Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Reader's Digest: December

:: After some disappointed searching, we found an amazing Christmas tree lot filled with Oregon-grown evergreens. It smelled like heaven and the tree was perfect. We're definitely going back next year.
:: We took Colby to see Frozen, his first in-theater movie. He kept saying, "wow," over and over again, with big eyes. He's now obsessed with the soundtrack and busts a move whenever he hears a song from it.
:: Robb decked our house out in Christmas lights despite great risk to life and limb
And it sure looked pretty (I wish I took a picture when everything was up, but this was all I managed)
 :: The boys treated me to a pedicure since I couldn't reach my feet and then Colby decided my fingernails needed a little work too.
 :: Colby helped me unload the silverware the morning my contractions started
 and by 6:41 that evening Alice joined our family
:: We sent out our first Christmas card, which means we're officially adults now (just in case finishing college, the two kids, and buying a house didn't do it)
:: My mom came on the 13th to help out and by the next weekend my whole family was here for Christmas.
 We played games and finished a puzzle
Ate wonderful food
 Reenacted the Nativity
 Admired the Christmas lights 
(some of us were more alert than others)
And snuggled...oh, how we snuggled
Christmas Eve we opened our traditional Christmas jammies
The next morning I saw Colby's face light up when he spied the tree.

Christmas is such a magical time of year for a two year old

...and a 27 year old
And then they were gone, Robb went back to work, and I got to experience what being the mother of two is really like.
So far I'm loving it.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Alice Danae's Birth Story

::12:53am--I started having moderate contractions that felt better with walking. So for an hour I lumbered in and out of bed every 15 minutes until I took pity on Robb and moved to the couch.

::2:00am-6:00am--My contractions slowly moved from 1 every 15 minutes to every 6...and then to every 30. I was bummed. You'd like to think if you're awake all night with contractions, it would amount to something, but by the time Robb left at 7:00 they were 45 minutes apart.

::6:00am-12:00pm--Colby and I go through a normal morning, albeit with a few pauses every 30-45 minutes or so to walk out another contraction.

::1:00pm-2:45pm-Colby went down for an early nap just as the true contractions started. Pacing no longer worked, so I quickly looked up how to ease back labor on the internet (technology is amazing). Counter pressure and heat helped for awhile (although the next day I noticed bruising on my back from my attempts at counter pressure), but became less effective around 2:00pm.

::2:45pm--I wimped out and called Robb. He had a doctor's appointment at 3:30 and I thought I could hold on until it ended, but at that point I needed moral support and someone to help with Colby when he woke up. The contractions were coming every 5-6 minutes and my OBGYN told me to wait for an hour after that point before going to the hospital...I made it 20 minutes (mainly due to the fact the contractions jumped almost immediately to every 3-4 minutes).

::3:15pm--Robb packed up our things and our friend, Rhianna, came over and took charge of Colby. We got in the car and as we drove I prayed for three things: that I was far enough along that they wouldn't send us home**, that I wouldn't give birth in the car, and that if possible, I'd like to arrive in time to get an epidural.

::4:00pm-5:00pm--My prayers were answered. My contractions slowed to every 8-10 minutes while in the car, my water didn't break, and the nurse who admitted us measured me at 8 cm dilated. We spent a very long time in triage and then walked over to the delivery room.

::5:00pm-5:45pm--I'd taken an at home hypnobirthing course before with Colby and using those skills of deep relaxation was the only thing that kept me together. Eventually in the class you learn to remain in that state of hypnosis while moving around...but I never got to that part and so managed by closing my eyes and blocking everything else out. Our Romanian nurse hooked me up to a bag of D5NS and told me the whole thing needed to empty before I could get the epidural and then kept pestering me with admission questions, which made my feeble attempts at hypnosis difficult (fortunately, she had to leave to care for another patient and a nicer nurse replaced her).

