Wednesday, October 24, 2012

fall in nashville

So this past weekend, we decided to take a little family drive 
to see all the Fall colors on the trees.
It's been years since hubby or I have been in a real Fall.
Hawaii is wonderful for so many reasons
(who can complain about the lush green and tropical colors?),
but it's not known for its Fall season obviously.

So since this past weekend was supposed to be the "peak" of the color display,
hubby and I packed baby up in his carseat and off we went on our drive.  
Baby slept the whole 2-hours.
It was soo nice to be able to get out and just spend some nice time together.
We drove and drove and listened to some quality country music.
It is Nashville after all.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

the many faces of oliver

So I clearly don't have anything going on in my life these days other than being a mom.
One day I'll actually blog about other things again.
But that day is not today.
Here's the cutie I get to play with every day.

Monday, October 22, 2012

letters to ollie: 1 month

My dear baby, I can't believe you're already a month old!
People aren't kidding when they say time goes by so fast.
You've grown so much already.
I don't even know where to start.

Here are your stats for the month:
4 weeks old
11.4 pounds
20.5+ inches (you haven't been measured since your first week)

Everyday we learn a little bit more about you.
You LOVE to eat.  It's probably one of your favorite things.
Every 2 hours, on the hour, you know it's milk time.
You'll wake up from a dead sleep, lips smacking and head turning until you find your way to the milk.

One of your other favorite things as of late is baths.
Daddy got his wish.  You are most definitely a water baby.
You love sitting in your little bath tub in the warm water.
You better watch out come spring.  Your daddy plans on getting you in the pool as soon as it's warm again.

One of your best quirks?
You are one LOUD baby.
You seriously make noise all the time.
You weren't so noisy the first 2 weeks, but now?
Boy oh boy do you love grunting.
You grunt when you wake up.  When you eat.  While you're sleeping. And every time you stretch.

(Believe it or not you're actually yawning and stretching, not yelling in this picture.)

One of my favorite things lately is waking up to your adorableness.
You sleep right on my chest at night, all cozy and warm.
In the mornings I wake up to your head bobbing, mouth grunting, and you're always attempting to eat my face.
You tend to wake up ravenous in the mornings!
I can't help but laugh every time.

Daddy and I don't know who you look like quite yet.
Everyone seems to have their opinions of course,
but we'll just wait and see as you get older.
All I know if that you're perfect.
You have a perfect little face.
With perfect little toes, fingers, and ears.

You're getting so close to smiling.
It used to be that you'd have "gassy smiles," but now it seems like you're close to actually responding to us.
You do so many adorable faces.
Some of your favorites are "angry faces" as we call them.
You like to furrow your brow, pucker your lips, and have a stare off with me or dad.
And we just stare back, because we both know you're only going to be this little for such a short time.

I know it seems silly, but I can't believe how sad I am that you're already growing so fast.
You grew out of your newborn diapers after 2 weeks and by 3 weeks you grew out of your newborn clothes.
You're wearing 0-3 month clothes and even some 3 month clothes.
Boy oh boy are you gonna be a big boy.
The pediatrician says you're in the 90th percentile for both height and weight already.
You're definitely giving Momma and Daddy some toned up arms.

My little boy, I can't even tell you how much I love you.
Your daddy and I are so very very in love with you.
The first couple weeks were seriously a little crazy for us.
You didn't like all.
But now that we realize you just didn't like sleeping alone, we're all much happier.

I sometimes sit and think about the person you're going to grow up to be.
And as much as I love imagining the wonderful man you'll be one day, I never think about it for too long.
Because I don't want you to grow up just yet.
I want you to be my snuggly little baby for just awhile longer.
I want to hold you close and know that you're all mine and that in your little world, your daddy and I are everything to you.

It's difficult for me to fully comprehend the fact that I'm a mom and that I have a son.
More than anything I just feel truly and immeasurably grateful that Heavenly Father would bless me with such a sweet baby.
It's so comforting to know that Heavenly Father entrusted one of his dear children to my and hubby's care.
It gives me the confidence that I'm doing something right.
It makes me believe that I really am qualified to be your momma.
And that's a job I'm both terrified and thrilled about having forever.

