Friday, April 27, 2012

12 Weeks

I remember hitting twelve weeks pregnant. It as a big deal: the end of the first trimester! It went by sooooooooooooooooo slow. Plainfully slow. Today our sweet baby girl is twelve weeks old. It has gone by soooooooooooooooo fast. So painfully fast. 
This week we have been enjoying singing OMG and watching Gia grin while mama dances like a fool. The past few days G has discovered a new octave to her voice, and she squeaks and "quacks" all the livelong day. Here she is today, sitting up like a big girl with her BFF, Belle. 

In other news, Gia slept in her crib last night :) She did great! Mama, on the other hand, woke up at 3:30 from a nightmare that someone broke into the house and when she tried to yell for Daddy to help nothing would come out of her mouth. It was scary. I finally got the courage to get up and check on my pumpkin, and there she was, sound asleep in her crib. Phew. 
Today is the last day of my maternity leave. I have been in denial and still don't want to think about Monday. Sigh. Here is how Gia feels about me going back to work:

Tummy Time has been a struggle around these parts for weeks now, as Gia wants no part of it. She is perfectly content laying on her back to sleep and play. Well, we discovered yesterday that she likes it...naked! She lasted over five minutes like this yesterday :)
Good Job baby girl! She'll be a crawler before we know it ;)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I never want to forget

As the days quickly pass and our little bean continues to sprout, the weeks past seem like a distant memory. There are little idiosyncrasies and nuances that I never want to forget. So I will write them here as a reminder :)
Gia Lenora, I will never forget...

  • That first glimpse I caught of you, when they held you up for us to see. "Who IS that little Italian baby?", I thought to myself. And though I always thought I would cry at the first sight of you, I didn't; instead I giggled. I was giddy with excitement.
  • Those first few nights in the hospital. I was SO tired but never wanted to put you down. You were mine. My baby. 
  • Late night feedings the first two months. You rarely woke me up to let me know that you needed to eat by crying. Instead you grunted and groaned, stirred a little. I would lean over to see you in your bassinet, and your eyes were so big and round in the dark. We would lock eyes and I would scoop you up and stare into those baby blues. Obviously you can't talk yet, but this was mother-child communication at it's finest. I loved being able to give you exactly what you needed, and you told me with that look in your eyes that you knew I would. And it was the best feeling in the world. 
  • Tubby Time! You love to take a bath now. You hated the sponge baths we gave you before your cord fell off, but after 4 weeks when it finally did and we could put you in your little whale tub you started to love it. Again, those sweet baby eyes get so big and round and you are in heaven :)
  • At about 6 weeks you started smiling. Best. Feeling. Ever. Now you flash me a big bright one everytime you wake up. 
  • When you discovered your hands. You would stare at the cross-eyed, and slowly bring them to your face. You eventually discovered that they can go into your mouth. Neat! That is where they permanantly reside these days. 
  • Diaper changes. You HATED them until about 3 weeks ago. Now you fuss for just a moment sometimes when I lay you down, but then you remember that changing time=play time. After you have a clean booty we sing and play and have a jolly good time. Sometimes these 'diaper changes' last over 30 minutes :)
  • Lately I have been sitting you on my lap while I play the piano. You enjoy Bach, and will gladly sit and listen for a good 2-3 pieces. 
  • Dancing to Queen in the loft. 
  • Your Belle doll. You smile everytime you see her. Every.Single.Time. 
  • Your first giggles. You are still at the stage where it freaks you out when one escapes. First was at Jenny Gioia a week ago, then last week at Grandpa and Belle a few times, and yesterday on the bed when I was bouncing you. Can't wait for the full-on belly laughs :)
  • Your crunches. It cracks me up to see you work those abs. 

I love you, Gia Lenora. You're super cool. 


