Sunday, July 31, 2011


A few days ago I was changing Mason's diaper.
Which occurs about 8-10 times a day.
I laid him in the crib at our little changing station.
He had definitely had quite the blow out. I was finished cleaning him up, and there was that few seconds when the old diaper was off, and I hadn't quite gotten the new diaper under his bottom.
In that very small window of opportunity, he let out the loudest fart I have ever heard come out of his little body.
It was so loud it actually made me jump.
It was luckily not followed by anymore Mason mess, and I started laughing out loud cause it had startled me so bad.
I exclaimed "Mason!!", and our little jokester just had a huge grin on his face and let out a big giggle.

I think we are going to have a very mischievous little boy on our hands.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

You can dance if you want to

We discovered another little quirk about our dear baby yesterday. Mason was in one of those moods where he wants all the attention (how unreasonable for a baby right?!), but he was pretty fussy even when I was holding him. And here is my embarrassing confession. Almost every Saturday after Austin goes to work I turn on music pretty loud and dance around the house. And this was no exception when I was pregnant. I also just read an article that said that you should expose your baby to all types of music, "from Mozart to the Black Eyed Peas". We always listen to classical music in the car, so I thought maybe it was time to try other music and dancing. So I turned on an iTunes playlist and we danced and sang to Ingrid Michaelson, Boston, Taylor Swift, Beach Boys, etc. He LOVED it. At first he just cooed and smiled, and within a few songs he had actually fallen fast asleep. While rocking out to loud music and dancing with mama. And we did the same thing this morning and he went right to sleep again. I guess what we do while pregnant can be comforting to them later!

This kid sleeps like a rock when he finally decides to go down. Watching him sleep makes me wish I could sleep that comfortably and peacefully.

I always have to swaddle his arms when I nurse him, otherwise he flails them around and they get in his way. But he HATES to be swaddled while he's sleeping. He fell asleep nursing the other day so I put him in his sleeper wrapped up. About five minutes later I heard him grunting and struggling, and then calm down again. When I went in to check on him, he had busted out of the swaddle, and had the blanket in both his fists up by his head. As soon as his arms were free he had calmly gone back to sleep.

These are his crazy eyes that he ALWAYS makes after we do his bath and I lay him in the crib to get him dressed. It's seriously hilarious.

And some more videos! Sorry they all seem kind of blurry, I need to fix the settings on my camera.

We play peek a boo with him and sometimes he loves it and sometimes he just looks really shocked...

....and sometimes he kicks like a mad man when you cover up his face

He doesn't always love being in his swing, but this was a good day for it.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

One Month Old

We officially have a one month old. I cannot believe how fast time has flown! And how much he has changed since we first brought him home. We weighed him today and he is 10 lb 10 oz. A whole pound of weight gain in about a week! He can hold his head up when we put him on his tummy, he loves his hands and now looks at them and plays with them every time he remembers that they are there, and best of all he smiles like crazy now when we talk to him. He recognizes us and focuses on faces, and he'll turn his head to keep watching you if you walk away from him. He looks like he is just dying to roll over. Every time we lay him on his back he gets up on his side and gets frustrated that he can't go further. And he looooves to stretch. I have never seen anything like the stretches this little guy does when he wakes up. So here's a few videos and pictures of our little man!

Sorry about the weird angle of the camera, he gets all shy and confused if he sees the camera and he doesn't smile, so I had to hold it off to the side where he wouldn't notice it.

"What, Mom?"

Daddy thought it would be funny to bury him. And this is rare documentation of him taking a pacifier. He now spits it out while making a gagging noise as though he's insulted that we tried to quiet him with it.

One day he was fussing and we couldn't figure out what was wrong, so we took his clothes off and let him lay around naked. He loved it.

Him waking up is one of my favorite things to watch. He always has to try like eight times before he decides he's ready to be awake.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

By the way, we had a baby...

