Tuesday, August 30, 2011


First day back at work today felt suprisingly anticlimatic. Doesn't anyone know that the world is a completely different place??! Doesn't anyone *really* care?!?!

In all seriousness, I've been thinking about this day for 3 1/2 months, so I was ready. Not happy, but ready to take the plunge. Still very nervous though, so I'm surprised that I managed to get any sleep at all (although Peter reports that I tossed and turned all night long). Ellie got up to nurse at 4:20, after which I kind of fell back to sleep, to waken to my alarm at 5:10am. I guess this is my new reality. I took my precious time leaving and was out the house around 6:30 or so.

Walking into the building was surreal. Although people on the elevator and in the halls didn't know that this was my first day back, I felt like I was wearing a billboard screaming "Nervous, Slighty Sad, Totally Confused New Mama!" My boss said "good morning" to me like he would have any other morning. Very surreal. It was as though I had pressed the pause button on the rest of the building, had left for almost four months, and pressed restart. Life had gone on in my absense seamlessly.

The weirdest part was that although I've been un-pregnant know for almost four months, it was definitely a slight shock to my system to be un-pregnant at work. My identity for so long was "that pregnant chick," and because my department is 90% new people, no one knows me as anything but.

I definitely missed Ellie, but wasn't so sad that I couldn't focus. In fact, things went pretty good, which, when I realized this, made me miss her even more, as though there was some aspect in my life which she was not a part of. :( I so badly wanted to have her with me so I could look down to see her smile that I practically ran out of the office and sped home, so I could feel her baby weight rest in my arms. Despite my fast exit, I feel as though a weight has been lifted. We can do this. Our family can do this..

Sunday, August 28, 2011

On my birthday - a birth story

I started writing this three nights ago, on my birthday eve. My own birthday eve got me to think about Ellie's and the story that followed.

And because I actually do enjoy reading other birth stories, let me recount the story of our Eleanor's birthday.

Backing up a couple of weeks, I was around 37 weeks pregnant when the doctor declared me ready to go "any day now." These three words raised the red flags like I couldn't believe - my dad was cancelling business trips, my mom couldn't eat or sleep and my poor husband was nervous every time he walked out the door that I'd explode and push out a baby before he got back. My big sis, living 3 hours south of us, came up for what was supposed to be a weekend trip on the afternoon of May 5th, but hearing the declaration of my impending "any day now" status, decided to stay. On the couch in our living room. The first couple days were fine - we filled them with nesting and cooking, pedicures and shopping. Towards the end of the week our enthusiasm for waiting started draining as I was getting fatter and itchier and generally so uncomfortable. By Sunday night, we were done. We looked up recipes for labor induction and found one for Eggplant Parmesan and another for spicy cookies. We made them both and followed the directions to the letter.

Sunday night I could not sleep and at 3am I was awake. Uncomfortable (and in hindsight, probably in early labor), I tossed and turned and tried not to wake up Peter to no avail. I was absolutely certain and convinced that my water would break before I got out of bed to start the day and while I lied there I waited. And waited. Eventually, the sky started lightening and the birds started chirping and my water was still fully in tact. At 6am our alarm went off and Peter got out of bed as usual, ready to start the day. And, sure enough, my intuition was correct. At 6:02 I felt a jerking sort of pop and seconds later the gush followed. By 7am, Peter, my sister and I were checking into the hospital and I was being examined by my doctor. Around 7:30 or so the family started trickling in and by 10 my mom, dad and aunt were in the room with us, waiting.

Certain parts of this day I recall with absolute certainty - others are a blur of sights and emotions. Going into labor, I knew I wanted to give a natural birth a shot. I believe in the female body and I believe in my own body. Not knowing how the day would progress, I wanted to be fully present in every way to witness the birth of my child, including fully feeling the whole experience. Further, I believe that mothers-to-be take so many precautions against anything that could potentially cause damage to their fetuses, staying away from even the smallest amount of alcohol, caffeine, pain killers, etc... yet, on this day, will accept painkilling serum pumped directly into their blood stream. For me, taking this risk seemed a lot scarier than simply dealing with the pain. Needless to say, this was my plan.

