Sunday, November 27, 2011

lots to learn :: 3 weeks in


i seriously can't believe how much has changed in three weeks. yesterday i joked with ty about how our conversations have changed so drastically since wyatt was born. i swear, all we talk about are my boobs - nothing is off limits. ty knows everything about them because i am constantly updating him on what they've been up to. if we aren't talking about my boobs, we are talking about wyatt's poops. if we aren't talking about his poops, we are talking about his penis - which got circumcised this week. (and that, by the way, was so not fun. we went to a great doctor on mercer island - dr. witz - and he did a fantastic job. didn't make it any easier on me at the time, because it's about me obviously, but he did a great job and it looks really good.)

we had a great week. sleeping has gotten a bit better, breastfeeding continues to improve, and we love our boy more and more everyday. we learn something new about him almost hourly.
  • he doesn't like to be held on his back - he would much prefer to be upright. 
  • he loves the shh shh shh sound.
  • he loves his sound machine lamby and his heart rate sound machine. 
  • anything that vibrates is our friend. 
  • the binky is an appreciated accessory. 
  • mylecon is an appetizer at every meal. without it, we are wearing every meal.
  • he grows so fast - he has gained a pound already, and we've put away his newborn onesies and outfits. so sad! 
  • he poops a lot. 
  • he loves being in the baby bjorn on daddy. 
  • he prefers going on car rides only if we are going over 40 mph. we've had two meltdowns during back road car trips. 

i could go on and on. this thanksgiving week gave us a lot to be thankful for. we are beyond blessed with our amazing family and friends. we've been given so much love and support and are filled with gratitude for everything we've been given. these last three weeks have proven to be the best yet. thank you. to all of you.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

cinnamon buns


That's what we call you. Your daddy and I love your smell so much. When you were two days old, he nuzzled his nose into your neck and said, "I know what he smells like!" I would have never guessed what he would say next. "He smells like cinnamon buns". Not cinnamon rolls, not cinnamon sticks - cinnamon buns. We probably call you "Cinnamon Buns" 100 times a day, easy. Sorry kiddo - it's here to stay.

You are two weeks old today and we couldn't be more in love with this new life of ours. You are this perfect little life that we created out of so much love. I need you to know how much we love you - and how much we love each other. I love your daddy so much and am so happy that you get to have him as yours. You are his sweet little "mini-me". I love seeing his face when we realize you are doing something just like your daddy. Everyday, you look more and more like him. He is so proud of that. And he should be - you're one handsome guy! 

Your cord fell off this week, and I couldn't be happier. I love everything about you - but seriously, that cord was starting to gross me out. Sorry. Ew. We took a bath last night and you were so stinking cute in there. Until you took a poop... Good times. You then preceded to take several poops in the towel your daddy dried you off with.Great timing on our part.

I know you won't really appreciate this when you are older - but I do want you to know we've made some serious progress in the breastfeeding department. Last night was our best night yet. It was the first night where you didn't get frantically upset before each latch - and each latch didn't take the usual 15 minutes. I also used the "turtle star light" instead of turning on the bedroom light. I think that helped with keeping the calm. You ate at 10:30 and were tucked in by 11. You woke up at 1, and then you were up again at 4:50. That was a great stretch! And then you were back down by 5:30 after a great feeding and a wardrobe change due to an explosive spew. We actually had to wake you up at 9:30. Thank you sweet baby. I'm hoping for another good night tonight, but we shall see.

Here's to your first two weeks, Cinnamon Buns. Thank you for being perfectly you.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Wyatt's Birth Story

Long Post Alert: Sorry, it had to be. I wanted to get down as many of my memories as I could here.

This story actually started about 40 hours prior to Wyatt’s actual birth.

