Wednesday, November 24, 2010

count your blessings

well... the leaves cover the ground.. the wind is blowing..
feliz navidad is seeping through the thin apartment walls of our house sit from the unit next door...
luna is sporting her hat... and some new mittens...
the grocery store was a battle ground today...

yes, it's that time of the year again.

tomorrow is thanksgiving, and while we try to reflect on the positives of our lives each night before bed (one of my favorite times with febri), thanksgiving is a particularly nice celebration in that it encourages all to be thankful.... although, many people are in it simply for the stuffed bird and pumpkin pie.

we've had a rough few months... and we're still in the thick of it.. MANY challenges are coming our way, and yet, we feel so grateful for what we have.

febri and i - each other - a love that is so strong and pure and without demands or expectations.

luNa.. our amazing baby girl... almost a year old - she's smart and healthy and beautiful - and she constantly makes us laugh and smile... and feel such pride as parents...

we have a support network around us - despite the distance we've put between ourselves and our friends and family - still, we feel the love..and it crosses the land and sea, and fills us up and makes us strong.
we have a sweet little temporary home ... rent free... while we find the perfect place to settle, and get on our feet in a new city... with a very different vibe from what we're accustomed to...

i have my incredible work - a job that pays the bills, and keeps me stimulated and intrigued, and oh so happy.... i love my work!

we're ...somehow in this crazy economy... still able to stay home with luna and keep her out of daycare and home with mama and papa where she belongs...

and the little things... the cuddles in the warm blankets, the sun on luna's face, the hot tea and the dark chocolate, febri's music and luna's dancing, the yummy creations febri cooks up in the kitchen with our wholesome organic whole-foods, the coffee shop down the street that has the WAY overpriced coffee that we still indulge in every once in a while because it's SO good...., luna's laugh and embrace.....

we are blessed....

now go on, give thanks!

happy holidays.



Sunday, September 26, 2010

this too, shall pass

things are different now.... and i miss the way things were...
.....not that i'd change anything, but i do miss it.

i miss the thick portland days... with the clouds and the rain, and the sunshine that makes the most fabulous array of colors in the afternoon.

i miss going to the market every day - sometimes multiple times a day - for groceries... and always finding healthy, yummy and satisfying foods.

i miss my friends... the tea, the talks, the hugs.

and of course i miss the coffee.

i miss a lot about our old life.

our new (and very temporary) life finds us - a family of three - living in a room the size of my childhood bedroom... in fact, it is my childhood bedroom...[sigh]. we've been staying with my parents for the last four weeks, and things are beginning to feel claustrophobic to me. it doesn't help that the three of us are sharing a double bed... definitely going for the king when we move into our new home! my parents have been amazing, and i love (love love) that luna is bonding with her grandparents. it's so wonderful to watch my father and my daughter explore the yard together... water the plants... pick the veggies... that is beautiful.
but, i am SO ready for us to have our own space again.

i'm ready to meet new people. i'm ready to discover a new neighborhood... with new neighbors, and new parks... new markets...

last week we took luna to the library story time in a neighborhood we're considering settling in. it was SO good to see other mamas and papas there with their little ones. it was a great group of people ... young, diverse... it was encouraging... and since then i feel as though i've been grabbing at every opportunity to find a home there and get the ball rolling on our planting some roots.... but i know it's not time yet.

we have a lot on our plate right now. this new life is full of stress. we have much to do in order to make everything happen as we want it to... and at the same time, so much is out of our hands. we're trying to get ourselves on a plane to indonesia.... and it's proving difficult for a number of reasons. and as the stresses pile up, i feel the weight on my chest...... constricting my breath.....

there have been tears... lots of tears.... and i'm sure there are many more to come.... but we move forward....
the end is not yet in sight, but i do know that this too, shall pass.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

on the road



it's 11pm. luna is asleep beside me. febri is watching tv (something he never gets to do at home). we are in fortuna, ca.... a million miles from home... in fact, i don't even know where home is...

