Monday, March 8, 2010

I miss being pregnant

I was holding Riona this afternoon, with her sleeping on my chest. Her little feet rubbed against my belly, and it almost felt like when she would kick when I was pregnant.

I don't miss not being able to roll over in bed. I don't miss achy hips. I miss little baby kicks and hiccups. I miss the excitement and anticipation that's constant (mixed in with some anxiety and such - but still there). Most of all I miss that. Not because there won't be new and exciting things happening. I am ecstatic that she'll be smiling very soon, and can't wait!! But there's things I'm not looking forward to - things that are overshadowed by the excitement when you're pregnant.

I'm not looking forward to leaving her 2 nights a week for school in just a few months. I'm dreading it in fact. We won't even talk about when school starts in the fall. I'll not only be in class longer, but have a heavier workload that will more than likely keep me away from home and all the kids more.

I'm having trouble moving past that. Summer is actually optional, but the class isn't. I will have to take it eventually, and besides my photography classes, it's the only one I can't take online. So it just makes sense to do it when I don't have any other classes to take. I'm thrilled to be finding our groove, and looking forward to being able to take the kids and do fun things again. It's been a LONG year and a half without zoo days, and beach days, and just a spur of the moment trip because we want to (and can) go.

I'm not looking forward to putting all the little tiny clothes away. Just a reminder of how very quickly she's going to, and is, growing. Chrissy is 17, and I can't believe at all how quickly 17 years has gone. I feel like I've wasted so much of it, and there was so much more we could have done or done better. It will be a blink of an eye and I'll be looking at colleges with Riona too.

I can't wait to really get to know this sweet baby with oh so soft hair. To find her personality, figure out what makes her smile, laugh, and even cry. What color are her eyes going to end up being? What on earth is her hair going to do - will it stick up forever? And yet, part of me wants to wait. A big part of me.

For every little step in growing up, it's a little step to independence. I realize that's my ultimate goal - I just want more time to enjoy the getting there.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Baby feet

I have a thing for baby feet. I laid in bed this morning, just staring at Riona's hands and feet. I need to steal Mikhail's sketch pad and pencils and have them there waiting one morning. All the creases and wrinkles, the curves and dimples - just amazing. Since drawing them wasn't an option this morning, I grabbed the camera instead, and spent 10 minutes just taking pictures of her feet. I'd like to do the same thing with her hands if she'll cooperate. She woke up as soon as I brought the camera out - of course!

She'll be one month old tomorrow. 4 weeks. I'm not sure where it's all gone - the last two weeks have flown by. I want to curl up in bed with her, and laze around all day for weeks. If there's nothing to do, the time won't go by as quickly, or it won't seem to at least.

Karen and I did her portraits the other day. There's one "pose" I've wanted, we've tried, and I've tried, and it's never worked out! It did this time, and I love them.

Riona Joy - 3.5 weeks

I feel like a bad photographer mommy. We've just been so busy, and I forget to grab the camera for the little moments. I need to be better at that. Riona had her very first bottle the other week - and I DID grab it then. It was so bittersweet. She did great with it, and then nursed well after as well (not enough in the bottle for miss piggy!). But it's a sad reminder for me that she needs a bottle because I'm going to have to leave her to start "real" classes in just 2 months. I haven't had to leave a baby this little since my first, and I hated doing that too. At least this time it won't be for as long, and not every day.

Finding the time to pump every day has been a huge issue. At this point she pretty much eats everything I make (never happened before!). I need to find a time to just add a "feeding" where I can pump, and my schedule (and sometimes lack of one) makes that hard. I'm sure it will work out though.

In between school work and taking care of the other kids (and driving all over town most days!) I've been sewing. I can't believe that I stopped doing it for so long. It relaxes me, and is very therapeutic in many ways that I can't even begin to describe. I just have to make sure that I don't end up with 20 winter outfits for the baby - that she'll only be needing for a few more weeks (please God - no longer than that??).

Somehow I neglected baby gowns in my preparations for her. So I made 3 the other night, and made them big enough to hopefully last a bit longer than the 2 I had already. And of course, modeling mama made clothes has to turn into a photoshoot. At least I don't fail in the mommy photographer department there! There's a couple of other things that I need to finish up, and can't wait to put on her.

We're getting ready to get school going with the kids again. One of the best things about homeschooling - you can take your break when it's best for YOU! I'm hoping it will help create more of a routine around here again, and I won't be saving up these little bits and pieces for the blog, which means mammoth sized entries!

Monday, February 15, 2010

The last 8 days

What a whirlwind.

A joy.




And more. So many things about this pregnancy, labor, and baby have been so different than all my other kids. I realize and completely understand that each pregnancy and baby is different. But the emotions have been different, the labor was off the wall different, and while the baby definitely belongs to this family by looks, she's got to be different too.

I've hashed out the labor with friends. It took me a couple days to even recover emotionally from it. Not that it was awful by any means, but stressful. I was on a clock, and that clock was running out. The moment she was out and in my arms was just so powerfully overwhelming. This little thing, that had caused my emotions to be all over the place the last nine months, was mine. It took a bit for that to sink in. I adore her. I sit and rub my face against her so so soft hair. I sniff her head frequently, but it still took time for me to really believe she was mine.

And as I'm processing and recovering from all this, I still had all the other kids to take care of and deal with too. Kian is in love with her, and wants to hold her, touch her, kiss her - all. the. time. There were a couple days when a hotel sounded really really good.

