Saturday, December 22, 2012

One Month




Ash Phoenix at one month...

He smiles back at you and occasionally will give you the softest coo.  It is such a sweet sound that if everyone could hear it, it would bring about world peace.

He wakes in three hour cycles at night.

He has a fussy period in the evening between 7 and 11.

He loves looking at lights, especially Christmas lights.

He hates being cold.  Therefore, diaper changes and baths are not his favorite.

He is super alert and loves staring at you and copying your expressions.

His nickname is Chug-Bug, because if he is awake, he is eating like there is no tomorrow.

He has bright blue eyes still, but my husband and I can see a ring of brown starting to form around the edges.

He already weighs 12 lbs 3 oz.

He is over 22 inches long, but is squiggly, so it is hard to get an accurate measurement.

When he cries he makes such a sad face it will break your heart.  He looks like you hurt his feelings.

He still has a little bit of hair on his ears... so cute.

He has a healthy smattering of baby acne.  We hope it goes away soon.

He'll usually stop crying if I sing O Come All Ye Faithful, but I have to sing it loud, so I can't really do it when others are around.

His feet are so big they don't fit in the foot section of his sleepers.

He is in size two diapers and wears 3 month clothing.

He has graceful hands that are almost always interlocked with each other.

His favorite place to sleep is on his grandma.

So far he doesn't mind tummy time.

We aren't on any kind of feeding/sleeping schedule yet, but I am slowly trying to stretch out the time between feedings, because I am exhausted.  This boy eats!!!

He handled his first road trip pretty well and unlike River, actually slept in his car seat quite a bit of the time to Wyoming.

We love him with our whole hearts.  He has added joy and sweetness to our home in abundance.



Sweet Baby River at one month.






Monday, December 17, 2012

Ash's Birth Story... In Words




The crazy thing about giving birth is that a day that starts out like any other day can end up being totally life changing. On Sunday November 18th, I was three days over my due date, but it felt like a lot longer. I had River one day before he was due and just assumed I would have this baby even earlier. Now that I had passed my due date, I had switched to thinking I was going to be super late. It’s kind of funny to go from worrying about giving birth on Halloween, to worrying about giving birth on Thanksgiving. My doctor hadn’t been available to deliver River, since he was a New Year’s Eve baby, so I was really trying to avoid another holiday delivery.

That day I took River to church. It was embarrassing going to Relief Society, since I was supposed to be teaching the lesson, but had found a sub to teach for me. It never occurred to me that I wouldn’t have a newborn by now. On the way home, I noticed how easy it was for me to walk around. In a way, I felt less pregnant than the week before and I took this as a sign the baby was going to take his sweet time to arrive.

Thankfully, I was completely wrong… so much for instincts. At 7:10 pm that night, I was giving River a bath and he asked me to close the door all the way. I didn’t feel like standing and walking to the door, so instead I reached as far as I possibly could to grab the handle and just when I reached it, there was an audible pooping sound and a gush of warm water. My water had broken and all I could think was, “Seriously? The one day I don’t change out of my church clothes???” I stood up right away, which was a mistake, as the gushing just continued and now my boots were filled with amniotic fluid. I started laughing so hard thinking about how I was going to clean that out and I must have seemed a little off my rocker, because River started asking in a very startled voice, “What happened Mommy? What happened?”

I told him my water broke and he started excitedly yelling, “Water broke! Water broke!” for the next hour and a half. He didn’t know what it meant, but he could tell it was big news. I opened the door and yelled for Bear, who was super happy this wasn’t happening at 4:00 am. I stood on a towel and continued to laugh like crazy as an unseemly amount of fluid continued to poor out. Gross I know, but that is what happened. When I was finally cleaned up and able to change my clothes, I started making phone calls. This was so different than with River, since I woke up in labor with him and never called anyone till after I had him.

 I didn’t know when/if my body would go into labor on its own and I knew I only had a 24 hour window to get this baby out, since my water had broken. The hospital gets super worried about infection. If my labor didn’t start on its own and progress quickly enough, they would first give me Pitocin and as a last resort, do a C-section. I really wanted to give birth completely naturally and un-medicated, so I wondered if I should not call the hospital, or if I should lie about what time my water broke and buy myself more time. I wasn’t worried about infection and know plenty of home- birthers who have taken longer than 24 hours to give birth after their water had broken, but I ended up calling the hospital and telling the truth. I felt I would put up a fight later, if need be.