2 days ago, after much stressful packing and selling (thank goodness for the loving help of friends, or i don't know how we would have managed it), we loaded up the wagon and hit the road. south through oregon and then southwest to the california coast. we have loved every minute of this adventure... us being febri and i, luna hasn't loved *every* minute. luna, however, has handled the road better than i imagined she would... she's acclimating to life in the car quite well, in fact.
today we spent some time in redwood forest and on the coast.... we had dinner at a funky little vietnamese restaurant and developed a new found love for our own home-cooked food... and then we took luna swimming in the hotel heated pool. i'm surprised i have the energy to sit and type this...but i want to get these thoughts down.

i have always been one to jump at the opportunity for travel/adventure... for change. now though, i suppose being a mother has altered things. my feelings are different, and though i'm enjoying these days on the road, i'm already anticipating our arrival on the opposite coast, and settling into a new home and rhythm. but, it will be a while before that day comes as we have more adventures in store. after we master the road and a short visit with family, we'll try our hand at international travel with an infant...

and that..... is a story for another day.

goodnight!

saying goodbye to friends


a much needed rest mid-drive

febri and luna taking in the west coast

ever amazing old-growth











Thursday, July 8, 2010

summer!!!


well, summer has finally arrived in the pacific northwest! it made an appearance a couple times earlier in the year, but it seems as though now it is here to stay. it's been close to 100 degrees the last two days, and tomorrow is calling for the same. to escape the heat, we decided to take advantage of one of the great things about portland ... it's proximity to the coast .... and took luna on her first beach visit!

we all had a blast!







hope you're enjoying your summer!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

5 on 5

tomorrow is cinco de mayo...and, tomorrow, luna will be 5 months old.

she's turning into such a little person - full of personality, expression, and love. i watch her take in the world around her... and i hold her tight..close to me, and i try to hold on to these fleeting moments. the most amazing times are when we look into each other's eyes - and time stands still - i've never had such a connection before, and it takes my breath away. this little being - that febri and i created - our love child.. she's growing up before our very eyes.


at 5 months luna can do lots of things:

*she can sit unaided! - though she usually topples over after a bit.... sometimes she catches herself with her hands... sometimes she face-plants ... she's learning :)

*luna has mastered her grasp - and she uses it for everything - including mama's hair and skin (ouch!)... and, she holds on tight to toys....until we're out in the rain, where she will surely let go :) ~ i'm learning

*she's showing a preference for certain music - a lot she is indifferent to, but certain songs she loves - and she shows us with a big smile... to other songs she promptly pouts and cries to let us know they are NOT her favorites.

*luna is not yet doing the "belly crawl", but she excels at doing 360s when placed on her tummy. it helps that she has a colorful activity mat to hold her interest .... (thanks uncle michael!) she is now more regularly rolling belly to back, and back to belly.

*she has begun thumb sucking ... this is new. up until now she has been a knuckle sucker, but it looks as though she is now preferring her thumb.

*luna is teething - big time. poor baby! i'm waiting to see the first pearly white, but i know it may be some time. we got luna an amber and hazelwood necklace from this website.. it's still too early to tell if it's easing her symptoms, but it sure is pretty on her sweet little neck :) !

luna's favorite things:

*going for neighborhood walks and visiting the neighbor's chickens.

*still LOVES taking baths

*"bubuy bulan" is her favorite song ... it's a sudanese song that papa sings to her...
"aku seorang kapiten" (an indonesian song) is a close second
she also thoroughly enjoys both "twinkle, twinkle little star" and "the itsy bitsy spider" - but i think mostly for the hand motions that i perform with them.

*luna has grown attached to her cloudb gentle giraffe... puts her right to sleep - and she's so cute snuggled up against it.

