Friday, December 2, 2011

Liliana's Story, Part II

Missed part one?  Read it here.

Names of all midwives and nurses have been reduced to initials for privacy purposes.  If I get a chance to ask them for permission, names may be entered at a later date.


Fast forward 4 days. It’s Tuesday morning; Ish is about to leave for work and I realize that I am leaking fluid. A million and one thoughts are racing through my mind: “Did my water break? Which way is the baby facing? Do I call the birth center or the new midwife? What am I supposed to do with Little Ish?” Ish and I have a frenzied conversation while Little Ish throws a full out temper tantrum. Decisions are made.

Ish calls his mom to ask her to take Little Ish. Fail. She is driving Ish’s sister Emily to the airport. Em to the rescue! She calls her husband and he is going to come hang out with the Little guy.

Little Ish goes down for a nap aka stands in his crib screaming for a while and doesn’t fall asleep. I am pretty sure he senses that something is wrong.

Since I am not having contractions at this point, Ish leaves for work. I contact the birth center and wait for the midwife on call to be paged. The five minutes it takes to get the return phone call feels like hours. The phone rings. I hastily explain my situation to D and she says that she thinks she can safely have me come get checked. I call Ish and he comes home immediately.

Ish brings the little guy outside to play until Scott arrives. I’m not even sure if I said “hi” or “thank you” before we rushed out the door (note: it’s always nice to have an experienced parent watching your child--need for instructions is minimal). The car ride was a blur. We arrived at the birth center and had to wait a few minutes to go back--the laundry room had flooded so D needed a moment to clean up.

We made our way to the exam room, and D explains the procedure for checking whether or not my water had broken. I still remember the details from our false alarm with Little Ish, but I don’t bother stopping her. Before collecting the specimen to verify the possible rupture of membranes, D listens to the baby’s heart rate on the doppler. She is finding the heart rate really low on my belly and says, “Wouldn’t it be really cool if your water hadn’t broken and baby was head down?” D feels for the baby’s head from the outside and is thinking that she may have finally flipped head down. We agree that an internal is necessary.

D does everything necessary to check if my water had broken. She is pretty sure I am in the clear, but she needs to wait for the slide she made to dry [under a microscope amniotic fluid appears as a very distinctive pattern]. Afterward, I have the longest internal ever, but D is 99.9% sure that the baby has flipped. We decide an ultrasound to verify would be a good precaution. I decide not to get my hopes up.

After all is said and done, I have my weekly NST while I wait for D to look at the slide. The baby is not doing very much, and I am due for a snack [gestational diabetics have to eat every few hours to maintain normal glucose levels]. I was in such a rush to get to the birth center that I hadn’t thought to bring anything--midwives to the rescue! D raids the birth center fridge and makes me toast. I couldn’t decide between hummus or peanut butter so I eat half a slice with one topping and half with the other. Once I have eaten and switched positions the baby is performing like a pro for the monitor.

D comes in to check on me with some “bad” news. The results of the slide are inconclusive. We go through the whole specimen collection process again. Instead of having us wait around for results, D offers to call if my water has indeed broken. This works out well because Ish spent the time I was on the monitors making me an appointment for an ultrasound. The appointment is in less than 2 hours.

The location of the ultrasound place is right near one of our favorite lunch spots. We have plenty of time to grab lunch before my appointment. One bowl of Thai chicken soup later, I am off to get an ultrasound. The ultrasound tech isn’t supposed to tell patients much, but this one is really nice and immediately verifies that the baby is head down. That is all that we needed to know but she does a full work up of the baby anyways.

As we leave the imaging center I feel so much less stressed knowing that baby is planning on diving out instead of attempting a cannon ball birth. The icing on the cake? My membranes hadn’t ruptured. Little did I know how much stress this wonderful news could cause.


To be continued...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Liliana's Story, Part I

Since it is a rather long story and I want to give background information about the crazy 6 weeks leading up to Lily's birth, I will be posting our birth story in several parts. Please excuse all grammatical and stylistic errors--maybe one day when I have time I will go back through and edit.


