Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Why am I so happy? It could be for a number of reasons:

1. We found the long-lost digi-cam! It was right on top of the fridge, hidden by some crazy blue painters tape. Pictures are below!

2. Janice found out she's having a girl! Mommy intuition is amazing. I am thrilled beyond words for her!

3. Pop Tarts and hot chocolate at midnight are truly the perfect pregnancy snack. With lots of mini marshmellows! (Mouseminnows, as Josh used to call them). :)

4. A dear friend came for dinner tonight and we had our usual girls only chat - mega fun in the midst of cranky babyville. She's in love and her enthusiasm makes me giddy.

5. Our first swim class was fantastic!

6. I had a truly lovely birthday. We went out to breakfast, shopped at JoAnns, went to dinner with a bunch of our friends and then went to another friends house later on.

The next day Emma and I went to my parents house and celebrated there, and Mom & Dad got me a really awesome new purse and some beautiful maternity clothes. Sisters got me a maternity dress/shirt (a really fancy one from London!) and amazing smelling candle and soap. Have I ever mentioned my obsession with good scents? Oh, it's MUCH worse during pregnancy, when my nose is super sensitive. Everything must be clean and smelling fantastic at all times!

Getting back to the birthday; Mom made all my favorite foods and a yummy cake that tasted just like a huge oreo cookie! It was amazing! The best part of the night came as my parents were singing to me: Emma began slowly bouncing/dancing up and down and singing to me along with them. It was such a precious moment that my heart swelled and broke and regrew a thousand times larger. Kind of like the Grinch, without all the nasty no-good-ing. Oh, how I love my sweet Emma. Enough! Pictures!

Posted by Kier at 12:47 AM | 1 comments
Emma in Daddy's shoes. This is one of our favorite pictures of out little girl! That look on her face is such a classic Emma look; grinning but full of mischief! And how is it that she always ends up so disheveled? Who cares, she's my little beauty.

Here are a few of Emma's favorite things:

Her new Elmo couch. It pulls out to make a little bed and she's over the moon about it!

Playing with the evil Gia cat (my cousin's cat). Emma loves all animals, even the mean, hissing ones.

Grammy; specifically, walking in Gram's shoes. My mother humors Emma in everything she does, and spends a lot of time hobbling about on her bum foot (still healing from breaking it 6 months ago!!) while Emma walks in her shoes.

Papa; specifically, staring at him with wonder and amazement. And some awe. And a bit of fear! No, the fear has gone away and has been replaced with a sort of dreamy, crush-like grin. It's insanely adorable, my daughter loving my father and looking at him with what I imagine to be the same look I gave him when I was little. She just loves my parents so much! And they, of course, are in love with her as well!

We had a very lovely Valentine's Day here! Jared got us flowers (seen below) and bought Emma a special giraffe. Grammy and Papa got her the gorilla. :)

One red rose for his soulmate, 2 lavender roses for his sweet daughters.

Savannah's rose, looking beautiful in bloom.

My Aunt Chris had me over for dinner to celebrate my birthday and we ended up watching a Sabres game at the end of the evening. The happen to be the most obsessed fans on earth! Good thing Emma LOVES hockey; she was literally glued to the TV while the "big guys" played!

And she even cheered and clapped along with us when we scored!

Now that we've gotten the camera back I'm sure to document March a lot better than I did February. But still, some pretty wonderful memories captured here. :)

