Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Two pictures

In which Nikolai sleeps in his swing. 

In which his daddy loves him very much.  

Sunday, January 29, 2012

A ginger?

I know you can't really tell in this picture 

but my baby's hair is a bit reddish in the sunlight! 

(also, it's quite wild!) 

And tonight baby Nikolai and I will be leaving the apartment for the first time since coming home from the hospital! Sure, we're just going to dinner at my parents' house, but we're getting OUT! Wahoo!!! 

(soon, I hope, I will not be scared to want to go places with him--both because he will be older and less apt to get sick, as well as because I'll have gotten over my anxiety that he will SUDDENLY NEED TO EAT and there will be nowhere to go with him.  Any tips on getting over this anxiety, mamas?  Or do you just suck it up and get creative with where you run off to feed him? Or let him cry til you're back in the car/at home? As you can see, I'm quite obsessed with this...)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

He's here!

Nikolai Talmage arrived yesterday morning at 6:40 am, weighed 8 pounds and 13 ounces and was 22 inches long!

We are in love with his little round face, his sweet peach fuzzy cheeks and his gentle amiable nature.  

For those of you who want to know, here's the detailed story:

Sunday morning at 4:30 I woke up having some mild contractions and read a book for 2 hours or so before I decided I wanted to go back to sleep.  I woke up at later at 8:30, got out of bed, and felt a huuuuge gush of water! There was pretty much no mistaking that my water broke.  I took a quick shower (knowing I'd appreciate having started out clean later) and then we went off to the hospital per the doctor's orders (later he told us if I had reminded him over the phone that I wanted to go natural, he would have let me stay home longer! Oh well).  They confirmed that it was amniotic fluid, then let us settle in and do whatever we needed to do to cope with the labor pains.  I wasn't having contractions very frequently and they weren't very strong, so we tried to do lots of walking to speed things up.  

      Unfortunately, after 8 hours of intermediate walking and sitting on a birthing ball, I had dilated from 1 cm to not quite 2 cm, so the nurses suggested I take pitocin (which mimics the hormones your body produces to cause contractions) to speed things up.  We gave it an hour or two after that to see if things wold progress, and while my contractions got stronger, I didn't progress at all, so we decided I should take the pitocin so that baby Nikolai would be born before my water had been broken for 24 hours (there's a greater chance of infection for the baby once the bag of waters of break so they really want the baby to be delivered withing 24 hours).  We started at the lowest dose, then upped it once, and when that hadn't done much as far as dilation (even though it made the contractions worse) we decided to up it once more.  I had been coping with my own contractions easily but the pitocin made the contractions really strong so I decided to get in the tub in the hopes that the warm water would help.  It did help, but the pitocin made the contractions much stronger and the discomfort never really faded in between, so wasn't dealing with them very well.  The hospital requires you to have both the fetal heartbeat monitor and the contraction monitor on the whole time you're on pitocin (so they can make sure both you and the baby are ok) and the contraction monitor didn't like working in the tub so after 2 hours the nurses came in and said they'd have to turn off the pitocin until I got out of the tub because they really needed to monitor my contractions while I was on it.  That was fine by me because I was doing it without pain medication and had gotten to the point that I had decided that if I wasn't progressing and needed to stay on pitocin, I was going to have to have an epidural because I could not deal with the pain. 

This was a frustrating decision to make because I had planned and prepared to give birth naturally but hadn't anticipated my body not progressing fast enough. I stayed in the tub after the turned off the pitocin for maybe half an hour to relax a bit and let my normal contractions return, then got out and let them check my progress. Lo and behold, I had progressed from 2 cm to 7 cm in 2 hours! So those pitocin induced contractions were NUTS, but apparently they helped! Since I had made so much progress they let me continue on my own without the pitocin (yay!), and the contractions my body produced naturally were MUCH easier to manage.  Jesse and I used a lot of the techniques we practiced in Lamaze and they worked really well to help get through the contractions (by the way, Jesse was AMAZING! he was breathing with me and massaging my hands and was the BEST labor coach ever!).  I went from 7 to 9 in the next hour, but then 9 to 10 took another few hours.I get a bit fuzzy about the details at this point because they thought I was fully dilated and had me push a little and called the doctor and everything, but when the doctor came in, it turned out I was just a liiiitle bit under 10 cm and needed to dilate just a bit more.  That took another hour or so, and then we were ready to push! 

