Monthly Archives: January 2012

shot or not?

A few nights ago I had one of those remarkably vivid and utterly bizarre pregnancy dreams. I dreamt that I had my baby, that I did so now as in 16-ish weeks pregnant, that it happened in a public place, that the baby was totally normal in size and 100% healthy, and that it didn’t hurt at all. From what I can recall of the dream I was basically sitting there and then it was time to give birth and then I did, in a matter of minutes and with zero discomfort. And then there was some weird breastfeeding moment where my nipples were rather alien like and the baby was not really interested in them, all of which I attribute to my still lingering guilt and anxiety over the breastfeeding struggles I experienced with Norah, but that’s beside the point. The point is the ease with which I spewed forth this new life form.

SO what does that mean and why did I dream about this? I mean clearly dreaming about having a baby while you’re pregnant makes sense, but I do happen to know exactly why I had this particular dream at this particular time and that’s because I recently read this article: The Truth About Epidurals. A good friend posted it to Facebook and of course I’m apt to read anything pregnancy or birth related that crosses my path these days. It was a good article – fairly well written, insightful, informative  – but what I liked most and what inspired me to post about it was the last paragraph:

“Women shouldn’t cave to pressure from either side. They should make informed decisions based on their goals and priorities. I aspired to have a comfortable birth even if it meant being surrounded by nurses and doctors and tubes and incessant beeps; other women may trade pain for a more intimate birthing experience. Each choice comes with its own benefits and unpleasantries. My unnatural childbirth left me with a memory that does not involve intolerable pain, and that’s exactly what I wanted.”

Amen, sister.

If you’ve been hanging around Elderland for awhile you surely know Norah’s birth story, but in case not, a quick summary: I aspired to do things “naturally;” I got a morphine IV after several hours of kill-me-now-pain; i finally asked for an epidural after a couple more hours; they had the shot ready at my back and then checked me one last time to find that I was fully dilated and needed to push; no shot, pushed and screamed, 15 min later, baby out. So in the end I didn’t go completely drug free, but I did experience labor and delivery sans epi. The morphine really didn’t change the level of pain I was experiencing during the contractions, it simply made it easier for me to rest between them (for 30-60 seconds). In the following weeks, heck months or even year, if anyone had asked I would have emphatically declared that I wouldn’t hesitate for a moment to line up the shot for number two. Today, 17 weeks into my second pregnancy, I’m honestly not sure what I’ll do.

Let me attempt to explain why I aspired to do things naturally the first time around. The honest answer is simply that I wanted to prove to myself that I could. I viewed getting an epidural as the easy route and going shotless as a challenge. Being my typical competitive, stubborn, perfectionist self there was never a question in my mind as to what my plan would be: bring that baby into the world without getting that needle in my back. That said, I was also well aware that having never experienced labor before I might just change my mind, and fully prepared for the fact that things can and often do go awry, so I welcomed the possibility of my plan being discarded. But minus any complications, it was my personal belief that if I could successfully give birth to Norah without an epi I would have achieved some feat and be proud of myself. I’m sure a lot of people would read that and think it utterly absurd, but hey, that’s me.

An aside…I started writing this post yesterday morning and then put it on hold for other weekend activities one of which was an outing with my coworkers and their significant others. After some fierce rollerskating we went to Tyler’s for grubbage and during chow time my coworker’s girlfriend told me about her pregnant friend in England. Apparently because she is super healthy and not expected to have any complications she must begin her labor on the floor of the hospital (I forget what it’s called) where they simply don’t administer epidurals. Period. Doesn’t matter what you want. You’re in top shape, so suck it up. Even for crazy me who was all about suffering in the name of self-pride that sounded completely asinine. I Googled around a bit in the hopes of finding some sort of official policy and the best I could unearth were forum posts about the National Health Service (NHS) lacking the proper funds to give epis willy nilly and so often witholding them unless necessary. So nothing official, but enough of the same from various websites that I’m convinced it’s true. There’s no such thing as a perfect health care system, eh? An aside to this aside, on the homepage for the NHS there’s a link toward the top that says “How to complain about the NHS.” What a delightfully ballsy alternative to the American “Tell us What you Think” or simply “Contact Us.”

