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Posts Tagged ‘motherhood’

  1. Happy Birthday, Olivia!

    August 23, 2011 by frecklesandsunshine

    Keep reading…

  2. Mad Creek Mamas

    July 25, 2011 by frecklesandsunshine

    When you become a mother, it can be all consuming. It is very easy to get so caught up in your child and the rest of life’s trappings that you forget to take time for yourself. Whether you sneak out of the house for a walk or coffee, go to the gym, shop ’til you drop, or have a spa day, the time you spend on your own recharging is invaluable. It makes you a better mother, a better wife, and a better person.

    My friend, Jenn, and I had talked about having an overnight staycation while the guys took care of the kids. Instead, we took both families up to Steamboat Springs where Jenn and Dave have a condo. Our family has been up to the Steamboat condo a number of times, most recently for a snowshoeing adventure.

    Jenn and I had Saturday to ourselves while the guys wrangled the ankle biters. Steamboat in summer is chock-full of activities. Mountain biking, fishing, hiking…the list goes on and on. We started our day with a hike.

    Keep reading…

  3. Olivia is 9 months old!

    May 24, 2011 by frecklesandsunshine

    I’m really not sure how this happened. My little newborn, who used to look like this…

    Now looks like this…

    She had her 9 month check on Monday. She is 28.25 inches long and weighs 16lbs8oz. The doc said she is a happy, healthy 9 month old.

    I informed him that she is also very busy.

    She will be one year old, like, tomorrow.

    Or in three months.


    Didn’t she look like this just a minute ago?

  4. 30 Day Challenge: Exercise Recap aka Slacker Central

    May 12, 2011 by frecklesandsunshine

    Welcome back, folks! Man, life gets busy sometimes. I haven’t blogged much and I can really only chalk that up to how busy we’ve been. After traveling to Connecticut and Missouri, we were in Illinois for three days last week. I’ll post about that trip at a later time, but we had a lovely weekend visiting family, celebrating baptisms, and enjoying my first Mother’s Day. Between travel, packing, unpacking, job hunting, and just life in general, I really haven’t had much time to blog even though I have tons of ideas rattling around in my head.

    All of this busy-ness also lead to an epic fail on my part. That 30 days of exercise challenge? You know, the one where I was supposed to work out at least everyday? Yeah, I didn’t even post a 50% success rate. I counted up the days and workouts and came to a grand total of 13 days. Yikes.

    Some days I put these on and went for a run.

    Other days I rolled this out and stretched and balanced and…fell over.

    But most days, something got in my way. Some days the weather was bad. Some days I was on the run traveling or completing errands on the one day of the week I had the car. (We’re a one car family.) Some days I was just plain lazy. I had fully intended to join our rec center for the month, but then looked at how many days we would be out of town and how many days I would use it when we were in town, and it just seemed like a waste. I also didn’t get to try as many new workouts as I wanted to or have as much variety as I wanted. There were a lot of walks, a lot of yoga, and a few runs. I did a couple sessions of P90X, which kicked my butt. Although, I found the host to be incredibly obnoxious. There was also one disastrous jump rope session. (All I will say about that is that jumping rope post childbirth can be…a challenge. In the same way sneezing becomes a challenge. I think most of the mamas here understand.) Sadly, there were ZERO hikes. Zero. This needs to be rectified quickly.

    The upside of this failed experiment is that I’m a bit further along than I was before. I have figured out where I want to go with my workouts and what I am capable of at this point with this post-pregnancy body. I also feel like I have a more realistic handle on what I’m capable of with my current life and responsibilities. Right now, I’m home with Olivia. I love playing with her everyday and just being her Mommy. In a few short months, however, I’m hoping to be back at work teaching. So, these hours in the day when I have the opportunity to crawl around with her on the floor or push her in the tree swing in the backyard are precious. I’m going to choose that over working out 9 times out of 10.

    My next steps are going to be to continue this 30 Day Challenge. I am not where I want to be in terms of physical fitness and exercise has yet to become a habit in my every day life. So, just like running, I’m going to continue to put one foot in front of the other. One day soon, I hope, this will again be my reality.

  5. Olivia’s Birth Story

    February 23, 2011 by frecklesandsunshine

    I was thinking the other day that I should write down the story of Olivia’s birth to commemorate her first birthday. Then I started thinking about her birth…and had the urge to go look up or ask my husband about some of the details of the day. It occurred to me if I was forgetting details after 6 months, then I should probably write the story down sooner rather than later. The things motherhood does to your brain. Ay yi yi.