By noon, my early labor was starting to turn the corner and active labor was starting. My contractions had gotten progressively more painful to the point where, after my family had left to have lunch, I tearfully admitted to Peter that I was afraid of continuing with this pain. At the time I didn't know how much longer it would go on and was terrified. By 12:30, I had requested an epidural and was told it would be there in ten minutes. I gave instructions to keep my family out of the room until the pain was under control. I believe it was 1:15 when the epidural team finally came into the room (at that time, those 45 minutes waiting were the longest of my life). After sterilizing my back, the beepers of the anesthesiologists went off and out they ran to an emergency c-section, leaving me to continue laboring in pain. About twenty minutes later, another team of anesthesiologists arrived to finish the job.

To receive an epidural, the patient is supposed to be perfectly still. So I sat on the side of the hospital bed, in very active painful labor, while they attempted to administer the dang thing. And sat there, and sat there. I believe both doctors attempted at least 6 tries between the two of them before declaring that I must have scoliosis (news to me!) and that they couldn't get it. By far, sitting upright and still throughout this was the most painful and longest 45 minutes of my life - far, far worse than laboring and pushing was. The room was spinning and my world kept fading in and out of blackness. The pain was excruciating. During the whole day, this was the most difficult part, by far.

So the doctors left (to get another team of docs) and I was checked and declared to be about 7 centimeters. Two contractions later, I found my body spontaneously pushing and bearing down.They checked me again and I was complete and ready to go. At this point, I was clearly going to get the natural birth I had originally wanted, and truthfully I was so ready for the whole thing to be over that I was fine with that. The rest of the labor was a blur. Someone went to get my sister, who held one leg while Peter held the other. My family had been waiting for several hours (since noon, it was now about 2:45) without any word of what was happening in the room. My doctor arrived along with a neonatal team to inspect the baby (who had passed meconium in the amniotic fluid). I pushed hard for about 45 minutes (the most physically taxing thing I have ever, ever done) and finally, through the pain, at 3:38 (or was it 3:36??) a body emerged screaming. I remember someone (a nurse?) telling Peter to look down and declare the gender, as we hadn't found out yet. Poor Peter, so overwhelmed by the experience, missed the chance when I looked down and exclaimed that our little baby was in fact, a baby girl. 

The flood of emotions was absolutely indescribable. Relief, pride, joy, more relief, disbelief, pain. I don't remember when she was handed to me, but I do remember seeing my sister's face wet with tears, my husband's eyes brimming, my own overwhelming feelings and absolute, total, all-encompassing exhilaration for the living, breathing, baby girl all of our own placed in my arms. Her eyes locked into mine. Her face was absolutely perfect. We had lived for 40 weeks wondering who would arrive on this day, so to experience a culmination like this, in the form of a perfect baby girl, was the highest moment of my life.

The rest of the day was bliss. Family in and out. Feeding her for the first time. Extreme exhaustion. Hunger like I've never experienced. The purest love I've ever felt. And the sweetest, cutest baby in the world, who absolutely transformed my life.

Welcome Eleanor! The gang's all here!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

She Sleeps

Her little body is dressed in slightly too-big pj's, making her look like she's swimming in a sea of pink. Her sweaty head is pressed up against the crook of my arm and she snores in and out with each rocking motion of my chair. I cannot bring myself to put her down. She has my own nightgown grasped tightly in her chubby baby hands and her little rosebud lips have a string of drool connecting my body to hers.

This girl and I are locked together as one. Every cell in her body was once a cell in mine. My heart slowly breaks at the thought of us growing apart. It will start with me going back to work and end some day when she walks into her dorm room for the very first time. So tonight, she can sleep in my arms - the experts who tell me to not rock her to sleep be damned.