Friday, April 13, 2012

Grow, Baby Grow

Our baby girl is 10 weeks old today. TEN WEEKS! Time, please stand still. Pretty, pretty please. I go back to work in two weeks. I am in complete denial and refuse to think about it. The longest I have been away from Gia is a few hours. I will be gone about 7 hours when I go back to work. I realize it could be worse. Also, I go back April 30th-June 15th, and then have the summer off. But oh how I dread being away from my baby. I love her so much. She is perfection. Everything she does is amazing and wonderful and miraculous. Watching her change and grow and learn every day, hour, minute, second is such a gift. She is no longer a cute little blob. She is more and more away of her surroundings every day. I love watching her react to other people. Yes, it's awesome everytime she flashes me a smile, but seeing her smile at family and friends melts my heart every time. She is lover. 
Gia loves her playmat. Sometimes I get a little jealous of the lion and giraffe hanging from it, as she gives them the most loving googly eyes and coos at them with such gusto. She also lover her Belle doll, and will kick and squeal at the mere sight of the thing. 
Another one of Gia's favorite pasttimes is sucking on her hands. She started this about 2 weeks ago and it was a blast watching her discover her hands and stare at them, cross-eyed, as she brought them to her mouth. They are pretty delicious, as far as she is concerned. 
We had our Two Month Well Check last week, and Gia is 13 pounds, and about 24 1/2 inches long. Many of her pants now look like floods, and her 0-3 month sleepers no longer fit. 
So far she seems to take after Daddy in three major ways: She loves to sleep. Daddy still has to have a nap every day, and Gia takes several long naps a day, and sleeps straight through the night from 8-10 hours. She also loves to eat, just like Daddy! Every two hours she is looking for the boob, unless of course she decides to take an extra long nap. And my girl can cut the cheese like no one else. The other day she thought it would be funny to blow a ripe one in my face while I was changing her diaper. It stunk just as bad as Daddy's. Lucky me.
Here's my girl today, 10 weeks old:
  Here she is on Monday, representing Daddy's favorite team:

Thursday, March 29, 2012

A Love of Labor

Tomorrow marks 8 weeks that we have had our sweet baby girl here in the world with us. Yes, the old cliche that time flies is true. I love being home with Gia. What do we do all day? Besides, eat, sleep, poop, pee, repeat? We play! We talk, sing, dance, listen to music, read books, Gia sleeps and I stare at her. Gia plays on her playmat and I stare at her. Gia kicks in her bouncy seat and I stare at her. And we also do laundry and dishes. Since G was born, the strangest thing has happened...I enjoy doing laundry and dishes! I used to HATE doing them. Despise it even. But now, I take joy in folding each of her tiny socks, hanging her rompers, stuffing her cloth diapers. Making sure everything is neat and put in it's place and ready for her when she needs it. I'll prop her up on a pillow in our bed and she'll watch me fold clothes intently, cooing occassionally. She's the best. 
Really, my baby rocks. I am afraid to say (well, type) it out loud (in writing) because I don't want to jinx us. BUT, she is awesome sauce. She sleeps like a champ at night, in her own crib. Oh, and she will put herself to sleep, gleefully smiling at her mobile until she passes out. Of course, we read a book and I rock her and sing to to her before I put her down. But she actually prefers to be put down and left alone sometimes. Last night she slept from 11:30-5:30, then went right back down until 8:30, and then we snuggled in bed until 10:30. So mommy got about 10 hours of sleep. Boo-ya. Thanks G!
The smiles she started cracking a few weeks ago are now guaranteed whenever she wakes up in the morning or from a nap. Even diaper changes, which used to be a screamfest, are now full of smiles and baby talk. I think her first giggles are coming, soon...she is right on the brink! 
Every morning I wake up and look at her big round blue eyes and see that smile and I am just overcome with love and joy and gratitude. This little person is ours. She is all ours. How did we ever get so damn lucky? 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Let's do this

Well folks, I've been slacking. But I'm back and so excited to share Growing Poppy, Part Two. Our little Poppy seed is now a Gia Lenora and life is amazing. She is 6 weeks and 3 days old today. Time is flying. She started smiling last week and today she really let the grins loose. We are so in love with this little human. Life is good. And now that I feel like I have my feet at least touching back down on planet earth, I want to document EVERYTHING, like I did with my pregnancy. Hope you enjoy! 
Here are a few pics from the past 6 weeks...
In the hospital:


Posing pretty in her sleep

Gia's first St. Patty's Day

Poppy's Here

Gia Lenora is here! Born on Friday, February 3, 2012 at 10:54 pm. 9 lbs, 24 1/4 inches!

So how did she get here, on the outside, you wonder? Well strap on your seatbelts friends, because I'm going to take you on the bumpiest of rides! 