    A couple of notes before we get started:
    1.To all the mamas out there, please remember that pregnancy and childbirth are not competitions. I was very fortunate in some ways and struggled in others. Pregnancy and birth are individual experiences and I support whatever choices a mama makes to survive and thrive during this very special time.
    2. To all of my male readers (of which there are a plethora, I’m sure), I’m going to try to be as non-gross as possible. However, this post is about pregnancy and childbirth. Consider yourself warned. Perhaps you would enjoy THIS or THIS a bit more.

    So, here we go…

    When Tim and I got married in September of 2009, we were 36 and 34 years old. Decidedly, not spring chickens. Neither of us was particularly interested in waiting for any period of time before trying to start a family and we were blessed to discover that I was pregnant just 3 months into our marriage. We found out just before Christmas and held off telling our families until we could “gift” them with the news. We bought a variety of “I Love _____!” items and wrapped them up as Christmas presents. We filmed the grandparents-to-be opening these gifts and have some awesome footage of them looking slightly confused and then elated at the prospect of becoming a grandparent. Olivia is the first grandchild on both sides of our family, so this was incredibly special news all around.

    Photo courtesy of Erik Merkow Photography

    Because this is Olivia’s birth story and not my pregnancy story, I’m going to fast forward a bit through the next nine months. To make a long story short, pregnancy was good to me. I was nauseous at the beginning, but never really got sick. I gained enough, but not too much, weight. I didn’t get a single stretch mark and I carried my baby girl right out in front. If you saw me from behind, you wouldn’t even know I was pregnant. I know, I know, no one likes a braggart.

    27 weeks

    All of that good stuff was a nice balance to being reminded at every turn that I was at “advanced maternal age” due to the fact that I would be 35 when Olivia was born. Seriously. Advanced maternal age. At least no one ever called it a “geriatric pregnancy.” At 15 weeks, I was sent to have an NT ultrasound to check for the possibility of Down’s Syndrome and other chromosomal abnormalities.  We weren’t really concerned about the outcome of the ultrasound because we knew that we would love and care for our baby regardless of the results, but if we were going to have a special needs child we wanted to have that knowledge so we could have time to prepare. All of our results came back within normal limits with one exception. As part of the screening, I had blood drawn for genetic counseling. The results of the blood work are combined with the ultrasound to give you a complete picture of your risk factors for Down’s. One of the markers they measure is called PAPPA. In my case, the PAPPA was low which indicated the possibility of complications later in the pregnancy such as low birth weight, preterm labor and preeclampsia. My doctor let me know that later in my pregnancy I would be closely monitored to be sure none of these things occurred. I had ultrasounds every 4 weeks to check O’s growth rate and, starting at 28 weeks, non-stress tests twice each week to check her heart rate and whether or not I was having contractions. At every appointment, everything was perfectly normal. She was a healthy baby and I was having a healthy pregnancy. Aside from the inconvenience of all of the appointments, I really had an uneventful pregnancy.

    During the course of my pregnancy, Tim and I discussed our options for childbirth. We read books, watched documentaries, and talked with our doctor, our families and our friends. Ultimately, we decided that we really wanted to have a natural, drug free birth in the hospital, but our number one goal was “healthy mom, healthy baby.” We knew that labor could be unpredictable and maintained a flexible mindset in case of complications. As I approached my due date, my doctor began to discuss inducing me in the event I went past my due date. I wasn’t thrilled about the prospect because I knew induction could lessen the chances for me to have the birth I really wanted. I felt very pulled between the desire for a natural birth and the advice of a physician I trusted. As Tim and I talked it over, we decided to focus on the goal of”healthy mom, healthy baby” and follow the doctor’s recommendations.

    On the Friday before my due date, my doctor called to see how I was doing. We had been to the hospital twice in the last week to have gels placed on my cervix to try to kick-start labor. Neither worked nor was I experiencing any sort of steady contractions. If I didn’t go into labor over the weekend, she was scheduling me for induction on the following Monday.  Over the weekend, I did just about everything I could safely do to bring on labor, but by Sunday night I was resigned to the fact that I was going to be induced. We only got a few hours of sleep that night. When you are scheduled for a particular day, the hospital can call you to come in starting at midnight. My phone rang at 2:30AM and we arrived at Scottsdale Healthcare Shea around 3:30AM. By 4AM, I was checked in and settled in a triage room. The nurse administered pitocin and we were on our way to having a baby! Both of our mothers were there and they came in and said hello before going out to the waiting room. As we waited for a regular labor and delivery room to become available, Tim and I talked, slept, and watched a PBS documentary on Frank Lloyd Wright via Netflix. I love Netflix. I started to have contractions and they were surprisingly manageable. With each one, I would close my eyes, hold my belly and breathe through them in a similar pattern to the one I used in prenatal yoga classes. I had been nervous that the pitocin would cause intense contractions and that was going to cause me to want an epidural. But, so far, so good.

