Sunday, August 30, 2009

My dear sweet boy.

This past week has had it's ups and downs. I made a promise to myself last Monday morning that I would not yell at Joaquin. I felt like everything I was telling him was negative and often in not the nicest of voices. I did pretty good for most of the week. But I hate to say it; he's a handful and a half and as the week went on my patience grew more and more thin.

I think we just really need to evaluate some things around here and how we interact with Joaquin.

I feel like our environment has turned into a "No" versus a "Yes" environment. There are too many things that I have to tell him not to do. I would rather he was physically in a place where playing, touching and exploring most things was OK. It's like no matter how much I clear out of this place, clutter takes over and he dives right in. He needs a yard to run around in, a room to play in, activities and toys that are kid accessible and not in a giant pile in a hot tiny room. Our house just feels so kid un-friendly it's kind of a bummer.

Also, I think we need to allow him to burn off more energy. We go out every day, but there were still moments this week where he was practically bouncing off the walls. I mean running around and crashing into walls, furniture, body parts, dogs etc etc. We just enrolled him into some soccer classes which I'm hoping will help burn some of his energy and I need to make sure our days always involve time for him to physically play, especially in the afternoons.

But even with the opportunity to burn energy, it's like he's missing a way to expell a certain kind of energy. It's like he NEEDS to feel physical touch. He tends to squeeze, wrestle and get really rough in his play. This mostly happens with us and the dog, but I'm starting to see it happen with other kids and even in his attempts to hug and kiss the baby. He's not hitting or being mean, just kind of aggressive with his attempts to show affection. I feel like I'm constantly saying "gentle gentle gentle" with him! Am I not hugging and loving him enough anymore? Is that what's suddenly causing this?

I'm also pretty sure some of this is attention getting behaviors. While he's not showing jealousy directly at the baby, I know it's there and these moment of craziness are his way of getting that attention that has been diverted from him. I really hope he will settle down and this isn't a case of baby induced ADHD. I mean, he can get pretty crazy lately...along with ignoring us and some plain old defiance. It makes me wonder "Where did my sweet boy go?"

I almost feel like resorting to sticker charts and behavior modification strategies. But it just feels so manipulative. Do we really need to go there? Can some adjustments to our environment, routine and our attitude make enough of a difference? I'm also hoping that if I start pumping, I can get in some dedicated Mama & Joaquin time...time that is just all fun. I feel like I'm not fun for him anymore.

Today he told me he wanted my sister Ceci, to be his mom, and that he wanted to live with her. He also never wants to leave my mom's house whenever we go over. I get that everybody else is way more fun, but am I that awful to him that he doesn't even want me to be his mom anymore?

I know the baby is only three weeks old and this is still all so new, but it still is a bummer. I was going to come on here and update our week and post some fun pictures and this just spilled out.

Sorry. I'll do my best to post some pictures tomorrow. For now, here he is being is old sweet self the other night...

my dear sweet boy

Now it's time for bed and time to get in some cuddles with Joaquin...even if he is sleeping and won't remember me whispering in his ear how much I love him and how much miss him.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

So far so good...

Nursing Joaquin did not start out well, so I've been kind of paranoid that things were also not going to go well with Isela.

At the hospital her latch hurt a bit, and even though the nurse said it looked good, I still insisted they send the Lactation Consultant. She came and gave a few pointers and I also had her check for tongue tie. I did not want to go through that drama again and luckily Isela looked good.

There was some soreness and scabbing and all that fun stuff in the first week, but luckily it cleared quickly unlike with Joaquin which lasted weeks.

Today I made a quick stop at the Lactation Consultant's office I used with Joaquin. They have support groups that I attended at least once if not three times a week when I was struggling back then with him. There wasn't a group when I went in today, but I was still able to weigh her, nurse her and weigh her again to see how we were doing.

Turns out Isela is up to 9 pounds 1 ounce, up from 8 pounds 9 ounces a week ago. That's an ounce a day she has gained! She also nursed just over two ounces which the LC said is perfect at two weeks old.


Monday, August 24, 2009

Week two

Here are some pictures of last week...week two!

On the first day of Isela's 2nd week of life we decided a trip to the zoo was in order, we even ate dinner at the fancy pants restaurant they have there...and I even had a glass of wine. Crazy stuff, I know.


Not the best of pictures, but it's of the three of us on the Skyfari...