The hospital told me to shower and pack a bag and come in, but I didn’t need to rush and so that’s what I did. I tucked River into bed. I let him know I loved him and that I was going to go to the hospital tonight to have baby brother. I held his hand an extra-long time and tried not to let him see the tears rolling down my face, knowing this was the last time our relationship would be just this way. I’ll be honest; I’m tearing up right now thinking about it. He was super excited, but blessedly fell asleep quickly.

I called my family and let them know the little one was on his way. I called my friend Robert, who was going to stay the night with River and told him to come over and then I called my friend Danielle, to see if she could come take pictures. She had volunteered, but I wasn’t sure, since this was going to be happening in the middle of the night. She was all in and I told her I would call her back when my labor started and give her a guesstimate of when to come to the hospital. The last call I made was to my friend Becca and when I voiced my fears about the Pitocin, she said not to worry and that my labor would start on its own. Interestingly, my first contraction happened immediately after I hung up the phone with her. It was almost 10:00pm.

Robert said he would be over at 11:00 and I thought that was plenty of time, but in just one hour my contractions had become super strong. Packing my bag was getting pretty interesting. I was having to stop every few minutes, but I was determined to finish drying my hair and get everything packed. By the time Robert arrived, I was bending over and holding on to something during my contractions. I was amazed at how much faster everything was progressing than with River. I was anxious to get to the hospital where I could listen to my hypno cds and focus.

When we arrived at St. Mark’s hospital, I was happy to get a parking space right by the elevator and even happier that a thoughtful person had left a wheel chair by said elevator. I had pre-registered, so the check in process was pretty fast and I quickly found myself changing into a hospital gown and going through the initial checks they do. I was almost dilated to an 8, which is what I was with River. I listened to one hypno cd and was doing a good job of breathing through my contractions. In hypno-birthing, they are referred to as surges and I kept having the image in my head of surfing and catching a really intense wave and being nervous I was going to fall, but then riding it out to calmer waters. It really helped for quite some time and my friend Danielle over heard the nurses talking at their desk about me having a lot of control and being awesome. I’m not going to lie, ego boosts definitely help me!

The contraction were getting intense enough, I decided it was worth ruining my hair to get into the jetted tub. I did the same thing last time and was so sad I didn’t get any good pictures before I looked like a drown rat. Luckily, I was pretty sure Danielle had already gotten some with my hair looking nice. (The things that run through your mind between contractions???) I stayed in as long as possible. It really did help things relax, but after about 40 minutes I was overheating and had to get out. After drying off, I thought I’d sit on the birthing ball for a while, but that lasted for two seconds, before things got crazy hard and I HAD to have help getting in the bed.

My husband was amazing through all of this. He had the hypno script down cold and while I was going through transition, he held my hand and went through the 60 second relaxation script time and time again. I just focused on his voice and kept riding the waves. One of my favorite things about natural child birth is it really is a family experience. We are in it together. There is no checking football scores. Magic is happening and everyone is involved. Once I was back in the bed, the nurse checked me again and I was almost at a 10. It was good to hear, but I was at a 10 with River and still had fours of pushing ahead of me, so I didn’t get too excited.

They called for my doctor and wouldn’t you know it, he was unavailable. That’s two strikes and this wasn’t even a holiday. It turns out he had a really sick patient that he couldn’t leave, so I forgive him, but I was really disappointed. Dr. Horvath came in to sub and she was decent. I was trying to sit the bed up as much as possible to create a birthing chair situation and have gravity help me out, but the doctor kept having me recline it back and by the end of everything I was pretty much flat on my back. This position is nice for the doctor, but not so comfortable for giving birth and even though I pushed for an hour with Ash, instead of four hours with River, it hurt worse.