    After a couple of hours, they moved us to a labor and delivery room. We met our nurse, Amanda, who would be with us for the entire birth process. She was an awesome nurse. Our moms came in the room to hang out. My contractions started to intensify a bit and I started to rely on some of the pain management tools we had brought with us. I bounced on a birth ball and Tim heated rice bags in the microwave to wedge under my back. I got a little irritable, but there was no gnashing of the teeth or spewing of curse words. I think the worst thing I said to Tim was, “Hey, maybe you should check the contraction monitor before cracking your next joke.” The poor guy was doing his best to distract me, but I didn’t always find him to be so funny.

    Seriously? That's your best joke?

    After a while, Amanda checked my progress.  I was dilated to 3cm. Really? Just 3cm, huh? Okay, that’s fine. I’m managing the pain so it’s not a big deal that I’m not further along. Amanda said my doctor wanted to have my water broken to help speed things along.  I think it was about 8am at this point. Around 9am a doctor came in and broke my water. And then real labor started. To be perfectly honest, up until that point, I actually thought, “This isn’t so bad. I can totally do this.” What a rookie I was. After my water was broken, the contractions became so intense I was literally moaning like a wounded animal. Breathe through them, ha! Tim looked like a deer in headlights witnessing his wife go through this level of pain. I really did my best to soldier through but instead of having even just a minute between contractions to recover, the contractions were essentially in a cascade coming one after the other with only seconds between them. I started to wonder if it was time to get the epidural. After about an hour and a half of these intense contractions, I called in the nurse and caved. It took about another hour for the anesthesiologist to get in and administer the medication. That hour was seriously one of the longest of my life. The upside was that the nurse checked me again just before the epidural and I had progressed to 6cm! I essentially did the same amount of work in the course of two hours that I had done in four hours just to get to 3cm.

    But, once the epidural took effect? Oh my. It was like nothing was even happening! It blew my mind that I could be in the worst pain of my life one minute and completely pain-free the next. Tim updated the moms, who had been out in the waiting room since my water was broken. They continued to hang out in the waiting room while Tim and I napped and then rejoined us a couple hours later. For the next few hours, we talked, listened to music and watched the monitor where my contractions were printed out on a strip of tape. At one point, Tim played his guitar which we brought with us. I love it when he plays. He played quiet relaxing music and then made up silly songs about epidurals and catheters. It really turned into a bit of a party.

    My labor continued to progress and the next time I was checked I was at 8cm. At some point, Amanda brought in a special birthing ball to help move the baby down further into the birth canal. The best way to describe it is that it looked like a giant Mr. Peanut. She propped Mr. Peanut between my knees to help open up my pelvis and it really seemed to help accelerate the process. By 4PM, I was ready to start pushing so the moms made their exit once more. It was important to Tim and me that we be the only ones in the birthing room for the actual birth. Amanda had me push a few times and said I was doing well, but that baby wasn’t tolerating the pushing very well, so we were going to wait for the doctor. This was probably the tensest time of the whole process. When a medical professional expresses concerns about your baby’s heart rate, your own heart starts to palpitate. So, Mr. Peanut and I got friendly again and we waited for the doctor to arrive. During this whole time, I still really couldn’t quite believe that a brand new human being was going to emerge from my body and begin life on this planet. I felt like, “Oh, I’m going to have a baby today? Well, ok, whatever you say.” It was a very surreal process for me. Once the doctor arrived, she had me start pushing again. With each push, Olivia’s heart rate would drop a bit, which is normal, but after the push was over, she wasn’t rebounding to a normal heart rate quickly enough. While the doctor was concerned about this, she expressed it in such a way as to not alarm me, which I greatly appreciated. I pushed maybe 3 or 4 more times and all of a sudden there was a body emerging from my own. UN. BE. LIEVABLE.

    The doc put her on my chest as the nurse started to clean her off and Tim and I cried and stared in wonderment at our little girl. I immediately noticed her mouth and long fingers and toes that reminded me so much of my own. She has Tim’s eyes and a perfectly shaped head. Olivia Meme was born at 6:04pm on August 23rd, 2010. She weighed 8lbs 1oz and was 21 inches long. We continue to be stunned by our capacity to love her and the family we are creating. She makes us laugh on a daily basis and watching her discover the world is a true blessing.

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