I woke up on Saturday (Nov. 5) morning at around 7:30AM - like any other Saturday really - ready to pee for the 5th time in an 8 hour period! The night before I wasn't really feeling quite right - I had some cramping most of the night and had a stomach ache waking me up off an on in my sleep. As I walked to the bathroom, I felt a little dribble but didn’t think anything of it. I went to the bathroom and most likely thought about what we’d do that day – I knew Ty wanted to do a few things around the house, and I was probably going to do the same – clean up a few of the baby things that were still lingering around our living room, family room, laundry room, etc. I also knew our day wouldn’t have a proper start if we didn’t make our weekend trip to Starbucks – and I was hungry. As I finished up in there, I noticed a little pink on the TP and thought, hmmm, maybe something is going on in there. The words from my Doula, Kristin rang in my ears – “if you think you are maybe seeing signs of labor, try your best to ignore it until it’s no longer subtle otherwise you may scare those ‘signs’ away.” I told myself to try to relax as I went back into the bedroom to tell Ty – well, wake him and then tell him – that I think something was going on. He groggily acknowledged what I was saying and I crawled back into bed. As I laid there, I felt a few contractions that were different than the Braxton’s I had felt the last week.  I realized that I think I was having them throughout the night here and there, but thought it was just a stomach ache. I decided I’d get up and take a shower – and as I made my way there, there was small gush of water… and then another. I knew it. It was happening. This was definitely my water breaking.  As I got into the shower, there was more “evidence” of labor on the horizon. My midwifery team had told me that even if I’m not sure, but think my water has broken, to call them and let them know. I left a message on the pager line and within minutes I had a call from Chris, the midwife on call, who told me that labor would probably start within the next 24 hours and that it was really important for me to drink a lot of water, and rest – because there was a very good chance I wouldn’t be sleeping that night. I had also talked to Kristin, who told me to go about my day – and have fun. Make memories. 

So we did. 

I showered, he showered. We hopped in the car, went to Starbucks and did the usual – he read the paper, while I read my “news” (this is what Ty calls it) on my phone (this involves me scrolling through Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Hautelook). As we walked in, we saw our dear friend Ashley – who was supposed to be coming over to our house the next day with dinner. I knew that wasn’t going to be happening, but didn’t want to tell her about the “action” just yet – definitely not until labor was full speed ahead. She even said, “we really want to do dinner tomorrow – so don’t go into labor just yet!” My water continued to gush while we were there – and we finally decided we should head out. Before we did, we took a picture of me right outside on our way to the car. I remember a weird guy making a comment and trying to push his stomach out – saying, “I can do that too!” Random. 


We went to the store – and I remember telling Ty I felt like I was 14. The pad I had to wear (TMI?) was ridiculous. I mean, huge. I remember telling him, “I can hear my mom right now. ‘You’re the only one that knows it’s there.’ Please. Me and everyone else. You swear you can’t see that I have a matress between my legs?” He promised me that he couldn’t. Good boy. 

We walked the dogs. I took a nap. Ty cleaned the garage. We went to Burger Master. We walked the Alderwood Mall. Contractions were there – but they were super mild and very manageable. And I was OK with that.

After taking another nap, I woke up and decided I should probably tell my mom and Annie that things were moving – just out of courtesy. I’d hate to wake them up at 3 AM after they went to bed at midnight having no clue what was going on. They may want to go to bed early. That was a pointless justification. What ended up happening was just the opposite. I put them on high alert – that’s what I did. Neither of them slept. When I told my mom, she freaked out, just as I expected. She was worried because she was having one of her girlfriends up for the night – “I would have canceled if I would have known!” This is exactly why I didn’t call her earlier. There was nothing to really report, nothing for her to do. By the end of the conversation she was better – even telling me she had a “Wyatt moment” the night before, having a feeling something was going to happen. This was hard for her to admit, I’m sure – since she’s sworn from day one this baby was coming on 11/11/11. When I called Annie, she was so cute. She was so excited and in true Annie-fashion, had a ton of questions.  I loved it. She said she appreciated me calling and was going to take a shower and get things ready on her end for what we both thought would be a middle of the night wake up call and drive to my house and eventually the birth center. 

Wrong. 

By about 10pm contractions were coming stronger. Ty and I attempted to watch a movie but that was pointless. I winced through contractions while Ty belly laughed to a movie I can barely recollect. It was Bad Bosses. And the parts I did see seemed stupid. I said it. 

