Saturday, December 26, 2009

We have loads of new Sofia photos and videos.


Christmas will do that, you know. I've uploaded just a couple of pre-Christmas photos into Flickr and will be collecting and organizing more soon from different cameras. In the meantime, check out Sofia's Flickr page for the newest sets.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Stabby time!

Sofia had her six-month checkup today. The stats are as follows:

Weight: 18lbs 7 ounces
Height: 2' 2" (heavily disputed amongst out caregivers)
Head circumference: 17.34"

Our doctor noticed a sizable change in the percentile for Sofia's height, and speculated that a previous measurement was inaccurate. A second measurement for today came in at 1/2" shorter than the first one, at that point we didn't push the issue.

Sofia was very well-behaved for most of the appointment, though she did get slightly cranky while we were waiting for the doctor. Once the doctor arrived, though, Sofia had become very comfortable in Daddy's lap and got a bit of her checkup done right there. Comfy time didn't last forever. After devouring the ingested vaccination for whatever that I can't remember, the time for needles arrived.

Sofia got five shots today for lots of things I can't recall and also for seasonal flu and H1N1. After enjoying her time with Dr. Huss we laid her on the examination table where the event went like this:

"Teehee...this is fun. Sure! I'll hold your fingers, Mommy and Daddy! YAAAAAAAY! Family cuddle time! I really like that you guys both come to my appointments when you can and..."

STAB

"...OH MY GOD. WHY?"

STAB

"WHHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY???!?!?!?!?!?!?!"

STAB
STAB
STAB

After Sofia was thoroughly perforated Daddy held her for a bit, and she settled down rather quickly. She also got VERY cuddly, which is not normal for her outside of her mommy time in the morning and night. Afterwards, Mommy went to work for a bit while Daddy went to a friends house to return some borrowed stuff. Sofia was very friendly with Daddy's friend Graham, as she is with most men. This will have to be addressed at some point.

Friday, December 11, 2009

New links over on the right.

I just created a Facebook page for Sofia since the Marths/Winfields have been all getting together there. Now when there's a Sofia update you guys will see it along all your other friends and family!
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?ref=name&id=100000567198796#/home.php?ref=home

Also, the Twitter widget that was publishing Sofia's Twitter stuff on to this blog page started acting wonky, so I took it down. Now there is simply a Twitter link over on the right.

There should be new video soon.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Multitasking

Our morning routine has been pretty much the same since I went back to work almost four months ago. James and I go in to either wake the baby or unwrap the already woken baby. James usually changes her diaper while I get the pump supplies I need pulled together, get myself a glass of water, and prepare a quick breakfast. We then move to the couch where I feed Sofia on one breast while pumping the other and eating my breakfast.

This impressive example of multitasking is over. Sofia has become very active lately: grabbing, kicking, pulling, etc. This morning I was enjoying a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios while Sofia was enjoying her breakfast...until she reached up and grabbed the lip of the bowl, pulling it out of my hands and down onto both of is. We were both drenched in very cold milk and covered in sticky little o's.

I am ashamed to admit that I ate cheerios off my baby this morning in an attempt to clean up the situation and still get some breakfast.

Onto her side

Sofia realized last night that she can roll onto her side. So far, her left side only. James knew it was coming soon and last night she finally realized the only thing holding her down was her own back leg. She rolled both legs up to her chest, turned, and Voila! she was on her side grasping at the toy duck I was dangling just out of reach. Like any new trick one learns, she kept practicing and soon perfected the half roll.

We tried to switch directions and have her roll the other way, but it got a little frustrating for Sofia. She still understood the 'best practice' of pulling both knees up to her chest, but then her body would still roll the way she had already mastered (taking her further away from the toy she wanted).

Mommy and Daddy are very proud and a bit horrified that we haven't begun baby- proofing the house yet.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Carrots

Sofia is a big girl now and eating "real" food. She had her first taste of carrots last night and loved them. She ate the entire jar! It was rather anticlimatic; we had the video camera set up ready for the massive spit-up/out or at least the pained face, but she just chomped like a champ and opened her mouth for more.
She is really an easy going little girl; not even carrots make her lose her cool.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Lots of Halloween videos and photos

I'm uploading photos now, and will upload an edited video hopefully before Wednesday.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

We're having Youtube problems.

After I uploaded a new video today, the first video disappeared from Sofia's Youtube page. When I log into her Youtube account, though, I can see the video in the uploads section. I will fix it as soon as I can. For the time being, you can check out the new video of Sofia's first high chair meal!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

4 Month WellCheck

Sofia's last appointment with Dr. Huss was October 5th (the day before Mommy and Daddy went to the U2 concert in Atlanta). I can't believe she's over 4 months old already. The time has went so quickly. By the time I post this blog,she will be five months old!

She is a very healthy baby. Dr. Huss is very pleased that we have been able to keep her out of daycare. It allows her a better chance at building up some immunities before being exposed to them all at once. So far we've been blessed and she has not even had a cold. Sofia is a happy girl who had lots of smiles for the nurses and staff (until those needles came out).

Here are her stats:
weight: 16 pound 1 ounce (93%)
length: 2 feet 1 inch/63.5 centimeters (77%)
Head circumference 16.55" (78%)

Immunizations, round 2, went well. Again, she had no adverse reactions and took them like a champ. No need even for children's' Tylenol. Daddy went the first time and said her crying was terrible, so to keep it fair I took her to this appointment. It is hard to see your baby so upset.