My due date was January 26th. The two weeks leading up to it were filled with excitement and anticipation...when would I go into labor?! Would my water break? Would contractions hit like a ton of bricks and we'd have to rush to the hospital? Start slow and then wake me up in the middle of the night? We waited. My belly grew bigger. And bigger. My growing baby was running out of room, and things were getting cramped up-in-hee-ya. 

I went to my 38 weeks appt, and the dr. checked me for progress....nothing. No biggie, still two weeks for little one to bake. 39 week appt...still nothing. "You'll definitely go early," everyone told me. "You're just too big to carry to full term." "I just have a feeling." Yeah, well your feeling was WRONG. 40 week appt...nothing. Now the disappointment was really beginning to weigh heavy. I had been counting down the days until we would get to meet our baby for months. I wanted to know who is in there, like...NOW! At my 40 week appt my dr. suggested induction. This is where you go into the hospital and they give you labor inducing drugs so you can have your baby. At this point Poppy's size was a concern, and if I went too far past my due date baby may not be able to fit through the birth canal. Sooooooo, we chose Monday, January 30th. I felt confident, however, that I would go into labor naturally before then. Yeah, well, I didn't. 

Monday the 30th finally arrived, and we were excited and in a state of disbelief that we would be meeting out little nugget that or the next day. I tried to warn Andy and our families that inductions can sometimes take several days. They weren't buying it. Because so-and-so got induced and had her baby in 5 hours, and so-and-so's wife had hers in 8, and on and on. Whatever. So we checked into Henry Ford Wyandotte Hosptial, nervous and anxious. They hooked me up to the stupid freakin IV (I hate those things) and pumped me with fluids. I saw the Dr. and he said they would start me on cervadil...a med that is supposed to soften the cervix and encourage dilation. They would put it in and then check me in 12 hours to see if it worked. Only then would they decide if it was worth it to start me on pitocin, which causes the actual contractions. Wait, 12 hours? Twelve Hours? TWELVE FREAKIN HOURS?! Oh. My. God. So they slipped the med into my crotch and we waited. And waited. And waited. Twleve hours later they checked me, and the cervadil had barely worked. I was 50% effaced and only a fingertip dilated. Drat. But the Dr. said he'd start me on pitocin anyway, since I had made SOME progress. And so they did, at 5am. Meanwhile, my poor husband in scrunched up in the corner of a stupid bench trying to sleep. It sucked. So, we got some sleep and waited for the pitocin to kick in. The monitor showed I was having mild contractions, and I could feel them but they weren't painful. This went on all day. Every few hours one Dr. or another would come in to check me. Ouch. Still a fingertip and 50%, still a fingertip and 50%. Even though the pitocin was causing contractions, I was not progressing. At 6pm the Dr. came in and said I was guessed it, 50% and a fingertip. So they told me to go home. THEY TOLD ME TO GO FREAKIN HOME. Failed induction. I was heartbroken. I could not believe we leaving that hospital and I was still pregnant. I tried to look on the bright side: I could at least eat after being on a diet of ice chips and italian ice for the past 36 hours. So we went to Roman Village and I drowned my pregnant sorrows in gnocchi and cannoli. 
