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Archive for October, 2010

Sisters

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Charlotte, you are 3 weeks old… already! How is the time passing by so quickly?

You have had quite a week!

You had your first real bath. You seemed very content and relaxed in the water. You were happy when I put a washcloth on your chest to keep you warm.

You went on your first outing to the park! It was a nice, warm day and the four of us went to walk around the park. I put you in the Moby wrap and you snuggled against me and slept for the whole walk. It was so nice to hold you in there, rather than have you in the stroller. Genevieve had a great time too and I was so glad to be able to enjoy having our family together.

You are getting so big! The newborn size diapers no longer fit you. You moved up to size 1! You are so much stronger too. This week when we put you on your tummy on the floor, you rolled over! You did it again a few days later. You are growing up too fast. Even your eyelashes look longer!

You are just such a delight, Charlotte. I am enjoying every moment we have together. You are so beautiful and have such a gentleness about you. We are all so in love with you.

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Charlotte’s Birth Story

To my dear Charlotte,

The story of your birth…

It was the first week of October and the weather was beautiful. I wanted to take Genevieve to the Bronx Zoo one last time before your arrival and Thursday, the 7th turned out to be the perfect day. We enjoyed a wonderful day at the zoo with Nana and Poppop, a nice dinner out, and then some time with daddy before he left for school that evening.

Daddy and I had been talking about how great it would be if you were born on a Thursday night or Friday since he attended school Monday through Thursday nights. Well, that night after Daddy arrived home from school we sat and talked in the living room for a few minutes. We had just decided to go to bed when I had a contraction as I sat on the sofa. I closed my eyes and felt this overwhelmingly strong feeling of peace come over me. At the end of the contraction, something happened and I felt some fluid leaking out of me. I went to the bathroom, wondering if that was my water breaking. Some more fluid trickled out, not enough to convince me that it was indeed my water breaking. So I put on a pantyliner that would test the ph of the fluid to determine if it was amniotic fluid.

After a few minutes we checked the liner and it had changed colors. It was time for you to be born! I called Susan, our wonderful midwife to let her know. It was around 11 pm. She told us to try to get some rest and to let her know when I started having contractions. I took a quick shower before getting into bed.

Daddy fell right asleep, but I wasn’t able to really relax. I knew that it wouldn’t be long before we would be meeting you! I was able to doze off a little bit here and there. I put on my Hypnobabies cds to help me get a little sleep. After a few hours I started to feel some contractions. It felt strange to me to be feeling them all by myself while everyone else in the house was sleeping. Finally I got up because they were starting to feel stronger. When I realized that they were coming pretty close together I woke up daddy. It was around 2 o’clock. He wanted me to call Susan back right away to tell her what was going on. I gave Susan a call, but we hadn’t really timed any contractions at that point. As soon as we got off the phone Daddy timed the next few contractions. They were around 3 minutes apart! So I called Susan again to let her know. She said she would come on over.

I put on another Hypnobabies track and tried to sit on the exercise ball in the bedroom. That felt awful! I just couldn’t get comfortable. I had read how wonderful sitting on that ball was for so many people, but it just didn’t work for me. Then I felt like I had to go to the bathroom. Sitting on the toilet felt awful too! I had read about people feeling comfortable there too. I felt so torn because I really wanted to go to the bathroom, but the contractions were so overwhelming for me while in there.

Susan arrived while I was in the bathroom. I was happy that she was there. I made my way to the living room and sat on the couch for a while with Hypnobabies playing on my ipod. I was finally able to relax through the contractions for a little while. While I sat on the couch, legs crossed, eyes closed, I could focus on the fact that every contraction was bringing my precious baby closer to being in my arms. I remember smiling through many of the contractions as I dwelled upon that beautiful thought.

As I sat on the couch, Susan and Daddy were getting everything prepared for your arrival. Although we originally planned to have everything set up in the bedroom, we decided to set up the birthing pool in the living room since Genevieve was sound asleep in our bed. The living room was dark and peaceful, so I didn’t mind this change of plans. Daddy was busy filling up the pool and Nana soon arrived, half and half in hand. (anticipating the need for coffee to get through the night!)

Not long after this, Genevieve woke up. She came out to the living room and was so calm and mature! She sat on the couch next to me and snuggled up against me. It was such a precious time I will always remember. I was feeling strong contractions but it was amazing to be going through them with Genevieve in my arms. Those were the last moments that I spent with Genevieve as my only child and they were just so special. I kept thinking about how special it would be to soon have two daughters.

Dale, our other amazing midwife, arrived next. Then Tita came to take care of Genevieve. They went back into the bedroom to watch some movies on the portable dvd player. By this time the pool was filled and I was ready to get in. (Genevieve started taking her nightgown off right away so she could get in too!) The water felt amazing when I first got in. It was wonderful. John brought out my ipod and put on the Intimacy cd. It was the same music that I listened to during Genevieve’s birthing time. It was so very peaceful and special to have that shared experience. I was able to just marvel for a while at how wonderfully God created us. I stayed in the pool for a while until I suddenly felt very nauseous. It came on so suddenly and strongly that there was no time to get anything to throw up into, so I just leaned over the side of the pool. There was nothing else I could do!

After that I got out of the pool for a little while and tried to lie down and rest on the couch. I wasn’t very comfortable though and I don’t think that I really rested! At some point Dale asked if I wanted her to check how far along I was and I agreed. I was sure that I was almost done! I was only 7 centimeters though, which she said was great. (I didn’t think so!)

After a while I got back in the pool and although it felt better, things were very intense by now. I was feeling pretty overwhelmed with each contraction and feeling as if there was just no break in between. Actually I was feeling that way the entire time. Then I started to feel more pressure and it was finally time for you to make your way into the world!