Sofia has quite the personality already and is quick to show it off. When Dr. Huss was asking me about developmental milestones, I told her that Sofia would not hold her head up from a tummy position yet. She hates tummy time and just gives up, deciding instead to complain loudly until the five minutes are up. Seemingly to prove me wrong, the second Dr. Huss turned her over onto her tummy, my daughter held head up at a solid 45% angle and even managed a giant smile from the position. Point taken, Sofia.

Since we were already at a Vanderbilt facility, I got my flu shot. Babies under six months should not get flu shots. Since I nurse Sofia, she will get her dosage through me.

Next appointment is scheduled for December.

New video

I'm uploading a new video to Sofia's You Tube Channel shot at "Ghouls at Grassmere" this past weekend. It shows her Halloween costume (hand made by yours truly!).

This was my first attempt at video editing. I hope you enjoy!

Follow the Videos link on the right to go directly to Sofia's You Tube.

Sofia's poopoos and peepees have started stinking.

She's such a big girl now. I'm so proud of her.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Sometimes...


she takes my breath away. Our daughter is so very beautiful. I am reminded everytime I look at her how very blessed we are.

Friday, October 2, 2009

A little angel


Sofia’s favorite toy right now is a little angel bear. It is about three inches tall and a couple of inches wide, with a yellow sewn on dress and white wings made from a satiny material sprouting out of its back. This little bear was the first toy that she took notice of and still holds her attention the best. As she is working on mastering her hand/eye coordination, this little bear makes her reach out more than any other thing waved in front of her. It is soft enough that she can grasp it with her tiny fingers. Since it is a plush animal, it is light enough that she can bring it to her mouth and chew on it. No other toy brings out Sofia’s smiles like the angel bear.

Angel bear was given to Sofia by her cousin, Kate. Anissa and Kate watch Sofia for us every Saturday. They do a lot of bargain shopping (Anissa gives us “new” clothes for Sofia every time we pick her up). The very first time they watched her, when Sofia was barely six weeks old, Kate gave her the angel bear. Anissa and I agreed that we would leave it at their house so that it was always there for Sofia to play with. Kate was visibly disappointed in our decision and kept telling me that Sofia really wanted to take it home. We tried to explain to her that if we kept it at their house, then she could play with Sofia and the bear every Saturday.

The next weekend, we Peaches went to the Sanborn house for Doug’s birthday cookout. Kate was so very proud of Sofia and wanted to introduce every one of her parents’ friends to “Baby Peach”. It was very sweet to see how much Kate loved her baby cousin. New to balancing parenthood with work, James and I decided to call it an early night. I put Sofia in her car seat, tucked a blanket around her body, and then went out onto the deck to say a quick goodbye to everyone. When I came back inside, Sofia was completely covered up by her blanket, head and all. She wasn’t squirming around enough yet to have done that to herself and I suspected Miss Kate was involved in resituating the blanket (her guilty face lending to my theory). Kate likes to help out and often tries to imitate what the adults do to take care of Sofia. No harm done, so I just grabbed the blanket and was going to resituate it around Sofia without saying anything to Kate. To my surprise, I saw that Kate had not tried to cover Sofia up, but instead was trying to cover up the little angel bear that she had propped under Sofia’s arm. I was very touched by the sweet gesture and looked at Kate. She looked up at me with her huge, soft eyes and said, “She can take it home if she really wants to.”

The little angel bear came home with us that night.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

We've added a Twitter feed for Sofia.

If you just have to know what she's doing when, that's where you'll look. It's off to the right.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Projection

Sofia's four month check up is next Monday. She'll get her second round of immunizations which will be Mommy's first round (James took her last time so this will be the first time I have to experience the screaming).

I'm anxiously anticipating her progress report: weight, height, and head percentiles. At Sofia’s two month check up she was almost 13 pounds. Very healthy. She registered in the 90th percentile for weight, and the 97th percentile for height, so her 13 pounds were balanced by her height. She grows every day! Sometimes a lot. She is growing out of her 3-6 month outfits daily and comfortably fits into 6-month onsies. Sofia has always been a very good eater. At first that was a sense of relief, but as time went on I've started to grow concerned. I look forward to hearing the Doctor tell me if I should be concerned or not. I need to hear it from her mouth.

This is the first example of me putting off my issues onto Sofia (I think). I have always been overweight. I see pictures of myself as a young child and don't look overly chubby, but I don't remember ever not thinking I was. My weight is something that I have always been self conscious of and felt the most self loathing over. I don't want to pass that on to my daughter. The fact that I see myself doing it already is enough to make me sick. What scares me more than her being overweight is me being the one to make her conscious of it.

I politely correct people who admire my "fat" baby, by saying "healthy". I know that no one means to be offensive; it is cute to see a baby with rolls and dimples. Eventually, though, chubbiness becomes less socially acceptable and while the tone changes, the comments don't.

How do I stop?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Photos Updated

I've spent the better part of 2 days uploading photos. I discovered we'd missed some old ones and went searching. I put the sets in chronological order so new uploads will not be the top sets on the stream. Sorry for the confusion. Hopefully by Sunday evening, I will have all the pictures caught back up. Thanks for looking and sharing our life...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Sofia's first web video is done!

This is Sofia's Youtube channel. You'll also notice a link to the right.

I'm working on a Sofia video today

We shot some footage of the family at Olan Mills and I hope to edit it into a sort of preview for the photos. As soon as it's done I will get somewhere with a faster internet connection so we can upload it for everyone.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Olan Mills

Sofia had her first professional photo shoot yesterday. We went to the Olan Mills studio inside of K Mart. Grandma Sandy wanted some pictures with her grandchildren so we dressed up Sofia in her best party dress (a gift from Great Aunt Selma) and helped Kate pick out a beautiful dress with yellow flowers. Our appointment was at 3:30 and we arrived just in time. Fortunately, the photographer was with another client so I had time to take Sofia into the changing room for a quick nursing session.

