Sunday, May 29, 2011

Happy One Week

Well, today our little man is one week old! The time has flown by. I almost want to go back in time and recapture every moment, even the crazy ones.
JT, you have brought a joy to our lives that we never thought we'd experience. The love I have for you overwhelms me and sometimes brings me to tears. I hope you know that when Mommy cries it's because I love you.
I love watching you explore your surroundings. I know you can't see well yet, but your little facial expressions are priceless. Sometimes you look annoyed and sometimes you look deep in thought. I think I caught a few smiles today when I sang to you!
Your little arms are your best friend. We noticed this during the sono, and it's funny to see it in real life. Your arms are never far from your face. You make the cutest poses and the other day you had your middle finger up at me when you were breastfeeding. You better be glad you're too young to get punished!
I try to sleep when you sleep, but most of the time I'm busy snapping pictures of you. You are just too cute for words and I still cannot believe you are part me and part your father.
You have him wrapped around your finger. The man who never uttered the word "cute" before now uses it at least 20 times a day. The man who plays rough with Sampson and Maya and your sister is so gentle when he changes your diaper (except when it's smelly...then he rushes through it). I see a side of him that I never saw before and it's because of you. He sees a side of me he never saw. Although, I know he's annoyed with my constant worrying, he knows I have your best interest at heart. He knows that you are the light in our lives. Because of you our marriage is stronger and I thank you for that.
I have benefited from you in my life as well. Even though it's only been a week, I now see myself as a stronger individual. I feel like I can tackle any challenge that comes my way. I never felt so empowered until now. I want to make you proud!
JT, you are so great! We love you so much. Your middle name means "Morning Star" in Arabic. I don't think we could've planned on a more perfect middle name. You came to us in the wee hours of the morning when the stars were still out. You are the star of our life!
Happy Birthday, Joel Tariq! We love you!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Birth Story

