Another year gone by

And here it is New Year's Eve of 2013.  This year flew by faster than any other - thanks to my pregnancy.  I never imagined on New Year's Day this year that I'd be sitting here at the end of the year with a four week old son.  It's still so surreal at times!

We did a lot this year even with the pregnancy.  Let's take a look back.

January - We finally got the couches my in-laws promised Nate years ago.  Checked out some of the new taprooms in our area and pretty much hibernated as it got cold.

February - Visited Winterfest, celebrated Valentine's Day at the new restaurant Louis in the upstairs of Cossettas.  Had our CD release concert for Praise Project.

March - Irished it up on St. Patrick's Day - maybe a little too much, ha ha.  Celebrated 15 years of being together as a couple on the 22nd.  Visited a winery in Wisconsin to celebrate and had a great dinner out at the Butcher and the Boar.  Sang with the choir at St. Stephens for Holy Week.  Went to Firkin Fest in St. Paul.

April - Celebrated my mom's birthday.  Found out we were expecting Oliver and as I have admitted, had a mild panic attack and chose to lay low most of the rest of the month.  We lost a huge tree branch in the backyard thanks to the late winter snow.

May - Nate went on a road trip with his beer buddies.  We saw Oliver on an ultrasound for the first time and announced to our immediate families on Mother's Day that we were pregnant and then to our friends at the end of the month.  Celebrated 7 years of marriage on the 27th.

June - I got to do my civic duty and served Jury Duty for two weeks - reporting in once.  We started receiving our CSA goodies on a weekly basis. 

July - We celebrated the 4th of July with Praise Project friends.  We traveled to Itasca with Nate's family for five days.  We helped some dear friends move into their first house.  We prepared for and then hosted a successful garage sale.  And we found out we were having a boy.

August - We went to the cabin with Praise Project, getting an extra day than normal and had fantastic weather.  We slowly started getting the house ready for baby but more so for starting Project: Replace front window.  We went to the State Fair.  We really started enjoying our weekly CSA share as most items were in harvest about this time.

September - The front window was successfully replaced over Labor Day weekend.  We went crib shopping and picked out/ordered the one we liked with my in-laws.  We registered for our baby gifts.  I found out that I unfortunately had Gestational Diabetes and learned how to manage it for the remainder of my pregnancy.  We went to our first Childbirth class on a Saturday.

October - Most of my showers were held this month - Nate's family, my family and my friends shower.  My mom and I went to see Josh Groban in concert again.  We opted out of Oktoberfest due to being so busy with the window project and baby prep.  We went to another class on coping with Labor.

November - We had another shower with Praise Project.  We attended three more child prep classes, this time focusing more on caring for our baby instead of the birth and delivery.  We celebrated our 32nd birthdays with a special movie treat at the big ICON theatre to see Catching Fire.

December - Oliver surprised us by coming 10 days before his due date - and we wouldn't have it any other way.  We had a great birth experience and were home and settled well before Christmas.  Celebrated his first Christmas with both sides of our families and have been adjusting to life as a family of 3.

It was quite a year and again, I say it every year, but how does the time go so fast?  It scares me to think that it will increase ten fold now that we have a child.  I already can't believe he's almost one month old.  He's outgrowing his newborn diapers.  I just don't want it to pass me by too quickly - so as always I just resolve to try and enjoy every moment of every day.  And I want to complain less.  I have so little to complain about when you look at the big picture.

Happy New Year to one and all!


Oliver's Birth Story

Finally getting around to writing this.  It's a bit long so I apologize for that!

I had been walking around with a backache most of the weekend of Thanksgiving weekend. I didn't think much of it figuring it was probably just late pregnancy discomfort. I also thought I had pulled a muscle getting out of bed.  We spent the weekend assembling baby gear and vegging at home - looking back I'm so thankful we did all of that!

Monday, December 2nd I started feeling a bit different and had this "I need to get things done" kind of feeling. Tying up loose ends at work, running last minute errands, etc. Ate dinner but wasn't all that hungry - which was odd. Went to bed and didn't sleep great because of my backache. Still didn't suspect labor, especially because it was a dull ache that didn't come and go.  I was also joking with people that there was a snowstorm coming so who knows, the barometric pressure change could maybe get things going.  I must have known more than I realized - maybe it was mother's intuition.

Tuesday morning I woke up with period type cramps but again wasn't sure if it was labor. I went ahead and went to work because of being close to the hospital and to home from there. I ended up with some bloody show (TMI - sorry) around 11:00 and called Nate to find out where he was knowing he could be anywhere in the Twin Cities for work. He wasn't far and we agreed that I would go home if things picked up in intensity. They did within the hour, so I headed for home by 12:30 to see if it was going to stall or become something more. I was contracting regularly but managing on my own until about 3:00, then I called Nate to come home, because I was starting to get a little panicky being on my own. He made it home and we labored at home until about 5:00. We were ready to call the hospital when our doula called us - we were supposed to have a pre-natal intake with her as she was assigned to us since we were doing a water birth, but we hadn't had a chance to meet yet, so her timing couldn't have been better. Nate talked to her and she thought I was probably still in early labor and said to call her if we wanted her to come over, otherwise she'd check on us later in the evening. Nate then called the L&D line just to check in, especially after a powerful contraction brought on a bunch more bloody show (sorry I know it's gross), we wanted to make sure it was normal. They said it was, we could come in then or wait. We decided to wait. After another powerful contraction I asked to see if the doula would come to the house. She said she was happy to and would be there in 15 minutes. It took her a little closer to 45 minutes because of traffic and in that amount of time I had almost decided I wanted to just go to the hospital, but after she arrived, she helped me get through another hour at home, she was amazing. At 7:30 she said she didn't want to pressure me, but wanted to know what I was feeling about going to the hospital - we didn't even realize it at the time, but I was starting transition here as I was beginning to vocalize more with each contraction. Knowing I could use the regular tub even if I couldn't be in the birthing tub yet I said I was ready to go (my contractions were mostly back contractions so the warm tub sounded awesome). Nate ate a little bit, the doula helped us load up the car and said she would call the hospital on our way. I had a few contractions in the car but they were manageable, that was the part I was most worried about. We made it to L&D by 8:00.