Posted by Kier at 12:39 AM | 2 comments
Saturday, February 24, 2007
There are some truly wonderful pictures of my family on our digi-cam but sadly it has been lost in our little home. As soon as I discover it's whereabouts I'll be posting away.
Tonight the family went out to dinner at Lebros for my birthday (which is on Sunday), sans Jared who obviously had to work. Emma had a wonderful time sitting next to Grammy and passing her all the 'poon' (spoons) she could reach and playing with the neato little wooden toy the restaurant provided her with. She ate minestrone soup, chicken parm, and chicken piccata until her little belly almost burst, and I beamed on the sidelines. My sister and I talked about how happy and secure it makes us feel when our children are well fed; we both revel in the days when Josh and Emma eat like champs at every meal and go to bed with full tummies. There is just something about motherhood that makes you need to see your children fill their bellies with sustenance. I never want Emma to finish her food at every meal, I need her to. When she eats poorly I feel out of sorts and worrisome about her overall well-being, much like I imagine every other mother in the world feels about their children. Why am I talking about this? Because I'm thanking God each and every moment of the day that I have the means to provide my child with the food she needs. It's as simple as that. I am so utterly thankful.
On the topic of feeding, I am really looking forward to nursing Savannah when she enters the outside world. I can't wait for that first feeding, and imagine it every night as I rock Emma to sleep. I'm trying to visualize the perfect birth and along with that comes a warm babe nuzzled to my breast, skin to skin, covered with blankets. In this visualization only Jared and I are in the room, and he sits on the bed while Savannah cuddles up and eats. This positive visualization is getting me through the rougher times of this pregnancy and helping to alleviate anxieties about
the birth.
Today is our 8th anniversary! 8 years ago today Jared kissed me for the first time and we officially became a couple. 2 years ago today our darling Emma was conceived, making the 23rd a very special number.
My sister leaves tomorrow to go back to London until August. While she is away our nephew will turn 4 and I'll give birth to her third niece. She will miss a lot and be missed even more. Godspeed her home to us.

Posted by Kier at 12:11 AM | 2 comments
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Emma had her 15 month ped visit today, during which we were suprised with 2 vaccines. Let me tell you, we are a couple who LOVE surprises! Birthdays gifts, parties, spontaneous trips to the grocery store; all of these are welcome things. But surprise us with shots when we were told at the last visit that there were no more shots until 18 months? And you get two very grumpy, resistant parents. Let me explain.

I am a complete pain-o-phobe when it comes to children I love. Watching Emma endure shots, finger pricks, etc. is literal torture for me. I don't give a kick in hell what the benefits of vaccinations are, people; all I can focus on is my daughter's bloodcurdling screams that go on for 20 minutes. She is not a good shot-taker, in fact she just plain sucks at pain - I blame it on myself, as that's just how I was a child. I would kick and scream and yell at the nurses and my parents every time SHOT was mentioned. I feared the doctor for years.

Which is one reason why we told the nurse and nurse practitioner NO to shots today. Every single visit for the past three visits have ended with shots or finger pricks and we don't want Emma to start associating every doctor visit with pain. Plus, the damn nurse practitioner promised us last time that this visit would include NO shots. We're freaks, my husband and I. We need time to prepare for these things! You would too if your kid screamed the way Emma does. We like to know in advance whether we need to be brave Mommy and Daddy, optimistic parents who are ready to smile and sing and cuddle our daughter through the stabbing of needles into her perfect sweet little arms. We can't perform these duties unless priorly warned, darnit!

And so we refused the shots today knowing that she'll get them next time at 18 months. That's just one month before Savannah is due to arrive! Jared will take Emma to that visit alone because I am just too pregnant and emotional and hormonal to be able to smile and sing and cuddle Emma through the stabbing of needles into her chubby, perfectly sweet and lovely little arms.

Before I was pregnant I don't think I would have stared down a medical professional and just said no to vaccinations. Well, then again, I did tell our last pediatrician that we were anti-vaccine and that it was only due to her pressuring us that we even let Emma be vaccinated in the first place. Yeah, she took that well.

Anyway, through all of this rambling I guess I'm saying that:
1. Surprise vaccinations are never a good thing.
2. I'm insanely hormonal.
3. I'm not apologizing for this, simply stating a fact.
4. Emma has really sweet, perfect, chubby little arms that should be 100% needle free for the rest of her life. This includes tattoos! (Don't ever tell her that Mommy has one though). my anti-needle ranting I forgot to mention how Amazon Emma is! She is up to 25 lbs, 31 and 7/8 inches. That's a weight gain of 5 lbs since November, and a length gain (huh?) of almost 2 inches. Apparently she takes after Daddy. Also, her head is big like his. And according to the n.p. she's way ahead of the game in terms of talking! I keep telling myself I'll make a list of her words and there's no better time like the present so here goes:

Big Bird
All gone
All done
More (usually sign language, but also spoken)
Cheese (her favorite food)
...and I know there's more but I'm too tired to think of them...

Plus the animal sounds for: elephant, monkey, dog, cow, sheep, snake, turkey, & sometimes cat. She's brillant and funny and beautiful and...well, mine. And that makes her the most amazing creature on the planet.