My little Ollie, keep on growing and keep on being adorable.
You make me smile and laugh every day.
Love you more than I can tell you,

Saturday, October 20, 2012

motherhood isn't for sissies

Motherhood is difficult.
I think the last 4 weeks have worn me out more than anything else in my life.
I love my little boy so SO incredibly much, 
but boy do I miss sleep sometimes.

Motherhood is not easy by any means.
Yes, babies eat, sleep, poop, and want to be held.  
That's pretty much it.  
But until you have a baby of your own, you'll never quite understand how time consuming those few things can be.

My little Ollie loves nothing more than to be cuddled and loved.
He sleeps curled up on my chest, day and night.  
It's nearly the only place he's content to sleep for longer than 10 minutes at a time. 
And so I let him.
He balls his little hands up and curls them under his chest.  
He desperately kicks his legs and pushes off my stomach until he can scoot his tiny body up my chest and nestle his head in the crevice of my neck.
And once he's all cozy and content, 
he falls asleep, taking deep, even breaths.  

I love it. 
I love feeling so needed.
It's like he depends on me for everything.
And somehow it's this thought that makes everything worth it.

As much as I love and cherish cuddling 24/7 with my little man, it means slacking off on other things.
And I know that laundry and dishes aren't THAT important,
but things are definitely piling up around these parts.  
I have a sink full of dishes, a scattered mess I used to call a living room, 
a bedroom full of clutter and chaos, unwashed clothes laying around, and clean clothes still sitting in my dryer. 
In the last couple weeks the most elaborate meal I've made has been quesadillas.  
And like I said, I know these things aren't THAT important, but there are other things that I can only put off for so eating for one.  Finding time to eat, shower, brush my teeth, and even go to the bathroom has become a challenge every day. 
Is Ollie asleep?  How much time do I have until he gets up?? Enough for a granola bar or a glorious bowl of cereal?  Enough for a quick 2 min shower or the good kind of shower where I actually wash my hair?
Yep, these are the thoughts that go through my head on any given day during nap time. 
And like I said, since he'll only sleep somewhere (other than on me) for 10 minutes at a time, I gotta move fast these days.

I've spent more time crying than I care to admit.  
Crying because I'm exhausted from lack of sleep.
Crying because I can't seem to accomplish anything around my house anymore.
Crying because breastfeeding has been worse than pregnancy and labor in so many ways.
Crying because Oliver was crying.
Crying because the thought of not crying made me cry.
Yeah, I've been a little crazy lately.

My hubby has seriously been my biggest support ever.
Despite the fact that he's also exhausted, attending grad school full time, auditing an elective class, and working part time, he's somehow found a way to prioritize me and Ollie.  
Gosh I love him.  I honestly married a wonderful man.

There are so many things that make motherhood worth it.
But there are also so many things no one tells you about.
But to be honest, that topic deserves a whole post of its own.  

So there you have it.  
That's motherhood so far.  
Wonderful in so many ways and yet challenging beyond belief.  
I can't wait to see my adorable little man grow up.
But for now, I'm happy and content letting him snuggle down on my chest for an afternoon nap.  

Thursday, October 11, 2012

a birth story, part 3

To read part 1 and part 2 go here and here.

Alright so after 4 hours in the hospital and 6 hours since my water broke,
I couldn't breathe.  The contractions themselves were painful (VERY),
but what was scaring me was my inability to catch my breath between them.  
I felt like I was transitioning between contraction pain and asthma-like attacks.
My poor hubby didn't know what to do.  
He told me later it was one of the worst things having to see me in so much pain.  
Well, it wasn't very fun from my standpoint either.