Yep, I'm nursing while walking through the can be done, and nobody had a clue!

NIP with Joaquin!

NIP in Moby Wrap

The next day, Joaquin wanted to be the baby...

baby Joaquin

while Isela was looking all growns up already, I can't believe she is only one week and one day old here! week & one day old

The following Sunday, we went to my mom's for does one resist the outfits? Oh and the bows? Oh the bows!

outfits and bows!


Lucky for me that camera doesn't work anymore...I'm not a big fan of the pictures lately.


Our first photo as a family of FOUR!


We got to give Isela her first bath that Sunday evening, of course Joaquin was a big help...



first bath


We had our 2nd pediatrician appointment on Tuesday and Isela was above her birth-weight at 8 pounds 9.5 ounces, so it looks like nursing is going well! No pictures of that even though...but here she is at a whole TWO weeks old!

two weeks old

It's crazy how fast these past couple of weeks have gone. While this newborn phase and adjusting to life with two kids is no easy task, Dan and I realize how fast it goes...we're trying to enjoy and suck up as much sweetness as we can.

More to come soon!

Part five of Isela Marí’s arrival: Finally Home

Here is the last bit, again loaded with pictures. Thanks for reading everybody and stay tuned for tons of pictures and plenty of updates of these two...they love the camera after all!

Here are the obligitory links to parts one, two, three & four if you missed them...

Part five of Isela Marí’s arrival: Finally Home

We got home early Sunday afternoon, and Joaquin was still napping at my mom's house so our house was eerily quiet for a few hours as we waited for Joaquin to arrive.

headed home!

finally home


As soon as Joaquin and my mom got there and he realized the baby was home he HAD to get in some serious cuddles.

going in for a kiss!


Holding his baby sister

We bought Joaquin a couple of gifts “from the baby” that we had him open; a Cars DVD, you know for those moments when the TV will be a really good babysitter? And a remote control firetruck. He loved them and thanked the baby for such kind generosity. Even today if you ask him where he got either one he’ll tell you “the baby” gave them to him, it’s adorable. Oh, and check out his awesome shirt.

opening his presents from baby sister

Firetruck from his baby sister

Joaquin also got Isela two little stuffed froggies. We had been reading a couple of books about new babies, and in the book the big brother buys the baby a stuffed frog. Since then he was on the lookout for a frog to buy baby and he found the two perfect ones at Ikea. He was so excited to give them to her!

froggies for baby

froggies for baby

2 days old and finally home!

I bit later Isela had to nurse and when I went to nurse her Joaquin had a fit. He kept saying that HE wanted milk, not the baby. From there it turned into a total meltdown complete with kicking and screaming. I just started sobbing, apologizing to him for what I had done. That made my mom cry and poor Dan was stuck there with us all crying. Joaquin soon calmed down, but I will never forget that initial feeling of “Oh my god, what did I just do to my family, to my son?” It seriously broke my heart.

It’s been interesting trying to keep him to stay gentle with her. He gets a little Lenny on her here and there, he will try to squeeze her head or pull a finger and he wants to hold her ALL the time. It’s not so much that he’s jealous of her, but that he wants her to be his. He wants to change the diaper, feed her, carry her. Of course, he can’t do all of these things so tantrums usually ensue.

He’s also been very active, all over the place spazzy active. The next day after we got home, we had to go to the park. There was just no way he could have stayed home and we all would have stayed sane. No way.

Joaquin wrestling Dan at the park

bundled up at the park 3 days old

Oh and here is Isela's park attire...gotta love it.

3 days old in her cute babylegs

So we’ve been out and about pretty much every day since we got out of the hospital. While getting out of the house is crazy, it doesn’t compare to the mental institution I would be sent to if we didn’t get out. Seriously.

I had been going on adrenaline for a few days; sleep was OK, but not great. My mom asked if she could take Joaquin on Wednesday afternoon, which turned into possibly that night and the next day. I asked Joaquin and he was stoked to go, I on the other hand was a mess.

I knew I needed the rest and the opportunity to bond with the baby, but I was already missing Joaquin and what we had before baby so much. When my mom came to pick him up I started with the crying, he hugged and kissed me and my mom told me he would be fine. I knew he would, it was me that wasn’t!

5 days old

I did end up getting some much-needed rest and we were all much happier, but it’s still been hard to see our relationship change so much. Dan has pretty much taken over as Joaquin’s primary caregiver when I’m with the baby. He puts him to sleep, wakes up with him and deals with a lot of the little stuff through out the day. He’s really been amazing.