She'd been really fussy for me all weekend. Sofia's fussy is honestly not that bad for your average 3-month old, but for her it was the worst I've seen. Sofia inherited her Mommy's mood swings and all weekend she'd switch back and forth from being her happy little self and a truly unsatisfied baby. She didn't enjoy nursing from Friday on and had to be starving. I finally gave her some rice cereal on Saturday night and she gobbled it down like a pro (Mommy was proud), then nursed for a long time before falling asleep. I thought we'd cleared the hump, but then it was back to what I dubbed "irritability at the boob" on Sunday. We came to the conclusion that she must be teething; Lord knows she's drooling enough for that to be a solid guess.

Anyway, we snuck in a quick session then reported for our shoot. Sofia took some solo shots first. The photographer figured it would be best to get her alone while she was the most content. She took some really cute shots and gave the photographer a lot to work with; all was going well...until we decided to try some shots on her tummy. This child hates being on her tummy! The doctors recommend tummy time every day to build muscles as well as promote a well shaped head and it's a challenge every time we do it. Sofia is a very agreeable baby, except during tummy time, that is. She doesn't cry, it's more like she's yelling at you, letting you know how much tummy time sucks.We took some photos of Sofia, James, and I next. The Peach Family. Then Grandma Sandy and cousin Kate took some shots with Sofia. At this point, Kate took a couple of solo shots. Kate had done really well sharing the attention up until this point but let us know that she was ready for her moment in the spotlight. That girl can assume a pose better and more on demand than the contestants on Next Top Model. Mom, Sofia, and I took a three-generation shot that I'll cherish forever. By this point, Sofie was about smiled out. The photographer was working extra hard to get the smiles that came so easily at first. I did learn that my daughter is ticklish in her underarms (those were really big smiles accompanied by belly laughs). Sofia let us know she was over it and I held her until she fell asleep. The photographer helped another client pick out her package while Sofia slept. Before she diverted her attention from us, she snapped a great shot of me looking down at my baby in my arms. It may be my favorite of the day...
After the short catnap, Sofia was ready for a few more pictures. We got the close-ups of her hands and feet. What is it about baby feet that are so darn precious? Sofia's are so funny; she has the longest toes i have ever seen on a baby (inherited from her father).

It took quite a while to pick out my favorites and place my order. The photographer captured 98 shots and I ordered 11 of them. Olin Mills is very reasonably priced and they run great specials. For example, they advertised a newborn baby package that includes one 8x10, two 5x7, and eight wallets for free. Where they get you is they take so many pictures and so many are so great, that you end up purchasing more than you ever intended. So...$100 and two and a half hours later, I have plenty of pictures of my darling to pass out to family and friends.

Her first modeling shoot was a success. She's a natural.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Friday, September 4, 2009

New Photos

Finally got caught up to date on uploading all the photos of Sofia thus far onto FlickR. Follow the link on the right to see how the little girl as grown!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

New photos of Sofia's pretty dress!

Click here to see them!

Don't forget that you can also click the "Photos" link to the right to check out all of Sofia's photos that have been uploaded!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Baby Insomnia

Little Sofia was not sleepy tonight and took a long time getting to bed. I swadled her tightly and laid her in the bassonet, deciding to let her drift to sleep unaided. She was very content and spent a solid 45 minutes looking around and cooing to herself. I finally popped in a pacifier to help her nod off. James came home from work and quietly stepped up to the bed to give me a kiss; I told him she was still awake so he peered over the basonet. She saw him and smiled a huge grin through her pacifier (I could see it from the side at the level i was at on the bed). James grinned, cocked his head to the side in adoration, and slowly pulled out the pacifier to reveal her beaming up at him. She loves her Daddy.

Outfit Expiration Dates

"She’s wearing this one tomorrow. It expired 3 pounds ago."

Those are the words I just uttered out loud, and with complete sincerity,to James while holding a size three-month outfit in front of Sofia’s closet . I have spent hours the past three days sorting through Sofia’s closet and dresser taking out the items that she’s outgrown. There are so many outfits that we didn’t get the chance to wear and so many more outfits that we only got to wear once. I say “we” because the cute outfits are more for me than her; she may be the one wearing them, but I’m the one who gets the immense joy from seeing her in them. Money spent on said outfits is not the issue; we have been blessed to have gotten a lot of hand-me-downs from cousin Kate (thanks, Anissa) and many adorable shower gifts from family and friends. The issue is that I am already aware of how quickly she’s growing up and she’s only 3months old.

Sofia weighed in at her 2 month checkup at almost 13 pounds. She was in the 90th percentile for weight and 97th for height. She is growing so fast and I am not dealing well. I’m questioning whether I should just pull half of the 3-6 months clothes out now so I don’t have to go through this mourning again in a month or two...

Smiles

She smiles! Real smiles that are so warm and reach all the way to her beautiful, squinted eyes.

Jessica's Story of Sofia's Birth

It was the type of day you love to have. The rare day when everything goes right, is filled with people you want to spend it with, and you appreciate even as its happening.

I reported to work shortly after 8:30 on Tuesday, June 2nd. My days at work had gotten pretty soft as I had turned over the majority of my duties in preparation for maternity leave. I bopped around the Internet, talked on the phone, chatted up my co-workers, and maybe analyzed a few reports to fill my day. Angie, my fellow employee, mentioned that we really should go look at the white tiger cubs that were visiting our zoo. They were born in December, had been on exhibit since March, and would be leaving for their permanent home in a few weeks. I told Angie that I wanted to see them, but only if we drove a golf cart (cut me some slack, I was nine months pregnant). It was a lovely afternoon; working at the zoo has its perks (like a personalized tour of the property on cart). We drove around and looked at all our favorite animals. The tiger cubs, by the way, were huge; we’d missed our opportunity to see them as cute, cuddly, little guys. Angie dropped me off at my car and I snuck out a bit early. I had the next two days off and was fully prepared to see Angie on Friday.