Pushing was an amazing, intense experience. It was so different from having Genevieve, which I felt was almost an out of body experience. This time I was totally present, listening to my body and watching my precious baby’s arrival. I didn’t feel that overwhelming feeling to push that I had read about. It felt much more gentle to me. I would feel a wave and I would just breathe into it. No one told me what to do or when to do it. Dale and Susan were just so supportive and patient. They were simply amazing. Dale was giving me gentle prompts about opening up and allowing you to come down and my body to do what it had to. She gave me some guidance about breathing you down and I was really able to focus on what she was saying and apply it. Dale and Susan were so calm that it helped me to relax too.

I was making lots of noises, trying to open and relax my mouth so that my whole body would relax. It was intense and exhausting, yet so spiritual and wonderful. I could feel you descending. There was just a fullness down there and I found myself wanting the next contraction to come sooner so that you would be that much closer to being in my arms. At one point I remember just leaning back and telling Daddy that I couldn’t do it any more. I was feeling so tired. Dale had a mirror in the water and when I could finally see your head emerging it was just amazing. I will never forget how your soft, smooth head felt when Susan told me to reach down and feel you. For 9 months I had felt you inside of me and now I was getting to touch you and soon I would be holding you.

Your head came out and I could feel your little body rotating around. That was an incredible feeling. Finally, I pushed your warm, wet body out and I reached down and pulled you up to my chest. You were warm and pink and just so beautiful.  Your first cry was this little sound, almost like a purr. Your dad and sister were right there to see your birth and to greet you. From the moment you were born, the four of us were together. It was an amazing time and I am so grateful to God that we could all be together to share in your birth.

Right after you were born, Genevieve was standing at my shoulder and she said something. You turned your little head to look for that voice you had heard so much for the last nine months and you looked right at Genevieve. What a special moment between sisters. I pray that the bond you have will never be broken. She is so in love with you.

You came into this world, into our lives so peacefully and beautifully Charlotte and every moment with you since then has been just blissful. I love you so very deeply and I thank you for allowing me the honor of carrying you for nine months, delivering you into the world and most of all being your mother. You are precious and wonderful and I cannot imagine our family without you.

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Charlotte, you are 2 weeks old! You already seem so much bigger than when you were born! You are so sweet and snuggly. I love holding you. I almost never put you down! When I have to get something done I put you in the sling and you usually sleep contently. You are staying awake a little bit longer now, but still not for too long. You like to sit in your bouncy seat for a little bit and sometimes you sleep in there. We also put you down on your play mat and you seem to really like that too. That was Genevieve’s favorite place to be when she was a baby.

You are so strong. I can’t believe how you lift up your head when I hold you on my shoulder or put you on your belly. When you are on the bed and we put you on your belly you roll right over!

You are so precious to us. I love to watch all the little faces you make as you sleep. I love listening to you breathe. I love kissing and stroking your warm, silky head. I love you!

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Charlotte, you are 1 week old! I can’t believe how quickly the days are passing already and how much you have changed in just one week! We went to the doctor yesterday. It was your first time out of the house and you did great! You are so beautiful and precious. We love you so much.

At one week, you…

  • weigh 7 pounds 8 ounces (Two days ago you were down to 7 pounds 5 ounces)
  • LOVE to nurse! You have been such a great little nurser from the beginning. You are so good at latching on now, you can almost do it all by yourself! When you want to nurse, you stick out your little tongue at first. Then you start trying to suck on your fingers. If I am not holding you, once I have you in my arms you calm right down. I think you are pretty efficient. Sometimes you cough a little because I think you are drinking too fast. You spit up pretty often. We go through lots of clothes each day!
  • make the cutest little squeaks and noises. You sound like a little kitten sometimes. You don’t cry very often. Maybe that is because I hold you all day long!
  • like to sleep in my arms at night. You nurse lying down and sleep nestled in my arms. You, Genevieve and I all go to sleep at the same time each night. We just moved Genevieve’s crib into the bedroom, so she will have her own little space to sleep in.
  • are so strong! You will not stay swaddled for more than 30 seconds!

You have only been in our lives for a week and already we can’t imagine life without you. Your sister, Genevieve is so in love with you. She loves to kiss you and touch you. I have never seen her happier than when she is holding you. Her face just beams with joy. You have given us all so much joy.

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34 Months!

Genevieve, you are 34 months old! My how the time is flying by! You are really growing up, especially over this past month. You started ballet again, this time all by yourself. I was so nervous about how you would do without me. Jean Marie is in your class, so I thought that might help. Well, I had nothing to worry about! When class was ready to begin, you and Jean Marie ran right in without even looking at me or Aunt Jeri. I didn’t even get a goodbye kiss! I was so happy that you felt comfortable, but a little bit sad that my baby is growing up.

The next day you had the Little Gym. I enrolled you in the Funny Bugs class this time, which is also all by yourself. I was even more nervous about this class, since you wouldn’t have Jean Marie with you this time. Every time we talked about it you got very upset and told me that you wanted me to come in with you. I promised you a new animal from the toy store next door if you went in without me! We got to the Little Gym early the day of the first class and we went to the toy store first to pick out the animal you would get. You picked out the mama pig.

Well, I don’t think that the bribery was really necessary! Once we were inside, you were fine. You lined up with all the other children, went right inside and had a ball. I think that you had even more fun without me there. Actually, you were a little wild! I have so much fun watching you interact with the teacher and the other children. You are so funny, cute and a little mischievous! You like to run away from Danielle, your teacher, with a huge smile on your face. You are just seeing what you can get away with.

I just can’t believe that my little baby is all on her own now… sort of! We are enjoying watching you grow into an independent, strong, happy little girl. You are so smart and witty. You astonish us every day with the things you say and do. I hope that you always know how much we love you. You mean the world to us and we would do anything for you!

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