Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Day 34

Today was the 34th consecutive day I took a shower. Well, actually, my record a lot longer than that, but I'm talking post-baby here.

One of the things a number of moms tried to advise me (or maybe scare me) was that "you just might not have time to take a shower after the baby is born".

In typical Sarah fashion, I decided this would be my mission.

I love showers. Hot ones. It's like some people's morning cup of coffee. I feel refreshed and ready for the day once I've had a shower. And I'm pretty proud that I've found time to take one every day. I might not have gotten other things done (my house is looking pretty gross). But, I have cleaned myself up every day.

Small miracles make big headlines around here these days.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Anders & Me

I realized this weekend that I have a quite a few cute pictures of Anders with almost everyone else besides me! Yesterday I went to a friend's baby shower, so I decided it was a good day for me to actually get ready--like do something with my hair and get a bit dressed up. Typically I straighten my hair, but since July, it has just been way too hot and I would just sweat & sweat while drying it & styling it. Joel put the end to straightening my hair around July 1. He couldn't take my hot flashes.

Anyway, Joel took some pictures & they turned out cute. Although, I did realize I look a lot more tired in these pictures than I thought I did. I feel good, but I guess I am pretty tired. :)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

5 Motherhood Myths

This morning on The Today Show they had a short segment about the top 5 myths of motherhood. I was intrigued, so I watched. I've only been a mom for 4 weeks, but I thought they might be good to know for the future.

In the end, they were pretty good thoughts to keep in the back of my mind. Especially the first four, for me.

1. A good mom likes her children all the time
2. A good mom bonds with her children immediately (like right from birth)
3. A good mom balances it all
4. A good mom spends lots of time with her kids--and they like her because of it
5. A good mom belongs to one big supportive Moms Group

You can read the full article about these myths here.

What mommy myths have you had to overcome?

Bed Check

Before I had Anders, I loved seeing pictures of parents standing over their child's bed as the child slept. The parents would be looking lovingly at their child and oohhing and ahhing at the beauty of their baby. Such sweet pictuers.

I even asked Joel before Anders came "Do you think we'll be those parents who just go in to stare at their baby when he sleeps?" And in our ignorant bliss, we looked at each other and said "Oh, yes".

Enter reality.

I love Anders. I really do. But no one goes in to just stare at their baby. Not really. Entering a room with a sleeping baby means potential disaster--waking them up. If you do go to check on them, it's just to say "Thank God, he's still sleeping". You've got other things to be doing while they are actually sleeping...like trying to squeeze in a shower or lunch or blogging. Or, even sleeping yourself.

I will say they sure are cute when they sleep. And I only took this picture because it is about time to wake him up. That can be pretty cute, too. At the right time.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Little Blue Hat

My mom gave Anders a cute little blue hat. He wore it almost the entire time he was in the hospital. It was so cute and everyone commented on it.

I went to put it on him last night because his room gets a bit chilly at night.

It was too small.

My little boy is growing up.


I'm a pretty decisive person. Making decisions usually comes pretty easy to me. And, I'm usually pretty good about sticking to it once I've made one.

News flash: I used to be a decisive person.

Who knew that having a baby meant making so many decisions? Change his diaper now or later? Put him in the swing or on the floor? Burp him or give him gas medicine? And those are just the decisions about the baby, not even about when to go to the grocery store or what to have for dinner.

I found myself in a bit of a crisis at about 2:02pm today. Anders didn't want to sleep after his 945 feeding. This meant he was up and needing attention from 945am until 2pm today. So, when he actually fell asleep at 2:00, I felt a bit of freedom.

And then it happened.

Decision time.

I almost panicked. Do I shower? Do I eat lunch? Do I sit on the couch? Do I blog?

All of these are good decisions. What do I pick?

It seems cruel that at a time in my life when I have to make so many decisions--and all of them seem so important, that I am so stinkin' tired. Who played that evil trick?

I did manage to decide. Lunch first, shower second, blog third. So, here I am. 3:05pm and ready to make some more decisions. Hopefully.

Bouncy Seat

My friend, Janelle let me borrow her bouncy seat for Anders. The first time we put him in it, he didn't like it. I think he was too young or overstimulated. But today, he loved it! He sat in it looking around for about 20 minutes. Too cute.

The only problem is that Haiku thinks he looks too cute, too & likes to be right in his face (see picture below). Like centimeters away from his face. We're working on it. Haiku has actually done really well adjusting to life with baby. We should all be so lucky.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Bath Time

Aimee helped me give Anders his 3rd bath. Well, maybe technically #4--he got one in the hospital. :)

Anders seems to enjoy sitting in the water. He sure gets slippery when wet! And, he sure seems to think it's a good time to pee!

Visits & Good Help

We don't have a lot of family that lives in town. In fact, the only family we have close by is my mother in law, Rhonda. Otherwise, everyone else in our immediate family lives at least 2 states away.

But, that hasn't stopped us from having visitors & great help with Anders!

Anders' first visitor was Grandma J, in the hospital, about 2 hours after he was born. It was very special to have her there waiting to meet him.