Every birth should have at least one comical moment and mine came towards the end when Ash was really close. The nurse and doctor had told me to stop breathing the baby down and push as hard as I could instead. They promised it would be over soon and go faster. It got a lot more painful, but they had me with the promise of faster, so I stopped my hypno breathing and held my breath and started pushing as hard as I could. I focused as hard as I could on not panicking when a contraction was about to start. I wanted to love them, since they were bringing my baby closer to me, but it was hard not to hate them. I was trying not to go into a black place, but I started feeling like I was getting beat up by the waves. Things were getting overwhelming and I was going to a place that no one could follow, not even my husband’s voice was penetrating. This is when I hear the nurse through my cloud of fog say, “You have super strong kegel muscles and I see a lot of vaginas!” Like I said before, ego boosts really help me and this made me laugh pretty hard. It was short lived, but it was a fun break in the rough final stages of labor. The nurse said I needed to try and relax my kegel muscles, because Ash was descending while I was pushing and then my kegel muscles would snap him back up. Hmmm… okay…. Let me add one more thing to my to-do list.

I tried to keep a bridle on the sarcastic side of my personality and just trust that if I told my body to do something, it would know how to do it. It must have worked, because the doctor said I was super close. I could see my husband and Danielle out of my peripheral vision. They were both holding their breath and closing their eyes with me during my contractions and I could feel their support wrap around me. It sounds a little cheesy, but you really can borrow others strength when you are all out of your own. I was thankful to have them both with me.

I knew things were almost over when I started to envision the universe splitting in half and I heard the words, “I can’t do this.” Come out of my mouth. It actually gave me a little boost, because I knew from last time, that when I finally got to the point of saying I couldn’t do it, it really was almost over. I thought my eye balls might pop, but I dug deep and gave one final push and I felt the sweet relief of Ash’s head and shoulders pushing through. He was born on Monday November 19th, 2012 at 2:17 am. They handed him to me for a quick second. Like River, he was gray and not crying yet. Unfortunately, I was unable to nurse him right away, because the doctor was worried about the color of my amniotic fluid. She thought it might have meconium in it, so they called in a suction specialist to clean him out, just in case.

I know it is better to be safe than sorry, but I was sad to miss those initial moments when the baby recognizes your voice and looks straight at you. Plus, it is a much friendlier transition to be skin to skin with your mom and nursing than have tubes shoved in your nose and throat to clean you out. I was super anxious to get him back and meanwhile the doctor was pushing on my stomach so hard to get blood clots out. It was painful with a capital P. With River, I was in such a euphoric place while I was nursing and bonding with him, I didn’t even notice any pain with any of the afterbirth.

They finished suctioning Ash and since they already had him away from me, they weighed and measured him. He was 8 lbs 8 oz and 20 inches. I knew he was a big boy. He was crying, but the second they handed him to me he started nursing and relaxed into my arms and he pretty much hasn’t cried since. He is a super content baby and so far, has been spared the stomach issues and colic that haunted us with River. I fell in love instantly. His eyes were a bright shade of blue, but they have already started turning darker and his hair is not quite as long or as dark as Rivers, but he still has quite a bit. We are tired, but it is magical having a newborn in our house again and the best part about it is being able to enjoy it, instead of counting down the days till they said the colic would end.

They gave me the option of leaving the hospital a day early, but I stayed the full three days, just to have one on one time with Ash. I never put him down. He slept in my arms and we just stared into each other’s eyes. River has been so great with him, but I will always cherish that one on one time with Ash. I am all for home births, but I think I will always have my kids in the hospital, because I don’t know of any other way that you get that kind of one on one bonding time with your children after your first.

Now that I’m back home, we’ve had some rough transition moments, but I feel like me and having gone through one baby where I didn’t get to be myself for four months, I know what a huge gift that is. I feel so blessed to have these gifts from Heaven in my home and I pray that I can be exactly the kind of mom they need me to be. I have goals to learn and do and become so many things for them, but right now, I’m just going to work on the showers and the naps and remember to celebrate the small victories.