...which is why I haven't blogged in like, years. Okay just a couple of months, but I can't believe that I'm even finding the time right now to write anything. Plenty of adorable baby pictures are currently available on facebook, where they upload a lot faster than on blogger. So for your fix, go there.
But for here, I wanted to just do a quick recap of the birth of our darling little boy. I wasn't sure I was going to write anything out, but I got a few requests for the story. I'll spare some details, mostly to avoid writing the word "cervix" and "placenta" so many times that it makes everyone queasy. Although I can't avoid those words altogether, so consider that a disclaimer. This is a story about childbirth, after all! If you want more details than this, or want to know more about how we had him, just let me know and we can chat. =)
First I must make a small confession, a detail that a surprisingly small number of people know. I did not give birth to our baby in a hospital. The reason we chose to share this with a select few is because of the initial reaction that we generally get when providing this information. Not that we were ashamed or thought we were doing something crazy, simply because we were so passionate about our decision that we got tired of people making us feel like we should feel ashamed or that we were doing something crazy. And all of the reasons why we made this choice will have to be saved for a later post, at which time I will alight my soapbox and rant quite a bit about all sorts of birth controversy. For now, I want this to be about Mason's wonderful birth. I just thought that was a pretty important fact to share right up front.
Baby Mason was due on June 9th, so I made my last day of work June 8th. Not because I wasn't feeling great, mainly because I kind of couldn't handle another day of everyone asking me why I hadn't been induced yet. So I spent the day running errands, and around 12:30 pm I started to have what I guessed were some contractions, though sporadic and not bad at all. Well, I thought they were pretty painful, but considering how bad the real contractions are, looking back, they were really nothing. I had been dilated to 2 cm and about 80% effaced for almost two weeks, so I figured it was time to get the show on the road. They continued throughout the day, so my mom decided she was going to fly in that night. That was really the hardest part, trying to time it for my mom to come out! Childbirth can be so inconvenient.
My mom arrived safely around 2 am, but nothing much else happened that night. The next morning my mom and I walked around the mall to get the contractions going, and they were coming about every 15 minutes, but still pretty light and sporadic. I had a prenatal scheduled that night at 5:00, so we went in and I was 4 cm and still 80%. Heather, my amazing midwife, said that it could be tonight, it could be next week. Just to keep walking and call if something happened. On the drive home from the appointment my contractions doubled in intensity, and we figured that was just because I had been checked and that usually causes cramping. About an hour and a half later things were not slowing down. My contractions were about 3 minutes apart and lasting for a full minute. The timing of these contractions was kept perfectly by my mom, who had downloaded the stopwatch app on her phone just for the occasion! I was able to lean on Austin to get through the pain, and was talking and laughing with my family between the contractions.
By 8:00 I felt things take a turn, and I knew this was the real deal. I was no longer laughing about anything during these ones. I called Heather and had to hand the phone off to my mom when a contraction started. That let her know that they were bad enough for me to come in. She said to bring our bags in case we needed to stay. Obviously I started crying because it was just so overwhelming that this was actually happening. We packed up and headed out.
We arrived at the birth center in Pleasant Grove at 8:30 and when Heather checked me I was 5 cm and 90% effaced. Being checked really sucks because I have a tilted cervix, and the baby's head was SO low. It made me nauseous and I ended up throwing up right after. Heather had my mom and Austin and I walk around outside while they got everything ready.
It was just getting dark and we walked around the beautiful yard at the center. It started to rain and I was so happy, I was really hoping it would rain on the night we had him. I really felt like it was Heavenly Father's way of sending me comfort during such an uncomfortable experience. I threw up outside again, and figured that wasn't a good sign for how the rest of my labor was going to go.
After it was pretty dark we went back inside and they had set up the birthing tub. I wasn't really sure how I felt about the whole water birth thing, but Heather said that I should just try it for the labor pains, that most moms really liked it. So I figured I'd try about anything for some relief. And oh. my. gosh. Anyone who ever has a baby should use any water available to them. It basically cut the pain of the contractions in half. I honestly felt like I was high, the water felt so divine. And I know this sounds really weird, but I was falling asleep between contractions, that's how relaxed I was. The student midwives were there to help with the birth, and they showed my mom how she could push on my hips during contractions to help me cope. And Austin sat at the edge of the tub and put a cold washcloth on my forehead and would let me squeeze the heck out of his arms when I was having a contraction.
After the heavenly water experience, things took a little turn for the worse. After two hours of intense labor, Heather checked me and I was only 5 cm {she told me I was 6 cm to make me feel better, but later told me she lied. Bless her for seeing the value of a good fib}. So I basically hadn't progressed at all, and she said I was working hard enough that I should have. What was happening was the baby's head was so low and my cervix was tilted so far back that contractions weren't making me dilate at all. They were basically just pushing my cervix into the baby's head with no result.