At about 11:30 we attempted to go to bed. By we, I mean me – Ty was in bed and asleep, no issues there. I on the other hand, laid there through contractions until about 1AM. I couldn’t take it. They were about 4-6 min apart, lasting about 45 seconds at this point. I got out of bed, went downstairs, and set up camp. I had the fire going, my music playing, my iPad charging, and candles blazing. I labored down there alone, in the candle light until about 5AM. I thought about what my body was doing. Our Doula had given us this binder with some images of what early first stage labor looked like and that was me all the way. I paced in the kitchen and living room with each contraction – or wave. I tried to think about them like waves. They’d start, they’d peak, they’d end.  They continued to come on and at one point they were about 5 minutes apart and lasting over a minute. Then they started to spread out a bit – and by about 7AM, they were practically gone – coming on every 20 – 30 minutes. 

I continued to try to get things moving. I walked, I bounced on my yoga ball, I took a shower, I did my hair… notta. I talked to Kristin and she told me to take a nap and take advantage of the break and she was going to call Chris. I slept from about 7:45-10:30AM. I had a handful of contractions as I napped, but again they were about 20 minutes apart. When I woke up, Kristin told me that she had talked to Chris and that they wanted to try to get things moving. We talked to Chris and made our way to the birth center. When we arrived, Chris quickly said, “Yah. You aren’t in labor. You look way too good. You look like you are about to hit up Bell Square.” After talking through the events of the last 24 hours, she explained that if we don’t end up getting labor going in the next 3 hours, we’ll need to go to the hospital and get help – aka, interventions. Not what I wanted. So I told her – do what we can and let’s see what happens. 

At 12:30PM she swept my cervix a few times and told me that his head was “right there” – she even asked, “does it feel like you have a bowling ball between your legs?!” I thought that was funny, because I had no idea he was that low. She told us that my cervix was 75% effaced, and that I was about 1.5cm dilated. She said this was good – that I had worked hard the night before. She sent us over to Super Supplements to pick up this black/blue stuff – I can’t remember what exactly – but it was herbal I believe. Oh, and she also prescribed “nipple stim” – good times.

By the time we were in the car heading home, within minutes contractions started. I did one “round” of “nipple stim” as a joke in the car. Ty and I both were cracking up – “what if someone sees me??!!” After the one round, sure enough, a strong contraction came. They kept coming. All the way home. 4 minutes apart or so and getting up there to the 1 minute mark. On our way and in between contractions, my mom had texted that she was on her way to the house, and Annie said she was making a few meals for us (soooooooooooooo nice!) but would be over soon. 

When we got home at 1:15PM we thought it would be good to take the dogs on a quick walk. About 100 steps into the walk, we quickly learned my tagging along would not make this quick at all. The contractions were stronger, and I was having to stop with each one. I told Ty I was going to turn around and head home and maybe make something to eat since I hadn’t had anything since the bowl of cereal earlier that morning. In between contractions I made myself an egg and toast. I remember eating it in 2 minutes before another contraction started. My mom got there right in the middle of one and came over to me and gave me a hug. I remember crying – not because of the pain, but because my mama was there. You know how it goes. You just need your mom. And she was there. I didn’t realize how much I needed her until I saw her. The same thing happened when Annie came. I couldn’t help but cry when I saw her. My two girls were there – I can do this now. I talked to Kristin on the phone and she listened through a few of my contractions before I just said “come now – I need you to come now – I am having another one – come now” – click. She was there in minutes. And I was grateful. The contractions were close and strong now. So strong in fact, I threw up – twice. Big throw up’s. I couldn’t help it.  

At around 3:30PM, Kristin had me talk to Chris on the phone. She listened through about 2 contractions before she said, “Let’s have you come on in to the birth center now.” I remember saying “Thank you so much for saying that”. Then I realized –the car ride. Oh no. How the hell was I going to do that. With each contraction I was moving around – I was upright. I was getting my hips rubbed, my hair stroked. I wasn’t sitting still, strapped into a car. 