While I love and appreciate this, again, I just miss my time with Joaquin. There was a night a few nights ago where I just cried most of the evening. Joaquin was acting up, it seemed like every thing with him was a battle and I just wanted the old “us” back. I know we’ll never get that again and we all have to adjust to a new normal, but still. It’s hard.

I can’t believe I ever thought life with a newborn was hard, or even life with just a toddler! When it’s just one on one, everything is sooo much easier! With two? Not so much.

I know things will get better and we’ll all adjust and actually we’ve made quite a bit of progress over the past two weeks.

What was normal before the baby is no longer and as a new family we're slowly but surely making our way to what will be our new normal.

Friday, August 21, 2009

You should watch this.

Reducing Infant Mortality from Debby Takikawa on Vimeo.

The car was fixed!

I should have posted this sooner, but thank goodness the car was totally taken care of. We were able to pick it up that charge, no hassle!

While it did cost us a good amount of stress that evening and the next day, at least it didn't cost us any $$$.

I guess they had to change the gear shift housing??? Something went crazy with it which caused it to shut down the battery, which shut down all of the electrical features, which is pretty much the whole car. Oh well, it's done and fixed. Time to move on!


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Because life with a newborn and a toddler is JUST TOO EASY!

Yep, I think that's the rationale Life has for me right now. Obviously, I was just doing too good of a job and everything was just wayyy too easy. So Life had to throw in a little know, just to keep me on my toes.

Yesterday afternoon I was going to make a quick run to Henry's. I had the kids all loaded up and we were ready to go. I put the key in my ignition and tried to turn it. Nope. It wouldn't turn. I checked the gear shift. Nothing. I tried to take the key back out. It was effing stuck.


My car was completely and totally disabled. Nothing worked. Nothing.

I called the dealer because my car is only a 2007 and they sent at tow truck to come and get it. The guy passed my house 3 times and then called asking me which way he should go on my cross street. When I said SOUTH, he said "is that toward the ocean?" Yes, really.

Obviously he did not have the ability to tow my car because it was literally all locked up. It wouldn't even get out of Park and into Neutral.

Today I talked to the dealer again, they sent out a competent person and the car is gone. Now I'm just waiting to find out what in the heck happened.

How does that happen to a car?!?! How does a car just completely and totally SHUT DOWN?!?! It wouldn't even give me back my damn key!!!!

I still haven't heard anything, but it all better be covered under warranty or you better believe I will go down there with BOTH kids and let them both cry and tantrum and wreak havoc until they take care of what needs to be fixed UNDER warranty.

Can you imagine if that happened while out and about?!?!

Ok...time to go breathe...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Part four of Isela Marí’s arrival: Afterwards

Finally a part four and with lots of pictures! After I finish up five about our arrival home and slowwwly adjusting to life with two, I think I might take a break from these and eventually get to the compare and contrast down the road at some point. I just really want to get back to our regular life posts!

Here are the links to parts one, two and three if you missed them!

Part four of Isela Marí’s arrival: Afterwards

Baby girl was born at 8:38 pm. We had arrived at the hospital just before 7:30 or so, parked the car out front and got me checked into the Birth Center. Dan made a trip to bring the stuff in and parked the car in the parking garage. The ticket for the parking garage said he parked at 7:56 pm. Yep, and then 42 minutes later we had our baby. Crazy, huh?

Baby Girl (she was still nameless at this point) latched right on, I was amazed at how quickly she was ready to nurse and kept telling everyone to “look, look she’s latched on!” The nurses wrapped her up while she was on me and I soon delivered the placenta. After the chord had stopped pulsating, Dan did the honors of cutting it.

Unfortunately, because everything happened so fast, we didn’t get any pictures of the birth or immediately afterwards, which was kind of a bummer. The tub was only a quarter full by the time I birthed, so they just emptied it and they had to call the doula back to go home! Small price to pay though, right? I’ll keep telling myself that.

I then called my mom and step dad, Robert, to break the news. I had called them when we were leaving for the Hospital Birth Center, but told them to stay put and to not come until I called them again with a better estimate as to timing and what was going on. I assumed we would have time to get settled and then I would call and maybe have an idea if they should come down with Joaquin or not. I was not opposed to him seeing the birth or to him being nearby during it, if it happened to work out that way. I was more concerned about his sleep schedule and didn’t want to have him up at the hospital all night. So you can imagine their shock when I called not to tell them when to come down, but that I had just had the baby! I remember telling Robert “I couldn’t help it, it just happened!”