*luna enjoys stroller time (we finally got our dream ride - the 2010 uppababy vista), but still prefers being worn on mama or papa. we still use the wraps - but we've also started using a beco - and baby, mama, and papa are happy!

our tiny little baby is turning into a little person...changing every day.

here are some recent closeups:







Saturday, April 24, 2010

how old?


it's funny how people assume luna is a little boy all the time. it's also funny how many people ask "how old is HE?" even when she is dressed in pink from head to toe (which isn't often). i can pick out the mothers who "have been there" because they're the ones who simply ask "how old?".. leaving out the he/she. for whatever reason, fathers don't seem to learn from experience in this department..? it doesn't bother me that folks think she's a boy... and it certainly doesn't bother luna... but, i do think it's funny. here are some recent photos:


luna in a sweet little onesie made by my friend janessa (fortesdesign.com)


waking up from nap


fast asleep with papaw (my dad)


and at the chinese gardens with mia and papaw






Thursday, April 15, 2010

reflections

at almost 19 weeks post-partum, i think i'm finally figuring out how to do it all. some days, most days actually, i manage to not only take good care of luna, but also of myself... and pretty good care of the house as well. i've worked out a system .. wake, breakfast, vacuum, nap, shower, ... i won't bore you with the details, but i will say, i feel pretty good. in fact, i feel like wonder woman .. minus the spandex and arm cuffs.

our little house has quickly become tiny, especially with a visit from mia and papaw (my parents) last week and the addition of a jumper and rocking horse. we've been planning to move into a bigger house for some time, but that move might be a bit farther than we anticipated. more on that later.... but, for now, we're staying put in a too small house - and so, we're grateful for the sunny days that allow us to escape into the outdoors.
today luna and i had the pleasure of taking two nice walks with two amazing women (and one beautiful little baby). the combination of the sunshine, the landscape in bloom, and good conversation with close friends made for a lovely day. it's days like this that i count my blessings. and i am so blessed.

as night falls, i sit in a quiet house with a cup of tea, and a sleeping babe. just waiting in anticipation. ~tomorrow is friday...family day... a day filled with luna AND febri... snuggling, laughing, dancing- together... just the three of us. i look forward to friday all week...




Wednesday, April 14, 2010

the man i love


it's been 3 weeks since febri started school. 3 weeks of adjusting to a new schedule. 3 weeks of going to bed with only luna. i love snuggling with my warm, sweet, angelic little babe.. but honestly, i can't shake the loneliness that exists without febri. i keep thinking it will get easier, but it's always the same... every night ... the gaping hole that febri once filled.

this is, of course, only 4 days a week - but it feels like 10 - the other 3 days we reserve for family time - where we soak up all that is febri,
all that is papa,
all that is the man i love.

in just 11 weeks, he'll be ours again. that is, until summer term begins....

Sunday, March 14, 2010

april showers....

daylight savings...is it already time for that? spring is coming, and as it should be, plenty of change is coming with it. febri has decided to go back to school and will be starting classes at the university here at the end of the month. he'll be going to school full time, and also continuing to work full time...it will be challenging for him...and for me....and for our family - even still, i'm so excited for him to embark on this long overdue journey. it does put a halt in our plans to move overseas, but that's only mildly disappointing considering the benefits reaped in staying stateside, and hearing the joy in my parents voices upon learning their grand-daughter would remain across the country rather than half-way around the world. as i envision how my life will be over the next few months, i gain a whole new respect for single mamas .. or mamas of multiples... i mean, i guess you do what you have to do...that's what being a mama is about....mothering.
speaking of mamas - i've been one now for over three months! luna turned 14 weeks old yesterday - and last night, she consciously grasped her first toy and pulled it to her mouth. if only you could have seen feb and i ... such proud parents! luna is also doing other fun things:

~ she loves to talk to herself (and us) in the mirror.
~ she totally gets into mimicking high voices and pouty voices - that's a really fun game!
~ peek-a-boo and story-time are now regular activities
~ she's accepted the pacifier..though not as a sucker - just as a teether..& only while hanging in the wrap (probably her favorite place). she still detests both the bottle and the car seat - but not with as much passion as before
~ she accidentally discovered that she likes drinking bath water - and it's now nearly impossible to keep her head above water during bath-time



we have begun to take luna to various baby gatherings (book babies at the library, song groups, etc) because we feel the exposure and interaction is beneficial to her development. she really seems to enjoy watching the other babes - even releasing the occasional squeal of delight. and, she's growing - right before my very eyes.

spring will bring more changes, as we plan for travel, a wedding, and a crawling baby... and it will also spring newness, beauty, and a fresh perspective.... and so, we welcome it with open arms.