Now back to number two. What will I do? Who knows. I’d like to try again to forgo the epi, but I’m almost certain that if labor progresses slowly and the contractions are as hellish as they were with Norah, I’ll be rolling over in no time. Shot or not, what I hope for above all else is to have a complication free delivery and a healthy baby.

I’ll end with this: if you’re pregnant or trying to get pregnant or even just thinking about trying to get pregnant, and your mind has wandered into the complicated and confusing land of labor and delivery, and you really don’t know what you want, do some thinking and reading and talking until you figure it out for yourself. Educate yourself on the various options, talk to your friends and family and medical providers about their experiences, get your partner’s thoughts and feelings, and then make a decision or plan knowing that when it comes down to it, you may have to throw the entire thing out the window. Because until it happens no one will ever know what “it” is going to be. And finally, don’t ever, ever, ever let your fear of being judged or your worry of what others will think dictate what your birth experience is going to be. This is your baby. Plan it your way.

Elderland out. XO.


15 weeks

I maybe got a little snappy happy this time around…

Dear little boo,

So much has happened in the last three weeks. We had a visit from your Papa (that’s Mama’s dad who lives in Texas), we started a new year (a VERY important year during which we’ll get to meet you!), we took you and your big sister Norah to Florida to visit with Daddy’s family, and we had an exciting second maternity appointment. Why was it exciting you ask? Because not only did Mama get to hear your very strong heartbeat (good job, boo), but she also got to see you again! It’s not typical for them to pull out the mini-utlrasound machine (I’m sure it has a much more technical name) for every appointment, but when Susan the midwife felt Mama’s uterus she said “hmm, are you sure about your due date?” Well, you’re the experts, Mama thought so she said “I guess not?” Out with the machine to do some rough measurements. This time Mama could actually tell you were a little baby and not just a white blob, and she saw your skull and spine and round little head, and boy were you dancing in there! About that head, as it turns out it’s not so little – the measurements that Susan took indicated that you were quite a bit bigger than one would expect at 14.5 weeks, but rather were measuring right at 16! Now, Mama’s not sure how it’s possible to be about a week and a half off, and Susan did say that the mini machine is not super duper accurate and it very well could be that you are just a long baby with a big head, but either way we’ll find out on February 1st! Yes, that’s right, we set a date for the big ultrasound during which they’ll check you out to be sure you’re developing properly, they’ll measure you to confim (or change!) Mama’s due date, AND they will tell us if you’re a boy or a girl. That’s less than three weeks away and we can hardly stand the excitement.

Mama feels great, as long as she gets enough sleep, and right now that means a solid eight hours a night. On the weekends she can usually grab 9 and that’s simply marvelous. She’s getting bigger by the minute and recently had to bust out the ‘ol maternity pants. We suppose being that you might just be a long baby with a big head, you need all the room you can get! But don’t worry if that is the case – your Mama is a long grown-up with a big head and she’s doing just fine in life. Mama’s still your typical irritable, fiesty preggo and poor Daddy catches the bulk of that. He’s being a total trooper though and trying his darndest to keep Mama calm and happy. One way to do that? Give her a sausage biscuit. Her preggo comestible covet is a big breakfast, and sausage on a biscuit tops the list.

We love you dearly little boo and are counting down the days until we find out a little more about who you are and can start thinking of your name!


christmas at last

We’re getting there folks! Caught up on snappies that is. This was Norah’s second Christmas and she was much more aware of the excitement and magic. She was also spoiled of course, but it was totally fun for all of us.

At our house, Santa brought Norah a little wooden train set that she delighted in tearing apart and throwing!

And a balance bike that she’s still a wee bit small for but Pete, ahem, Santa couldn’t resist having a bike with a bow on it under the tree. She’ll be using it before we know it!

Then we went to Grams and Grandma’s house where Santa and the bear’s wonderful relatives left lots more goodies for her like a super cool doctor set and personalized backpack. She also got a couple baby dolls, a baby cradle and a baby stroller! She loves kissing and rocking her babies, putting them in their bed to sleep, and pushing them around in their stroller. She also occasionally loves throwing them (I’m sensing a pattern here). Let’s hope she avoids that last bit when this real baby comes along.