She will be babysat next week by two awesome women. One, my own mama who I know now would do anything for me. Being a mama to my own sweet baby girl, I have a new understanding of how much my mom loves me. She has three girls and now one more has joined her heart. She loves Ellie like her own baby girl. Along with my mom we have a very good family friend who will watch Ellie. This friend I completely trust will love on our girl as well. Ellie will be in good hands. With next Tuesday inching closer I lost sight of my goal of teaching Ellie to go to sleep on her own. Originally, this was the plan - I was sure it would make life for whoever watches Ellie much easier. It probably would. But I cannot bear the thought of having her cry at night alone in her crib right now, even if it's just for a moment or two. Someday she will, but this week and tonight is not our time to cut this cord. I realize that she is a security blanket for me as much as I am to her; after all, she has been with me for almost a year. While I was pregnant with her, I would imagine that she could think my thoughts and would have a nonstop dialogue with the baby poking me in my belly. She was my little partner then as she is now. Every day as my love for her grows deeper and stronger, she grows more independant, so tonight I hold her while she sleeps and marvel at my miracle. I love this girl so.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Changes of late

Not to be too cliche or anything, but it's true what "they" say - babies really do change everyday. Knowing this already probably prepared me to experience it firsthand, but the surprising thing (to me) is how much fun it is watching her grow and change. I always knew I'd be a good, nurturing mama, but I didn't know for sure just how fun this whole adventure would be. It is SO so so fun. Our little girl is developing a little personality and even the smallest milestones are so cool to witness. Unfortunately, next to Peter and my mom, teeny tiny baby milestones are pretty boring to the rest of the world to hear about excessively. For that reason, I try to keep them off facebook BUT because this is my blog and I have no idea if anyone else is even reading this thing (hello?! are you out there!?) I will not refrain from updating you, dear readers. :)

For example - last week we experienced a massive uptick in the amount of drool spilling out of her mouth, and she discovered with copious amounts of saliva comes the ability to blow bubbles. This, my friends, is so dang cute. I'm sure it won't be for long, but watching her blow bubbles and spit is endlessly entertaining.  She's made some progress with her hands lately too, and just this week started bringing toys (which I placed in her grasp) up to her mouth. I would never have thought that these types of "milestones" would get me as excited as they do.

Other changes of late? Peter and I have jumped into the 21st century yesterday with the acquisition of two iPhone. Very fun and yes I'm addicted. Already. No surprises there.

And, along with these iPhones comes a pretty pricey payment plan (for me anyway, I who avoid overpaying for things like the plague). In my attempt to avoid getting unlimited texting, I decided to try out twitter and try to convince those I frequently text to just tweet instead. So, here I am. A blogging, iPhoning, tweeting mama. Ha.

Oh yeah - you should follow me on twitter too! I have no followers, having been a member of the tweetosphone (I coined that name, like it?) for about ten minutes. I'm @sweetiesessions (is that how you say it?).

Happy Tuesday. It's sunny and I have one week left of maternity leave. Hooray!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

On going back to work

Peter and I went out last night with two other couples to a great dinner. It was our first date night since Ellie's birth, and it was nice to dress up and wear clothing that didn't require immediate access to my chest. I felt like a real mom, applying Chanel lipstick (my mom wears Chanel no 5, so it seems that mothers must have one Chanel accessory when dressing up) while my girl watched me get ready. Although I pretended to be brave and strong, I desperately missed my girl while we were out. We left around 6:15 and came home at 9:30 (three hours, not such a long time at all). My mom reported she went to sleep around 7:30 or so, so while she really only spent an hour or so without me, this morning she's looking at me a little side-eyed. I think she's thinking, "where'd you go mom?" And while she usually opens up the day with a flood of smiles, this morning there have been exactly zero. Are you mad at me baby girl?? She even put herself to sleep for a nap - while kicking and talking on the couch, the next thing I see is a sleeping baby. Cute, but a little sad. Also, she slept last night for the first night unswaddled, so we've turned the corner there. She looked like such a big girl sleeping with her arms stretched out above her head. My girl is growing up and things are changing.
(I'm smart enough to know she's not actually mad and no real damage has been done. But still... no smiles for her mama? Ouch, that hurts a little bit.)