Monday, February 22, 2010

here's squeakin' at you, kid

lots of new-ness around here...which i guess can be expected with a newborn in the house.
this week luna had her first encounter with a stranger who made her cry. we were in whole foods getting rice in the bulk isle. luna was happily taking in the sites from the safety of the sleepy wrap when a woman walked up to us and commented on how beautiful she thinks mixed race babies are ~ luna being no exception. ok, i said thank you - and she asked if she could touch luna on the outside of the wrap...i appreciated her asking. it surprises me how many people will just up and touch a baby...their hands, their cheeks...i know babies are cute, but come on people - what germs are you passing on to my knuckle-sucking little babe? anyway, i told her to go ahead and touch away (she wasn't touching luna after all). but then, she let loose into full on baby talk...calling luna a "yum yum head" and other things just as ridiculous that i can't remember now...finally luna just started screaming, letting the whole grocery store know of her disapproval. febri and i smiled, and calmed luna down - and the lady apologized and went on her way. i don't blame luna...that sort of thing doesn't happen every day. up until now, it has been all smiles for everyone she meets. after that incident though, i braced myself every time someone wanted to say hi to luna, thinking the tears might burst free again...but, they didn't...again - just smiles. my cute babe!

luna got her first teether toy - the infamous sophie giraffe. she loves it! febri and i, not knowing what teether is better than the next, decided to just go with the popular one. we're happy we did - it's so cute to see luna smile and laugh when she sees sophie and hears her squeak. it's torture, though, for poor namaali - lover of squeaky toys. first, we have a baby who gets all the attention ... and now, she gets the new squeaky toys too. but, i have to say - this amazing dog - she has been very respectful of luna's right to also own a squeaky toy. however, we're careful not to leave sophie within doggy reach when we leave the house....







luna also got some new clothes! in case you forgot, we thought luna was a boy while she was still in the womb. we bought clothes that were suitable for a boy...though not the dump truck, doggy, and tool chest kind of boy clothes... just cute 'boy colored' clothes - that could be worn on a girl...just in case. so, luna has been wearing some super cute clothes...only, everyone she meets thinks she's a boy - just because her pants are blue. so...since she's grown out of so many of her boy's apparel line, we bagged up the too-small clothes, and made a trip to the consignment shop. it was SO much fun shopping in the girls section! we found some great bargains - and with the trade in, it all only cost a couple bucks. i'll post pictures of this sweet little girl (sometimes still called a boy) in her new duds soon!

until then, all is well in luna's land.....

Thursday, February 11, 2010

2 months...where's the pause button?

yesterday i visited my friend crystal. she's over-due, at 41 and a half weeks, with her first babe. she's holding up wonderfully, and it was a pleasure to see her in all her beauty and abundance ~ it took me back to how those final days before labor felt. the fullness, the excitement, the anticipation...

how can it be that 10 weeks have passed since i was in crystal's shoes? my little girl is over two months old now...she's growing up so fast already!! everyone warns you how the time will fly...it is flying, and i'm sure it will continue blaze past.

luna is on a roll in the development department. it's so amazing to watch her learn and discover the ways her body works, and it's beautiful to witness her reactions to the world around her. she is finally giving namaali some attention - and luna's hands and feet are also frequently acknowledged.

at 2 months:

*luna seems to really enjoy tummy-time. i think she likes the workout. she hasn't quite mastered the art of rolling...but she sure is getting close.