Posted by Kier at 11:00 PM | 2 comments
It's been a very busy few days for us here in the J household. We spent the weekend shopping for baby things and spending time with my sister Breanna who is home from the UK to have some surgery done (woman parts stuff). She slept over last night and we had a fun time malling and Block*bustering and Scrabble-ing it up! She bought Em a cute Elmo mylar balloon (which Emmie loves, of course!) and after I got miss Tired-As-Anything into bed we played games and watched The Devil Wears Prada, which we both deemed cute but not funny enough and sorta sad. Of course, we stayed up way too late and I got not enough sleep so I'm a zombie today.

The morning was spent making pancakes and sausage and dropping Bre back at mom&dads and then rushing home to cleanCleanCLEAN for a friend who was coming over. We attempted to give her a nap but she refused all of our efforts and it was then that I realized I'd probably be screwed later when she collapsed in exhaustion.
Jared left for work and Emma and I were surprised by a visit from our neighbors Pooja and Pranav - Pranav is 2 and he and Emma are just starting to get used to one another. They came up and played for a bit and Pooja and I talked while the kids tried their hardest to share, and after they left I had to cancel my plans with Andrea (the friend who was coming over) because Emma suddenly had a bout of horrible oh-so-awful oh my gosh it can't get any worse than this diarrhea/diaper rash. Her poor little bottom is flaming red and when I attempted to clean her off she went into hysterics I've only seen while she is being tortured at the doctor's office. Honestly, I almost started crying myself and I'm no wussy Mommy. I gave up on cleaning her and just put a dry diaper on, not even able to put cream on her. My poor sweetie sobbed so hard that I almost couldn't think what to do for her, and we just sat on the couch and I rocked her and sang to her while she put her head on my chest and clutched at my shirt in desperation, so tired and sore was she.
We sat on the couch for almost 2 hours, me wondering what the heck to do with a babe who fell asleep at 6:45pm and who would most likely be up for the rest of the night. She woke up around 8:40pm and cuddled with me for 15 minutes then was back to her old self (except for when I approached her with a new diaper - but I did manage to change her twice and put enormously thick layers of Desitin on her bum).

Of course, her little late night nap meant that she didn't go to sleep for the night until quarter to midnight, and that she fought sleep and me for almost an hour. It was the most physically exhausting bedtime I've ever had with her; rocking in the glider led to rocking her in my arms while standing up which lead to swinging her while singing which led to a milk baba which led to stories which led to more arm rocking while standing which led to more glider rocking and humming which FINALLY led to baby sleeping in her crib and Mama needing to go online to relieve the tension. Oh, and a ginormous bowl of chocolate almond ice cream.

Em has a doc appointment tomorrow at noon where we'll refuse to let them prick her finger and test her hemoglobin again (because 2 weeks of being sick with a bad cold and no appetite can make it really low, DUH!), and where we'll ask about allergy testing. And my favorite part of each visit: discovering how much our little girl weighs!

Okay, I really need to crawl into bed and watch some sort of HGTV or reality junk. Anything to numb my brain until Jared comes home and we can slip into sleep in each other's arms.

I am SOOOOOO sleeping in tomorrow!!!!

Posted by Kier at 12:07 AM | 0 comments
Friday, February 16, 2007
I thought that I was doing alright with the information that Nina won't be caring for me during this pregnancy. I really thought I had a handle on it. But today was a very hard day of doubting myself and my body and my ability to birth this babe vaginally, and bad memories of Emma's birth and our hospital stay.

I spoke with one of the new midwives (2 in the practice) yesterday and it turns out I need clearance to try for a VBAC in order to be a patient of theirs. *Sigh*. I made an appointment with one of the ob/gyns at my current practice for today but cancelled last minute. Yesterday was emotionally draining for a few different reasons and I just didn't feel up to having an internal plus talking about everything that happened during Emma's birth with some strange man.

Just this evening it really dawned on me that Nina won't be my midwife. For some people this is no big deal; they have an ob/gyn who comes last minute to the hospital anyway and they never really get to know the doctor in the first place. But I know Nina; I know her little quirks well enough to know when she's worried about something or when something isn't right, and she knows me well enough to be able to calm my fears. I am absolutely terrified of having a repeat cesarean, plus being away from Emma and now being even farther (the new midwives deliver at a hospital that is about 40-45 minutes away from my mom's house, as opposed to the 10 minute drive to the hospital I would have delivered at again if I could have stayed with Nina).