Liliana’s birth story really starts at the end of September. The same week that I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes, I also found out that Lily was presenting breech. For several weeks she had been switching between head down and breech, but it was at this point that she really settled into a breech position. At first I was not panicked, but as the weeks passed it didn’t look like our little one had any intentions of turning except for several occasions when she would hang out in a transverse presentation for a few hours at a time--I could distinctly see a head and bottom on either side of my belly. This was not boding well for my birth plans.

Despite generally having a low pain tolerance, I am a huge advocate of natural birth. I also had no intentions of having a hospital birth. Between the gestational diabetes and my stubbornly breech baby,I was starting to fear that I would “risk out” of having a birth center baby. It turns out that keeping my sugars under control, while annoying, was actually rather simple. Getting Liliana to turn was a whole different ballgame.

As Liliana’s due date loomed closer, my midwives gave me all sorts of exercises to try in hopes that she would turn. Ever tried laying upside down on an ironing board for 15 minutes at a time with a bag or frozen raspberries sitting on top of your belly? It’s not fun, but I did it. I also started going to a chiropractor who used the Webster technique in attempts to flip Lily.

When I hit 36 weeks pregnant and she was still breech, I was told I might want to consider having a version. At first it seemed like a decent solution and I found a doctor willing to perform the procedure. As I researched versions, I realized it wasn’t really a risk I wanted to take. Not wanting to have a C-section [the standard protocol in hospitals for breech presentation], I took the advice of two of Ish’s sisters and called a local homebirth midwife who has experience delivering breech babies. Due to her November full of mommas who were due around the same time as me, she agreed to be my “plan c”, but first she referred me to a wonderful midwife an hour away who has tons of breech delivery experience. I called the referred midwife and not only was she willing to take me on as a client, but she made the time to meet with me and Ish that day. At our meeting, the new midwife answered all of my questions about breech birth and I left feeling confident that if Liliana remained breech that I could and would still have a natural birth.


To be continued

Monday, November 21, 2011

A bit of "bathroom humor"...

Yesterday we celebrated Super Thanksgiving with Ish's family.  At one point after dinner this conversation took place:

Ish: Do you know where our boy is?
Me: Last I saw him he was in the dining room taking all the oranges out of the fruit bowl. (note: this was about 2 minutes before the conversation took place)

Ish then handed Lily to me so I could go upstairs and nurse her.  As I was on my way upstairs I walked past the bathroom.  The door was open, and what did I see? A very content looking Little Ish sitting in the toilet.  When I asked what he was doing his response was: "Bath".

I called for Ish, who told me that since the damage was already done that I might as well grab my camera.   My brother in-law Walter managed to catch some of it on video.

[Note: I only find this funny because he wasn't head down when I found him.  This could have ended terribly.  It is a good reminder to close all bathroom doors when you have a very curious toddler in the house.]

Monday, November 14, 2011

It's a girl!

Liliana was born on November 4th, 2011 at 1:19 PM.  She is an absolute peanut weighing in at 6lbs 5oz (almost a full pound less than Little Ish).  She is 18 inches long (or was...I am pretty sure she's grown already).  She scored a 9/10 on both Apgars.  Also, her blood sugars are fine--a concern since I had gestational diabetes. 

Birth story coming soon...

Friday, October 7, 2011

Daybook for 10/07/2011

FOR TODAY (10.07.11)
Outside my window...Squirrels are frolicking through the grass collecting acorns. Neighborhood children are playing at the playground.

I am thinking...about how much needs to be done before the new baby arrives.

I am thankful...for an impromptu visit from my parents earlier this week.  They decided to visit my little family for their 30th wedding anniversary. 

From the learning rooms...Little Ish's language is exploding.  I haven't done an official word count yet but just off the top of my head I got to 40+ words.  He also has figured out that there are better things to do with blocks than to throw them or eat them.

In the kitchen...there is a lot of measuring of food.  I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes a couple weeks ago.  So far the diet has been going really well.

I am wearing...a blue maternity dress and black maternity leggings.

I am creating...lots of little knitted things.

I am the farm to pick up our CSA share this evening.

I am long disputing 2 incorrect medical bills will take.

I am reading...Ina May's Guide to Breastfeeding

I am hoping...this baby decides that being breech is not a good idea.

I am looking forward to...a visit from my sister in a few weeks.

I am hearing...sweet little sleep noises through the baby monitor.

