes, I listened to horrible Bloomington Normal pop music on the radio and pushed a button,  like those on Jeopardy, every time I felt the baby move.  That showed everything was fine too. 

Then came the exam.  There is really no prepping for the shock of having someone put their fingers in your cervix.  Of all the discomfort I've felt in my pregnancy, so far, these exams take the cake.  The good news, I have progressed from my previous exam - I'm at 3 cm.  Not that I was encouraged by finding that out. 

So we talked time lines and options. Discussing how long I can wait before they feel it's necessary to induce with medication.  I'm hoping it won't come to that, so my goal now is to have this baby before next Thursday.  There are natural herbs and oils that will help, but only if my body is ready for this next part.  They are more like contraction encouragement than inducers. 

More to come, you can be sure of that!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

40+ weeks. Babies are not like library books.

Due date has come and gone.  Thank you to everyone who has been encouraging and offering support in this.  It really does feel like she has a village of supporters behind her! 

This little tyke will not be an October baby, which sways the scales in November's favor for birthdays.  Dan's dad and sister have birthday's in October.  My dad and sister have birthday's in November.  Dan pointed out that our little family will be a November, December, January line up.  All of this is just part of the talk that keeps me slightly distracted from the fact that I am still pregnant.  (Not that I can avoid that for long - I'm in good spirits but moving is a bit more cumbersome these days.)

I was due on Sunday.  I went to work on Monday.   I thought it would be fine, but I got so overwhelmed with the number of people talking about the fact that I didn't have the baby (!!!) I started to get pretty upset.  I know that she will come when she's ready.  I know that other's know she will come when she's ready.  However, when talking about it, they all seem to forget that.  I started to feel like a big failure for not having the baby when I was "supposed to." 

I didn't go to work today.  

I was hoping to work up until I went into labor, but I'm becoming attracted to the idea of be done.  And being home.  And resting.  And not worrying about bookfairs and digital sales.  In fact, I've been reading a book all morning!  All morning! 

I'm having contractions, but they are about 10 to 20 minutes apart and vary in length.This has been the case for the past three or four weeks.   Dan and I have big plans to go grocery shopping.  Yesterday our big plan was vacuuming.  Maybe tomorrow our big plan will involve a hospital!  I have an appointment tomorrow for my weekly checkup so we will see what's going on.  I opted out of getting checked last week (as it is a wholly unwelcome experience) but now that I'm past due (even that is a horrible term) I'm sure they will want

Dan's sister mentioned that 11-11-11 would be a great date to have her, but I'm really hoping that she comes before then.  C'mon baby!  Perhaps she's waiting for grandma to arrive on Friday?  We'll see won't we!  As Dan pointed out, she will come out.  I shouldn't worry about when.  He makes it sound so easy!