i licked him

It was shocking.
I was holding this perfect little baby.

I couldn't help but question where in the world he had come from.
How did he get here?
How did he end up in MY arms?

I was struggling to wrap my head around the past 24 hours, thinking about how hard I'd worked to bring him into this world.

This baby I'd thought I'd never hold was looking up at me with clear bright eyes.

Without thinking, I leaned down and licked his little forehead.

He was mine.
I was his.

It was real.


week 3 with baby cakes

Sitting in the rocker with a sleeping baby tucked close to my heart. I've had posts running through my head, there are so many things I want to write about, but its been a challenge to get more than few minutes at a time to work on anything these days.

Baby Cakes is growing like a little weed, gained two pounds in his first two weeks. I swear he feels heavier today and predict that he is going to keep gaining at this pace. Our little porker :)

Parents Place
We went to baby class this week. To our age-based class on Wednesday and to the wee-chant baby singing class on Friday. It was so special. This is at the school my mom started over 25 years ago and still runs today, with the teachers who I've know for decades, where the non-profit I started has funded so many projects. ML and I couldn't even get to the office before we were stopped by 4 different people who wanted to meet our little guy and offer their congratulations. It was so special. Some of them knew the details of our story, and others were just excited to share in the excitement of my moms first grandchild. They'd all been waiting with us on pins and needles for the arrival of this baby who was nearly 3 weeks past due.

ML came with us to the age class, wearing baby cakes in the Moby wrap. We snickered a little when the other women/couples told their "how this baby came to be in your life" stories. Half of the ladies shared that they conceived in the first month they tried. I was glad that ML took the lead in telling our story simply saying that just about nothing has happened according to our plans, but that we are so happy to have little baby cakes with us now.

ML's mom came with us to wee-chant on Friday. It couldn't have been more perfect. ML held baby cakes while both grandma's sat nearby singing sweet lullaby's. Towards the end of class there is time for announcements and my mom officially introduced her new grandson. It was so sweet. I almost lost it during the final song, my heart just exploding with love. Instead I nuzzled my head into ML's neck peeking over his shoulder at our sweet sleeping son.

Oh wow, we've had so many visitors come over to meet baby cakes. Everyday. It is so wonderful to have so many people who want to bring food and gifts and blessings. and Yet, we are looking forward to having some quiet time in the coming weeks.

Nighttime Parenting
While we started off with a little guy who was generally happy when awake and willing to sleep for decent 2-3 hour stretches in between feedings at night, things seem to have changed. We are having more periods of fussy during the day and have had a few really long nights where he is awake and unhappy unless being bounced. 

We hadn't made any arrangements for where he would sleep, figuring that he'd be with us in bed for a while. It turns out that sleeping next to a tiny little baby is not so restful for me. I still wanted him close enough that I didn't have to get up to nurse, but didn't want to worry about blankets and pillows getting too close to him. We pulled the baby swing close to the bed and used that for  few nights. It was better, but still hard for me to get him in and out to nurse. We've since set up the little baby papazan chair (hammock style with the vibration) on a table next to the bed. It is working really well. I don't get him back into it after every feeding, but it is helpful to have a safe place for him to sleep so that I can get some deep sleep for at least few hours every night.

The past few nights have been extra challenging. He'll wake up for a nurse and get fussy. I'll spend about an hour trying to calm him, change his diaper, burp him, wrap him in the swaddle, bounce him, nurse him again. Finally I'll pass him off to ML who jumps into action. He's been up for hours bouncing our little boy on the ball in the living room, letting me sleep. I feel guilty sleeping while he is up, but am just so desperate for sleep. And while I know that ML stirs everytime I nurse, I actually have to wake up in order to get baby cakes latched on and set up to nurse. It wasn't until yesterday that the sleep deprivation finally caught up with me. I just felt exhausted.

Labor and delivery kicked my butt! Recovery has been much slower than I anticipated. One of the risks of induction is post delivery hemorrhage, which I had, and meant that I lost more blood than normal leaving me feeling quite weak for about a week postpartum. I've been drinking Floridix iron supplement and feeling much better this week. I also had multiple nasty second degree tears requiring more stitches than the dr bothered to count. Instead of a standard perineal tear, I managed to tear up both labia and inside my vaginal walls. Standing and walking put a lot of pressure (and pain) on my bottom, so my upright activity has been basically limited to being around the house. I would really like to start walking soon, but am going to have to work my way up to it. The other big complaint I have is pain in my tailbone. Lounging on the couch is ok, but sitting on anything hard for more than a few minutes is not happening.  I have pain when i stand up from sitting. Walking also seems to make it hurt more.  I'm taking it easy, but feeling a little anxious to start moving around a little bit more.

my iPhone
...is the most awesome device ever! I take about 100 pictures everyday, Send a little video to the grandmas every morning and text daily pics to aunties and friends. I read facebook and email, and can access the internet while confined to my rocker with a babe in my arms.