The second visitors, not far behind Grandma J, were Opa & Oma Hagen all the way from Wisconsin. They got to meet him at about 7 hours old. This, too was special to have them in town. They were a great help the first few days home from the hospital. I'm looking forward to another visit from them in October.

On September 13, Grandma J came and stayed with Anders so Joel & I could go to church. That was a great gift. A little tough for me to leave him behind, but a very nice break!

This weekend we had yet another family visitor, Aunt Aimee (my sister), from Virginia! It was a great weekend. When she first booked her flight, I was a bit sad Anders would already be 3 weeks to a month old when she came--seemed like a long time after he was born. But, in the end, it was providential. God knew we were going to need some help this weekend. She was awesome--changing diapers, helping in the wee hours of the morning, holding him, helping me run errands & even playing fetch with Haiku. Haiku has a new best friend. It was a great visit and I am so grateful she could come.

We love all our family & can't wait for everyone to meet Baby Anders!

Broncos Game

Joel loves watching Broncos games on TV. Typically he does this while wearing his John Lynch jersey. (He was sad Lynch went to another team, but happy when he got cut, so Joel could still wear the jersey).

Well, thanks to our friends, Dan & Julie, now Anders can "watch" the game wearing his gear, too. He looks pretty cute.

Dad & son had fun sitting together with the game on. I'm sure there will be lots more Sundays just like this for years to come (although in a few years, Anders can actually look at the TV).

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Good Advice

Having a baby (and being pregnant) is like getting married & having a wedding. Everyone has an opinion and everyone has "advice". And they are willing to share it with you.

I received a lot of advice while pregnant--most of it was great & encouraging. However, there are also those who like to share every horror story in the book. I find those pieces of "advice" to be "not helpful" and that's simply what I tell myself--"not helpful" and I disregard.

Looking back, I have to say that 3 pieces of advice/wisdom have helped me the most in the past month or so. And one that just makes me laugh. OK, maybe it makes me a bit irritated, too. But, laughing helps me cope better.

1. A number of years ago a woman from my work (who has 4 kids) said

"You won't care if a marching band walks
through the room while you are in delivery".

I didn't believe her for one second. I'm pretty modest. I was actually pretty worried about the number of people who would be in the room. Did I mention that I'm pretty modest?

Well, she was absoutely right. Shoot. I hate it when that happens. In the end, I would not have cared if the CSU, CU & UNC marching bands had camped out right in the room. Just get that baby out.

2. During the week of my due date to delivery, I was really struggling. I really wanted to have that baby. My sister emailed me and simply said,

"You won't be pregnant forever".

What great wisdom. It really helped me switch my brain from feeling sorry for myself to focusing on the real issue--he'll come when he's ready. Thanks, Aimee.

3. At my shower way back in June, there were cards available for little tidbits of advice. I have them hanging on the wall in Anders' room. I think the one that sticks out the most to me is

"This too shall pass".

I don't know who wrote it. Great advice. I may even paint it on the door to his room.

4. The one that makes me laugh. And, I have to say it didn't really come from anyone, I've just read it over & over and I know I've heard it in passing.

"Sleep when the baby sleeps."

My friend, Janelle & I have a running joke about this advice--she's been a bit annoyed by it longer than I have (she's been a mom longer). And, now that I have my own baby, I am annoyed by it too. What if I don't want to sleep? I might be tired, but do I really have to sleep? Is that my only option?

So, my spin on this advice is:

"Do something to take care of yourself while the baby sleeps."

You might sleep, but you also might enjoy a cup of coffee or scrapbook or watch TV or read a book...or you might even take a nice, long hot shower. That's my priority.

In the end, I'm learning that people can give you the best, most well-intentioned advice; you can read all the baby books in the world, too. But, it really comes down to instinct and learning, to some extent, to go with the flow. It's not like you can reason with a 2 week old.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Witt's End

Who knew that at "Witt's End" is a real location, brought to you by a late-night screaming baby?

What they also don't tell you is that if you don't catch the first train back to "Sanity" you're stuck at Witt's End 'til morning.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Mini-Monumental Events

We had two mini-monumental events this week. (Life is all about these things right now). Anders' umbilical cord fell off Thursday and his circumcision ring fell off yesterday! Yeah! Today we get to take a bath!

It's a Good Day

I weigh less than Joel again. What a great day.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Big Enterance

I've long been fascinated by the stories of how babies come into this world. Not necessarily all of the gory details, just where people were when they knew it "was time" and how they got to the hospital, etc... Everyone has their own story.

When my friend Janelle came to the hospital last week, she said "Now you have your own story, Sarah".

I do. And like all the others, it's a good one.

My actual due date was August 21. But, I think that's a crime against pregnant women to give them a date. Like it helps the mental stability of 9 month pregnant woman when that day comes and goes.

It was a long week of waiting. Some tears and lots of anxious waiting. Joel kept asking "any contractions?" How was I to know what one felt like? I was able to keep fairly busy the last couple of days because my parents arrived--they thought Baby J would be here by then!