One other neato thing she got that has since become a favorite in the Elder house – an inflatable red bouncy horse! It’s from the company Imaginarium and is made out of material similar to an exercise ball (inflates with the same type of pump). As much as she loves her horsey now (and kisses him, and rides him, and drags him around) she wasn’t quite sure after we put her on him that first time. It started out well and ended a little less than well.

Finally, after all the hullaballoo and excitement, we ventured outside for a few more snappies. The gray skies and soft afternoon lighting were perfect and the bear was adorable in her gray cardy, toddler skinny jeans and new chucks. Grandma looks nice too :).

Elderland out. XO.


I’ve actually got quite a few snappies floating around from the last several months that deserve to be posted somewhere, so let’s play a little game of catch up…

In November we went to San Antonio to attend James (my bro) and Tiffany’s wedding. Hooray for the newlyweds!!

my handsome bro and bed-headed little ninny muggins

papa and the bear

james waiting for his bride

mother-son dance

the happy family

go bear go!

ohhh, pretty

it wouldn't be a wedding without a goofy snappy of me dancing

the old married couple 🙂

me and ma

Ok, that’s it for tonight because I have to go to bed, but more snappies soon!

Elderland out. XO.

the finer moments

Every now and then, we experience moments as parents where we say to ourselves something along the lines of “so this is my life now, huh?” I’m not really sure who we’re saying this to, maybe some all knowing parenting God that’s most definitely laughing his/her ass off at us, but nevertheless, this is our general declaration. It’s not necessarily a complaint, but more like an acceptance, a shrug of well okay then, let’s do it.

I had one of those finer moments today. This morning we were in Apollo Beach, FL visiting with Pete’s parents and siblings and our niece and nephews. It was the last day of a long weekend and Norah decided 5:15 was a fine time to start it. We had to be on our way to the airport around 8 AM, so there was no morning nap in sight and needless to say, by the time we arrived back at the house (noonish), we were all exhausted. After some lunch we settled in for family naptime. Within 15 minutes or so of getting Norah down, Pete and I were both snoring our way into some serious afternoon sleep.

Two hours later I awoke with a start from a rather strange dream to the sound of Norah crying. I was clearly in whatever stage of sleep it is where you’re pretty much dead to the world because I felt severely medicated and delirious. Somehow I managed to get out of bed and stumble down the hall to Norah’s room and found her looking not much more coherent. But alas she was crying because, well, she had finally pooped for the day and that woke her up. All good. A two hour nap is nothing to sneeze at. Still foggy, I got her out of her crib and got ready to face the stink of all stinks. I removed her diaper and set it to the side to prepare for the 6 wipe mess (that’s no joke, folks). It was at this moment, as I began to regain a bit more consciousness, that I realized just how badly I had to pee. No matter how upset Norah seems to be when she wakes me up, ESPECIALLY in my current pregnant state, I always make sure to pee before I go get her. Not this time, my friends. That’s just how out of it I was. Commence pee pee dance. Bouncing around holding myself while I attempted to finish cleaning Norah one handed, I bumped the poopy diaper. Down it went to the floor, and I’ll give you one guess how a poopy diaper will land 10 out of 10 times…that’s right! Poop side down. Well, I couldn’t do much about it then because I was about to pee my pants and didn’t really care to add to the mess on the floor, so I finished Norah, ran with her to the bathroom to relieve myself and then brought her to our room where Da-da was still in bed. “Babe, I need you to keep her happy, I’ve got something to take care of.” As soon as I put her down she began to cry again, but I had to go get that poop up, and hurried to grab the paper towels and spray cleaner. I’m in her room wiping up the squished turds (which by the way also managed to hit a book lying open on the floor) and Norah is standing at the baby gate crying incessantly. “PETE! I need you to make her stop crying so I can finish cleaning up this POOP!!” Because somehow her crying was hindering me. And there it was. The moment. “So this is my life now, huh?”

At lease we can laugh about these things.

Elderland out. XO.

my 2012

First adorable Norah snappy of 2012!

