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Monday, January 16, 2012

One Month

Oh, Baby Boy, I can't believe it has already been a whole month! The time has flown and you are changing and growing every day. And yet I feel as though I have known you forever. Like... you have been part of this family for ages. There couldn't be a more perfect little man to fill our hearts.

Samuel at One Month

at birth: 9lbs 2.7 oz
one month: 10 lbs even!


at birth: 19.5 in
one month: 20 in


It took you two weeks, but we finally turned you into a boob man. You nurse about every 2 hours-- exhausting!-- and then often cry in between until you get a little formula bonus. You seem to think you are always hungry. I guess you had some time to make up for those first two weeks you didn't eat well. You had some weight to make up too... but you are healthy and eating like a good boy now. And... mom is thrilled that at least one of her boys likes food she makes.


If only you would. Your schedule is sporadic and unpredictable. Sometimes you might have a similar schedule 2 or three days in a row, and we are all, hooray! our kid is on a sleeping schedule. And then the next day you totally mix it up just to throw us off. You like to 'fall asleep' in someone's arms and just when they start to think about laying you down because you've been OUT for a half hour, you crack a lid open and give the look-- try to put me down, I dare you.
Mommy tries to let Daddy sleep at night since he works all day, but by morning, she is exhausted from the up and down and three ring circus she performs for you trying to get you to sleep each night. Sometimes, if Daddy is home in the mornings, he will get you out of bed and go downstairs where you snuggle on the couch. You like that. You sleep like the dead for several hours, and if she had the energy mom would be super bitter about it.


Sleeping on your side. You are not supposed to, according to the doctors, but you love it. If you can wiggle your way into a side position you can. Daddy thinks you will roll over soon, because you can already roll up onto your side by yourself-- scares the poop outta mom.

Daddy. He's totally your favorite thing in the whole world. No joke. You love digging your fingers into his hairy chest. You will stop whatever you are doing and look around whenever you hear his voice. You love sitting on his lap while he plays video games. When he gets home from work you go from screaming demon child to happy cooing and kicking little angel. You love your daddy.

Movement. Your mamaroo. Car rides. Swaying, bouncing, and dancing. You are a little man on the go. You like to be moving constantly. 

Singing. Mama sings to you all the time. Your favorite song? Silent night. You were born at Christmas and that's what I would sing to you... it seems silly in the middle of January, but it's still the one that calms you down the fastest.


Being alone. If people are around... you want to be as well. When you wake up alone you scream. sometimes you just want to sleep in the same room as all the commotion, even though I am afraid it will keep you up!

Having your arms confined. We can't swaddle your arms. You hate it, and scream and cry until they are free and you and chew on your hands or throw them above your head to sleep. 

Waiting for your dinner. You go from dead asleep to screaming bloody murder in about .2 seconds and you want dinner just that fast. Sometimes when you see the boob come out you get so excited you will hyperventilate and shake your head back and forth in a panic. It makes me laugh every time.

Special Talents
Removing socks. No matter what kind we put on you, you can take them off.

Un-swaddling yourself. At least your arms. We call you Houdini baby. You always get those arms out.

Throwing your binkie. I will give it to you in your crib, then walk in the room later and find it 4 ft away outside of the crib. How do you do that?

Peeing on Daddy. Okay, peeing on anyone, but Daddy seems to get it more than anyone else. Guess he hasn't figured out the quick switch diaper change yet.

Charming the pants off of everyone you meet. Seriously, you are handsome as anything, and we aren't the only ones who think so. Strangers come up and compliment you, and you blink your big eyes at them, and every one melts. We are completely smitten. 

Things we love...

...your "ooh" face. We coo at you constantly to try and get you to raise your eyebrows and form your mouth into that tiny o shape. It's everyone's favorite face you make.

...skyping with family to show you off (Aunt Melodie... Grandma and Grandpa P...)

...taking naps with you. The grandpas are especially fond of this. You sleep so soundly on their chest and they stretch out and enjoy nice peaceful sleep with baby Boy.

You are perfect and we are enjoying watching you learn and grow every day... just don't grow too fast, okay?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sam's Birth Story, Part IV: Photo Bomb!