Truthfully though, I used last night as a primer for the real deal. I go back to work just over a week from now. I can say that honestly and without a doubt, the last 13 weeks and 5 days have been the best days of my life. I went to the dentist this week and the staff asked, as I'm sure they always do, "did you have a good summer?" I'm able to say definitively that I've had the best summer of my life. While the rest of Seattle bitches about the lack of sunshine, I've felt none of that. My days have been filled with the brightest sunshine you can possibly imagine. I wonder if the days in heaven are sunnier that this.

Going back to work feels like the dreaded first day of school times a thousand. It's been looming over me like a dark cloud, threatening to rain on my parade for weeks. I've even pushed back my start date as I couldn't bear to leave her. While I still can't, I must, and to have the strength to do so I have to act braver and stronger than I've ever been before in life. I know without a doubt she will be just fine. I only hope that when the weekends come she will bring her smile back to our party. I'm not going to wallow or allow myself to have too many moments of sadness with this transition, but will continue to look for sunny skies and rainbows. They will come, as the always do!

Thursday, August 18, 2011


One tradition in my Dad's side of the family is to take pictures of each baby at three months old wearing the same christening gown. Although we didn't have Ellie baptized, my good friend Anja took some super cute pics of Ellie today in the traditional gown. It should be interesting to compare her pictures wearing the same gown on the same blanket at the same age to my pictures.

Here are a few of the 400+ Anja took:

on the traditional blanket
Anja took this one almost a month ago - too cute to not post! :)
love the milk dribbles!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

9 months

Two faint pink lines appeared on September 11, 2010. Interesting day to celebrate to say the least. After confirming the pregnancy with our doctor, our 9 month rollercoaster began. If I had blogged through the whole thing, I'm sure I'd have remembered all sorts of small details. As it was, I was too busy finding new and exciting places to throw up than blog. :)
13 Weeks
I do have things I don't want to forget though, good and not-so-good. I always imagined being pregnant would be a blissfully happy time - unfortunately for me, I spent the majority of it extremely sick, uncomfortable and plagued with anxiety. Needless to say, it wasn't the experience I imagined it would be. But, it was my experience being pregnant with Ellie, and for that, I will always cherish our 9 months together.

16 Weeks
Some of the great times:

*After what felt like a long time trying to get pregnant and several doctor's appointments, finally seeing a positive pregnancy test, followed by properly increasing hormone numbers
*Telling our families about the pregnancy
*Seeing our baby "sproing around" at our 12 week ultrasound
*Feeling what felt like a small ant crawling around inside my belly one monday morning at work. This was the same day Peter's beloved grandmother passed away. I do not believe it was a coincidence that our baby made her presence known that day in that way, and thanked Gran for the gesture.
*The squirms, kicks, rolls and punches Ellie would give me on a daily basis. I'd drink a small cup of coffee in the morning and like clockwork she'd respond about a half hour later. When I got home from work and put my feet up, she'd dance and dance for hours.
*Baby hiccups. Too cute
24 Weeks
*Lack of emotional and hormonal breakdowns
*An excuse to go to sleep at 8pm (or earlier!) whenever I wanted.
*Nightly foot massages from my darling
*Braxton Hicks contractions - not painful and pretty cool!
*A lovely surprise shower my family threw for me
*My big sister spending the last week of pregnancy with me, helping out, cooking, cleaning, etc...
*Labor. To be discussed in another post. The best day of my life, pain included
*Finding out after delivery that my little Scooter was in fact our darling girl Eleanor Carolyn. Best moment of my life, no question.
26 Weeks
And, to not sugarcoat, some of the not-so-great:
26 1/2 Weeks
*57lb weight gain (at least! I stopped weighing myself the last week and ballooned up)
*Ongoing morning sickness from 6 weeks to 25 weeks, tapering off to once a week or every other week
*Throwing up EVERYWHERE - on the freeway with my head out the window in stop and go traffic in the rain, in the parking lot of many grocery stores, at work (auto flush toilets splashing my face when I wasn't done yet, thank you very much), etc....
*Total, mind-numbing exhaustion
*Digestive issues
*Crippling anxiety and constant fear of the worst
*Hunger that would not subside no matter what. Not eating equaled throwing up, every time. Hence the massive weight gain
32 Weeks
*Stretch marks! AND - the very worst ones popping up about two weeks before delivery, thank you very much
*PUPPP, also known as Pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy. In English, the most intense rash (think Chicken Pox) all over my belly and thighs, popping up the last week of pregnancy.
*Ligaments so stretched out that I managed to sprain my ankle doing nothing. I may have been the only pregnant woman ever prescribed bed rest for a sprained ankle
*Daily migraines throughout the second trimester
*Back pain. Oh the back pain
34 Weeks