The next morning I woke up at 5am to painful contractions. Much stronger than those I'd had in the hospital. I tried to blow them off and go back to sleep, but they were too painful. At around 8am i started to time them, and they were about 8-10 mins apart. I knew the rule was not to go to the hospital until contractions are 2-5 mins apart for at least an hour. I tried to remain calm and cool, but the reality of that happening had gone out the window about 2 weeks prior. So I obsessively timed them all day. They got closer together and much more painful. Very painful. By 1am that night I was sure the baby was crowning. So back to the hospital we headed. I was exhausted from not having slept much in the hospital or the night before. We get there. They check me. A fingertip dilated and 50% effaced. Still "early labor". Then send me home. Again. I have contractions all night and into the next day, Thursday. I go to my 41 week OB appt. I am now an entire cenimeter dilated! Wow! My OB tries to strip my membranes and tells me that I am not in active labor, and that no one said pregnancy would be easy and sometimes it is uncomfortable. UNCOMFORTABLE?! I have been having painful contractions, at this point every 3-8 minutes, for 2 days now. They do a non-stress test to make sure Poppy is healthy, during which I have a total meltdown to the nurse. This results in scheduling a C-Section for the following Monday, February 6th. The idea of being in this "early labor" for 4 more days seems unbearable to me. We go to my parents house. I have never been more exhausted in my life (bah, so I think!) and spend the next 7 hours pacing around their house, trying to cope with the pain. Finally, at 1am I tell Andy I cannot take it anymore. We decide to go to Oakwood Hospital this time. I can't even bear the thought of being sent home from Wyandotte a third time. We check into triage and tell the nurse my sob story and beg her not to send me home. They check me and I am 2 cenimeters...progress! Horrah! After another 2 hours of monitoring they check me again...3 cenimeters. Yay! They agress to admit me and I BEG for the epidural. They take pity on me and stick the needle in right away. Sigh. Huge relief. I sleep a few hours, hoping to wake up to find I am 10 centimeters dilated and ready to push. Ah, if only my cervix were so kind. I wake up to be checked around 10am and i am now...wait for it...still 3cm and 50%. I hang out with Andy, my parents, and brother all day. At one point something funky happens with my epidural and I feel a stabbing pain in my right hip. It is excruciating and lasts several hours. The the goddess, er, I mean, anesthesiologist, comes in and pumps some more stuff in my IV and it goes away. Thank the lord. I sleep a little more, and at 7pm they check me. 6cm. Yay. Rest some more, and at 10pm....6cm and 50% effaced. The doc says my cervix is actually hardening instead of softening, and I need to have a c-section. Fine! Great! Let's do it! Let's have a baby. PLEASE LET ME HAVE THIS BABY. I call my parents to tell them, Andy calls his mom and then puts on his funny blue paper outfit. I tell him I am not scared, I am so excited that we are finally going to meet our baby. He won't admit it but is a nervous wreck. So cute. By 10:25 I am in the operating room, shaking like a leaf. Hi, I'm being cut open and am wide awake. Weird. At 10:54 they say, "OK dad, stand up and take a look!". I have the most delightful baby screeches, and then Andy proudly announces, "It's a boy!". "I knew it!" I think to myself. Then I hear the doc say, "Look again, dad", and Andy reply, "It's a girl!". Apparently he did not pay attention in anatomy class. Omg! It's a girl! I got my girl! They lift her up for me to see too, and I can't believe my eyes. She is nothing I had imagined. Dark skin and dark hair and a perfect round face. "It's Gia!" Andy says, and I agree. We talk about how Italian she looks and how perfect her name fits. Then I heard Andy talking to him in the sweetest voice, a voice I have never heard before, a voice a Daddy has been saving his whole life for his baby girl. I hear her wailing her sweet little head off while they clean her up and weigh and measure her. And then my husband brings her over to me, wrapped up like a burrito with a little pink hat on her head. She stares at me and I stare back and brings her face to mine so I can kiss her perfect round cheecks. I tell her she is a dream come true. And she is. Everything I ever dreamed of, and so much more. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I'm really going to miss