*Please note: This is long. And possibly kinda boring. This record of the day is more for my own sake than for fascinating reading material. But I divided it up to make it easier to digest... and I tried to keep it free of the more graphic moments of labor and delivery, cuz let me tell you that stuff can get ugly. Even still, if you are likely to be offended by things of that nature: read at your own risk.

(Continued from Part I, Part II, and Part III...)

...Minutes after Samuel was born my doctor came running into the room.
"Did I miss it???" she asked.
You missed it. 
She turned and looked at him and said-- "Wow, that's a big baby! I was not expecting that!"
I don't think any one was-- except for mom. I kept telling everyone... this kiddo is going to be huge! And everyone was all-- oh, no he's not, you are not that big, he will be normal size, you are paranoid. 
But Sam shocked them all weighing in at 9 lbs 2 oz. He was 19.5 inches long. A little loveable chunk of a baby boy!
But our chunky little boy did some DAMAGE on his way out... and so I spent the next hour being sewn back up-- the details of which I will spare you, but it was no fun. I promise. UGH.
The grandparents were patiently waiting for the the news in the waiting room...
As soon as he was born, Z sent a text announcing his arrival, but it was almost 2 hours before the grandparents got to come back and meet them. They were giddy with excitement and devastated by the long wait. Then finally the moment they were waiting for...
Z showed up to announce the big news and take them back to meet Samuel. I am told they practically ran. I was holding the little man when they got there, and Zachary announced his name as they walked in. The grandparents squealed with delight to finally meet this tiny little guy, and learn his name. 
He was perfect and beautiful and everyone was overjoyed to meet him... and take in every tiny detail of his brand-new-ness.
The next few days were a blur of excitement and new baby and pictures of every possible combination... ('Okay, now take a picture of me, and sam, and Valerie... Okay now take a picture of Zach, and Sam, and Valerie... Okay now take a picture of Sam, and Zach, and...')

 ...and we even skyped with family who couldn't be there to meet him.
Our happy new family:

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Sam's Birth Story, Part III: Finally!

 *Please note: This is long. And possibly kinda boring. This record of the day is more for my own sake than for fascinating reading material. But I divided it up to make it easier to digest... and I tried to keep it free of the more graphic moments of labor and delivery, cuz let me tell you that stuff can get ugly. Even still, if you are likely to be offended by things of that nature: read at your own risk.

(Continued from Part I, and Part II...)

It was 9:05 when the nurse said we were ready to start pushing.
I am pretty sure I cheered and threw my hands in the air. The nurse laughed at me and said I wouldn't be cheering for long. She started prepping the room... pushed a button and lights and mirrors started unfolding out of the ceiling, it was crazy! Yes-- I said mirrors.
Initially I was all, Ew, mirrors, no thank you, I don't need to see that hot mess. But then when we were there and in the middle of it, my curiosity got the better of me. I told the nurse to leave it there...
She pulled the big stirrups out, and put my legs in there. I looked at my feet, and over at my husband, and said, "I'm so glad I got a pedicure last week."
The nurse laughed at me again-- "Really? You are thinking about your toenails right now?"
Well, not exclusively. But yeah. I had to stare at my feet in the air for the next who knows how long, and I am glad I had pretty, clean nails with silver sparkles on them. It was something non-messy to be thankful for at that very moment. Because let's not lie-- having a baby is messy business.