36 Weeks
Like I said though, this was my pregnancy with Eleanor and as we got to share this experience together, I will always be grateful for it all. The good and the bad. After all, I walked away only slightly chubbier and stretched out, but with the cutest little victory prize ever. :)

2 hours old

Friday, August 12, 2011

So much to say

Please allow me to ramble. It's the time of morning when my baby has gone back to sleep. Usually I join her and we snuggle together and snooze, but not today.

My baby is sleeping next to me, wrapped up in a burrito and sucking furiously on a bright green pacifier. Not too much about having a baby all of my very own has surprised me, but WHY didn't anyone tell me how loudly they sleep?! (at this point, you are probably responding, "but at least your baby sleeps!" That she does. Little girl knows how to sleep, and for that I am very, very grateful). Of course, as I typed that last sentence, I felt a familiar stare and glanced down to see two big blue eyes piercing the darkened bedroom. Silly little girl. But, when she does sleep she grunts and moans and rattles loudly. So I keep one earplug in to mute her little symphony at night.

This little burrito baby is the cutest thing I have every laid my eyes on, and is so, so sweet. Her big blue eyes can often be seen seriously studying things around her and I feel that someday soon she'll have a lot of impotant things to earnestly tell us. She seems like an old soul, and I would not be surprised if she's been on this earth before. When she was born is seemed so obvious that she knew secrets we didn't. We were meant to be together, this little girl and I. She is my true soul mate and her spirit completes mine. I think she's always been mine. :)When she smiles (and sometimes she makes one work hard to receive a smile), her eyes squint and her face erupts in joy. Her smile makes her light up like a full moon in the dark sky.

Her hair is golden. Not blonde, not brown and not red, but somewhere in between. In the sunlight it is almost rose gold. It parts one one side (she comes by this naturally, her dad has kept a part in his hair forever!) and is very uneven. Big and full on one side and patchy on the other. Her little 'do cracks me up. Her lips are rosebuds and her skin is smooth like butter.

Her legs are strong. I already knew this from the previous 9 months I got to spend getting to know her. She loves to stand on them. She sits up with help and loves to look around. When she's placed on her tummy, she'll either rest her head and munch on her hands, hang out for a couple minutes and then scream at me, or roll right over so she can keep rolling around. Her fingers are long and her hands are big.

I am so, so thankful of all the babies in the world, we got this one. What a perfect plan and perfect match. I love this girl with every fiber of my being. Soon, hopefully, I will recount the last ten months or so. So many stories to write. But today I will stop here, put away the computer and snuggle up with my warm burrito, feel her breath on my chest and drift off to sleep. What luck.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Look what I did!

I came back to my old stomping grounds - ie, this blog, ie Sessions with Sweetie. Sorry I went away, but glad to be back.

Yes, some things did happen while I was away. Like what, you ask? Oh, you know - deck renovations, delicious meals, gained a bunch of weight, lost a little and you know, gave birth. To a girl! I have a baby girl now! She's just delicious and perfect too. My own Eleanor Carolyn Lacy.

I promise to be back on a regular basis now. BUT, no time at the moment. I'll catch up my faithful readers (who likely all disappeared due to the absense over the last 10 months).

Look! It's my girl! 12 weeks old!