I had to get out of the tub and they had me go through some contractions while they did some painful maneuvering to get my cervix pulled forward far enough to dilate. Without gruesome details, it was about an hour and a half of some of the most hellish pain of my entire life, and Austin was kind of starting to have a panic attack. The only time during the entire labor when I truly felt like I couldn't do it was during this time when they had me flat on my back for some contractions. That was honestly the worst position I could have ever possibly been in to cope with the pain. And I was still so nauseous, at the end of each contraction I would just have a huge wave of nausea and want to throw up. They had me smell peppermint to help with it, and I was able to throw up a couple of times which felt like a huge relief when I did.
After such a discouraging stall in my progress, Heather, being the genius midwife that she is, made a concoction of essential oils that they put onto my cervix, and I dilated from 5 cm to 8 cm in just three contractions. We laughed later because Mason came out smelling so good because of the oils that ended up on his little head. At this point Heather told me I was allowed to get back in the tub as I started to go through transition.
I knew that Siara was going to come for just the end, and I guess my mom had called her. I was kind of unaware of what was going on around me during the last couple of hours of labor. But she walked in and said "Sis you look so beautiful!" If I had any energy I would have started bawling, I was so happy to see her. It was like having renewed strength in the room with me. My mom and Austin had provided so much incredible support for me, and I knew that I couldn't do it without my sister there as well. It was like everyone I needed was there now, so it was time to have this baby.
After about 15 minutes, during which I thought I broke Austin's wrist during a contraction, it was most definitely time to push. I was a full 10 cm so Heather said to just push if I felt like I needed to. It was as though I had no choice but to push, my body just knew it was time and did what it needed to do. Contractions were completely back to back, without any rest between. I could hardly breathe because it was happening so fast, so they had me breathe through the oxygen mask. My water still hadn't broken when I started pushing so Heather broke it for me. Baby's heartbeat had been fantastic through the entire labor, but after my water broke it started to drop. I just remember Heather telling Austin to get me out, and then Austin pulling me up by my armpits, like a little kid being yanked out of the bath tub. She told me that I needed to get the baby out now, and put me on the birthing stool. After about 3 more pushes his head was out, and I heard one of the assistants, JaNee, say that there was no cord around his neck. So I pushed one more time and felt his little shoulders go through, and he was out.
Heather caught him briefly and handed him right to me. His eyes were wide open and he was looking up at me. The feeling was completely indescribable. It was like this switch in me that turned on this capacity for love that I didn't know I was capable of. In a split second I knew I was a different person because of this little baby. He was so perfect and so amazing, and it honestly felt like heaven had opened up to us for those few seconds.
I knew he wasn't breathing and they were giving him pumps of oxygen, but I was completely overwhelmed with the feeling that he was okay. I didn't feel any sort of panic even for a second. His face and feet looked completely blue, but when he was handed to me his face flushed pink. I looked into his perfect little eyes and I knew that he was ours and that he was healthy and fine. They don't cut the cord right away at the birthing center, so he was still getting blood and oxygen pumped into him. JaNee was taking the pulse of the cord and I heard her calling out the numbers-60's, 90's, 100, 130's. Heather pumped his lungs a few times and he finally let out this adorable little wail. And about ten seconds after he was born he pooped all down my arm. It was like his hilarious little way of breaking the tension, because it made everyone laugh.
It was all over, and I have never felt so much relief in my entire life. He was healthy and perfect and we had done it. After about 6 hours of hard labor, including 30 minutes of pushing, baby Mason was here. He was 7 lbs 13 oz and 22 1/2 inches long. I was able to nurse him 45 minutes after he was born, and we got to take him home about 5 hours later.
It was exactly the experience we had wanted. The birthing center was like being in a spa, the lights were low and quiet music played and everyone talked calmly and quietly. The entire experience feels dreamy to me in a way, mostly I remember just feeling so relaxed. Which seems ironic, considering the amount of pain that was involved. But the atmosphere that was created there helped me have a beautiful and spiritual birth. I was able to feel in control, but also safe that Heather was there to guide me when it was needed.
Having an out-of-hospital birth just really worked for us. I know it's not something that everyone agrees with, let alone something that a lot of people would do. But I feel like I couldn't do it any other way. I don't know any doctor who would have let me continue labor without progression like that, or who would have mixed up some essential oils for that matter. I'm grateful for the decision that we made and for the amazing midwife that took such wonderful care of us. I'm grateful for my mom and sister who were so supportive and loving of our choice, and who were there for such an important event. And mostly I'm grateful for Austin, who listened to me talk about nothing but birth for the last nine months, who went to the classes, who learned how to support me in labor, and who was my constant during the labor and delivery. We are a very lucky little family.

A few minutes after Mason was born.