We really needed groceries but for some reason I decided to stop by the house first instead of going straight to the store. James was supposed to be working so I’m not sure what made me take the detour. It was meant to be, however, as Sally (James’ mom) was standing with James in the driveway. James’ parents don’t stop by very often, instead preferring that we visit them, so seeing Sally was a very pleasant surprise. Seeing my husband standing in the drive was a shock; I hadn’t realized that he had called out sick that day due to a bad night’s sleep the night before. We hung out in the drive for awhile, and then decided to go into the house so I could sit. After a while, Anissa called and said she was on her way over with the bassinet. She’d lent it to another friend and had just gotten it back that day over lunch. Anissa stayed for just a bit and took some pictures of James and I posing in front of the fire place (I am so glad she did!). Eventually everyone said goodbye and left.

James and I hopped in the car and drove to Kroger for the before mentioned needed groceries. On our way back out to the car, Anissa, Doug, and Kate drove by and yelled something at us (they were on their way to LaTerraza for supper with friends which is in the same shopping center). I got really warm while shopping and broke out in a sticky sweat. I didn’t think anything of it at the time; I overheat easily.

On the way back home, I returned a call I’d missed while grocery shopping to my brother, Josh. James carried in all the groceries, cracked a beer, kissed me, and then went to the basement for drum practice (U2’s New Year’s Day). I started defrosting some brats for supper then laid down on the bed for optimum comfort while talking on the phone. After a while I really had to pee, so unbeknownst to my brother, I took the phone with me to the toilet (he would not be a fan). I didn’t quite make it (not uncommon for a very pregnant woman). Then it went on for a long time, with no control. Once finished and still on the phone, I went back to my side position on the bed and tried to carry on a conversation with Josh while my mind started pondering if my water had just broken. I got up and went to the bathroom again; same situation, only this time it was a yellowish brown color. I was making my way back to the bed when James came into the room. Not wanting to alarm Josh, I told him that I needed to let him go to make some supper. I hung up and looked at James with an excited face and said, “I think that should be your last beer. I think my water just broke.” His eyes got huge and he said, “So does that mean its time?” I felt a bit sheepish in that I wasn’t sure if my water had just broken or if I’d just wet myself. I was having zero pain, no contractions what-so-ever. James wanted me to call the doctor, I felt silly so was putting it off and went back to my spot on the bed. James jumped on the computer to research. I got up a few minutes later to go back to the bathroom and WHOOSH; there was no doubt that this was not just pee. Pain or no pain, it was time. James and I were so giddy. I called the after hours number and left a message for my midwife, hoping that she was the one on call. I then called Anissa to share the excitement and she didn’t answer! So I called Doug and he didn’t answer! So I sent a text message to their friend, Ellen, asking her to tell Anissa that I was in labor.

About 45 minutes later, Dr. Spetalnik returned the call. After asking a few questions, he told me to come on in within the next few hours. I’d had my bags mostly packed for a few weeks so just needed to throw a few last minute things together. Always the organized one, I had prepared a list of exactly what I still needed. James ran around throwing things he needed in a bag; since I wasn’t due for another 2 weeks, he didn’t have his stuff packed for the hospital yet. We packed everything in the car (you’d have thought we were vacationing for a week instead of going to have a baby) and were on our way.

We first stopped at…Wendy’s (remember our brats were in the microwave defrosting when this started). I’m a pain-puker and have discovered that the only thing worse than throwing up is not having anything to throw up. We treated ourselves to combo selections, normally avid dollar menu eaters. Next up: Walmart. James needed batteries for his digital voice recorder. I stayed in the car and by about this time realized that I really needed something waterproof under my butt (I confiscated the Walmart bag when James returned to the car).

I called my parents, who were in Minnesota taking Grandpa Barney to the VA Hospital. My mom was excited by our news and equally heartbroken. At first she thought I was kidding; once she knew I was serious her first words were, “We’ll never make it now.” She wanted to be with us for the birth so badly. They decided to stay the night at the cabin with Grandma and Grandpa and start out early in the morning for Tennessee. Anissa called me back and passed the phone around to various members of her supper club who all wished us the best of luck. I then called Josh to tell him the news since he played a part thus far (his response: “I hear she can’t wait to meet me”). That was it for my calls.

James, on the other hand, called all his parents and then started with the A’s in his phone book and went down the list. I had prepared a phone tree list for labor and then for delivery, but he was just so excited he wanted to tell the world. It was very endearing to see.

It was 11:00 by the time we got to the hospital. We had to enter and be admitted through the emergency room. We got escorted to our room and got situated. Dr. Spetalnik came in to do the exam and confirmed that, yes, my water had definitely broke (I really didn’t have a doubt about that anymore). He started me on a petocin drip to jump start my contractions as I was still in no pain. James and I were super excited but decided to try to catch a nap before the real fun began. I awoke less than an hour later to some major pain. I was finally having contractions and not enjoying them at all. I have always had very severe cramps with my monthly visitor and these were very similar, just magnified. I felt them deep into my thighs. After suffering through these for about 45 minutes solo, James finally woke to my heavy breathing. I remember him trying to crack a joke and me not being amused. He came to my bed side, held my hand and stroked my hair. After several contractions I asked him (whimpered really) when I could get my pain killers. He hit the call button and said to the nurse, “Mrs. Peach is inquiring about when she can have some medicine.” Even in pain, I really enjoyed him calling me Mrs. Peach.