Alright, here it goes. I may not put every little thing I have hopes for in this post because some stuff is just plain personal and not meant for the prying eyes of the interweb, but this is the bulk of it.

My 2012 (in no particular order)…

1. I’d like to stay super active throughout this pregnancy and get back on the serious fitness train as quickly as possible post baby. I think I did a pretty good job of that last time around, so this should be a cakewalk (did someone say cake?). I’ve been running about 12 – 15 miles a week, which i’m aware will taper as I get bigger, but it’s very important to me to keep moving even if that means lots of walking for awhile. Post baby, I really look forward to adding longer distances back into the mix and maybe one day, just maybe, I’ll finally suck it up and sign up for a marathon. Let’s leave that for another year though.

2. As any home owner knows, your house is never “done.” We’ve got a mile long list of house projects, some more serious than others, and I’m aware that for a year that will bring another baby setting goals for any major DIY-ing would be overly ambitious. But there are things on the list that we can surely knock out in 2012 (even if that means most of the work is done by Pete!). I think my primary focus will be redoing our master bedroom, currently walled in tropical green, furnished with a set we bought from Pete’s sister a good six years ago that has seen better days, curtained with the dark teal drapes borrowed from the dining room and completely void of anything on the walls. Just blech. So I know we can take care of at least some changes there. Other things on the list of potential projects: repaint the dining room, scrape and paint the shed, get some more pictures of the bear up, get more stuff on the walls in general and do something about the mess that is our backyard (this one is a long term multi-layer project that probably won’t go into full effect until we are a dog-less family, sad but true).

3. I’d like us to try and spend more individual time with our good friends. I don’t mean that Pete and I should hang out separately more often, but rather that we as a couple should hang out with other couples one at a time a bit more. We’re certainly not lacking for social activities – there’s at least one event a month, generally more, here in Mebane – but the fact that they’re all “events” is what has brought about this goal. The majority of our social interactions these days are done in big groups. No complaints! We love a good party/potluck/porch gathering, but in these situations you definitely spread yourself around doing your best to talk to lots of different people and that limits your time with everyone. There’s truly something to be said for having a few good hours with just one other person or couple to really catch up on what’s going on in their lives and simply enjoy their company. I suppose this means we’ll need to do a lot more entertaining at our house, which brings me to number 4.

4. Keep the house looking purty! This has always been important to me. Some people might wonder why you’d want to spend a bunch of your limited time on this planet cleaning/organizing/tidying when it’s all just going to get dirty and messy again anyway, and my response is this: when my house is dirty, I feel dirty. It stresses me out and makes me uncomfortable in my own home. So sure, I may spend a lot of my spare time tackling household chores, but when the house looks good I feel good. All the spare time in the world wouldn’t matter if I felt like crap because my house was a grimy wreck. This is hard. We have two dogs and a toddler. Their purpose in life seems to be undoing any and all efforts to keep things clean and in order. But I try. And my mom helps out A LOT. Sooooo thankful for her!

5. Try new things. Not much to explain here. Anything could fit into this category – dine at new restaurants, go to new places, learn a new skill. Keep it fresh and interesting. That’s all.

6. I need to lighten up. I actually don’t know if this is possible for me, but I need to try. Try to let little things go, try to laugh at all of Pete’s jokes even the ones that are at my expense, try to relinquish some control (just in general), try to not hate so hard on every stupid person I have to deal with, and just try to be happy and have fun. Intensity is part of my core being and that’s not ever going to change, but I could stand to tone it down a notch.

7. Lastly, and getting somewhere with number 6 is integral to this, I hope to be much less crazy during the newborn phase of number two. The simple fact that it’s number two should help with this tremendously, since even if this baby is entirely different, I now know for certain that it’s all going to be okay. I was a stressball with Norah, due in part to the whole breastfeeding fiasco, and also to just being the way I am and having no idea what I was doing. I can’t go through that again. I accept that I may not be perfect, that I may not be able to do everything right and that I may still not have a clue about what’s the best way to handle every newborn situation. I’m going to be so much more chill this time. I promise.

That about sums it up! I’ve got some financial goals as well, but I won’t bore you with those.

Elderland out. XO.