Around the house...there is lots to do.  Diapers need to be removed from the dryer and more laundry switched over.  I will hopefully get all of the newborn and 0-3 month clothes washed and put away this weekend.

I am pondering...very little.  Head colds and pondering don't mix.

One of my favorite a mug of hot milk sprinkled with cinnamon.

A few plans for the rest of the week:The week is almost over.  Dinner with Ish's family tonight and dinner with friends tomorrow night.  Sunday, we rest.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...
 Please note that Little Ish is now pacifier free!

To join in the fun, visit Peggy at The Simple Woman's Daybook

Monday, July 11, 2011

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Meal Plan: Week of 06/19/11

Pregnancy, especially first trimester, tends to put me in a meal planning rut (perhaps because even the thought of food makes me nauseous).  Now that I have come out the other side of the morning sickness rigmarole, I am trying to get back on top of meal planning.  Here's what we are eating for dinner at Chestnut Hollow this week:

Veggie Loaded Pasta with Nut & Dairy Free Spinach-Chard Pesto (Note: Pesto recipe was adapted from the "Basic pesto/pistou" recipe in John Ash: Cooking One on One : Private Lessons in Simple, Contemporary Food from a Master Teacher )

Asian BBQ Chicken
Lime-Cilantro Rice with Pineapple
Summer Squash

Mexican Vermicelli
Carrot Sticks

Flank Steak with Easy Oven Fries
Vanilla and Cardamom Glazed Beets

Bean and Cheese Burritos 
Homemade Guacamole

Pizza at Ish's parents' house

Dinner with friends/birthday celebration for Little Ish

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Down on the farm!

Last spring, Ish and I visited The Inn at East Hill Farm as a little get away before Baby Ish was born.  A few weeks ago, we brought Little Ish to the farm for the first time, and he loved it.  I was worried that he would be scared of the animals.  What a waste of worrying!

Patting a lamb that got loose!

Hanging out with the chickens!

Friday, June 10, 2011


After a bit of an absence from this blog, I think I might finally be ready to start posting again.  Part of the reason for my absence is just needing a break, but the main reason is quite exciting: Ish and I are expecting our 2nd child! 

After a pretty harrowing 1st trimester and not so pleasant early 2nd trimester, I am finally starting to feel a lot better and get some of my energy back.  I am 17 weeks and 2 days along in this pregnancy and feel like November 16th is approaching more quickly than I would like.  Maybe it is a result of the nervousness I feel about having 2 little ones under 2 years old!

If you remember from when I was pregnant with Little Ish, our friends have a tradition of giving babies nicknames (or titles) while they are in utero.  Little Ish was the Diplomat, and this little one is the Apprentice.

Happy Friday!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Daddy's Boy

Between Good Friday and taking Monday off for his birthday, Ish had a 4 day weekend.  Little Ish is not used to having his daddy around all day for so many days in a row, and boy, did he have a blast!  This morning when Ish left for work, Little Ish began to cry. As if the teary departure wasn't precious enough, he spent the next hour saying "Dada? Dada?!" over and over again.  It was like he had lost his best friend.  This resulted in a call to Ish at work which so far has kept the little guy much happier.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Milestone Mania

Before having Little Ish, I had always heard that children grow and change so quickly; one day they can't do something and the next they are doing it like a pro.  I tended to think that was a bit of a hyperbole, and in the case of Little Ish the only thing he has gone from not doing at all to doing really well is sitting (but that is old news).  This week has been a pretty amazing week of milestones and changes though. 

Pulling up- On Monday, Little Ish surprised us by pulling himself up in his crib, and then later he pulled himself up on the coffee table. Admittedly, Little Ish has been able to pull himself to a squat and a kneel for quite some time.  He also pulled himself to what appeared to be a stand a few weeks ago while in his high chair which resulted in quite the fall.  I don't count the highchair incident though since it was so singular in nature.

Clapping- This may not be a formal milestone, but it is really cute.  On Wednesday, Little Ish started clapping for the first time. Now, if anyone says "hooray!", he starts clapping. 

First word- When Little Ish is being fussy, one of the few things that always calms him down is letting him talk on the phone.  After a particularly fussy Thursday morning, I called Ish on his lunch break in hopes of calming the little guy down.  When Ish was talking to him, Little Ish responded with "Dada!"  and then looked at me with a big smile on his face as if to say "Look what I just did Mom!  Did you hear me? Did you?!"