For those of you who don't know, JT is here!! Yes, our little boy made his entrance into the world a tad bit early. At 37 1/2 weeks, he joined the world as we know it and man, are we glad! Well, let's start from the very beginning....a very a good place to start...
Friday May 20th, 2011
I had it with pregnancy. As many of you know, I had a very easy pregnancy; however, when I entered month 8 things started to change. By month 9 I was swollen all over and miserable. That night I cried to Mr. Soup when he came home. I told him that I didn't know how much longer I would be able to take being pregnant. He comforted me and told me that I'd get through it and that it would only be a few more weeks. We ended up eating tacos, watching the season finale of The Office and calling it a night. We planned to spend Saturday finishing JT's nursery and going out to dinner to celebrate our 5 year anniversary.
I had trouble sleeping that night. I was incredibly hot and uncomfortable. When I finally went to sleep I had weird dreams, which isn't all that abnormal for me.
Saturday May 21st, 2011
Mr. Soup and I woke up and discussed our dreams because we both remarked that we had weird dreams. His was about JT and mine was about Arnold Schzwarzneggar's mistress (go figure!). We also decided to wash our bed sheets and as I got out of bed, my water broke....or so I thought. It wasn't how we pictured it at all. On TV they make it seem like a big gush of water. It was more like a steady stream. We both started screaming and I jumped in the shower while Mr. Soup called the doctor. We got the on-call doctor who told us to head over to the hospital. Luckily, we live less than a block away, so we took our time. Mr. Soup shaved, I showered and ate breakfast. We both watched some TV and said good-bye to the dogs. We had no idea if we would be back in a few hours or a few days.
When we arrived at the hospital, we were admitted and they immediately started doing tests to see if in fact my water broke. Well, what do you know...tests were inconclusive. They decided to do more tests and the doctor on-call said I'd probably go home that afternoon as it did not seem as though I was in labor. Mr. Soup and I were bummed, but we figured it would give us more time to get things ready for JT, plus we were really looking forward to our anniversary dinner (well, I was because I'm always hungry!).
I just want to remind you all that we arrived at the hospital at 10:00am and by 3:00pm we still had no word as to whether my water broke. They did tell me that I was having contractions 2 minutes apart. They looked at my uterus with a sonogram machine to check the sacs of fluid. At around 4pm, they did a sterile speculum test to see if the water would fern; it did not. The doctor came back and said that since I tested positive for GBS, she wanted to proceed with delivery to be on the safe side. She still couldn't say for sure that my water had or had not broke.
So, they immediately started giving me Patocin (sp?) to make my contractions stronger. They also told me that I could get the Epidural when I wanted. I decided to hold off because I still couldn't feel anything at all. My nurse (who was by the way...AMAZING) told me that when I couldn't talk through my contractions, to let her know and she would contact the RNA to administer the epidural. During this time, I started to get really hungry. I hadn't eaten since breakfast and my nurse knew it. Before I got the Patocin, she gave me some crackers and chicken broth. She said, "pretend it's a cheeseburger." I tell you that was the best tasting soup and crackers I've ever had! It hit the spot.
At around 9pm, I sent Mr. Soup home to get some clothes for himself and my nurse told me she was going on her dinner break. I told her I was fine. I really felt fine and I could talk through my contractions. Probably ten minutes after they left, I felt a wave of strong contractions. I started crying and writhing in pain! I pushed that nurse button with all my might and my nurse came back from her dinner break immediately. She checked to see if I had dilated anymore which I had to a 4. She immediately called the RNA and he was there within 5 minutes (usually it takes them about 3o minutes to show up, but my nurse was awesome and got him to come ASAP) I called Mr. Soup and told him to hurry up because I was getting the epidural. I really wanted him to be there for it, but the RNA was so fast. My nurse helped me through those painful contractions and took Mr. Soup's place when the RNA administered it. At that time my water broke (or the rest of it came out...the doctors now think I had a leak or tear that caused my water to "break" twice) After the RNA administered the epidural (which took all of five minutes) I started feeling immediate relief, but 30 minutes later my contractions were still pretty strong. He came back and gave me something stronger to take the edge off. Mr. Soup did not like seeing me in all that pain. I think that was the hardest part for him. I've never seen him so worried in my life. Pretty soon, I went numb and could barely feel the contractions.
May 22nd, 2011
At midnight I reached 10 cm; however, JT was still high up. They had me turn and move to try to get him to come down. At 3:30, JT had dropped down into position. They could actually see his hair! The nurse had me do some practice pushes and then immediately called the doctor to tell her to hurry over. At around 4:00am, I started pushing for real and when the doctor arrived at 4:20, I did a few more pushes before JT entered the world at 4:34am. I was determined to deliver vaginally and I was so proud of myself for doing so well. My nurse said I pushed through 8 contractions before he arrived. I felt so empowered and the minute I saw his little purple self, I started crying. His cry was so beautiful as was he. I was a little bummed because they immediately took him to the warming table (after Mr. Soup cut the cord). They had preached skin-to-skin in all of our childbirth and breastfeeding classes, so I was a little taken aback. However, Mr. Soup was over there immediately snapping pictures while the doctor delivered the placenta and sewed me up.
Disclaimer: Gross info below--
Yes, I pooped during delivery. When we learned that they were going to augment my labor, I told Mr. Soup that I wanted to have a bowel movement before pushing because I did not want to shit during labor. Well, I did, but I guess I didn't let it all out. Mr. Soup said the poop during delivery was tiny and not that big of a deal. It really wasn't in the grand scheme of things. Yes, I did tear. I have a 3rd degree tear. It really isn't that bad. I had some pain in the hospital, but it was mild. My doctor seemed to think it was a big deal and prescribed me Vicodin, which I have yet to take. More than anything it's just annoying because it's another thing I have to attend to while caring for my son. I want to focus on him as much as possible, but I have this thing in the way. Because I started tearing, the doctor did a small episiotomy to prevent any further tearing.

Okay, so back to the birth. After they cleaned him up they brought him over to me. I immediately held him tight to my chest. I did not want to let go. Unfortunately, they had to take JT down to the nursery because he had some fluid in his belly. Mr. Soup was like, "Ash, they need to take the baby." I looked around and saw all the people waiting to take JT and I said, "Well no one is making me hand him over, so until they do that I'm going to hold him." I'd blame it on the epidural, but I really wasn't out of it. I just wanted some more snuggle time with my baby boy.
After they brought him back, I marveled at how beautiful he was. We had some skin-t0-skin time and he immediately latched. The whole thing was the highest point in my life thus far. I have never felt more strong, womanly and beautiful in my life and it is all because of this little guy. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat (and maybe I will again someday) I am now the member of a new club: the MOMMY club! I can't even recall what life was like before entering this club.
The rest of my hospital stay was not as magical as the experience I described above. In fact, I would describe it as hell with a few high points. While I am glad I had an epidural, I do envy mothers who have natural births in a birthing center because they send you home after a couple of hours. Being in the hospital gave me so much apprehension and I think contributed to my postpartum depression. Despite this, I am determined to end this post on a happy note. I have a beautiful baby boy now. I have a beautiful family!
I want to post on so many things from, including the following topics:
-hospital hell
-breastfeeding struggles and successes
-JT & jaundice
-postpartum depression
-dogs and baby
-exercising after birth (I am going to start exercising tomorrow! woo-hoo!)
Despite my desire to post on these things, I am very busy caring for my son. I may not get around to posting much, as I want to spend as much time as possible with him. If there is something you really want to know, let me know and I'll try to post something on it. Also, if you want me to post pics of JT, I will. I have been taking millions of pictures of him. I just can't stop!
I leave you with a few pictures of JT. We got suckered into buying the CD from the hospital photographer. Kind of a good thing because my friend who is doing his newborn photos won't be able to do them until the next couple of weeks. Here's my baby!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Update Extravaganza!