But we're adjusting. And she's thriving. She's constantly hungry, and eats a ton - more than any of my other kids did. I'm very curious to see how much she weighs. At her 3 day checkup, she was down to 7lbs 10oz from her birth weight - not bad at all. Her cord stump fell off while we were there. I was kind of sad. Not only did it mean it wouldn't be there for pictures (nothing screams newborn like a not yet gone umbilical cord), but that time was passing, and I know it goes by so very very quickly.

Two sessions for her newborn pictures. She couldn't be a happy content baby for the first try. I guess she's allowed to protest occasionally. At least she can't run away from the camera yet!

And here we are. 8 days later with baby number 8. We've got our groove for the most part. We're learning who each other is. She loves to just sit and take the world in. She's as wide eyed as she was in those first pictures when she wasn't even an hour old. And just so tiny. I always forget just how tiny a new baby is.

And remember all that cute tiny stuff I sewed for her right before she came?? It's all too big still. She doesn't like to be cold at all, and I'm dreading our next electric bill since we've had the heat turned up, and it's been cold here. So I've been sewing a bit here and there for her, she needed (and have more planned) some warm things that actually fit her. I hate having to dig out tiny arms from the middle of a shirt because it's just too wide!

This is the most recent thing. Another "recycled" sweater from the thrift store. I had been searching for MONTHS for a girly striped sweater, having this outfit in mind. I wasn't too sure on the brightness of this - brown and earth tones are my favorites. But now that it's done, I adore it. I need to make a little hat to match - as much as I hate covering her hair, she needs one when we go out.

Since I had the camera out, and everything set up, I did a little mini photo session as well. Nothing like trying to use clothes pins to hold up a reflector!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Riona Joy

Born at home February 7, 2010


7lbs 12oz, 20 inches long.

Friday, February 5, 2010

water broke

I'll obviously update sometime tomorrow :)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The last pictures of baby on the inside

Or at least I hope they are!!

As I sat in the birth pool Tuesday evening trying to decide if this baby was going to make an appearance or not, I chatted with Karen. She mentioned wanting to play with some lighting, and taking some more pictures on Wed if I was up for it. It didn't look like it was going to happen, but this stubborn little girl decided to stay put for a couple more days at least.

So exhausted from 3 hours at the vet with my cat who lost a fight with a large dog (and he's a large cat) resulting in a couple of broken ribs and a ton of bite wounds on his sides, contractions 3 minutes apart for hours and hours, waking up at 4am with a terrible headache and not going back to sleep until 5:30 at least after some tylenol and a hot bath, and being up again at 7 to call the midwife to reassure her that as of 11pm NOTHING was going on anymore so she didn't need to come over, I trudged over to Karen's house to take more pictures of my overly large belly.

I figured that I'd look more tired than I did in the last set (where I looked tired!!), but they came out fine. This one is my favorite - I just look so done being pregnant, and really shows how I felt!

And the rest

I felt a lot better last night after a short nap, another hot bath, and lots of food. Slept really good, and feel good again today. While I'm hoping that she comes REALLY soon, I'm glad for the rest that she's given me the last two days.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Decisions, indecision, and my brain is mush.

There's so many things you need to decide on when pregnant. Who you see, where you have your baby, tests, names, etc etc. Then you get to the end, and you think you're done making decisions. But your not. And you no longer have many functioning brain cells to make said decisions because the baby apparently needs them all.

I am currently more pregnant than I have been in a VERY long time (12 years). I'm just starting to get uncomfortable to the point I'm begging the baby to come. And so I had/have a decision to make. Do I let this baby decide completely on her own when she makes her exit, do I prod her a little, or do I give her an eviction notice. And if I decide to do any prodding, or write up that notice - how long do I hold out for.

There's the "natural" encouragement - which I've found (personally and 2nd hand) rarely works unless labor is imminent anyways. There's sex, pineapple, walking, squatting, evening primrose oil, etc. Then there's things that are still of the DIY category, but tend to work a bit better. Including caster oil (ick), nipple stimulation, stripping membranes, and certain herbs. And then there's the eviction process that is not a DIY technique.

So all those things require decision making. I can't even remember that one of my best friend's baby is almost 2, rather than the almost one that I'm thinking she is. And I just saw her. Never mind that I took her 1 year pictures almost a year ago!

So I weeble, and I wobble, and can't make up my mind. I ask friends. One day I'm more than done and willing to do almost anything except evict. The next, I'm all in happy land and believing that babies will come when they're ready. Really depends on how many contractions I've been teased with that day.

So today I saw the midwife again. She lied to me last week and said I wouldn't make it to this appointment pregnant(no - I didn't really believe she was 100% sure of that!). Therefore, I had to make a decision. After a long evening of contractions and not feeling well, and no where near enough sleep because contractions kept waking me up, I'm in the "lets get this baby out" camp. So I waddle out of her office with my membranes stripped. We'll see what happens. I've had it go either way (baby a few hours later, or showing up for my next appointment still very pregnant), and I'm OK with that. If she's not ready, she's not going to do her part.

But you would thins she would WANT to come out. She can't get named until she's here - I need to know that whatever we chose (no, still don't have something that's definite) is a good fit. And I've been sewing for her. Doesn't she want to wear the really cute outfits that are waiting? Like this shirt.

Or this jacket

I'm ready to meet her. To have her snuggle with me in bed at night, to nurse her, wrap her up, and watch her sleep. To sniff that sweet baby smell that doesn't last very long. To count her toes and fingers, and decide who in the family she looks like. I want to know if she has dark hair or light hair. A lot of it, or just some fuzz. I'm ready to meet my baby - she just needs to get ready to meet me!