I had a doctor's appointment on Wednesday, August 27th at 2:30. They checked to make sure the baby was not under any stress and made sure everything was OK with me. Both my nurse practitioner and my OB were surprised I hadn't delivered yet. Great. That's helpful.

I was already at 4 cm when I left the doctor's office around 4pm. Joel kept asking if I was having contractions and again, I just didn't know. I thought I had felt one in the parking lot on the way to the car. Maybe. But, then I felt something again about 20 minutes later. Joel kept track of them as we drove home and got ready to eat dinner.

At 5:30 we sat down to eat dinner and I just didn't feel great. I ate a little bit and then headed downstairs to lay down. At 5:55 Joel came down and my contractions were 5 minutes apart, lasting 1 minute each. Yikes. I told Joel he better start working on sub plans for the next day and I started packing up the rest of our stuff for the hospital.

Then at about 6:20, my water broke. Just like in the movies. It was pretty dramatic...but thankfully I was on the toilet. Then, Joel kicked it into high gear. He packed everything up fast and we were off to the hospital. By now, I was in a lot of pain and the contractions were coming on a lot stronger. I don't remember much about the trip to the hospital except there was lots of moaning and "hurry up"'s.

When we reached the hospital, I knew I was going to need a wheelchair, so Joel pulled up and went to get one. He loaded me into it and then got the suitcase out. We were quite a sight. Now, what to do with the car? We must of looked a little panicked because a woman walked out to the front doors and said "Can I park your car for you?" And Joel said "yes". Amazing. I think it was an angel. She could have stolen our car. Instead, she parked it and brought our keys up to us on the third floor.

We rode the elevator up the Labor & Delivery Unit and proceeded towards the nurse's station, right through a tour of expectant parents. I'm sure I startled some of them...

Around 7:10 or so we finally made it into a room and then the announcement came "You're already at 8 cm!" This kicked everything into high gear--including my emotions. "8 cm?? How can that be? I just got here!" I soon had about 10 people surrounding me, putting in an IV and helping me get into bed. No sooner was I laying in bed than I heard "We're going to have to move you to another room". The computer was broken. This put me up to another level of panic.

Around 7:20 we had settled into another room and I was feeling out of control--Joel finally asked if I was still going to be able to have an epidural if I wanted one. I remember, in a moment of clairty thinking "I can't do this without one of those, what if they say no?" It seemed like forever before a nurse answered "yes, we should be able to get her one, does she want one?" YES!

Around this time, I received an epidural, was already at 10cm and was feeling like a mad woman. Everything happened so fast. We were actually told by our labor & delivery nurse she thought he would be born within the hour. So, Joel called Grandma J & Oma & Opa to come up to the hospital.

Then everything stopped. Well, not stopped, but they slowed way down. We had about 4 hours of just waiting and I was really glad about that. It was nice to relax and take it all in. Oma & Opa went home about 10pm and Grandma J settled in for the night.

About 1145pm I started to feel like pushing. So, I pushed and pushed for about 2 more hours and Anders was finally born at 1:42am.

It was amazing. Joel got to cut the umbilical cord and I got to hold him on my chest soon after that. I was out of it for about an hour after that, but Joel stayed right with the baby while he was cleaned up, weighed, measured and given some routine medication.

It was at this point that Joel started trying out the names on our baby. A few weeks ago I told him he could have the final say. We had picked out Anders and Eric a long time ago, but had not settled on which name would be first. Or, if it would be Erik or Eric. Joel tried out all the combinations on Anders and finally decided Anders it is. I'm glad. I like it.

At about 345am, Anders got to meet Grandma J. Then about an hour later we were moved to our recovery room.

Then the real fun began. Life with baby.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Welcome to our World!

I finally have a minute to upload some more pictures!

Here he is, our little Anders Eric. Hard to believe he'll be a week old tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Total Makeover

I've never really understood why people, especially women, voluntarily sign up for plastic surgery. I have a better alternative. Get pregnant.

It's a total body makeover. Head to toe. Complete. Semi-permanent and it only takes about 9 months.

Sorry, no before & after pictures available at this time.

The One I Love

I don't know how many of you who read my blog actually know Joel personally. Words used to describe him most frequently would be tall, bald and pretty funny. But there may be another side to him that you don't know. He might even be a bit embarrased that I'm telling you. He's a pretty sensitive guy. There, it's out. I hope he doesn't lose his "guy card".

This past week has obviously been a roller coaster of emotions, experiences and events for us. Joel has weathered the storm a bit better than I have. He has just been awesome--and I didn't expect anything less. Starting at about 4pm last Wednesday, his true nature became clear--his calm, compassionate way of taking care of me through the entire birth process, even though I'm sure he was a bit scared and freaked out. Not the typical Wednesday night activity for us.

When Anders was born, he became an instant "best dad in the world", changing diapers, speaking quietly in his ear, rocking him and just loving the heck out of our new baby. I didn't even change a diaper until Monday because he had taken care of all of that. What a guy.

I knew Joel would be great at all this dad stuff--he's been waiting a long time to be one. I just didn't know he would be this great. Makes me love him even more. And hope that more people can see his softer side. It makes him a better man.