So after 6 hours of no medication and not feeling like I was breathing properly,
I caved.
I asked for an epidural.  
I initially wanted a natural birth, but if my labor was going to be this long (remember I was still just at a 4), and my contractions were going to be this close together (1 min long at 1.5 mins apart), I knew I wasn't going to be able to do it.
I was bawling at some points.
And obviously that wasn't helping my ability to breathe any better.  

Anesthesiology came and got me all hooked up to the epidural. 
It unfortunately took 25 minutes for it to take effect, and being confined to the bed during that time was pretty rough.
After about 15 minutes, the pain started easing on my right side, but the pain was just as intense as ever on my left side.
The technicians came back in and did some tweaking, and within 25 minutes I was feeling relief.
Sweet, SWEET relief.
I could breathe again at last.  It was seriously wonderful.
About an hour and a half after getting the epidural, the midwife checked my progress again.
I was at a 6!  Yes, I still had a ways to go, but progress was progress at that point.

The rest of labor wasn't too eventful.
I spiked a 101.1 fever during labor and so the nurse and midwife (both of who I LOVED by the way)
kept a close eye on me, monitoring me and pumping antibiotics in me to make sure the fever didn't affect baby's heart rate.
After a couple more hours (maybe 2? It's hard to remember), I was at 8cm.
Getting closer, getting closer!!

And finally, by 12:50am, Sunday the 23rd I was dilated to a 10 and ready to push.
I pushed for 2 hours.
For the last half hour, the epidural wore off on my left side again and so I could feel the contractions as they built up and peaked each time.
It was such a wonderful support having my hubby, the midwife, and my labor nurse there.
They made the whole labor experience so much better for me.

I was offered a mirror, to see what what going on, but as excited as I was to meet my little guy, I decided I would much rather just wait til he was fully out.
At one point I did reach down and feel his head though.
And honestly, it was the craziest feeling ever.
I think I actually exclaimed, "Oh my gosh, there's a baby coming out of me!!"
And despite our fears, hubby didn't even come close to fainting.

And finally, 15 hours after my water had broke, at 2:53am, September 23rd, little Oliver Kaimana was born.
He was placed on my chest and I was immediately overcome with love.
After months of waiting and wondering, this beautiful little baby was here and I was holding him.
I was so overcome with love for this tiny little person.
He was all balled up on my bare skin, and he was the most gorgeous thing I'd ever seen.
I looked at my hubby and saw tears in his eyes too.
This was the first time I'd ever seen my husband cry.  It only made me cry more.

Our baby was finally here.
He was so new and fresh.
He was absolutely perfect.
He weighed in at 8lb 3oz and measured 20.5 inches long.
He had a head full of dark hair and these beautiful big, bright eyes.

I always imagined birth as being such a surreal experience.
And in a way it was, but it was also the most real thing I've ever had happen.
I was holding my baby boy and though hubby and I were both exhausted, and our little guy was nameless at this point, it didn't matter.  We were parents now.
Just like that, my and hubby's love for each other grew exponentially,
and the love and amazement we had for our little wonder was permanently formed.

And now, two and a half weeks later, the three of us are still so incredibly in love.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

a birth story, part 2

So if you missed the beginning of my birth story, you can read it here.

Now, where were we?
Oh yes, my water had just broke in Walmart.
So after paying for my groceries, and slowly making my way back to my car
(my cramps were really starting to hurt at this point), I sent hubby a quick text:
"On my way.  Will need you to come get groceries.  Water broke."

Why didn't I just call him?  I have no idea.  It's not easy thinking rationally when you're by yourself and slightly panicked.  
Luckily we only live half a mile from Walmart, so it was a quick drive home.
And lucky for hubby and our car, I had a towel in the car that I was able to sit on while driving home.

So by the time I got home (only a couple minutes later), my cramps had turned into contractions.
And they HURT already.  There was no "building" period.  They simply started at 2 minutes apart.
I took a quick shower.  Hubby helped me grab some last minute things for our hospital bag.  
And I called the midwife.
She told me it was up to me whether I wanted to stay home and ride it out for awhile 
or come on in to the hospital already.