::5:45pm--My friend, the anesthesiologist, came by, sat me in an upright position, and inserted the needle. Meanwhile, I felt an incredibly strong urge to push...and I did. My pain-ridden mind thought I was peeing all over the bed (my water broke) and I kept apologizing over and over for it. The epidural went in and I was checked again for progress--10 cm.

::6:20pm-6:41pm--we waited for the doctor to arrive before pushing and after 20 minutes our beautiful baby girl was born weighing 6 pounds, 15 ounces and measuring 19 inches long.
Alice is beautiful. She has dark eyes that I'm hoping will be hazel, a fair amount of dark hair, and long fingers and toes. When she cries, she looks exactly like Colby and has the small divot in her ears that marks her as a Hays child.
She voluntarily stayed awake for an hour and attempted to sleep the rest of our hospital stay. The nurses had to keep checking her blood sugar because we couldn't get her to stay awake long enough to eat (even when she got her Hepatitis B vaccine, which the nurse told me was painful, she only cried for a minute before zonking off again).
Colby met her the next afternoon. I guess we did a decent job explaining that the bulge in Mama's stomach was a baby because the first thing he did (after giving me a hug) was to point at the bassinet and say, "Alice." Then he smiled.
Our pediatrician gave us permission to leave after the minimum 24 hours, so once we filled out the paperwork and completed some last minute tests, we went home.
Just the four of us.

**I was induced with Colby after my water broke, so the whole going into labor experience was new to me

Monday, December 2, 2013


My birthday was low-key and wonderful. Robb came home early to make our weekly OB appointment (the doctor said last week he expected the baby to come in the next 7-10 days and this week he told me there was a 50/50 chance she'd come before my next appointment...I think he's starting to lose confidence) and then after presents, we dropped Colby off at the Halls' and headed out for dinner at Reilly Craft Pizza & Drink.
I love hanging out with him
We had fried stuffed squash blossoms for the first time (yum) and a pizza that was half crimini mushroom (also yum) and half yukon gold potato and pecorino (interesting, but difficult to eat). The building used to be a mortuary that they renovated (lots of gorgeous brick and vaulted window frames) and we'll definitely go again. 
Then we came home, collected my sweet baby boy and downed one third of a cheesecake with some friends in our neighborhood. Perfect evening.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Random bits of November

:: Our friends, the Caltons, offered to watch Colby while Robb and I went to the Mesa Temple. I love the feeling of utter peace I feel there and I'm so grateful we got to squeeze one last trip in before this baby comes.
On the way home we survived our first dust storm (also known as a haboob)
:: My friend, Victoria, and her son come with us on our weekly trips to the library
:: I found a dentist with a posh office and spent my 40 minutes or so check-up watching HGTV on the flat screen mounted above my head and chose "sugar cookie" from the list of holiday inspired flavors for the polish.
:: Does anyone else think this is a bad idea?
:: Colby took this awesome selfie:
:: And entertains himself in the morning while I exercise (by the way, I love him in footie pajamas)
:: Bugs are huge over here
:: Colby no longer goes grocery shopping with me. After an epic tantrum where even the staff at Fry's were feeling bad for me (one tried to give Colby a paper hat and another a balloon), I decided my sanity was too valuable to risk and now Robb and Colby enjoy a little manly bonding time while I do my hunting/gathering.
:: Colby helps weed by attacking the plants with a stick...most of the time he goes after the wrong ones, but it's the thought that counts.
:: I made an amazing pizza.
:: We weaned Colby from his pacifier by snipping little bits off the end for four days until he decided it wasn't worth using anymore.
:: Colby turned two
:: On the 22nd I broke down and wore pants for the first time since moving to Arizona and it rained for TWO straight days. My Oregonian soul was in heaven
:: We also turned our heater on and the air conditioning off
Random Sunday Picture

:: Thanksgiving was wonderful. It was the first time we had it as just our little family and it took six full meals to polish off the leftovers, but it was fun to celebrate it with my two favorite people in our own little house. We are so blessed.
:: And this is how I feel at 39 weeks:

Hopefully Alice will be here soon.