Dan and I had a little bit of time to ourselves with the baby and then the nurse weighed and did all the newborn stuff except of course the stuff we opted out of. Yep, that's me about an hour and a half after the birth!

right after the birth!


Isela, meet your Papi

My parents and Joaquin soon showed up. Joaquin had been obsessed with babies since we talked about them so much to prepare him as best we could for what was ahead, so he was super excited to meet little Baby Girl. Dan was holding her when they met for the first time and it was love at first sight. Joaquin seemed a little scared of me though and was hesitant to get too close to me at first. It wasn’t until I was holding the baby that he came and finally gave me a hug. I still wonder why.

first meeting

the first hug

Their first meeting

It was a great thing I had had a big bowl of pasta before we left for the 3pm visit to the midwife to sustain me through the birth but I’m so glad that I had packed our birthing cooler full of goodies because I was suddenly starving! While my mom and Robert both got some cuddles in I ate my ginormous sandwich and some crackers…I’m telling ya, that was the best tasting sandwich I have ever had! Over the next two days I worked through the remainder of the cooler goodies, so all that work in early labor totally did not go to waste!

Meeting her Lita

meeting Grandpa Robert

At this point we still didn’t have a name. It was between Isela (ee-SEL-ah) and Dahlia. For a while I was leaning towards Dahlia, but over the past couple of weeks I just knew in my gut was going to end up being Isela. I knew my mom wanted Isela; she did give it to me as my middle name after all, and Dan had been leaning toward it all along. Finally that first night, Dan and I decided. Baby Girl was now Isela Marí,

When the family all left it was well after 10pm, we did our best to get some sleep that night, but we were both running on a pretty big adrenaline rush. The nurses were great about trying not to disturb us while still helping me with all the fun stuff like going to the bathroom. We were in a big queen sized four poster bed and they were totally cool about us all sleeping together as a family. It did kind of suck though that there was no TV or even wi-fi so Dan watched some boring netflix movie on his computer while I slept on and off.

The next day and night were a bit of a blur. My mom and Joaquin came for another visit as did my sister, Ceci and her husband, Brandon. Later in the morning Dan went home to freshen up and came back a bit later in the afternoon to keep me company and to bring me some "Friends" dvds. Iris also came by and took some pics of Isela and I. Eventually I sent Dan back home to get a decent night’s sleep though, while I stayed the next night with just Isela.

Joaquin & Isela




That night my regular midwife was on call so she came and visited me and told me how proud she was. It was great to see her at the end of it all even though she didn’t end up getting to assist me with the birth.

Because we had to stay for at least 24 hours for the newborn screening, we weren’t released until Sunday around noon. At first I was kind of bummed that I had to stay as long as I did, I was really missing Joaquin, I mean just thinking about him was bringing me to tears, I just wanted to hug and cuddle him soo bad! But looking back it was a good thing. Life is crazy at home with two, and being forced to be waited on hand and foot wasn’t such a bad thing…now it was time for reality.



day 2 at the hospital

Part five of Isela Marí’s arrival: Finally Home

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Part three of Isela Marí’s arrival: The Birth

Here is the 3rd, but not quite final installment of Isela's birth story! Here is the link to Part One and Two if you haven't read them yet. Also, if you're afraid of hearing about the gory details of childbirth or don't want to imagine them happening to may not want to read on! Yes, that warning is for all the guys who are curiously checking this out...

Part three of Isela Marí’s arrival: The Birth

My contractions were super close together on the ride home so I decided to lie down while listening to my hypnosis. I didn’t want to start timing them knowing they were close together only because of the sweep, I knew that they would most likely spread out a bit again and they did. For the next three hours or so I tried a variety of different positions all while listening to my Hypnobabies to keep me centered, calm and focused.

Each time I got settled in a position the contractions would spread out a bit to 4-5 minutes apart and each time I moved positions they were just about 2-3 minutes apart. I lied down on my side, paced back and forth and returned to my side while in the tub. My favorite position though, was sitting on the birth ball with my head resting on a stack of pillows on the couch. With each contraction I would rock myself this way and that while I hummed though the peak. I soon realized that I was humming louder and louder and my peaks were getting longer and longer.