We got packed up, and our caravan was ready. My mom was in the back of our car riding with Ty and I, Annie was in hers, and Kristin was in hers. As I got in Kristin said “One rule – you have to have your seat belt on at all times.” Ugh. Moments before our cars took off,  another contraction reared it’s ugly head. I shot out of the car and leaned against Ty’s car in the drive way. As it finished, Kristin was there and said, “OK – that can’t happen again. You can’t do that on the side of the road.” Damn! 

The car ride was miserable. For me, yes. And for Ty and my mom. I moaned loudly through each contraction. Low, loud moans. It was all I could do to get through each “wave”. My mom would put a wash cloth on my head through each one and I’d moan. I only opened my eyes once during that car ride. Through tears, I looked over at Ty and told him “we are meeting our baby today” – it hit me. This was happening. Ty has since told me that the car ride was so annoying because it was like every Sunday driver was out and about – nowhere to be, just driving slowly on the highway – there to drive him crazy. 

When we got to the birth center at 4:30PM, I saw Jessica, our birth photographer waiting for us. Chris quickly came out to walk me into the birth suite where she had me lay down so she could check me. She wanted to check me during a few contractions and when she did, she realized the bad news. I had made progress effacing, but nothing had changed relative to my dilation. I was still at a 1.5. (She did say 1.5 to 2, but I learned later, she couldn’t see herself telling me the exact same thing she said hours earlier.) Typically, they’d send me home at this point. 1.5 cm is nothing and we had a long way to go. Chris just couldn’t see herself doing that. Both Kristin and Chris were shocked that I was only at 1.5. They both were sure, based on the intensity of my contractions, that I was at least at 8cm dilated. I didn’t have time to be discouraged. I honestly didn’t even put it together. All I could think was “I don’t have time to care about this – I am about to have another contraction.” She said she wanted me to get into the tub and hoped that from there things would continue at the pace that they were and hopefully my cervix would catch up with my contractions. 

Photographs courtesy of www.onetreephotography.com
The tub was amazing. I instantly felt relaxed. Throughout this whole time I barely opened my eyes. I would only open them to move positions, or if Kristin had something important to tell me where she’d say, “Jordan, look at me”. I would then track the room with my eyes to find hers. I stayed in the tub for a while. I tried a few different positions outside of the tub too – the toilet (which was by far the hardest position, but I knew it was the one that worked the best in getting Wyatt to come down fast), the birth ball (which I absolutely hated – which again, indicates “it’s workin!”), standing, laying down (totally painful and completely inefficient), back to the bathroom, and then back again in the tub. Everyone expected to be there while. Why wouldn’t they? I was at the beginning of a very long dilation road when I arrived. 

When I went into the bathroom the first time, my mom came in there with me. I had a contraction in there and started to come out. Kristin got up out of her chair outside of the bathroom door and said, “Nope – back in there. You are going to have a few contractions in there.” She replaced my mom and in she came. She had me turn on the toilet backwards and face the wall. When the first contraction came she massaged my back and got me through it. I could feel him move down. We did another. I hated it. But I knew it worked. When I came out of the bathroom, I saw the most amazing scene. The room was lit with tea lights and was exactly what I had pictured in my mind. It looked so pretty. The candles were lit, my music was playing. It was beautiful. 

I tried a few different positions on the bed, I knew they weren’t working nearly as well as the bathroom. I can remember a contraction ending on the bed and shooting up and b-lining to the bathroom. I can remember saying as I sat on the toilet that I needed Kristin in there NOW. She was there and we did it. I got through a few more intense contractions there as they heated up the tub. I believe that it was this position that really got things moving. 