The anesthesiologist team responded quickly in getting me an epidural (we’d already discussed it). I remember sitting on the side of the bed and leaning forward into James and the nurse while Anesthesiologist Adam worked his magic. I don’t remember if the needle hurt or not, I just remember that when they told me I could lean back I was feeling so much better, relaxed even. James and I chatted up Adam for awhile, talking about beer and summer festivals, before he checked how well the epidural took. He discovered that it was inserted a bit too far (one side of my body was drastically more numb than the other) so he pulled it out a bit. Then I got to lay on my side and sleep like I’ve never slept before. It was glorious. I am a person who wakes numerous times throughout the night from body aches and makes at least 3 trips to the bathroom. On drugs I didn’t feel my body, let alone the aches, and my catheter took care of the weak bladder problem. Absolutely divine.

Hospital personnel came and went but I barely noticed. When they woke me up, I was 9 centimeters dilated. Holy crap! I was only 4 when I went to sleep; most awesome labor ever. Since my epidural was still slightly more focused on the right side, they didn’t make me change positions (I was lying on my left side) so I returned to my glorious slumber.

A phone call from Mom and Dad woke us around 7 am to tell us that they were on their way. I shared my progress with them and assured them that we’d keep them posted on any updates. The conversation was short but long enough for me to discover that my stomach was very upset. Nausea was a possible side effect of the epidural I’d been warned about.

James’ Dad was our first official visitor; he stopped by on his way to work. We visited a bit and my stomach was getting more and more upset. I remember thinking that I didn’t want to make Eddie uncomfortable by vomiting and then knowing that I didn’t care anymore as I puked into my bedpan.

A short while later, Anissa showed up with Radio Raheem (a giant boom box from the ‘80s that James inherited from Doug) and a camera charged and ready to go. We all sat around talking for awhile and my nausea kept worsening. Anissa was so excited for us and I just couldn’t share that feeling with her at the time. I tried to focus on the conversations going on and had real trouble doing so. I kept almost passing out right before I’d puke some more. Finally, Carolyn (my main nurse) offered me something for the nausea, which I gladly accepted straight through my central IV. Within minutes I was drifting back off to sleep. I think I heard James quietly usher everyone out of the room so I could rest. He’s a good, good man. I am pleased to say that the nausea was the most difficult part of my labor and delivery.

The next time I was woken up the nurse checked me and told me I was fully dilated and ready to push! James went out to the waiting room to tell Anissa and his mom (Sally had shown up while I was sleeping and didn’t even get to come into the room before delivery began). He came back and put in a Martin Sexton CD (my favorite) and soon Raheem was singing his lullabies.

The nurses, Carolyn and Tiffani, started preparing the room, bringing in the stirrups and a table of “goodies” set beyond the foot of the bed. Carolyn was training Tiffani as it was her first delivery assist. I found the training fascinating and found myself asking questions and contributing to the session.; after a while, Carolyn started addressing both Tiffani and myself like we were both her students. I learned a lot that morning, from how to install and adjust the stirrups on the bed to how to change the paper in the monitoring machine. Carolyn apologized a few times when the questions or discussions turned to less than ideal situations/things that can go wrong, telling me that they don’t discuss these things in front of a mother in labor. I encouraged them on; I loved learning and hearing the stories first hand. By the end, I was confident that I could competently assist in a delivery myself, but then again I was on drugs. I retained none of the knowledge I’d gained after my delivery. I truly enjoyed my time with Carolyn and Tiffani; I felt we were like family by the end of the morning.

Once I was positioned (it took some help as my right leg was dead weight!), Carolyn would tell me when to push by watching my contractions on the monitoring machine beside the bed. Tiffani and James were holding my legs back and Tiffani was counting to 10 to help me focus on how long to push. My epidural was perfect. I really couldn’t feel my contractions at all, but by holding my hands on my belly I could tell when they were happening as my stomach would grow hard and tighten. Eventually, I took over for Carolyn telling them when it was time to push. Between the contractions we were all talking and laughing and having a great time. No kidding. A contraction would come and we’d get down to business, it would pass and we’d pick up the conversation where we left off. Carolyn kept warning Tiffani that in her 30+ years in labor and delivery she’d never had a delivery go so smoothly for the mother. I could feel James beaming at me with pride.

Soon, James took over the counting. He’d look right into my eyes and slowly count to 10. There was so much love in his eyes; I hope never to forget the way he saw me in those moments.

Carolyn had offered me a mirror to watch and I surprised myself by taking her up on the offer. I am so glad I did. It is the most amazing thing. Seeing the top of the baby’s head, dark hair and all, was so motivating! I couldn’t wait to meet her! It was incredible to watch her come out a little more with each push, then retreat back some. Things were going so much quicker than expected so Carolyn asked if I could wait through a few contractions and not push (the midwife was tied up delivering a baby a few rooms down). Even without pushing you could see when the contractions were happening as the baby kept advancing. She was ready to join us!

Around this time the room got very busy. They could tell by my broken waters that there was meconium present (the baby had a bowel movement in the womb) which can be potentially dangerous to the baby, so an entire team of Pediatricians were present to whisk her away the minute she came out. The midwife showed up with an entourage of people with her, as well. At this point, I cared very little about my modesty. I was in my own little bubble with my husband, my baby, and my two new supportive friends, Carolyn and Tiffani. A few more good pushes and the baby’s head came out, followed by the rest of her body. It is the only time in my life I have ever felt the word “Plop”. I looked to James and saw my expression mirrored on his face: our mouths hanging open, eyes glowing, and giggles on our lips. The love in that moment was unabashed, silly, and beautiful.