Unfortunately, an hour of pushing didn't do anything.  Sweet Nikolai was stuck at the 0 station (babies progress from -5 to +5, with 5 being crowning) and a second hour of pushing didn't move him either.  We talked to the doctor at that point about our options, and he said that at this point, generally the only way to proceed was by C-section.  I didn't want to go to that right away though, and because Nickolai's heart monitor was normal and Dr. Pead is very patient, he let us push for another hour before making a decision.  One thing I really appreciated from both him and our nurses was that they'd make suggestions about what we should do, but they (and especially Dr. Pead) really wanted to make sure that it was MY decision.  This was great because the labor had not progressed the way I'd envisioned and I was really anxious about ending up a body strapped to a bed with no will of my own and no ability to participate in my baby's birth.  But in the end, I did opt to have a C-section as it had been 22 hours since my water broke, pushing was doing nothing, and I didn't want to risk trying to continue and having little boy go into distress from not coming out.  

It was a hard decision to make but once Jesse and I talked and prayed about it, we knew it was right and we decided to proceed.  Honestly, most of my labor wasn't too bad, except those 2 hours with the pitocin and the last half hour while I was still contracting but waiting for the anesthesiologist to arrive.  Trying really hard to not push when your body is telling you to push is REALLY hard!!!  Once he got there, they got me all prepped and walked me over to the operating room.  I got a spinal block and quickly lost feeling in my legs and lower torso.  Ahhh, the pain was gone! Jesse got changed into scrubs and came in and held my hand and then they did it! We didn't watch (they go ahead and put up a sheet so I can't see, and Jesse could have watched but stayed behind the sheet too because he was nervous he'd be distressed at seeing me cut open).  It only took maybe 10 minutes (with lots of weird squelching sounds) and then we heard our sweet baby boy cry!  They took him away to clean him up and let Jesse come with him to see him.  They brought him back to the room while they were stitching me back up and let Jesse hold him! They also brought him close and let me kiss his sweet little face and such since I couldn't hold him.  After I was stitched up and stapled up and gauzed up, they lifted my numb sack of potatoes body off the operating table onto the hospital bed and wheeled me back to the delivery room (and may I just mention how weird it is to have a completely numb lower half and need to be hauled around? it was hilarious!) where we recovered for a bit.  They cleaned up Nikolai and made sure all was well with him (he had already had his first bowel movement in the womb so they had to make extra sure he was ok) and then brought him back to us so I could feed him.  Oh! Sweet joy! He was a tiny bundle of perfection that I just couldn't understand.  And he knew instinctively how to breastfeed! (yeah, he's spoiling us with that...it'll probably be balanced out with him inability to potty train early or something ;D) He fed for a whole hour and then my parents and uncle came to come meet him.  The rest of that day was spent moving to our recovery room and napping in between visits from beloved family members.  We were blessed to be able to get a good night's rest last night and to have plenty of quiet time to rest today.  Tomorrow Jesse goes back to work while I stay here to continue healing, and Thursday morning they'll take out my staples (and replace them with tape) and we get to go HOOOOOME!!!!

All in all, I feel really good about how things went.  Yes, I ended up needing a C-section.  But I had it after I was able to get through all of labor without any medication and by using the relaxation techniques I had learned, and I only ended up with a C-section because it had become medically necessary and because it was my decision.  I'm so thankful that I was able to decide what to do on my own (with the professional advice of the nurses and Dr. Pead) and on my own schedule.  We were so blessed in the whole labor and delivery process, and we are so grateful for modern medicine that allowed us to deliver a baby that had outgrown my body's ability to push out! (he was just too big!) Our hearts are overflowing with the love of the good people who helped us through it, the love of our family members, and our own love for the precious little boy who is now officially part of our family.  

We still feel very surreal about being parents but are so happy to kiss and hold our sweet little babe and let it sink in :) 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


This is what waiting for my life to change forever looks like: 

A PB, banana and honey sandwich with a tall glass of milk and a side of the Mesozoic Biosphere.  

Dear little boy who is currently hiccuping inside of me,

won't you please come out?  I promise to hold you and feed you and take care of you and love you for all of eternity! 

your mama 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

New year new experiences

Happy new year!
This is the year that I graduate and finally become a mama! 
Hurrah hurrah! 

I've got a good list of resolutions that I think will be really good for me (among them is running a half marathon! woo hoo!) and I've also decided to make a list of creative projects I'd like to do this year (I found the idea here).  I'm always making something, but I tend to put off bigger projects because they cost more or take more time, and then never end doing them.  In that light, I've decided to put a list of them here so that I can look back at them in order to plan ahead a little and actually do them! 

So in no particular order: 

1. Sew a quilt! 

2. Make some couch pillows. 



3. Make this skirt:

4. And this one:

5. Find a good picture of our family or Nikolai and make this: 

6. Make this with little Nick's sweeeeet little feet:

7. Make a cool book for secret treasures:

8. Start a cool scrapbook:

9. Start an adventure book for our family! (we even have the book already!)

(Ours doesn't look like this, but here's the link from google: link)

Those are the main ones I can think of right now, but I'm sure I'll come up with some later! 

Here's to a wonderful new year!