When I got back into the tub it was probably around 6PM. Ty offered to step out and get Kristin a sandwich from Jimmy John’s – getting the green light from the team that he had plenty of time and wouldn’t miss much. (I had no idea he had gone anywhere.) I can remember being in the tub and getting to that place – “I can’t do this anymore, I can’t do this anymore, I can’t do this anymore.” I remember saying it out loud at one point and Annie saying “But you are doing it – with each contraction you say it is harder and harder, but you keep doing it.” Kristin would tell me that what I was feeling was just my baby. I can remember that during a contraction at this point, I started to panic. It was so intense, I could feel my breathing quicken. I could feel my face crumble. Kristin would remind me to not let the contraction happen to me – that I needed to take advantage of it and use it to bring my baby farther down. Before I knew it, I heard my sounds change. My low moan during a contraction quickly turned into a grunt. I couldn’t physically help it. I knew something had changed. I could hear the sounds in the room change too. I was hearing whispers. Another contraction came, and the sounds continued to go from moans to grunts. Chris soon came over to me and said, “Sweetie – what are you feeling?” I told her that I felt pressure. The words are few at this point – I had zero energy to elaborate. She checked me and told me that she could feel my anterior lip (I think) and that it was in the way and needing to be moved – which she did. I felt nothing. She then continued to check me and said, “OK, miss Jordan – you are complete and can push if you’d like. We’re going to have this baby!” The sounds in the room were amazing. I could hear my mom and Annie – I could actually HEAR their smiles - and their tears of excitement. Ty was behind me – and I couldn’t see him. I did a couple of pushes on my back but it just didn’t feel like it was the most efficient position and I hated being that far away from Ty. We decided I would get up into the squat position. I can remember turning towards my team and seeing smiles and excitement. I couldn’t help but feel the energy coming from them. And let me point out that my mom had a flashlight aimed “down there” the whole time I pushed. This cracks me up. Ty came right in front of me and we locked wrists. With each push, I could feel an enormous amount of pressure, but it didn’t hurt. It was so not what I expected.  I pushed for a total of 28 minutes. I was a 1.5 at 4:30 and in just over 2 hours, I was at a 10. It was amazing. I have to say this – when his head came out, it was like nothing happened. I felt no pain, other than a little stretching. I honestly thought I had given birth to Beatlejuice. Remember that part? When his head shrunk? It felt like a pushed out a lolly pop. Kristin told me right then – “That was the hardest part.” And I thought – “wow, that was so not hard”. It was nothing compared to the contractions. Within moments he literally slid out of me so fast, he broke his own umbilical cord. He was swimming around behind me and we had to fish him out. Chris grabbed him and brought him up out of the water and handed him to me. And my life changed forever. My life changed forever at 7:21PM on November 6th, 2011.

Photographs courtesy of www.onetreephotography.com
I remember saying “I am your Mama. Hi sweet boy, I am your Mama. Happy birthday. I love you so much.” I noticed his big, bright, alert eyes first. They were amazing. He was amazing. He was ours. We made him. I found Ty and I remember saying “I did it – can you believe it? I did it.” I looked around the room to find my mom and Annie. I remember looking at them and saying “I just had a fucking baby!” I just couldn’t believe it was over. I have never been so happy. It was the best moment of my life. Our baby was here and I did it. I did what I had hoped I could do. I did what I prepared for. I did what so many people told me was a long shot. I will tell all women who are interested in natural child birth – you can do it too. 

I will never forget the connection I felt to Ty as I held our baby. I may have pushed that baby out, but I couldn’t have done it without him. During the labor, I knew that Ty felt a little lost. I was surrounded by women that knew what to do. Ty would have done anything to take the pain away from me – I know that. But he couldn’t. His role in this was so much bigger than he knows. I know he was nervous. I know he felt helpless (which is exactly why he stepped out to get Kristin a sandwich – he knew he could contribute by getting our Doula a sandwich – it was the least he could do). But when it came time to really get this baby out, he was exactly where I needed him. We needed to do that together. 

And we did. 

And there’s my mom. Flashlight holder. She was amazing. I can’t even begin to imagine how hard it was for her to watch me in pain. I can’t imagine what it was like to watch her baby, have a baby. She was so proud of me – I have never seen her smile that big, or cry that hard. My mom’s blog post on her take on this birth experience says it all. I love that she wrote that to me. I love that she was there. She saw her first grandbaby take his first breaths. No one can ever take that away from her.