POST EDIT- So I wrote this story in November and finally got around to publishing it today.  Some things have changed since then, like the no crying thing... yeah right... welcome to fussyville!  Also, while I am able to enjoy Ash as a newborn, more than I did with River, since I have been spared any bad post-partum issues, I am counting down the days till he is 12 weeks and sleeping better.  I can't help it.  I know you are supposed to live in the moment and they are only newborns for such a short amount of time... BUT I AM SO TIRED!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Ash's Birth






Saturday, November 17, 2012

Belly

Bored of belly updates? Well there isn't much else going on around here these days.
























37 Weeks on the left right before Bunco and 38 Weeks on the right on Halloween.

























39 Weeks on the left.  I didn't make it to 40 weeks with River, so I thought this would be my last belly picture.  In one of my belly updates, I made a comment about pulling my second favorite shirt of all time out of retirement... well here is my number one favorite shirt of all time.  You can see in the picture on the right that it used to fit a little differently.

I've honestly tried to give this shirt to the Goodwill so many times.  It's not like I can wear it anymore, but I have an odd attachment to it.  Once, I even had it packed in a trash bag full of other clothes and as I tossed it into the donation bin, I could see it through the plastic.  I started to drive off and then stopped my car, jumped out and ran back to rescue it.  The D.I. workers thought it was pretty hilarious.







Drum roll please... My 40 Weeks Belly Shots.  Seriously, that belly is at maximum capacity.  To The Cub... Come out soon baby.  Not only are my arms aching to hold you, but I literally might split in half if you wait much longer and that is never good.





By the way, River has informed me in no uncertain terms that this is his "poppy" pillow.  How can I wrestle it away from a face like that?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Rumbles and Grumbles



(Sorry River... we need the crib.)


We are super close to the end.  In fact, I had a doctors appointment today that I almost forgot about.  I hadn't bothered writing it on the calendar, because I was so positive I wouldn't need it.  I now have a doctor's appointment for next Tuesday and haven't written it on the calendar either.  Let's hope history doesn't repeat itself.

I trust my baby and my body to deliver when the time is right.  I was just hoping their timing would agree with my brains timing.  My brain wanted to deliver before my face got fat, but noooo, we had to wait one more week.  Most women don't tend to gain a lot of weight the last part of their pregnancy.  Some women even lose a little, but not me.  I am like a cotton candy machine, just collecting weight from the air circling around me.  It doesn't matter what I eat/don't eat, or how much I walk, the weight just really starts to pile on... like my body is preparing for WWIII.

Oh well... I'm enjoying the last few days of this little one moving inside me.  The Cub has been quite the mover and I am going to miss it, but I can't wait to look into his eyes.

Every pregnancy is different and this one has brought much more random aches and pains.  I will be walking around, fine as can be and then it feels like someone has grabbed the tendons between my groin and quads and snapped them like rubber bands   It is not a sensation you want to feel... trust me.  I've been brought to my knees more than once.  I have a lot harder time sleeping than I did with River.  It's weird, because I am not any bigger, but everything is a lot more sore.  I attribute it to running around after a toddler all day instead of taking it easy and reading a book like I did with my first pregnancy.

River has thankfully started to nap again.  (I say this while holding my breath and keeping my fingers crossed.)  He hadn't napped in two weeks and I was devastated with the timing.  He's almost three and my friends are split about 50/50 on their 3 three year olds that nap and don't.  I know he will outgrow it eventually, but I didn't want to deal with that transition right on top of having a newborn.  I prayed and prayed for at least six more months of napping and just when I was about to give up, he took a nap.  Yay!!!!  So, I am hoping it sticks.

I took River to a siblings class at the hospital.  He was the only boy in it.  All the little girls were so good holding their baby dolls.  River wouldn't touch the thing... until the nurse pointed out that babies have a soft spot on their heads that you aren't supposed to touch.  All the little girls were horrified by my soft spot crushing little boy, who simultaneously was saying, "Look mom... a soft spot, a soft spot!"  I wonder if I can get my five dollars back?

I love my family so much.  My husband just cleaned the inside of my car way better than I ever could and he set up the car seats for me.  River is an endless bundle of energy, but he is happiest when he is making us laugh and I am amazed at what he comes up with.  The Cub is a rock star.  I can already tell and Noodle is my kindred napping/chocolate eating spirit.  Just in case post partum issues creep up on me, or run over me with a bulldozer like they did last time, I want all my guys to know how happy they make me.