I'll elaborate more on these later, but here are some!
37 weeks today. At my appointment on Tuesday, I was still 3 cm dilated and he went from 50% effaced to 75% effaced. I tested positive for Group B Strep and negative for HIV (duh!).
Tuesday I drove all over Plano, literally. I got JT's car seat installed in the SUV. Once we receive our 2nd base, we'll get that one installed in the Jetta too. I drove around all day Tuesday with that child seat in the Kia and just imagine JT sitting back there. I cannot wait to be a MOM. I cannot wait to look back and see my little one sleeping or screaming his lungs off!
Yesterday Mr. Soup surprised me by getting hiring professionals to clean our carpet. I feel so much better knowing that JT will come home a virtually fur-free home. Yesterday, the dog groomer came by for a consultation and they're getting shaved on Sunday afternoon. No more long coats for them! We're also going to start transitioning them from sleeping in our room. Tonight they'll sleep in the hall for the first time!
Today my dad had gall bladder surgery. Not a major surgery, but anyone who knows my dad knows that he has been through a ton of surgerys in the past 10 years. Any and every surgery is still a little scary. He's recovering and should go home tomorrow. Continue to keep him in your thoughts and prayers
Today is the five year anniversary of when Mr. Soup and I met at the DFW airport. Hard to believe it's been five years! So many good things have happened since then. It truly was a life-changing event for me!
One year ago today Mr. Soup and I closed on our first home. Homeownership hasn't been without it's challenges, but we absolutely love our home! It's not perfect, but it's the perfect home for us!
Tonight I'm going to a meeting to find out more information about a Ph.D program in Language & Literacy. I know, I know, what am I thinking? I'm going with an open mind. Just gathering information. It's something that I've always been interested in accomplishing and if they make it suitable for working teachers, I might be able to do it. Plus, if I have my way and only work part-time in a year or so, I could do it, right? we'll see. just gathering information at this point!
Mr. Soup has an interview for a new job. It's one he applied to before landing his current job, but they're just now getting back to him. We're crossing our fingers that he gets it as the pay increase would cover daycare and our travel fund! Of course, once he gets licensed, we'll be set as well, but nice to have more options especially once JT arrives.
Oh and JT's baptism date is tentatively set. We plan to have him baptized in August at the church where my mom, my brother and I were baptized! I'm so happy!
That's it for now!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

36 weeks

So, I didn't realize how big of a deal being 3 cm dilated was until I found out that for some that is considered early labor. At 3 cm I could go into labor in a few days or in a few weeks. I'm thinking JT may arrive sooner than later. Here's why:
-when I asked my doctor if being dilated at 3cm was normal, she was kind of coy in her response. "It'll just make things easier." However, she did make sure to go over the "going-into-labor" procedure 3 times before I left.
- when I told my mom (a 30+ year OB/GYN RN and current NICU RN) I was 3 cm, her response was, "Well, I guess Mr. Soup was right. My grandson may come in May!"
-JT has definitely dropped and he's dropping fast
-one of my principals remarked, "On Tuesday you looked maybe 7 months pregnant and today (Friday) you really look 9 months pregnant. He's dropping fast"
-My head principal keeps saying to me, "we're just glad you're here another day."
-JT has run out of room. It now hurts me when he and Mr. Soup play
-our childbirth instructor said to me yesterday, "now when are you due again? this month, right?"
Fortunately, I haven't had contractions yet. If I did, I think I would be in official panic mode. Nevertheless, I am in somewhat panic mode. Here is a list of things we have to do:
-wash JT's clothes (did that on Friday night...just need to put them away)
-get carseat installed (appointment set on May 17th)
-get the dogs shaved (consultation on May 18th)
-put together Pack'nPlay
-put together glider
-put together crib
-bring in changing table from the garage
(if you notice all the ones that say "put together" are ones that Mr. Soup was/is supposed to do)
On top of that Mr. Soup is signed up to take his LMSW exam on July 9th. So not only will we have to adjust to a little one, but he will be studying for one of the hardest exams ever! He's trying to do some studying now, so that he can still help out with JT in June and July.
That's our life in a nutshell. We're waiting on Baby Soup to get here. I wish I could say I was ready, but is anyone ever really ready? I am ready to get him out!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Momma Mia