I will never forget seeing Annie’s face. I knew exactly what she was feeling. The emotions I felt the day she gave birth to her daughter were by far more intense than those I felt on this day. To see someone go through labor and for that to be your best friend, is unexplainable. She didn’t have to say a word.  Her face told me everything I needed to know.  She gets it now – she now knows the pride I felt for her when she had Ali. She knows how amazing that experience was for me and how honored I felt to be a part of it. She knows how much I love her and how on that day, I had no words because I was so overwhelmed with what has just happened..

Photographs courtesy of www.onetreephotography.com

Wyatt Brady was born at 7:21PM. We spent the next few hours bonding with our new son, and before we knew it we were packed up and in the car heading home to our own bed at 10:30PM. I was literally in my bed, with Wyatt next to me in his co-sleeper just after 11PM – just over three hours after I gave birth. 

Wyatt’s birth was so many things. It was hard. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. It was the biggest thing I’ve ever done. It was the most empowering thing I’ve ever accomplished. It was the first time I really trusted and believed in myself and my body. I would do it again tomorrow. I couldn’t have done it without the team of people that were there. Everyone played such an integral part in getting me to this place. Our midwifery team was fantastic. I will forever sing the praises of the Eastside Birth Center. Our Doula, Kristin Dibeh, was absolutely critical. She may have been hired to do a job that day, but she has since made a place in our family. I will always feel indebted to her. 

Mostly, I will forever be grateful to Ty, for being everything I could ever hope for in a partner throughout our pregnancy, and knowing that during what I believe to be our defining moments, we came together as a family – of three.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

7 Days


a week ago ty and i were driving to the birth center because my contractions had completely vanished after a night of laboring on my own. i knew that we'd be meeting our baby soon, but i was focused only on getting things moving. later that day, when we took that drive again, in between intense contractions, i realized we would be meeting our baby boy soon. i looked over at ty for the first and only time during that drive and started crying as i voiced this incredibly powerful realization - "we are meeting our baby today". as quickly as the moment came, it passed, as i returned to the place inside myself that got me through each and every contraction until he came into this world. there is so much i want to write about that day - about our birth story. but i am going to wait on that.


this week has been the most amazing week of my life. i had no idea what this love would actually feel like. i still don't have the words to describe it. what i can say is this: my heart is so full of love for this new life - our life, my family - that i feel like it could burst out of my chest. i can't help but feel a new love for my husband. seeing him as a father is fascinating to me. he is such a natural. he loves his son so much. the way he talks to him, holds him, looks at him, smells him, calms him melts me. from our very first night, he's found his own little ways of doing things with him - things i would never think to do... his own "daddy" things that are his. for instance, he does what he calls the "simba" with him. he holds him up like he is the lion king, showing off his new cub. he will do this over and over again and he instantly calms down. he also does this little trick with the yoga ball that i would have never thought of on my own. someone gave me really great advice that i am so glad i've taken - let ty be the dad. you be the mom. don't tell ty what to do or how to do things. he'll do things differently then you, and he should. it was the best advice ever. watching ty establish his relationship with wyatt is so special. he is such an amazing father and i am not surprised. what i am surprised by is how much more i love my husband. our relationship has grown and evolved since we met, but the moment i saw him with his son, we were on a completely new playing field. i love my husband more than i ever thought i could.


which brings me to this love i feel for my son. people tell you that you will feel a love so powerful for your baby that you've never felt before. they are right. there are no words. i would give up anything for this boy. i am obsessed with him. his smell, his eyes, his hands, head, face, cheeks -- even his cries, his dirty diapers. today, we are obsessed with his nostrils. we have no idea where he got this little nose of his. it's not mine and it's not ty's... every thing else is ty's. except for his hair - that's from me. (i'll take what i can get.)