Friday, November 9, 2012

Luke and Kristy




Well my prediction on having the baby today turned out to be just wishful thinking, so, as to not repeat history, I will blog about Luke and Kristy's wedding before I get lost in baby land the second time around and three more years wiz by.

I actually really like weddings.  I like to see what colors they picked and what flowers.  I like to find out if it's just because they liked them, or if there is a more personal reason why.  I like to watch the cake cutting and first dances and hear what songs they picked.  I love catching up with all the other family members that come and watching videos or seeing pictures of the couple growing up.

And this is why it is so "INTERESTING" going to a wedding with your two year old.  All your conversations are cut short as your little man escapes your arms and runs down a hallway, into a crowd and you must follow after him.  I was in the bathroom changing a diaper when the cake cutting was happening and I was calming a crying little guy from a big fall during one of the dances.  Even with Bear doing most of the River duty, since it was my side of the family at the wedding, I feel like I got an average of 15 seconds of conversation, before I had to run after my babe.

Despite my frenzied ability to pay attention and despite the torrential rains and tornado warnings, causing a last minute change inside, Luke and Kristy's wedding was beautiful and just the right combination of elegant and fun.  I was so thankful to get to be a part of my little brother's wedding.  It had been planned for a year and when I found out I was pregnant in the spring, I was a little worried it might be too close to my due date to travel.  It all worked out.  Kristy handled the last minute changes to her wedding better than any bride out there... way better than I would have.  There was not one complaint all night and everything was fabulous!



Like I said, I wasn't always present at the big moments, so I am filling in the gaps with some of the professional pics and my cousin Sarah's photo's that are pretty awesome too.



For a wedding that was supposed to be outside, they sure made it gorgeous inside in a hurry.



It wasn't the long march down a staircase to the gazebo in the middle of a vineyard that she had planned, but that is one nice aisle to walk down.



Waiting for the ceremony to start... 35 weeks and swollen feet!  Have you noticed a theme at my siblings weddings.  They like for me to be big, fat and pregnant in all the pictures.  My mom is worried I can only get pregnant if a sibling is getting married and now I am out of siblings.  Here's to hoping that won't be a problem.



He was making funny faces in every picture, but my little man could not have been more handsome in suit.  Thanks Rocky for letting us borrow it!



Doesn't this face just say, "I'm going to keep you on your toes tonight!"



Thankfully, we had raisins and fruit snacks to get us through the ceremony.  He kept saying, "Uncle Luke gets mawied."  Notice the suit jacket is already off.  Well, we tried.



Sealed with a kiss.



Always nice to be smiling after the biggest commitment of your life... and the next!



Time to eat... Of course if you get married in KC you eat barbecue baby... no matter how fancy the wedding is.



Time for cake.  It all started out so polite...



But then this happened.



Like any good Fields girl though, Kristy gives as good as she gets!



Where I was while all this was happening... well if you have to be in a bathroom, they don't get much prettier than this one.



A shout out to the awesome groom's cake.  Yes, that is a cake and it tasted much better than the bitter taste of defeat the Tiger's had to swallow that night.  They got killed by Alabama.  It was ugly.



The first dance was to... I have no idea... The things you can't remember only a month later.  I blame pregnancy brain.



I'm pretty sure the mother/son dance was to "I Hope You Dance".



River liked watching the dances, while sneaking ever so slowly towards the flower girl.  He might look innocent in this picture, but it was only seconds later that his hand started sliding under her dress!  Not kidding!



Play live music and good luck getting my little man off the dance floor.  I was so glad Bear was here to do most of the dancing this time.



 His shirt kept getting more and more unbuttoned. We were about to have a Latin dancer on our hands.



My little man got all smoochie with me for a second.  What a sweetie!



 Yeah... he's a heart breaker.



Some of my cute family members.  We don't let the ugly ones take pictures.



A cute shot of me and my dad.



I think this is a must if you get married in October.  It was prettier without my flash.