I remember during one of my pacing sessions, looking at myself in the closet mirror during a contraction. My eyes looked eerily light. I stared at myself and just focused on the pressure, on the purpose and on envisioning my body relaxing and opening up. I remember thinking to myself that it “hurt so good”, you know, like a really intense massage or workout. I imagined the “pain” I was feeling to that of an athlete or a runner. You feel the pain, but you know it’s there for a good reason so you want it, you almost enjoy it, you welcome it. It never got to a point where I couldn’t handle it, but it was there and I wanted it because I knew it was doing its job.

I then realized that I couldn’t talk to Dan while in the middle of a contraction, that I was feeling some waves of nausea during them, I was also trembling a bit as well. At first I thought that I was just wimping out, that I was succumbing to the contractions. I thought that because it had only been three hours since I was checked and only 3cm, how could I be feeling overwhelmed already? Then I remembered that those were all signs of the beginnings transition, where everything starts to get really intense. By 7pm, I figured it was time to call the birth center and for us to head over.

By the time we arrived I was really having to concentrate through each contraction. Yes, there was pain but it was more the intensity of the pressure that I had to work through. The Hypnobabies was really helping to deal, but again, it was a lot of work to concentrate through them. I had to moan through each one, it was a way to release the pressure. As soon as we got to the birth center they got us set up in a room and the midwife, Jasmine, said she would be right back to check me. They gave me hospital gown to change into that I just put over my tank top; I knew I wouldn’t want to be in it for long. Dan had gone to park the car and I found a chair, pulled it up to the bed, and sat there with my head on the bed, alone in the dark. Things were really picking up and my moans had turned into loud groans.

Jasmine soon came in and had me lay on the bed, when she announced I was a 6 contracting to a 7 or 8. I was ecstatic. I knew that was close to the end for me and knew I could get through a few more hours of it. They asked if I wanted the birthing tub filled, a doula, aromatherapy and a birthing ball. I said yes to it all, I wanted all the perks of the birth center! I changed out of the gown and into a sarong and my tank top. We put a Hypnobabies cd on the player and I was comfortable and ready to keep going!

I continued to sit on the birth ball with my head on the bed. Dan sat behind me and I had him push on my lower back, no massaging, just constant counter pressure. It was perfect. I was totally in my own world and dealing. Then I felt pressure down below, lots of it, like I had to push. But I knew that I was probably not dilated all the way so I held back. Jasmine was just watching me and could tell I was holding back and not comfortable and told me that if I felt like I had to push and bear down, to go ahead. To listen to my body. So I did. It relieved so much of the pressure and made it sooo much easier. But then it suddenly got too much and I ended up standing with each contraction. That’s when I saw Jasmine tell the two nurses to get stuff ready. I watched them bring in a tray of tools and stuff and I thought to myself, “She’s crazy, it’s not happening yet, we just got here!”

But with each contraction I continued to stand up and my groans turned into yells. Then I suddenly had the urge to poop! I stood up in a panic yelling, “I have to poop, I have to poop!” I know I probably did, but everybody was nice enough to keep it to themselves. Yes, it happens. Jasmine kept calmingly telling me, “No, it’s the baby, it’s the bag of waters, it hasn’t broken yet, just listen to your body.” My body kept pushing on it’s own and I kept freaking out that I was going to poop everywhere! Jasmine asked me what position I wanted to get in on the bed and I kind of yelled, “I don’t know what I want!” I was starting to lose control and was panicking; I didn’t think she would really be coming already!

I was on all fours on the bed and Dan was near my head, I grabbed on to his arm with one hand and pulled while pushing on his body with my other. My yells had turned into growling screams. I can’t say it was because of the pain, but again, as a means to release the pressure. Jasmine kept telling me that as soon as my water broke her head and body would follow and then suddenly I felt a huge pop and a gush. I fell to my left side and continued to push. I didn’t have it in me to lift my right leg so Dan had to do it for me. He was so awesome; he just jumped right in and became a part of the whole thing and totally got me through this crazy part!

I remember thinking “So this is the Ring of Fire that everybody talks about” because I hadn’t felt it with Joaquin. But as soon as I thought that, the burn went away, then it was just all release. All release from pushing her out. I reached down and felt the top of her head and knew we were almost there. I screamed with each push and continued to push and pull on Dan. Jasmine, Dan and the two nurses all cheered me on and I just kept hearing Jasmine telling me to listen to my body.