I always imagined I'd stay and labor at home for as long as possible, 
but with the contractions already at 2 mins apart and getting more and more painful, 
I decided I would much rather just go to the hospital.  

So 2 hours after my water broke, we found ourselves in labor and delivery.
They took us to a room to do their initial check, just to make sure my water had actually broke.  
I HATE cervix checks.  They are seriously so painful.
My cervix was still really posterior, so the midwife had a hard time getting to it.
She finally found it and confirmed my water had broke.
With contractions still coming at 2 mins apart, we were all amazed I was only dilated to 4cm.  
Well, maybe amazed isn't the right word.  Frustrated and in pain might better describe my feelings.

Anyhow, we were moved to one of the labor and delivery rooms at that point.
I walked around the room for a bit, hoping to help progress things along.
The contractions started getting closer, occurring anywhere from 1.5-2 mins apart. 
I was in a lot of pain at this point and having a difficult time recovering between contractions, since they were happening so close together.   
I decided to give the shower a try, to see if the warm water would help calm me down.
It calmed me for a bit, but I had found that the only "comfortable" position during contractions was down on all fours, and that was difficult to do in the small, stand-up shower.  

I was crying and beginning to hyperventilate between contractions.  
I honestly couldn't catch my breath.  
And by the time I started to be able to, another contraction came with full force and fury.
How was I only at 4cm still??

Part 3 (final segment) coming soon...

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

welcome to the world: a birth story, part 1

My lovely little baby arrived in the world on Sunday September 23.
Hubby and I couldn't be happier. 
So, want to hear the whole story?
Well, I'm gonna tell it whether you wanna hear it or not.
And it's gonna be long.  Because it's something I want to remember.
So if you're not interested, I promise I won't have my feelings hurt.
But here it goes...

I thought I was going to be pregnant forever.
Seriously, my due date came and went with no signs of this baby evicting himself anytime soon.
I had an appointment scheduled for Monday the 24th
and with only a week left before hitting my 42nd week, they were going to talk induction.
I did NOT want to be induced.

Well, it turns out I didn't need to be.
On Friday I woke up feeling pretty crampy.
The feeling lasted all day and by nighttime I realized I was having contractions.
Nothing painful, but definitely consistent.
They started at 6 mins apart and progressed to 4 mins apart.
After calling the midwife, I decided to ride them out for the night and see if they progressed.
Because at this point they still weren't really painful, just a distinctive tightening.

So hubby and I went to bed and in the morning....
I woke up to a big fat nothing.
That's right.  No crampy-feeling.  No contractions.  Nada.
Such a disappointment.

So, since it didn't look like labor was happening anytime soon
and hubby and I were seriously lacking in staple food items,
I decided to go grocery shopping.
So there I was in Walmart on a late-Saturday morning, buying bread and the sorts.
Once at the checkout line I realized I stupidly forgot my wallet in the car.
The cashier was really sweet about it and told me I could go grab my wallet while she rang up my items and I could just pay when I got back.

I start walking out of Walmart and I suddenly felt a tiny gush of fluid.
My first thought: Oh my gosh, did I just pee myself??
I was seriously freaking out.
Well, I kept walking to my car (which was parked wayyyy far away by the way) and I started having more tiny gushes.
I then realized this may actually be my water breaking.
And almost immediately the crampy-feeling came back.
It was much more intense then the night before though.

I should have just gone home then.
But what did I do instead?
I went back into Walmart to get my groceries.
So I hop back in line and patiently wait, the whole time having a minor freak-out in my head.
This was actually water had just broke.
In Walmart of all places.
The cashier and the customer behind me started asking me about my pregnancy,
and when they found out I was overdue, the woman behind started joking,
"Well, just make sure your water doesn't break here in Walmart honey."
And did I say anything to the effect of, "Oh, too late for that...looks like it's happening now"?
Nope.  I just awkwardly laughed and held my legs together as another gush of fluid came out.

Part two, coming soon....