The bride having too much fun in the photo booth.  So did we, but I'll save those incriminating photos for when I'm famous.




I'm glad there was a break in the rain.  These pictures were too much fun.



 Does it get any more magical???



 Oh wait... It does.





Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Wedding Post #3


Usually wedding years and baby years rotate in my life, but this year, I've been invited to as many weddings as baby showers.  I am way behind on posting about them, but before I start, I wouldn't feel right if I didn't travel back in time and do the third and final post on my sister's wedding.  I had a baby before I could get to it and then got lost in baby land for three years, so before the past repeats itself...  Post One, Post Two and now on the eve of their third anniversary... the highly anticipated and long awaited... Post Three.

After a three year delay, the details are fuzzy.  Here's what I remember.  The desert sunset across her ceremony was picturesque, the train that barreled down the tracks for five minutes right when the ceremony began was humorous, but a bit stressful for my husband who was performing the ceremony, my emotions were a little bi-polar... I was happy, having a great time with friends and family and yet... still kind of felt like someone was stealing my sister, (Aren't parents supposed to feel that way?  I guess I've been known to act like a second mom at times, but only in the most annoying and holier than thou kind of way.)  and finally... I remember with perfect clarity how beautiful my sister looked.  Ahhhhhh-Maze-Ing!!!


Told Ya!



Beautiful Mom/Beautiful Daughter



I might have been the Matron of Honor, but Parisa was the Wedding Miracle Worker.  I'm sad I don't have a better picture of her.  She planned, cooked, decorated and basically brought the whole thing together.  We love her.



 Something Blue




The gorgeous desert location... Nipton, California



Jessica makes it even prettier.



 The fun perma-tents we got to stay in.  Like camping, but with air conditioning.... which we needed, even in November.



The old LA gang reunites... boy I look young here.  I think my child has aged me.



The inside of the perma-tents.  Did I say camping???  I use that term very loosely.  They were nice.


With my dad getting ready to head out for the ceremony.  One last go team Fields cheer!



 Heading down the aisle.




Towards the most respectable Reverend ever... we called my husband the Ministainer. (Like Joey on Friends)



The sunset was awesome.  I should have gotten a picture of the train.  I was too busy trying not to laugh at the timing.



Did I tell you my cute brother was one of my sister's bridesmaids?  He grew his hair out just to fit in.  His one condition... "I am not walking down the aisle arm and arm with a dude."



I kind of like the wind blown hair in this picture and I LOVE her snap dragon bouquet.  Great job Parisa.



 A tower of cupcakes, instead of the traditional wedding cake.  I was pregnant, so I had to try one of every kind.



Hey Jess and Josh, how bout one more picture before you get to eat... No?  Okay then.




Entering into the old school house that had been set up for the dinner.



This picture does no justice to the beauty and feel of the inside of the school house.  I wish I had some of the professional pics to share with you.




Back outside for the dancing.  Their first dance was to... I have no idea... the things you forget in three years.





Father daughter dance to... Again I don't remember, but I am pretty sure it was by Crosby, Stills and Nash.



The bouquet toss.



The garter toss... by the way, my sister's legs were so in shape.  I guess that is what ultra marathon running will do for you.  I'll have to give that a try.  If you can't hear me... I am currently choking on my laughter.



Oh Reverend... you are so respectable... and is it just me, or does River look like he's trying to punch right out of my belly here.



Speaking of my belly... it was getting molested all night and usually by repeat offenders...



Suspect #1 Brooke



Suspect #2 The Bride



Nothing says classy wedding like your pregnant bridesmaid holding a beer bottle.



Having fun...


Until...



It was time to say goodbye.  Boo.  I'm not going to lie.  It was pretty emotional for me and I think only half of it was pregnancy hormones.



The get-a-way car.



Riding off into the sunset... well it was already dark, but you get the idea.




At least I still get to hang out with these fools.



And load up on the candy favors... sugar high baby!



Mission accomplished!



Rocking it the next day with my 32 weeks pregnant belly and sweat pants.



Noodle was so ready to go home.  Little did he know his home would soon include a tail pulling toddler.

The End!

Happy Three Year Anniversary Jessica and Josh!