*Ugh*. I'm just too tired and upset to think about this tonight. I'm going to console myself with the knowledge that my birthday is coming and with it comes a new sewing machine and probably some sewing tools/accessories, as well as a surprise from Jared that he's assured me I'll love. Hopefully I'll also get the breadmaker I've been drooling over (not for a birthday gift, but sometime relatively soon).

I had forgotten how emotional I get during pregnancy.

Posted by Kier at 10:46 PM | 3 comments
Monday, February 12, 2007
Earlier today I began to write about how much I was dreading going to my midwife appointment today because I didn't want to tell Nina that I was reconsidering a hospital birth. I knew she'd say that no one would do a homebirth for me because this is a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean), and I was afraid that if I demanded a birthing center birth that she wouldn't be able to be my midwife anymore. Nina works for a husband/wife ob/gyn practice and only delivers in 2 area hospitals, contractually obligated not to work homebirths. I knew this going to my appointment, which is why I was so upset beforhand.

I had no idea that there was far worse news waiting for me at the office.

Nina is moving. Her husband is in the military and they will be moving back to Kentucky in July. She stops working in May - one month short of my EDD. When Nina came into the room today she asked me how I was doing and I replied, "We need to talk". Then I promptly burst into tears and told her that I couldn't face another hospital birth, that I couldn't go through another clinical, separated-from-my-child, 4 night stay in a public room. No way. That I was reconsidering...

...And that's when she said "I have something to tell you..." and went on to explain the when and why she was leaving. At this point I just couldn't stop the tears; in the two years that I've been with Nina she's become more than just a "doctor" figure - she's become a friend. I can't imagine birthing Savannah without her there. But she hasn't left me high and dry! She did research and found the best "midwifey-midwives", as she put it, in the area because she knows there's no way I'll stay with the husband/wife practice without her. I'll be calling them tomorrow to find out more about them (if they accept our insurance, if they do VBACs, etc.). I'm terrified to begin again with new midwives because Nina knows me and my history and my fears and my concerns...*tears*. The only good part of this is that Nina offered to be my doula for the birth, since she and her husband will most likely still be here! So whether she is officially my midwife or not, Nina might very well be there when I birth our second daughter. Hopefully this time she'll be encouraging me to push and not holding my hand while I'm strapped to a table.

One of the worst things about this switch is that the new midwives (2 in the practice) are located much farther away, downtown, and they only deliver at Children's Hospital. MFS, the hospital I was in with Emma, is only 10 minutes from my mom's house where Emma will be staying while I'm giving birth. I can't imagine being soooo far away from my baby. But as Nina remided me, because I WILL be having a vaginal birth this time I can leave earlier than 24 hours after giving birth as long as I bring Savannah back for the blood test. Oh, God, please please let this go right.

In other news, our toilet is broken, our phone is on the brink, and we have to be out of the house all day long tomorrow while various things are fixed. What I would give just to have a peaceful day of sleeping in tomorrow. *sigh*

Posted by Kier at 11:01 PM | 0 comments
Thursday, February 08, 2007
My link thing won't work, so just click:

I'm horribly overwhelmed with the two...imagine 6!

Posted by Kier at 10:54 AM | 0 comments
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Two of my best friends are pregnant at the same time I am now; one is due a week after me and one just found out a few days ago (surprise!). I am thrilled that we get to go through this together. Our three children (Emma, Zellie & Joshua) are best friends and have spent almost a year growing up together. It's been a wonderful blessing to have them in our lives.

So why on earth do I feel jealous when I think of how easy it was for both of them to conceive their children? I feel like a freak even saying that because - duh - Savannah was a complete surprise (described as an "oops" by certain family members of mine). Yet Emma took 18 months of trying, failing, praying, losing all faith, doctor visits, charting, temping, meds, and finally...our precious girl.

Strange that I'm not completely over that pain yet. I feel like I should be, and for the most part I am. I've acknowledged it, dealt with it, put it aside and moved on. But sometimes when I think of how easy it was with Savannah and with my friends children I just feel awful remembering.