The Pediatricians took the baby and work began on Mommy. James went out to the waiting room to tell Anissa and Sally that he had a daughter while I drank 2 full pitchers of water, followed by a sprite. Tiffani was kind enough to get me some graham crackers as I hadn’t eaten for 17 hours. They called in a surgeon to assist in stitching me up; there was some extensive tearing that took 2 hours to fix. (Which means Sally and Anissa had to wait an excruciating 2 hours before being allowed into the room after James shared the news). Carolyn forgot to move the mirror away and was appalled; she wouldn’t stop apologizing. I just chose not to look at it (I quit looking as soon as the baby came out; Just Say No to Placenta!).

Partway into the fixing of my mommy-parts, someone handed me my baby. She was so beautiful…I looked up at James and he told me to tell her her name. Sofia Grace Peach. All of her hospital bracelets and paperwork say “Baby Girl Peach” since we shared her name with no one before her. I greedily soaked her in for some time before passing her off to James. My heart melted as I watched him look down at her so gently and talk to her ever so softly. She gazed right back into his face. She knew her Daddy, no doubt about it. It was a very special moment between just the two of them that I was blessed enough to witness.

Carolyn helped me position us for our first nursing session; Sofia was a natural with good instincts and a very solid suck. It felt so good to have her nestled into my chest, so natural, so right.

Welcome to the world, little one. I’m so glad you’re finally here.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Sofia's two-month appointment was yesterday.

She is twelve pounds, thirteen ounces, putting her in the nineteenth percentile for weight. She's a big baby. She is 60cm, putting her in the 94th percentile on length. She also got some immunizations, three in the legs and one orally. The shots came from needles as long as her legs are wide, and they went ALL the way in. Sofia cried very hard and then passed out for three hours or so. She hasn't developed a fever from the vaccines yet, but did seem to be dealing with some pain early on yesterday. By evening she was doing great and smiling a lot.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Deleted some photos just now

My friend Aaron (no, the other one) told me last night that his girlfriend Heather was a bit weirded out "by how graphic some of the photos from Sofia's birth" were on the Flickr site. Jessica and I went through them just now and saw what we already knew, which was that there were no pictures of anything gross, by anyone's definition. There are, however, some pictures that, when glanced at, do not inspire a second glance, because they do imply things about what you're not seeing. A couple of the more Hitcockian ones have now been deleted. I assure you that if you click on the photos link to the right you are not going to see anything anatomically offensive, at least until you see the picture of Doug and I talking at the party in Iowa.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Peaches are in Iowa for a few days

We got here early Friday morning and will be here until Thursday. Loads of pictures have been taken, and myself, Jessica and Sofia are having a great time. There have been fireworks, four-wheelers, and general frivolity. I tried this morning to upload a lot of pictures, but the upload speed out here is borderline atrocious. I will do a library run when we get home, and you will get to see everything.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Photo/three week update

I'm finally getting around to uploading the Sanborn camera photos from Sofia's birth. They'll be mixed in with all the other "Sofia's Arrival" photos.

Sofia is doing great. At two weeks she was expected to be back up her original birth weight, seven pounds and ten ounces, but she was nearly a whole pound over that. The doctors seem very pleased with her progress. At three weeks now she is still sleeping through most of the night on most nights. There have been a couple of nights in the last week or so that have been a little rougher on Jessica, though, where Sofia was waking up every hour or so.

Sunday Jessica and I bought a breast pump off of Craigslist for $100 that normally retails for $250. It's working great. Yesterday was Sofia's first day using a bottle of breast milk, and she took to it pretty quickly. We have two different types of bottles, with one being faster than the other, and the doctor's advice about slower bottles being better is proving true. Thus far, Sofia seems to be less cranky after using the slower bottle.

In the last week two more friends, Jamal and Aaron, have been over to see Sofia. Neither cared to hold her.

The night before last Sofia had a hard time slowing down at bedtime until I got some drum practice in, at which point she was out. Last night we had Anissa and Doug over to play some Rock Band, and Sofia slept through most of that. She loves music.

I think that is all for right now.

Monday, June 15, 2009

I fixed the Secret Origin entry

I had listed Sofia's birthday as July instead of June for some reason. Thanks to everyone that pointed that out.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Photo update

I've bounced back and forth between different photo services for Sofia's pictures, and have settled on Flickr for multiple reasons. As soon as my pro account purchase goes through, the photos will be as on point as I've promised everyone. Sorry for the delay, guys.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Secret Origins

Sofia Grace Peach spent thirty-eight weeks in Jessica before we were all blessed with her presence at 11:45 am on Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009. Here is the story of her journey.


I spent the wee hours of June 2nd with a very loud stomach, and an even louder butt. For the previous week and a half or so I'd been eating no meat and on this particular occasion I'd prepared a new veggie chili recipe I found on the internet. Most of the chili had been eaten on Sunday, leaving about a bowl and half in the pot. I didn't see much point in putting half a bowl back in the refrigerator, so I ate all that was left and ended up farting so much throughout the night that I barely slept. If the sound of the farts didn't wake me either the rumbling in my tummy or the smell would.


The next day I called out of work exhausted from my restless and very fragrant night. I looked forward to what I hoped would be a quiet day at home reading Absolute Sandman Volume IV and maybe mowing the yard, both of which would happen after several naps. None of these things were in the cards. Mom called between 10 and 11 in the morning, asking if she could come over. She hardly ever comes over, and certainly never is feeling froggy enough to invite herself. Taking care of all three of her parents, her dogs and working doesn't afford her much opportunity to get into my neck of the woods. I had to take her up on the offer. It's always nice when the parents stop through and I don't have to go to them.