Dear Baby Cakes - 10 days old

Dear baby cakes,

One week in and I have loved every second of being your mom and being a parent with your daddy. There are so many things that I want to remember about this time, and yet simply 'being present' is so beyond satisfying that I don't want to be distracted trying to capture the moments.

At your weigh-in yesterday you showed off some champion nursing skills with gain of a full pound! in less than a week! You were born at 8lbs 5ozs, dropped to 7lbs13ozs 24 hours later and then down to 7-11 48 hours after birth. Yesterday (at 8 days old) you were back up to 8lbs 11ozs! Breastfeeding has been so natural and easy with your started suckling minutes after delivery and feeding like a pro since. I'd been so worried about the early pregnancy vasospasm's coming back or the awful nipple pain I'd the past nine months. Instead my nipples feel fine, my breasts are producing milk at the perfect speed, and you, my sweet baby, are growing bigger and stronger everyday. I love it.

 With the exception of yesterday, you've been generally happy, with long periods of being awake and alert, carefully studying our faces and listening to our voices. You eat about every 2 hours for 10-15 minutes, fuss briefly for a burp or two, and sleep peacefully for nice long 2 hour stretches. We've got a good thing going because you love to be held and we love to hold you. In fact I'm not sure that we've set you down, other than for a changing, just yet. Between me, your daddy, your grandma, and the steady flow of visitors who are showering us with love and food, there are plenty of arms available to hold your perfect little body.

Nighttime is different, but we are all adjusting well. Going to bed a bit earlier, staying in bed a little longer. We often fall asleep as you nurse, and then you curl up in the crook of my arm to sleep. You are also a fan of sleeping on dads chest. We really like sleeping at night around here, and are so glad that you seem to appreciate nighttime sleep as much as we do.

So many people have come to meet you already. I ordered a little baby book and am hoping that I'll be able to jot down some notes throughout the day so that you can someday read all about the world of love that you have just entered.

I think often about the birth experience that transitioned you from inside my belly to outside my belly. It was more intense than anything I could have ever imagined. I worked so hard, giving you every bit of energy and strength that I had to give.  I thought that I was prepared for the experience, but I was not. Your daddy and grandma were there with us every second, even though I felt like I was in an alternate reality where the only things that existed were you and me, working together to deliver you into this world. While there are some details that are so vivid and clear in my memory, other parts are so hazy. Grandma took a lot of pictures that I've been looking back over. What an incredible 24 hours we shared.

We feel so incredibly lucky to have you here with us. 

love, your foxy mama


sneak preview

I can't believe that its been almost a week already. 
For those of you who aren't following along on facebook, here are a few pictures of our son. 
We think he is perfect. :)

Posing for Grandma this morning - 6 days old

Wishing all of his new friends a very Happy New Years Eve - 4 days old
I have a birth story coming. Its amazing how little time there is when my only responsibility is to lay around on the couch taking pictures of this little guy. My cup runneth over.


dear baby fox - finally real

Dear Baby Fox,

I keep looking at you, amazed that you are really real, really ours, really so perfect. I look at your daddy and the way that he looks at you and my heart melts.

Your grandma G was there at your birth and has been floating on air since.  Your aunties, and uncles, are simply glowing, so in love with you. Your grandpa, mommys dad, sounded so happy when we called him to tell him about your arrival. Your other grandpa, daddys dad, and grandma J came to meet you at the hospital before you were even an hour old. Your cousins were waiting for us at home, so excited to finally meet you. They are all so proud and excited to be your family.

There are so many people who have been loving you for so long already who are showering us with support. You really are one lucky little dude!

You gave us yet another lesson in letting go of the "how" at your birth. It was the most intense and humbling experience of my life. Your dad and I were faced with so many big decisions and I am so proud of the way that we trusted one another as we navigated each choice. I promise to write about it all one day soon.

I dreamt your first night home that this wasn't real, that it was a two week trial just like our initial two week wait. It was so wonderful to wake up and realize that you are finally here, finally real, finally ours.

I love you baby.


Baby Cakes has arrived!

My Baby Cakes was born last night at 6:44pm. 8lbs 5ozs 21 inches I am humbled by the experience. We are exhausted but doing well, hoping to be discharged and home soon. Love to all!


Coming Soon.

We are very shortly going to meet our baby.

BPP looked good, but my cervix is still closed and we don't have any signs that labor is coming.
The decision had to be made. We came home to pack and are headed back to the hospital to be induced.

We've tried just about everything in the book to get things started on our own, with nothing to show for our efforts. Sex, orgasm, nipple stimulation, walking, induction massage with hypnotherapy, induction accupuncture, meditation audios, evening primrose oil, homeopathy, castor oil, everything...