At one point it got kind of quiet and as it turns out I had only pushed out her head and then I stopped. They were all waiting for me to push again. I think my body was just taking a little break because I heard Jasmine tell me again that it was OK to keep going and then I started back up again. The weirdest feeling ever is feeling my baby squirm out of me. It didn’t hurt, it just felt really really weird. They picked her up and put her on my chest. I fell to my back and looked down at this tiny little baby on my body. I was somewhere, somewhere very far from reality as I stared at her. I was in awe of what my body had just done…again.

I remember holding her and smiling and giggling, totally in a euphoric daze. Then I looked up at Dan and said, “Holy shit, did you see what I just did?!” He kind of laughed, with the same dopey smile I had and said, “Yeah, I did.”

in awe

I still have so much more on my mind that I feel I have to get out. So, I will continue with these knowing that this was the “good part” for most. Don’t worry, my feelings won’t be hurt if you’re done here…it’s just that I’m not.

What more could I possibly write about? Well, there is the post birth stay at the hospital Birth Center, which includes the first time Joaquin meets his baby sister, our first days at home and how that is going as a new family. I also keep comparing and contrasting my two births, it took everything to not make this birth story a big compare and contrast and just the story of Isela’s birth, so I may add that as well.

So, if you’re interested, there is more…and if not, I really hope you enjoyed the story of Isela Marí’s birth.

Click here for Part four of Isela Marí’s arrival: Afterwards

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Part two of Isela Marí's arrival: It's Really Happening!

Here is the 2nd installment of Isela's birth story! Sorry for the cliff hangers, but I'm writing as I'm posting...the end isn't even written yet, I swear! Here is the link to Part One if you haven't read it.

Part two of Isela Marí's arrival: It's Really Happening!

Joaquin finally woke up around 7:30 and my contractions were just under 10 minutes apart and slowly getting more intense. When I went to stand up, my lower back was a mess. I could barely stand up straight with the constant dull ache. I wanted to hang out with Joaquin a bit in the living room knowing that this was it and he would be going to go my mom’s soon. Unfortunately, on the couch when he was trying to be cuddly it translated into him crawling all over me and making the contractions much less tolerable.

I called my mom and told her what was going on, but knew I couldn’t wait for her to come and get him. So Joaquin and I quickly got dressed and I drove him to my mom’s. Yes, I drove. Remember, the contractions were still pretty far apart and totally not intense yet…but getting there and she only lives about 20 minutes away. When I left I told Dan that it was probably the day, but I don’t think he believed me since right after I said that I drove off! Once at my mom’s I ate breakfast and tried to relax a bit. Again, it was really too difficult with Joaquin and all the distractions so I made a quick getaway back to our house where I could focus in peace and start listening to my Hypnobabies. Before I left I gave Joaquin the biggest most smothering hug he would let me give him and told him that the next time he saw me, I would have Baby Girl with me. His eyes lit up and he looked at both me and my mom like “really?” then he was off to play.

If you don’t know what it is, Hypnobabies is a birthing program that consists of a bunch of scripts read aloud by some lady on CD. It’s considered Hypnosis for childbirth but one is not under hypnosis like on a magic show or something, it’s more like super duper relaxation and focus on letting your body do what is simply meant to do. There is a cheese factor when first listening to the scripts, but if you can get past that, the end result is so totally worth it.

Anyway, at home Dan was dressed to go to work, I had to quickly put him in check and tell him he wasn’t going anywhere, this was it. I still don’t think he believed me. I called my chiropractor and made a one o’clock appointment for a final adjustment. I know it’s helpful in early labor plus my back was killing me. I was so afraid of back labor and know how much harder it makes for a natural birth so I wanted to do anything I could to help it go away! I also had a midwife appointment at 3pm, I had no I idea where I would be in terms of progress at that point so I wanted things ready, just in case.

By 11am I got in the shower and labored while hanging over my birth ball with the shower water hitting my lower back. I also let the tub fill up a bit and sat on the ball with the shower running over me. It made my back feel so much better, but as soon as I finished the ache returned.