some other realizations this week:
  • breastfeeding is hard. but we are getting there. it hurts. but it's worth it.
  • sleep is overrated. 
  • eating isn't a priority. 
  • i almost like my body more now than i did before i was pregnant. so weird, but my stomach actually looks better to me now, than it did pre-pregnancy. this is weird, shocking, and totally not what i expected.
  • i totally get my mom now. there have been some pretty good "ah-ha" moments. i am sure this will deserve it's very own blog post soon. 
  • i can't over-commit anymore. that hit me yesterday. it's been a week and ty and are just now having our first day, just the three of us. advice for you future mom's which i wish someone gave to me: bond as a family unit the first week, or two - or three. how ever long you need. so much goes on these first few days - new feelings, emotions, patterns, challenges, pressures. give yourself and your family time to adjust. people will understand. and if they don't - you won't have time to care. 


every day is so new - new challenges, new wins and a stronger, more powerful love.

now, it's time to get back to a face i can't get enough of... and a smell that i could sink my nose into for the rest of my life. this poor kid.

this is wyatt, as we speak. sleeping soundly in the 
best gift we got - our vibrating pack n' play.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Guest Writer Post: I Thought I Knew My Daughter, by Korbi Schmick


My mom has been telling me that she has really wanted to write a post for my blog since I started it in April 2010. She sent her first entry in this morning and has asked that I share this and I couldn't be more honored to do so. 

 
I thought I knew my daughter.  But I didn’t.  I thought I knew everything about her. I had a big part in raising her so how could anything she does surprise me? She is the grown woman I envisioned when she was a baby and since I worked hard at helping her become who she is today, I must know more than anyone about what she was capable of doing. She has shown me her strength, love, compassion and determination many times over during the course of her life. As it turns out, her best was yet to come.

I knew from the beginning that she was unique…and loved. There was never a question about my love for my daughter. Ask anybody. Jordan. She needed a name that would set her apart. So she got a unique name. A strong name. I didn’t know then how much and how often she would live up to her name. We have both had to live up to unique names. So we are the same--yet we are very different. Thankfully different as it turns out.  But there has never been a question as to our connection from the beginning. The first time I heard her heartbeat, I was a goner. I knew she was a girl. That first kick. And the way she moved in me! I’ve still never seen anyone’s baby move as much as mine did in me. Late in my pregnancy, I’d run home after work, lay back in the recliner and just watch her roll. It was mesmerizing. She was a profound presence in my life from the moment I stared at that positive pregnancy test one Saturday morning many years ago. I remember there were cartoons on TV for some reason. She never liked cartoons as a child which I find ironic. 

Like most expectant moms, I felt her presence constantly. I eagerly awaited her birth and wondered what she would look like. And when I saw her face for the first time, I locked in on her. She pulled my focus then and still does to this day. She is life. And she became my life. She’s the reason I know that I could give up own to save someone else’s.  Hers, specifically.  And those of two more babies that would follow.  Yet, giving birth to her was not a joy. And my pregnancy, although crazy easy, was something I just wanted to get through.  I wanted to meet my daughter but I didn’t live in the moment while pregnant, and certainly not during childbirth. This is where we are different. She has a vision for what she wants in life and goes after it. She is determined to make her vision a reality. This was never more evident than on her wedding day. She envisioned a perfect day of celebration, bucked the big wedding trend and got exactly what she wanted. A day that was peaceful and happy—no distractions and minimal stress. A day that was focused on the life she was starting with her husband, on a beach at sunset surrounded by people that loved them both.  It was perfect. And her vision became my reality of what I believed to be her finest moment as a woman. Until now.  Until the day she gave birth to her son—Wyatt. A strong name that he will no doubt live up to.