Mom and I sat around talking, playing music and with the dogs until about four-something in the afternoon. Just as Mom was getting ready to leave Jessica pulled in, and we all stood around in the driveway until I suggested that my extremely pregnant wife get off her feet. We moved things back into the living room, and not a whole lot later Anissa arrived also. We all had a good time talking it up until it was time for people to get moving and Jessica and I to run to the grocery store. Things were very casual, the day was beautiful, family was together in a way that doesn't happen often and all of this was made possible by my explosive veggie chili which allowed me to be home for Mom in the first place. The world was a very comfortable place that day.


When Jessica and I returned from the grocery store she headed upstairs to call her brother Josh whose call she had missed while we were shopping. Since she was going to be lying in the bed for a few minutes anyway I decided to go downstairs and practice U2's “New Year's Day” on the drums. I had been running through the song three times a day every day for almost three weeks, working out little nuances and such. On this particular day I had decided I would start running an iPod through the stereo downstairs so that I wouldn't have to wear headphones and Jessica could hear the whole song, not just the drums. I turned the stereo up as loud as it would go and banged out three adequate but unimpressive run-throughs, then hopped upstairs to check on Jessica. When I went into the bedroom she told her brother that I was done practicing and that she was going to get off the phone so we could start making dinner. When she hung up she told me that she though her water had just broken.


What?


I asked if she was sure and had her describe it to me. I don't remember everything she said, but it amounted to the possibility that she was simply a little leaky, which is something that isn't uncommon for pregnant women. I suggested that we call the doctor before we freaked out and made a move. Jessica seemed a bit embarrassed to call the doctor to ask if her water had really broken. Anyone that knows Jessica would not be surprised at this. I countered that if this wasn't really game time and we showed up at the hospital, she would be much more embarrassed. Jessica rose from the bed, moved to the bathroom and sat on the toilet. At this point it became much more obvious that her water had actually broken and the clock started. This was about 8:30. We called the doctor's office, and they paged the doctor. In the meantime, we put dinner on hold and I got some packing done. We were really excited, grinning like idiots and saying how much we loved each other. I posted to Twitter to stay tuned while Jessica and I discussed the plan if the doctor said to come on. When the doctor called back, he said to come in the next couple of hours and that they would induce labor if contractions hadn't started by then. This was about 9:00 pm.


We called Anissa at La Terraza and let her know Jessica was heading in. We packed, got the dogs situated, got ourselves situated, repacked, ran back into the house for stuff we forgot, over-packed and rolled out. We drove to Wendy's to grab some food since we hadn't had dinner, then to Wal-mart for batteries to power our camera and audio recorders. In the middle of all this we called our parents. The Marths were in Minnesota and said they would leave in the morning. My mom seemed a little confused at first, no doubt disoriented by the hour and also the fact that she had virtually just seen us. Dad was asleep when I called and mumbled something about talking to me in the morning. I told Jessica that he wouldn't even remember we had talked, which is what usually happens when I wake him up with a phone call. I made a mental note to call again in the morning. Once immediate family was out of the way, I started at the top of my phone contacts and just went down the list calling everyone in there that would care to be called at 10pm. We got to the hospital just a little before 11.


Since it was so late, the only way into the hospital was through the emergency room, which has a security checkpoint. Jessica and I had packed a bad with distractions and snacks in the case of a long and painful delivery, which made this security checkpoint a real hassle. The security officer was very pleasant, it's just that when your wife is about to have her first baby, being held up for five minutes while a stranger goes through everything in your very large duffel bag is very annoying. By the time I was done with security Jessica had already been checked in. We followed a nurse through lots of hallways and elevators to the labor and delivery room on the fourth floor. After we got situated a doctor came in just to make sure that everything was happening the way it was explained to him. He checked Jessica's mommy parts out an looked generally bored with the process until he got to the part when he was to make sure that her water had actually broken, at which point he exclaimed, “Oh...oh yeah, that's a lot of fluid. That's a LOT of fluid. Also, it looks like your baby has had a bowel movement.” I was never so happy to hear that someone had taken a shit in my wife. The doctors got an IV into Jessica that was to induce labor, since contractions still had not happened.


I laid down for a nap and was woken between 1:00 and 1:30 Jessica's contractions started. Happy fun time was over for a bit. Jessica was throwing up and trying to pull the bed apart. She ceased to be amused by my jokes, and appeared that she was threatening to call the whole thing off. She wanted her painkillers and she wanted them immediately. I got on the horn to call someone in for the epidural, and doctors flooded in before too long. Somewhere between 2:30 and 3:00 they started to insert the epidural.


For those that don't know, this is done by taking a very long needle and stabbing into into the woman's spine, then using the tube that the needle was on to feed a constant stream of drugs directly into her. Longest damn needle you've ever seen. Apparently there are a lot of very supportive men that see the needle and pass out or throw up even before it goes in. For this reason I was asked repeatedly if I was okay with being in the room as the process was carried out. I tried my best to express without indignation that leaving the room simply wasn't an option while strangers poked things into the part of my wife most crucial to her mobility. I remembered a story that Kevin, an elder at my church, had told me about his experience praying while the epidural was carried out. He said that he closed his eyes and prayed for a moment until a nurse grabbed his should and asked, “Sir? SIR ARE YOU OKAY?” Kevin got a little irritated with her and informed her that he was praying. They thought he was passing out. I got a similar reaction. I was helping a nurse hold Jessica forward while the needle was worked in, closed my eyes to pray, and was greeted with a look of terror from the nurse when I opened my eyes again. She thought she had a fainter on her hands, I guess.