*she's becoming a pro at head control. i'm so excited to be able to hold her differently in the wrap ... but i want to give it a few more weeks ....

*luna now has a bedtime - and it's WONDERFUL. she's eased right into this routine and she will generally sleep 7-8 hours before she's ready to eat, then another 3 hours. it's been great for febri and i - we are able to have some time together to connect again apart from luna...not to mention the extra sleep time.

*she loves to stand while being supported...her legs are really strong, and she kicks them wildly about while lying on the floor. she's also taken to kicking me awake at night...i'm not sure if i prefer kicks or cries....hmmm?

*luna is discovering more and more sounds everyday.. and laughing at new sounds she hears from us... we seem to greatly amuse her, which of course amuses us in return. and conversations with this girl are becoming quite lengthy...she's a talker!

*she is pretty much only in 3-6 month clothes now, and her hats actually fit her head rather than falling over her eyes.

we continue to be the proud parents that we are, and we delight in time spent with this gorgeous growing babe. i finally caught that brilliant smile on film:




and here are a few more cuts from a typical day in luna's life:






the adventure continues.....

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

life is beautiful

what do i feel today..at this very moment..in my life?

bliss

i woke this morning to a beautiful baby on my right side and a handsome man on my left side...all 3 of us, snuggled together in a fluffy, soft, warm bed. luna slept almost 7 hours straight last night..that's a record! so we're all (including namaali) well rested today. after having her morning milk at 6am, luna nestled in bed with me as we watched the amazing man we call 'papa' get ready for work. i thought to myself how perfect life was at that exact moment...how happy i felt to be rested, and warm, and loved...and surrounded by the ones i love. so simple a moment - and yet, so right.

through his actions, febri perpetually reminds me why i fell for him...and why i continue to every day. not only is he an incredible man - going above and beyond what i expect from a partner, but he is an exceptional father as well. seeing him with luna melts my heart... every time.





Thursday, January 28, 2010

namaali's chaos

so, everyone said it would happen.....

you have a baby, and the dog gets ignored.

it happened. namaali - my beautiful, loving, intelligent dog... she's been my baby for the last 10 years... now we have a new baby... and, i hate to admit it, there's no love for namaali. well, there is love - but not what she's been used to prior to luna. i think she gets it - but, i feel guilty, and yet....

just as the three of us have adjusted to this new life together, namaali has had to adjust to life in a household with a newborn. at first she was confused and lost..she didn't eat for days, and wandered aimlessly around the house eventually settling in places where she would be 'out of the way'. it took a good week or two for namaali to acclimate to living with a crying baby - her whole schedule being turned upside down as she undoubtedly wondered why we were up and about all night long. after she adjusted to the new schedule, she went through a period of curiosity and became quite protective of our little one. she stayed close to luna whenever there were visitors, and ran to the room to check on luna whenever she cried. it was very sweet...it still is. only now, namaali just checks on luna when she makes strange noises - like the random cough-burps that she occasionally throws out there. like i said, namaali seems to 'get it' - and i think she's ok with it...but i'm feeling bad, and promising namaali lots of long walks and doggie treats ... well, once this rain lets up.

until then, namaali has returned to her old ways of watching the neighbors from the window, getting really excited when febri gets home from work, following me around the house, and thinking all visitors are here to see her (of course)...the rest of the time, she sleeps...she is 10 years old after all.

namaali - such an amazing soul..we love her...
it's sad, and it's unfair, but it is true what they say - somehow, amidst the chaos of life with baby, the dog gets ignored :(


on a positive note - luna has just started to take interest in namaali...it wont be long before they're sharing kisses and crackers... brighter days ahead for this beautiful dog!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

sinking in

so, it's finally beginning to sink in... i'm a mama

luna is now six and a half weeks old..and growing each day. we're developing a routine...nights are easier with her waking only once (woohoo!)...but, it's sinking in that my days of sleeping as late as i'd like are behind me.