I still had time and wanted to be prepared so I worked on the remainder of my labor projects. I wrapped the presents for Joaquin “from Baby Girl” and started packing the birthing cooler. I prepared a bag full of snacks and treats, made four big sandwiches for Dan and I and cut up and packaged some strawberries and watermelon. I also added a bunch of electrolyte drinks for me and some iced tea for Dan. We were set on food just in case of a long drawn out birth. If not, we were set for afterwards!

After I finished off the final additions to my hospital bag I finally I got dressed and we headed out for my chiropractor. She was awesome and did her regular adjustments and wished me good luck. No big hoopla, it was like she adjusts women in labor everyday, well she probably actually does. I didn’t feel instant relief, but by the time we got home I realized that I was no longer thinking about my back…It worked!

Back at home I packed up the cooler, checked some email and then it was time to head to the midwife to get there by three. My contractions had picked up and were just over 5 minutes apart. While I knew that that probably wasn’t enough progress to get admitted, I wanted to have our stuff with us just in case things picked up. I was really looking forward to laboring in the tub!

I feel like the trip to see my midwife is where everything turned from early into active labor. Just the walk from the car to the offices was enough to throw my contractions closer together, but when she checked me I was still only 3 cm and 75% effaced. In one last desperate attempt, I had her sweep my membranes to hopefully jump start things. She knew I was in early labor so she called the birth center to see how full it was and luckily they had a room ready and waiting, just for me! She suggested we continue to labor at home or walk around the area a bit since I was still only three stinking centimeters dilated. I opted to go back home and labor as much as possible there. I was disappointed, but was confident that we would be back by that evening.

Click here for
Part three of Isela Marí’s arrival: The Birth

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Part one of Isela Marí’s arrival: Pre Labor

Isela Marí was born on August 7th at 8:38 pm. She was 8pounds 4 oz (just like her brother) and 19 inches long.

Isela Marí

Isela Marí

As I started writing this birth story, it slowly got longer and longer as I got all my thoughts and emotions down. I’m not one to sit and read multiple pages on a blog (or anywhere) so if you don’t mind, I’m going to break this down into multiple parts…I hope you enjoy!

Part one of Isela Marí’s arrival: Pre Labor

I was in pre-labor for weeks, I know this is what my body does, but it doesn’t make it any easier to manage, especially with a very active little one to chase after on a daily basis and the heat. Oh the heat the past couple of weeks!

When I say pre-labor, I mean mild to annoying contractions and cramps about 10-15 apart for weeks. That with the oh-so-fun and painful “natural cleansing” out of my “system” day after day made for some interesting emotional moments.

At my 38 week appointment, my midwife told me she thought I was going to go into labor within five days. While I really really tried not to let that arbitrary timeline enter my frame of thinking, it was always in the back of my mind. I pretty much made sure everything was ready to go and by that five day mark when Baby Girl still had not made her entrance I was completely let down. I knew better than to listen to those silly “she’ll come early” predictions, but I still let it get to me.

Then came the full moon. If you asked me weeks ago if I wanted to give birth on or around the full moon, I would have said HELL NO! I know it has some kind of pull on pregnant women and I knew that that would mean competition for a room at the birth center. I wanted a room and a good one, one complete with a birthing pool and a volunteer doula. I did NOT want to compete with a bunch of other full moon birthing moms for stuff I was counting on my entire pregnancy.

But the full moon was coming and I was tired and done. They say it has it’s strongest pull two days before and after the actual full moon, so by the night it was at it’s fullest and nothing was happening, I was straight up pissed. We even went for a walk to the local market for ice just after dark just so I could walk under its “powers”. Silly, I know.

The next day was my actual due date and I was in much better spirits, probably because it had started to cool down significantly. I went for breakfast with my mom & Joaquin and we walked around Ikea. It was exciting to actually say “today!” when someone asked when I was due. That evening Dan, Joaquin and I went for a nice long and cool walk at the zoo. By the time we got home my contractions had finally kicked it up a notch but were still well over 10 minutes apart. I had a feeling that things were headed into the direction of actual early labor so I knew I had to get as much sleep as possible.

I slept OK considering. I did wake up every hour or two, each time more confident that things were actually progressing. I hugged and cuddled Joaquin as much as he would let me; I knew things were going to be very different after that night and I wanted my cuddling fill of him! By 5:30 or 6 AM, I couldn’t sleep anymore. I got up to pee a couple of times, but mostly I just snuggled with Joaquin and Dan anticipating what the day was possibly going to bring.

Click here for Part two of Isela Marí's arrival: It's Really Happening!