It was 9:05 p.m. when we started. I looked at Z and said "Remember how our baby is perfect and smarter than most, and an over achiever?" He just nodded, "Well, this is gonna go fast-- over-achiever style. I am going to push extra hard, and he'll be here in just a few minutes." He said, "okay." I was trying very hard to tap into the power of positive thinking... because I felt anything but positive about my ability to do this, but there was no turning back at this point.
If you'll recall, one of the big reasons we induced was so we could be sure our doctor was there to deliver baby boy. She had been there all day, and for the past couple hours just hanging out waiting for us to be ready. (My husband reported after one trip for ice chips that she was sitting at the nurse's station chatting and snacking on potato chips. sigh. What I would have given for potato chips at that point... nothing but ice chips since 6:00 that morning.) Well after about 2 pushes my doctor comes into the room looking all apologetic. She was called to an emergency c-section. She would try to make it back in time for us, but if not she wanted to introduce us to her colleague who would deliver for us... I was in the zone, I didn't even understand what she was saying really. I still don't know the doctor's name she was trying to introduce us to.
Every contraction I pushed so hard. I was focused and determined, but my body wasn't keeping up with my resolve. The nurse suggested I rest through a couple, but I shook my head no. Z would spoon ice chips into my mouth... and I begged for a drink of water, but they wouldn't let me have any. I was sweating and dizzy and starting to get frustrated. (no longer cheering or appreciating toe nail polish) Z and the nurse kept encouraging me, "You are doing great! You are making great progress! That was a really good one!" I kept looking at the clock in front of me and seeing the hands move around the circle. I knew how much time had passed, even though it didn't feel like time was moving.
Finally the nurse said she could see his head. She said he had lots of hair! I tried to believe it, but I was so tired. 50 minutes had passed. This was supposed to go faster. Z stepped to the end of the bed to look, Yes, he assured me he had see his head as well. "You are doing so good, you are so close." I didn't see it, because I was so focused on my task, but Z later admitted to me that he got a little choked up at this point seeing baby's head and knowing we were so close to holding our baby boy.
The nurse told me just a few more pushes. And I was so tired and frustrated, and my body and my resolve were giving out. But I took another deep breath and gave it everything I had... and suddenly the nurse was saying Whoa! Stop! Stop pushing!
Stop? Stop pushing? Right now? Right here in the middle in the exact moment it is absolutely hardest to stop? 
"I can't!" I said, and I started crying as she explained that last push had pushed his head out, and they had to go get the doctor to deliver. I didn't want to wait for the doctor though! I was in the middle of it-- I knew this was the moment! The most important part! The hardest part, and I didn't want to stop and wait for the doctor!
I thought about the mirror for the first time and looked into it... I could see the top half of his head. The nurse was right. Lots of hair. I wanted to cry and scream and laugh all at the same time. I wanted to hold my baby NOW and I wanted to be done with this. It hurt so bad, and my body wanted to keep going and I was so mad, and all of a sudden in the middle of everything else a wave of nausea hit me. I asked for a drink of water, and the nurse said, "No, not yet."
"I think I am going to throw up!" I cried.

And I did.
And I felt his head slip out as I did. And I was apologizing and felt embarrassed that I had thrown up in front of everyone--of all things to feel at that very moment! But the doctor was finally in place, and she was laughing telling me it wasn't the first time someone had puked out a baby. I looked up in the mirror again and I could see his grey head, and his little face. He was such a strange looking creature.
But they were telling me to push again, and I didn't think I had it in me to push again. I told them I needed to rest first, and they said no, I can't rest at this point. I grabbed the bucket and puked maybe once or twice more. Then I took a deep breath and pushed one more time... and saw his body slip out.

I cried out victory and relief! And baby boy did the same! They put him on my belly. He was red and screaming--no longer grey--and I was laughing and crying. And Z kissed me on the forehead... then he got to do his dad duties and cut the umbilical cord. Much too soon they took baby boy over to clean him, weigh him, and do all that official stuff. It was just on the other side of the room-- a few feet away, but it felt like miles! Z was still standing by my side, holding my hand, and we were listening to baby boy cry watching from where we were. He was torn, and I said-- "HE NEEDS HIS DAD!" And he smiled and ran across the room where he stood staring at our perfect boy.
 "What's his name?"
Ah, the question we had been asked hundreds of times over the past month. And even today, every doctor and nurse had been trying to get it out of us all day. I looked at Z and smiled. We had been waiting a long time to share this information with the world, and even this last moment we were hesitating just a little... "SAMUEL!" I blurted out, "Samuel Ellis." And everyone oohed and ahhed their approval.

To be continued...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Sam's Birth Story, Part II: Longest day ever!

*Please note: This is long. And possibly kinda boring. This record of the day is more for my own sake than for fascinating reading material. But I divided it up to make it easier to digest... and I tried to keep it free of the more graphic moments of labor and delivery, cuz let me tell you that stuff can get ugly. Even still, if you are likely to be offended by things of that nature: read at your own risk.