High-Five- Another informal milestone.  Little Ish now gives high-fives.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Caught Sitting!

I have been trying to capture a picture of my little guy sitting for almost 2 months now.  Finally, yesterday, I was able to get a single snapshot of this milestone.  As soon as I took the picture, he crawled after me (or really, my camera).
The lighting is terrible, but I am just excited to have finally caught him in the act of sitting.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Blueberry yogurt for the win!

Despite the massive yogurt beard, he did consume several ounces of yogurt.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Photo fun!

Baby Ish was in a very good mood yesterday afternoon, so I took advantage of the moment and snapped some photos.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Friday, February 11, 2011

Sayonara Gilbert...

Now you see him...

Now you don't...

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Monday, January 31, 2011


Life has been pretty crazy around here the past few days.  With all three of us getting sick, a doctor's appointment, a wedding, and the normal everyday hustle and bustle, I have barely had time to hear myself think (thus blogging was clearly out of the question).   Things are looking like they will be a little bit quieter this week.  Hopefully that means I will be able to get around to reviewing both The Happiness Project and Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.  Here are a couple of photos from the past week (sadly, there are none from the wedding since I neglected to bring my camera).

When I reached for my camera, Little Ish was standing up holding onto the edge of his book bin; by the time I was able to snap a photo, he had reached for a book all the way across the bin.  The end result? Flying baby!

Proof that he does actually stand! (As opposed to flying...)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Meet Gilbert

Gilbert is a stuffed goose who gets a lot of playtime around here.  Little Ish has found several uses for Gilbert.

Gilbert is good for patting.

He is even better for snacking on.

And of course, he is wonderful for snuggling.

Gilbert was a Christmas gift. The only place I know of to purchase one of these adorable geese is at Twelve Chairs, a shop and design studio in the Fort Point neighborhood of Boston. 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Saturday, January 22, 2011

New Camera Fun

Up until a few weeks ago, I had been using a point-and-shoot camera that I got as a gift from my mother when I graduated from high school [in 2003]. This camera has served me well, and I would continue to use it, but I wanted to move from a point-and-shoot to a DSLR.  At the beginning of the month, I purchased a Canon Rebel XS, and I am in love.  I have yet to take it out of auto-focus, but I will be working on that after I finish reading the manual.  I will gladly take any recommendations for books/blogs/etc. on photography.  Now a few updated photos of my munchkin...

1/26: In Defense of Food

In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”  This grammatical atrocity is the sage advice of Michael Pollan; it also is the thesis of his bestselling book In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto.  Although I had never considered food to be in need of defending, Pollan, a talented journalist and academic, has convinced me that the defense of food is direly necessary.In Defense of Food captured my attention long before I ever considered reading it.  I was seeing it quoted in so many places that I was beginning to realize that Pollan’s manifesto was becoming required reading. 
    Despite being interested in what he had to say, I was not particularly looking forward to reading this book.  I expected it to be rather dry and envisioned myself trying to sludge through it—How delightfully wrong I was!  On many occasions I actually found myself laughing out loud (practically in hysterics).  Pollan managed not only to inform me about the deceit being put forth by both food manufacturers and the government but to keep me actively engaged as well.
     This book has helped to precipitate major dietary changes for my family. The knowledge that Pollan dispenses put Ish and me on a much faster track to kicking processed food out of our diets.  To many, this probably sounds like a complicated, stress-inducing task, but for us, it has worked to simplify our lives.  I, for one, have been freed from the bonds of intense couponing and from feeling the need to stockpile—it is hard (read: almost impossible) to stockpile most whole foods.
    One of the pieces of advice that Pollan gives is to pretend you are grocery shopping with your great grandmother.  If she wouldn’t recognize what you are buying as food, then it is probably safe to assume that you shouldn’t be buying it.  This gem has helped us to really look at the ingredients in some of the foods we had been buying.  Thank you Michael Pollan for enlightening me and helping me to eat real food.
   I do not have a single negative thing to say about this book.  For those of you who know me well, you know that this is an extreme oddity.  Not only do I recommend In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto, I strongly urge you to read it.