And let me interrupt this mood-fest with an "owww". These braxton hicks are really picking up in the last few weeks.

But truly, I couldn't be happier.

Alright, now on to BED. And hopefully an entire night of no throwing up!

Posted by Kier at 11:24 PM | 1 comments
Have the stomach flu. Spent all of last night/early this morning throwing up. Spent an hour shaking so hard my spine and muscles are in agony today. Said to husband: I'd rather go through labor than this.


Posted by Kier at 10:51 PM | 0 comments
Saturday, February 03, 2007
Squirt did not have such a good day today. In fact, if you were to poll her, she'd probably say that today was 99% sucky, 1% awesome.

The awesome came when we visited Grammy, Papa, cousin Monsteroni, and the doggy.

The sucky was:
*Falling over while helping to push the cart at Tar-jay and bashing her head so forcefully into the bars that she got a big welt and bruise (which has now faded into 2 red marks with slightly bloody scratches in the middle of them).
*Coughing up a ton of phlegm and choking so hard on it that she stopped breathing for a few seconds.
*Getting her leg stuck in the ladder while Grammy tried to push her up, not realizing that her legs were stuck!
*Falling into the loosened heat grate in Gram's kitchen (to which I yelled "This thing needs to be fixed NOW before someone gets seriously hurt!", at the top of my lungs, scaring the crap out of everyone in the house but making Squirt laugh away her tears).
*Getting yelled at by mommy (insert shameful face here) when she refused to go to sleep and instead stared up at me with love in those huge blue eyes and a grin on her face. I wanted to tazer myself just seeing the look of confusion in her eyes as she curled up, not grinning anymore, rubbing her eyes and burrowing into my chest as if to say "I might start crying now, but I'll be quiet about it so evil mommy doesn't show up again". Oh, the guilt is a stabbing pain in my chest! And all I could do afterwards was kiss her head and say "I love you, I'm sorry baby" over and over again. Sheesh, these damn pregnancy hormones need to leave me the hell alone when I'm with my kiddo!!

Let's hope tomorrow is better. I have the sewing machine all ready to whip up some amazing homemade jeans and other assorted baby items, and Jae has the day off. Finally. Because this working until 1am is really. starting. to. suck. We should have a nice relaxing day at home. Oh, with an afternoon break for Uncle's hockey game. Squirt loooooooves watching uncle play hockey!

Posted by Kier at 12:30 AM | 1 comments
Friday, February 02, 2007
As I'm slowly passing the halfway there mark of this pregnancy I'm beginning to wonder and worry about postpartem issues again. Will we have the same trouble breastfeeding as Emma and I did? (Thankfully, this time I'll know that despite early problems bf is completely possible). I wish Emma had gone longer than a year, but she weaned herself - and that was the only goal I set for us.

I worry about how Emma and Savannah will interact (how Em will handle not being the baby of the family?), but most of all I worry that the PPD will return. Sometimes I can't believe that it was as bad as it was; that perhaps my memory of it was not as clear due to the anxiety and panic attacks and depression. But then Jared clarifies everything and assures me it was just as horrible as I remember it to be. Thank god I got through it...we got through it. Without the support of my husband I would have surely gone under.

But knowing now what I didn't back then, I wonder if my knowledge is enough to prevent the total loss of myself. Surely I will be able to recognize the signs of impending "madness" (and I fondly call it), and surely I will be able to ask for help much earlier this time, if the depression does return. This time around I won't be ashamed or feel like less of a mother for needing help in caring for my child/ren. Because, really, even with the depression I was one hell of a mom.

In saying that, I'm confident that this time around will be different. I have no expectations that Savannah's birth will go perfectly simply because I want it to. I am realistic about life with a newborn. I understand that having a toddler and a newborn will cause stress and anxiety, but I know we'll be able to do this. Emma is really a breeze now and such a little spark of joy and fun, and I can't wait to see how she reacts to Savannah and how we grow and change once we're a family of 4.

I love when I try to talk myself out of anxieties. I end up feeling like Danny Tanner with the crescendoing sappy music, having just recited a lovely monologue about never giving up...or staying in school...or the correct ways to clean a countertop.

Or...something like that. The point is, I feel better. Thanks, me, for the pep talk.

Posted by Kier at 12:09 AM | 0 comments