Well, I am 36 weeks! Whew! I have one month left carrying JT. Today was my 36 week appointment. I had the usual stuff done--blood pressure check, weight check, JT's heartbeat, etc. I also had the Group B Strep test and HIV screening. Looks like I'm about 3 cm dilated and JT is 50% effaced. Looking pretty good! It feels real now!
I loved being pregnant up until now. Month six and seven were good. That's when I first started looking pregnant and the bump was all cute and stuff! I could still wear cute shoes, I could walk without having to catch my breath, I went to the bathroom ten times a day instead of 20, and I could sleep comfortably. Oh, and I wasn't exhausted!! Month eight was brutal. My belly exploded! I have to wear tennis shoes or flip-flops. I can't tie my tennis shoes. I can't paint my toe nails. I really can't do any feminine things on my own....I can't sleep at night. I'm Hot all the time! I'm tired all the time. I have major mood swings. I have stolen food from people's lunches at work. Yes! I have. I know. I'm horrible. I can't believe it. I started crying because Mr. Soup didn't want to watch the Royal Wedding a couple of weeks ago. On Saturday, Mr. Soup and I went to our first child birth class. I cried through every birth video we watched. Most of the class was disgusted, but I cried. Yeah, so I'm definitely ready to get this boy out!
I'm hoping Month 9 will be better, but I have a feeling it won't. I guess I'm getting prepared for all the sacrifices I will have to make for JT. Giving up my body has been very difficult for me, but I know I will eventually get it back. Everyone keeps telling me not to worry about that and I haven't. I do feel kind of empowered being able to provide everything for my little man. I think it's so cool that my body was designed to carry him for months!
I know there is no "right" time to become a mother, but I really think things have fallen into place for our little family. I feel like it's fate that we bought a house one block from the hospital at which I'll deliver. I feel like it's fate that we live four houses down the street from an ideal daycare provider. Even before Mr. Soup and I married, we knew wanted a Spanish speaking provider for any kids we had. We're so blessed that we found the kindest mother/daughter day care team. While I am not looking forward to the idea of leaving him next fall, I could not ask for a better set of women to look after my son. In fact, I think JT will get a better experience with them than if I were a stay-at-home mom. When Mr. Soup and I went on our daycare tour, I was in love. I do not remember my daycare being like that when I was a kid. I just felt a sense of warmth and family. I guess it truly does take a village.
My first Mother's Day was great, but also kind of sad. I received lots of gifts and everyone made me feel like I was a mother. In fact, I think I was one of the few mothers who had to "be a mom" on Mother's Day. All the other moms got the day off from their kids, but JT was with me all day long. I didn't get a break from being exhausted, gassy, swollen, uncomfortable, etc. My husband tried to make things better by doing my half of the household chores, but it was still hard. I think the hardest part was that all those moms who got the day off from their kids still got hugs and cuddle time at the end of the day. I long for that. I just want to hold my little guy. I have to keep telling myself that the mood swings, lack of sleep, exhaustion and other bad things are worth it, because in a few short weeks I will get to hold my SON!
I think what makes this so special is seeing Mr. Soup become excited about JT. He loves getting our weekly updates from the Bump. He loves talking to JT through my belly. He gets excited thinking about all the things we'll get to do with JT. We have so many things we want to share with him. I think being a parent is the best job in the world. I can't believe I was hired.

Apparently, being a mom is totally cool because my baby girl, Maya wants to be a mom as well. I love watching her with her "baby dog." She's so caring to the baby. Although, at times she can be neglectful, she is quick to protect Baby from us and Sampson. Sam does try to terrorize Maya by stealing Baby. Hopefully, this is not indicative of what will happen when JT arrives. For now, I'll just enjoy watching them with Baby!