So it really came as no surprise that she had a vision for how she wanted to bring her child into the world. Peaceful and happy—no distractions and minimal stress. Natural childbirth. The first time she told me this I had to refrain from flinching. I had three kids. Tried to “go natural” with her but I was unprepared. No training. No real understanding of what it takes to make that commitment and then follow through on it. Seeing her train for this day over the past several months has been incredible. She read books and watched videos. She formed the team that would coach her throughout the pregnancy and be there for her and Ty during their defining moment. I am grateful to this team of midwives and a doula who worked so harmoniously together to ensure her vision became a reality. I’m grateful for Annie, the rock star best friend, who instinctively knew what she needed right when she needed it.  To the birth photographer for capturing it all so beautifully on film.  But mostly I’m grateful to Jordan for being dedicated to doing everything she could to make her child’s birth, well, natural. And for loving being pregnant and living in the moment like I have never seen her do before. Surprising me over and over again with her joy and calmness during her entire pregnancy. But the big moment loomed and I still wondered what the day would look like. I quietly worried about “complications” and even while she calmly explained the process, a part of me remained wary. Undaunted, she went at this like it was a marathon. As it turns out, it was. And she won. I am convinced that her training and dedication to making her vision a reality is why her labor progressed so quickly. Why she was focused and primal at the moment she gave birth.  Why she was able to dig down deep into her soul and find that part of her that was strong and capable of doing something this hard. And Ty was her partner in all of this. He was with her every step of the way.  Of course he was. This is who he is and who they are as a couple. They established this on their wedding day. They are a team and now they are a family. And watching them bring this child into the world together, arms and eyes locked—was indescribable. I will never forget this moment. I am truly grateful to them for giving me such a powerful memory. One I can call upon anytime I need a clear image of what teamwork, strength, commitment and family really looks like. 

So I thought I knew my daughter, but I didn’t. I do now.

water's broken - now what?

I wrote this post on Saturday afternoon, after my water broke. I am so glad I did because looking back and reading it now, I had forgotten what was really going through my mind before our world changed forever.

11.5.2011 at 12:58pm

hi my sweet boy... well, this morning at 7:45 i woke up with a stomach ache. i went potty and felt what i thought might be my water starting to break - just a trickle. not a rush of anything but it was definitely involuntary. i sat there for a bit, and quickly realized that my mucus plug had probably broken. i went back to bed and told your daddy that i thought something might be happening. i laid there for about 30 minutes and realized that i had probably been having contractions throughout the night because i was continuing to have them - i just thought i was having a stomach ache... i popped out of bed to take a shower and i had a few more flows of water leaking. i took a shower - thinking, "no way. this can't be it..." my mucus plug and water had definitely broken at the end of my shower. i called the birth center to let them know because they had asked that even if i'm not sure, but think my water broke to call them and let them know, so did. i quickly heard back from our midwife, chris, and she said that labor would probably start to kick in within the next 24 hours but to get rest throughout the day, drink a lot of water, eat, because there was a good chance i wouldn't be able to get a good night's sleep tonight. i let our doula, kristen know and we chatted on the phone for a bit before i finished getting ready. your daddy and i made our way to starbucks, as we would any normal typical saturday. (we actually ran into ashley and i had to pretend nothing was going on because i don't want to get too excited and scare these contractions away!) we had some breakfast, went to the store, came home and i took a nap. we just got back from a long walk with the pups and now your daddy is nesting - big time. he wants the garage to be clean for some reason... and he is dead set on picking up all of the halloween decorations. i thought now would be a good time to write you a little note, since my contractions are still coming but they are easy and manageable. they could be this way for awhile, which is why we don't want to shout I'M IN LABOR from the roof tops yet. we could be doing this for another day at least. i don't want to get everyone hyped up - like your auntie or gramma, so we are just going to go with it for awhile now and try to bring them on a little stronger before we actually acknowledge it.  now's a good time for me to really reflect on this past 9 months... i can't believe we are going to meet you soon and see your sweet face. the work here will all be worth it and with each contraction i get more and more excited about your arrival. i try to imagine that you are that much closer to being in my arms and that my body is doing exactly what it's meant to do. bring you into this world as safely as possible. i am in total shock here... i am in denial that this could be it. part of me keeps thinking -- oh well, this could go on for days and days! but the reality is, my water has broken and you are getting ready in there. kristen has encouraged us to just have a fun day together and do something memorable because this is probably our last day of being able to do that! so i'm going to pull him out of his nesting mode and perhaps we can go to the mall or go get ice cream or something!  in the meantime, here are some bump shots (the last one is from about 2 hours ago!):


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