Using my belly as a table
Watching the dance party in my ute
Having an excuse to pig out
Laying with my hand on my belly, feeling Poppy move and grow
Footrubs and backrubs from Daddy

But I truly cannot bare the thought of having to wait one more minute to...

See your little face
Kiss your little fingers and toes
Hear Daddy say "It's a Boy!" or "It's a Girl!"
Choose the perfect name for you
Lay you on my chest and feel your heart beat
Hear your voice (even if it IS in the form of a scream!)
Look deep into your eyes and tell you how much I love you
Nurse you
Wrap you in a blanket like a little baby burrito
Pinch your thunder thighs 
Sing you our lullaby
Watch you sleep
See Daddy hold you
Be your mommy

I love you, Poppy. Come on out and play!

Reasons why Poppy wants to stay in:
(S)he knows (s)he won't get to enjoy all of the delicious junk food I've been eating for the last few weeks to drown my anxiety
It's always warm
It's pretty dark and quiet and makes for an excellent sleeping environment
Mommy is keeping him/her safe, sound, and protected
Floating is fun!
He/She has mild agoraphobia like Nonna
He/She wants to be like daddy...a full week late! Gah!
He/She takes after his/her father and likes to tease and pester Mommy
He/She just loves Mommy so damn much, (s)he doesn't want to leave. So there! 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Still Growing Poppy

Poppy's due date is in four days! FOUR. DAYS. Yippee!!! 
That being said, I had my 39 week OB appt. on wednesday, and doc said I have made...wait for it...NO progress! Ha. None. Closed up tight and hard. Awesome. Not. This whole waiting game the last few weeks is bad enough. The last thing you want to hear is that your body is not making even the slightest adjustments to indicate that it will be allowing your baby to gracefully enter the world in a timely manner. I'd even take a freaking fingertip dilated! Something. But, it is what it is. My sweet baby will come when he or she is ready. Or on January 30th. That is the day we are scheduled for an induction if my cervix still feels like that of a virgin. Stupid idiot cervix. I want to yell at it like that old Mervyn's commercial, "open, open, open".
Anyway, enough about the state of my cervix (no disrespect cervix, I still love you and have faith in you). Let's talk about....oh wait, there is NOTHING else to talk or think about besides when the baby is going to come. Damn. 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Decisions Decisions

I am coming to realize that parenthood is all about making decisions. There are SO MANY to make, and so many options to consider. From who my OB is, to who Poppy's pediatrician will be, to how I go about giving birth, to where the baby will sleep when we bring him/her home. Not only are they a million decisions to make, there a zillion books, articles, websites, blogs, and people with opinions, research, data, and experiences to back up every option. Oy! At this point, I feel like I am well informed and it's time to trust my mommy instincts. I already know I love my baby, and he/she will be our first priority. Hopefully the rest will fall into place! 

So today I am 37 weeks and 3 days pregnant. And the waiting game has begun. I am not allowed to call anyone without leaving a message. Every cramp and contraction could be the start of the real deal! It is exciting and equally frustrating! I want my baby! In my arms! Now! Tomorrow is a full moon, and it is a proven fact that more women go into labor during a full moon than any other time in a given month. Will I be one of them?! Knowing that Poppy could pop any time now is making me a crazy lunatic at home. The floors need to be mopped, the bathrooms cleaned, everything dusted for the third time. I want everything in place, and making sure that it is is truly exhausting. I go on little cleaning rampages, and have to stop when my hands are swollen like sausages and my braxton hicks contractions make me practically immobile. 

At the same time, I am sleepy as hell. Restless, anxious, tired, excited, all ends in exhaustion. 

Come soon Poppy. Please, come soon! 

Sunday, January 1, 2012

I love Poppy's Daddy

I love my husband. We've had a wonderful holiday break together. It has really sunk in that these are our last few weeks (could even be days!) as 'just the two of us'. Looking back it seems crazy that we have only had 3 months as husband and wife before Poppy came into our lives. Luckily, we've known one another since elementary school, so we don't really have any lost time ;)
We've spent the last few days prepping for Poppy, and it has been quite enjoyable and given us confidence in the fact that we are able to be a team, strong and united, for Poppy. We're both working hard to make sure the house in tip-top shape for baby's arrive, and Andy's support of my nesting is a huge relief. Thanks honey, I love you! He's going to be a wonderful, loving, affectionate daddy. 
Wanna see some of what we did?! Too bad, I'm going to show you anyway :)
Yesterday we deep cleaned the living and dining rooms, and decluttered. It felt SOOOOOOO GOOD to get rid of all the extra crap in every nook and cranny. Here's the living room, ready for baby!

Pack n Play in one corner, swing in the other! I was going to put the pack in play in our room, but now I am considering the Fisher Price Rock n Play, since every new mommy I know raves about it. 
We also put the Snap n Go together and practiced putting the car seat in it, folding it up, etc. I pushed it around the house for a good 5 minutes, it was so much fun! I got a kick out watching Andy practice looked so miniature next to him! 

I also gave the fridge a good scrub down and got rid of all the old expired condiments, etc. That felt really, really good. Rotten mayo, begone! Then I cleaned out the music studio/office, replacing the leaning tower of books with the cube bookshelf that was previously in our room, and moved the dresser that was in the loft into out room. So I think all furniture that needed to be moved is finally in it's designated spot! Woohoo. I also caught up on my laundry, and washed those last few baby items. Phew. I feel like if Pops came tomorrow, we'd be prepared. Well, as prepared as possible. So there, birds! I'll see your nest and raise you a whole damn house!