The epidural either went in a little deep or a little off, so it was readjusted. This was very scary for me, because I had heard horror stories of year-long headaches and nervous system damage from botched epidurals. I should say now that Jessica has shown absolutely no signs of long-lasting problems. The epidural was done well. Anyways, as the nurse and I were holding Jessica you could see a change in her face that went from constipation to, “Let's light some incense and discuss the inner-workings of the soul.” After it was done everyone was in a much better mood. Jessica and I discussed beer and wine with the guy who put the needle in her, then she and I took a long nap starting at 3:45 AM. Jessica was at around 4-5 cm dilated at that point. When we awoke at 7:30, she was at 9 cm. Best nap ever.


My father, George, arrived around 8:30. All three of us hung out for a bit talking and carrying on while I got a deluge of voicemails and texts from well-wishers that were just starting their day. Around 9 AM Jessica's sister Anissa showed up. About 9:20 Jessica was obviously falling back asleep, so I moved the party into the waiting area so she could nap. My mom got in about 9:30, Dad left, and Jessica hit 10 cm. She could have started pushing right then, but the doctors decided it would be a good idea to let gravity move the baby as much as possible before working at it. Jessica's body did a lot of that heavy lifting while she was asleep while I did my best to keep Mom and Anissa happy in the waiting area. Poor Mom didn't even get to see Jessica before the baby arrived.


Around 10:30 the doctors said it was time to start pushing. I went out and told Mom and Anissa, and they both lost it. Over the course of the next hour-and-a-half they continued to lose it every time I came out to give them another update. I must admit it was a little amusing, but I felt bad that every time they saw me they just knew that they were seconds away from seeing the baby. Anissa was especially anxious because she wanted to know the baby's name so badly, but knew that we would tell nobody before we told our daughter. Before it was all over I just knew Anissa was going to pull a gun out and demand full disclosure.


The nurses put up some stirrups to keep Jessica's legs up and help her get a better angle on pushing. This put Jessica in a position that I would have never imagined her being comfortable with, showing everyone everything. I would like to pause here for a moment and tell you that if you've never experienced child birth, you don't have a full perspective on how disgusting and beautiful it is. Even the most graphic of videos shown to parents-to-be and kids in sex education classes leave out some of the more...er...funky parts. When you are in the moment, it's incredible. Thinking about it later, some of the things that happen when a person is born make so much sense, and we would all do well to put them in perspective and think about them in our everyday lives. I will not, however, give you those details here. I want you to keep reading, and you may be eating right now. How would I know?


There was a nurse in training that was assisting in her first vaginal birth, and she got to share in a lot of the wonder that Jessica and I were experiencing. This had the odd and enjoyable effect of letting Jessica and I see our new experience through a stranger's eyes. It also let Jessica learn a lot and keep her mind busy in between contractions as things were explained the to the newbie. Tiffany, the new nurse, held one leg while I held the other, gently pushing back as Jessica pushed through contractions. Tiffany counted to ten for three pushes for every one contraction until her conversations with her trainer distracted her to the point that she forgot to count. I was thrilled to get to take over counting, which helped me feel more involved. For a while there, I was the absolute best counter in the world. Jessica seemed to love it. Jessica seemed to love everything, actually.


The nurses and doctors were very impressed with the whole process, which was about as easy-going as any they'd seen in a first-time mom. The epidural was perfect. Sometimes it is slightly too weak, which results in pain towards the end of delivery and screaming and such. Sometimes the epidural is slightly too strong and makes it so that the mother can't feel herself enough to push properly, forcing the nurses to get very manual in their assistance. Jessica was right in the perfect spot in the middle, feeling enough pressure to push strongly. In fact, Jessica was pushing so well (surely as a result of my superior counting skills) that the nurses made her stop pushing for half an hour so that the doctor could make it into the room in time. I went into the waiting area to inform Anissa and Mom of this and they were very disappointed in the delay, but pleased that things were going so well. Things were going so well that the doctors only stopped commenting on how well things long enough to make sure that the trainees understood that things never went as well as they were seeing. I suppose it was wise to make sure everyone had the proper perspective on the proceedings and didn't assume that births were always this easy. During the half hour that Jessica was not pushing, the baby tried to claw its way out. I swear it did. It just kept trucking. I half expected a little baby hand to pop out like the undead rising from the grave, clawing its way to the surface.


As the final countdown started, a flood of doctors, nurses and trainees came into the room. In all there were probably ten people in there, soon to be eleven. As the head got closer and closer to the surface, I wondered about what our daughter would look like, what sound she would make when she came out, how healthy she would be, what she would think of her name and lots of other stuff that's none of your business. Mostly, I wondered about how big her head would be based on the section Jessica and I could see. Oh yeah, Jessica had a mirror. Forgot to tell you that.


When the baby came out, Jessica and I looked at each other with more love than we had ever seen in each other's faces. Then the rest of the baby came out, which totally surprised both of us, and we could tell that both of us were shocked because we shared the same look that said, “Holy crap, that wasn't it?” You see, we thought that the head was the whole baby, just curled up in a very small ball. We were waiting for the little legs and arms to spread out of her head right before the rest of her came out of Jessica. In our heads, Jessica and I heard an infomercial announcer screaming, “BUT WAIT! THERE'S MORE!”


I grinned like an idiot while I tried to cut the umbilical cord, which is something that I hadn't decided on until just that second. Then I tried again to cut it. Tricky things, umbilical cords. Then the baby was given to Jessica, and I gave Jessica the honor of telling our new daughter her name, which was something that I had planned on doing myself. It just seemed like Jessica earned it more than I did.


Everything that happened after that moment happened in a much more beautiful world.