(Continued from Part I)
...We arrived at the hospital at 6:45 AM. They were ready for us when we arrived and took us right over to a room. The labor and delivery rooms at the hospital are huge, and it seemed weirdly too big and quiet when we got in there. I had Z open the blinds on all the windows, and the sun was rising... it felt better with the windows open. (It was a beautiful sunny day, and as the day progressed, sunlight would stream in the window and it felt bright and hopeful. Every time the nurse came in, she offered to close the blinds so the sun wouldn't shine so brightly in our eyes, and I declined. I wanted the sunlight in my eyes. It was nice.)
I got dressed in the ultra-sexy hospital gown, and our nurse, Leah, came in and started the IV. Then we went over a bunch of medical history-- boring stuff. She attached me to the monitors. We could hear baby boy's heartbeat!! It was reassuring, and made me anxious to get started on the 'work' I had to do today.  At 7:30 AM they started the pitocin, and then she left the room and Z and I just kinda looked at each other. Sooo... now what?
Now we wait.
Z turned on the TV for a while. I tried to sleep-- but I couldn't, I was too excited. I flipped through a magazine. I told Z to turn off the TV and we turned on some music. I got bored with the music and he turned the TV back on. The nurse came in, checked everything, turned up the pitocin, and left again. Only an hour had passed.
We went through a few more hours the same way... me being restless and frustrated and not really progressing and nothing to do but wait. finally around 10:00 I called my mom. "Where are you? Get here soon, we are bored!"
My mom and in-laws arrived at the hospital shortly after that and we all sat around chatting and giggling. Z had discovered the machine that tracked my contractions and would report to everyone-- "Another contraction, this is a big one!" I know, I'm the one having them. (check out the fancy machine to Z's left that tracks contractions... ooooh...)

The nurse would come in and check with me-- How are you feeling?
"A little uncomfortable"
"A little uncomfortable is not going to cut it..." and she would up the pitocin.
At 1:00 my doctor came in and said they were going to break my water to see if that would make my labor progress any. Z shuffled the family out of the room, and the doctor went about her business...
Let me just tell you, in case you have never experienced it... water breaking = grossest. feeling. EVER.
I was horrified as it happened and horrified that my husband was in there when it happened. Gross.
Once they got that mess cleaned up my family came back in the room to hang out-- but it was not fun anymore. Immediately after breaking my water the next contraction (rated by my husband as a 'very small' one) hurt like crap. I was all, oh, dang... game face. I breathed calmly through the next couple contractions. Each one got more intense. I was trying not to panic, and everyone else was trying to maintain the light-hearted demeanor from just moment ago, but i couldn't handle people talking anymore... I told the nurse to go ahead and get the anesthesiologist, and Z suggested to the family that maybe they should go get some lunch...
He sensed that things had taken a turn for me, and he was really sweetly protective of me. I love him for that.
It was about an hour before the anesthesiologist got there, and it was not a fun hour. My contractions picked up in intensity and frequency. Zachary was there holding me, talking to me, breathing with me-- he was amazing really. I wanted so bad to tel him how much I loved him for it... but I was too preoccupied with the pain to get it out.
I know what you are thinking. I am such a wus for requesting pain meds, and requesting them so soon-- but my Dr told me the kid wouldn't likely be born until midnight that night, and the only thing I could think was-- There is no way in hell I am doing this for ten hours.
The worst of the contractions came as the epidural guy got there, and they are all talking to me about consent forms and other stuff and I was like GET THE DRUGS IN ME THEN WE WILL CHAT ABOUT STUPID STUFF. The awesome thing about epidurals is they are pretty much instantaneous relief. One moment I was beside myself in pain, and the next I sat back in my bed, sighed, and said to my husband, "Epidurals are my favorite!"