I am trying so hard to be strong right now. To be calm.

I want so much to be excited about this day and what is about to happen.

But what I really feel is scared.
Which is hard because I can't quite put my head around what exactly I am so afraid of.


Still Here - 42w3d

Merry Christmas! Who would have ever guessed that yesterday was not going to be baby's first Christmas? The roller-coaster ride just doesn't stop.

ML and I made the call to cancel the induction that was scheduled for last night. I was hysterical thinking about it, and really just feel like this baby isn't quite ready to be born. We'll get another Biophysical Profile this morning.

There are compelling statistics that indicate induction as medically appropriate at 42 weeks, that bump me into a higher risk category for c-section (from 15% to 30%), that show increases in problems for babies born past 42 weeks, etc. We are well aware of the objective criteria that indicate based on my date of conception that it is time to deliver.

What I am having a hard time reconciling however is the actual information that we have about me and this baby.  There is a very healthy amount of amniotic fluid protecting the baby. The heart rates are strong. Baby is moving around. And while my cervix is soft and 50% effaced it is not dilated at all. After looking at the results of our first bpp, the OB looked perplexed and asked us if there was any chance our due date could be wrong. Our midwives have said that in any other situation they would have been recalculating the due date, certain that it was wrong. My mom who has been working with pregnant women for decades has said that I am just not acting like I'm 42 weeks pregnant. I am feeling great physically. Emotionally, I am really struggling with my anxiety mostly because of this mounting pressure to go into labor.

All I can focus on right now is staying calm and relaxed. Trusting my body to do what it needs to do. Keeping this anxiety at bay is taking an increasing amount of effort.

I have to say how seriously impressed I've been with the OB colleague who I mentioned earlier. He and the entire staff we've worked with at the County Hospital have been amazing. After I emailed him, he called and set us up with the first bpp the next morning (41w5d). We were able to walk right in to the appointment where the nurse was so kind to us. He came out to review the results and was so encouraging and supportive. We were able to easily make a second appointment for another bpp at 42w, and again everyone was so kind. He provided us with some statistics about induction and delivering post-term but in no way tried to pressure us into any decisions. He even went our of his way to accommodate our request to schedule the induction on Christmas evening. When I called yesterday to cancel the induction the nurse was very nice and the on-call doc who called us back again reviewed the statistics with us but didn't try to pressure us. He even helped us schedule the bpp for this morning in L&D because the clinic is closed today.

I am beyond grateful that we have this kind of support from the medical community. It is just insane to me that this kind of support isn't the standard of care for all women in our state who opt for a homebirth. I do hope that my experience might help bridge the gap between our two communities and make it easier for other local homebirth couples to access medical resources if/when they need them.

The supportive comments and love via text and facebook are SO appreciated!
Much love,

42 Weeks and 1 Day - letting go

"Among pregnancies dated by first trimester ultrasound examination, the prevalence of postterm pregnancy is only about 2 percent."

As of today, we are officially postterm.

I am still pregnant. Very Very Pregnant.

We had a second modified biophysical profile yesterday that showed a happy baby, so we decided to hang tight for a few more days. We go back in on Christmas at 10pm to be induced. 

I had really wanted this delivery to be free from interventions. We chose the home birth route because it felt like a chance to reclaim this experience as our own. ML was going to catch his son or daughter, and announce the gender. I was going to labor in the comfort and safety of my own home, my own shower, my own bed. We would be surrounded by people who I trust implicitly, not having to question their actions or defend our preferences. 

I cried as we drove to the hospital for our tests yesterday. I panicked (and refused) when they tried to put a hospital bracelet on me when we checked in. My blood pressure skyrocketed when they laid me down on the table for the ultrasound. I was so scared that they'd say something was wrong and we would have to be admitted. 

Intellectually I am beyond grateful for modern medicine, and these tests, and our doctors, and hospitals - but emotionally it all just feels so scary and overwhelming.

Just as there was grief in letting go of the way we would conceive our child, there is grief in letting go of the way that we will birth this child. 

There is still time for spontaneous labor and delivery. Please baby.


41 weeks 4 days

After a bit of a meltdown last night I am feeling much better today.

We had our appointment for a modified Biophysical Profile this morning and everything looks perfect. Plenty of amniotic fluid. A healthy placenta. And most importantly a happy baby with strong heart rates. They could even see on the monitor that I am having some contractions. Excellent.

We made an appointment for another check on Friday at 10:30am, but as we left the Dr. wished us well and said he thought that things would happen before then.

We are heading over to the midwives today at 3pm to chat. I'm pretty sure I am going to ask for an internal check and membrane sweep. I want to ask them a little about Bishop Scores and find out if they are able and willing to act as doulas for us if we end up opting for induction this weekend.


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