We checked in and as the nurse is asking me questions, I'm contracting very quickly so she said, "ok, we need to check your cervix now " So she checks and then says to me "let me ask you this, where would you like to be?" I said "I'd love to be a 7 or an 8, but I'm guessing that's not possible" And she says "I can give you that. You're an 8" I was shocked we had made it that far in only a few hours. At this point they were now in a rush to fill the birth tub so it would be ready when I was complete. It can take up to 45 minutes to fill the tub with a hose alone, but they started a bucket brigade to get it going faster. According to Nate,  I was smiling through my contractions at this point, guessing it's because I knew the worst was almost over. They got the tub filled in 25 minutes which was perfect, at that point I made it to 10 with a bulging bag of water. The doctor came in and asked if she could break my water because they really want to make sure it is free of meconium before you get in the birth tub, otherwise I wouldn't be able to deliver in the tub. The water came out nice and clear and they got me in the tub right away. I pushed for a hour and a half which really didn't seem bad, the time in between was very relaxing being in the water and they just let my body do what it wanted to do in it's own time. Finally Oliver's head started crowning, they had me reach down and feel because they all kept saying he had a ton of hair. At first I didn't want to, but I finally did and it was the motivation I needed, on the next push he was born. I pulled him out of the water and Nate got to cut the cord after a minute or so. They had me get out of the tub and let Nate do skin to skin while they delivered my placenta and stitched me up - I did end up tearing thanks to my son's 14" head. Otherwise everything could not have been more perfect - 7 hours start to finish, Nate was amazing through the entire thing and the hospital staff and my doula were amazing as well, they kept hanging out with us and thanking us for letting them be a part of our experience. We kept thanking them as well! We were moved into a recovery room by about midnight and spent the next 48 hours at the hospital before heading home as our little family of 3.

I never thought I'd be able to have a natural birth, but I'm so glad I went for it.  I think that one of the reasons Oliver has been nursing so well and has been pretty chill so far is thanks to his gentle birth.  I don't think any less of anyone who has used drugs in delivery though - if I hadn't been as far along as I was when I went to the hospital, I think I may have had to do so as well. Overall I just couldn't have asked for a better experience and I'd highly recommend trying a water birth to anyone and I also recommend getting a doula - she wasn't just a support for me, she was a huge help and support to Nate so he could be a good support for me.

Nate went back to work today and I'm sad he had to do so, but so far Oliver and I are managing well on our own!  I'm thankful to have six more weeks for my own leave.  I'm just going to eat up every minute!


And so it begins

Well.  What a weird and strange trip it has been.  Today was my due date.  Instead of being pregnant though, I'm enjoying life with my ten day old son.

I'm so little on time or really ambition to do it now, but I will try to write his birth story when I can, because it was amazing and special and I know I'll never completely forget it, but as the days go by I am already forgetting details, so I know I should do it soon.

Instead though, I am just eating up every moment with this special little boy.  I have realized that while I was hesitant for so many years to start our family - this is my calling.  This is who I was meant to be.  I look back on where I was last year and I realize that while I was very happy, there was a void, we were kind of just going through the motions of life.  Now I feel complete, whole and happier than I ever thought possible.  Is it all easy?  Heck no.  Is every minute totally blissful?  Nope, especially those trying to stay awake while nursing at 3 am moments.  But overall, I just can't even remember life without him. 

Much more to come soon.

Oliver Michael Kondrick
December 3, 2013
10:13 pm
7 lbs, 2 oz, 19 1/2 in long
100% pure love


November Recap

Well so long November.  I think it was the fastest month yet.  Wow.  I know life will seem like it's on high speed turbo crazy when the baby is here, at least that is what other parents tell me, so I guess it's a good lesson now to try and just slow down and appreciate every moment!

Here's my November Recap.

Books Read:
Slimed by Matthew Klickstein (in progress - cool book about the history of Nickelodeon)
Your Newborn Head to Toe by Cara Familian Natterson

Movies watched at home:
Pirates of the Caribbean
Behind the Candelabra
Free Samples
Get Shorty
The Birdcage

Movies watched in the theatre:
Catching Fire

On TV:
The usuals - The Walking Dead, Parenthood, Glee, HIMYM, Big Bang, started the Crazy Ones

Restaurants visited:
Burger Jones
Cooper's Irish Pub

Put myself on a bit of a ban, though broke it when I got a gift card for Target for my birthday!

Other adventures:
We survived taking both cats to the vet at the same time

Baby stuff:
Where do we begin? I'm 38 weeks now - baby's the size of a pumpkin (?!) and could theoretically come at any time.  In November we took a ton of classes - baby care, breastfeeding, CPR.  We also did a car seat install clinic.  Praise Project threw us our final shower.  At home we've been in the throes of final prep - getting all the gear unpacked and put together, washing and putting away clothes, cleaning house, decorating for Christmas.  I kind of feel like it's nesting, but it's also just my personality too.  If I had to guess I'd say we'll have him pretty close to the due date, but then again, the weather is changing this week so maybe that'll get things going sooner, you never know!  The mantra is still one day at a time, I'm trying so hard to stick to that and not panic.  I'm definitely over the small aches and pains of the end of pregnancy though, I can say that much!