So the family came back in at some point, and I slept some and the next few hours were uneventful, but ridiculously slow. Z would occasionally update everyone on how big my contractions were. The nurse would occasionally come in and check on me. I think I texted my sister and my best friend a couple times...
About 7:30 stuff started getting intense. Even though the epidural was handling the pain, my body was having a harder time dealing with the intense contractions at this point, and I was shaking uncontrollably and starting to get uncomfortable. My mom was super worried about me, but I was fine. I knew we were getting close. Z knew, too. I had him send the family away again, and he sat beside me just holding my hand.
I don't remember if we talked at all. I remember I was looking at my husband and thinking this would be the last moment ever that we were just the two of us. And I loved him so much.
The nurse came in and checked me several times,
"Getting close, dilated to a 9.5"
"So much closer... just a little bit on one side"
"You are almost there, if you feel like you want to start pushing, try not too, okay? Not yet."
The epidural was wearing off and I would squirm with every contraction trying not to do what my body wanted to. Z would look me in the eye after each one. "Are you okay?"
"Do you want me to get the nurse?"
Not yet.
I held off for almost an hour. It was the longest hour ever. Then I finally knew I couldn't do it anymore, and sent Z after the nurse. She came in and checked me one last time at 9:00 pm and finally said, "Okay, you are ready. Lets have a baby."

To be continued...

Monday, January 9, 2012

Sam's Birth Story, Part I: We're getting there

 *Please note: This is long. And possibly kinda boring. This record of the day is more for my own sake than for fascinating reading material. But I divided it up to make it easier to digest... and I tried to keep it free of the more graphic moments of labor and delivery, cuz let me tell you that stuff can get ugly. Even still, if you are likely to be offended by things of that nature: read at your own risk.

Thursday, December 15th was my last day of work. that entire week I had been a wreck, though. I am not positive how productive I was at work... my brain was elsewhere. I was hugely pregnant, and insanely uncomfortable. I had been having contractions all week, and was excited, hopeful, and terrified about going into labor. I thought it would happen before the 16th. I really did.
Over the past 9 months my mom has been coming over to help me clean, work on projects, prepare for baby. She came over this 'last pregnant' Thursday night. We took this picture.
My in laws arrived late Thursday evening, and even though I had declared I was going to bed early that night, we stayed up late chatting, praying, and giddy with anticipation. Tomorrow -- the day we had waited for so long! We would meet our baby boy! 
We elected to be induced on the 16th originally to ensure my doctor would be available to deliver him. She was going to be out of town for the holiday the following week when he was due. Those last few weeks before he was born my blood pressure peaked and so even though I had mixed feelings about inducing him for our own reasons, the doctor said she would be inducing us anyway to get him out of there safely. The induction had me all nervous still. I was so worried that I wouldn't handle the labor well... or the baby might not. I wanted to avoid c-section or other medical intervention...
I don't think anyone slept that night. I know Z and I did not. It was strange laying in bed wide awake-- but we didn't dare talk. We both still pretended to sleep for the other's sake. I reached over and grabbed his hand at one point, he squeezed my hand and held on. Z turned off the alarm before it ever sounded that morning at 5:30. I got up and took a shower. I spent extra time doing my hair and makeup. I know that seems silly, but I needed to feel a little bit normal-- I wanted to feel pretty.
We made small talk on the way to the hospital. Talked about the traffic-- there was none-- and laughed about the number of bags we brought with us. It was a strange kind of awkward hopeful silence. It was still dark when we hauled ourselves into the hospital. An old man stopped us in the parking lot and congratulated us. I guess we had the 'we're about to have a baby' look on our faces.
We were in for a long day, and we knew it-- but we were ready for it. Ready to get started, and ready for it to be over with becuase we were nearly bursting with anticipation to meet out baby boy.
Well, I was nearly bursting, period. I mean, you see that picture up there, right? I was huge. And ready. As... ready as anyone can be.

To be continued...

Saturday, January 7, 2012


So it's been three weeks, and you still haven't been properly introduced. I am sorry for that. It's been a crazy three weeks, and I will try to catch you up on the holidays and happenings soon... but first and most importantly...

Introducing my baby boy:
Samuel Ellis

born December 16, 2011
9 lbs 2.7 oz
19.5 inches long

He is perfect, and amazing, and... we are just smitten. Slowly settling into parenting. And trying to figure out how to function without sleep... (Baby Boy likes to party all night... woot.) Anyway, more to come...  a birth story, all about baby's first Christmas, a nursery tour, and all our favorite sanity-saving and 'aww'-inducing products. Can't wait to share with you!