we're big baby wearers in this house. most times on any given day, luna can be found in a wrap on either febri or i. the organic sleepy wrap is our favorite....we like the moby too. after a wake-up time (which involves sitting in bed face to face with luna chattering away), a fresh diaper, and a feed, luna goes into the wrap so i can cook some breakfast. she usually falls asleep within 15 minutes. routine makes life so much easier with a newborn :). luna and i do everything with the wrap...aside from the obvious of taking nice strolls outside- luna watches me wash the dishes, vacuum, do the laundry...and it's sinking in that it will be a long time before i'm able to pee solo again.

luna is changing in so many ways. every day is exciting, as she discovers something new.

*she has now mastered the perfect smile..you know, the one that makes even the worst day bright again. and, much to our delight, she has begun to laugh at our silliness...and at other things that we can't see... she also converses with us on a regular basis - trying out new sounds all the time.

*luna has begun to use her hands. she likes to grasp hair, fingers, and fabric - and pulls on clothes and the wrap when nursing (or just being carried around). she also like to clasp her hands together, and put them in her mouth.

*finally those mobiles we've had sitting around the house are keeping her attention. she now actually enjoys sitting in her bouncy chair and fixing her eyes on the little bug mobile that we've attached....this is so nice for some baby free time when i'm the only one home (washing my face, brushing my teeth, eating...these are all hard to do with a baby on board).

*luna seems to enjoy tummy-time. she pushes on her arms and kicks her feet around. sometimes she rolls onto her side ~ hasn't rolled all the way to her back yet.

*loud sounds now startle her (if sleeping) and scare her (if awake). she used to sleep through anything - and didn't mind loud sounds while awake - but now.... the dog barking, the washing machine buzzing, the telephone ringing, even a loud voice - can wake her up or make her cry...sometimes both. we've taken to playing white noise at night to help her sleep more deeply - and we kind of like it too. febri woke the other night and asked if we had arrived yet...this puzzled me - until i remembered us joking about how we feel as though we're in an airplane with the white noise on... :)
airplane : womb ......... hmmm.....

here are some things luna hates:

bottles
pacifiers
car seats

part of me is proud of my natural baby refusing to take a bottle or a pacifier - not happy with anything but breast...just as nature intended...i can't blame her. but, another part of me is horrified at the thought of luna relying on only breast for food and comfort...especially as the time nears for me to resume seeing clients again. for now i'm not pushing it - hoping luna will be more accepting with age...i realize this is probably foolish, but....
as for the car seat: is there anything worse than hearing/watching your baby cry while on the road - knowing there is nothing you can do to calm her aside from pulling the car over and picking her up (we've done that)? and i'm not talking run of the mill fussiness - this is screaming, blood curdling, break your heart crying. she hates the car seat - thought she would get used to it...hasn't happened yet. maybe if we start using a car more regularly..as for now, she's only been on a handful of car rides....

oh baby - if you could accept these 3 things into your life, life for mama and papa would be so much easier!

yes, it's sinking in...i am a mama.
so far, motherhood is a good fit.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

the chaos and beauty of birth

the clues

the day it all began, things were pretty ordinary....or, at least what i had become accustomed to in the last weeks of pregnancy. braxton hicks contractions were frequent... i felt heavy..crampy.. my back hurt..my legs hurt..... i was ready. it was one day past my due date (and one day before the due date my midwives had on record...long story there). i was waiting for my friend to come visit and give me an acupuncture induction - and wondering if that would move things along. about an hour later, i got a call from my friend - she had never been to our new house, and failed in her attempt to find it (portland neighborhoods can be tricky sometimes). she is a rad lady who doesn't rely on a cell phone - which is great...except in situations like these. she had to drive all the way home, and then call from there to tell me she couldn't find me - instead of her coming back that night, we decided to reschedule for the following afternoon.
when febri got home, i asked if he would apply pressure to the points on my back that erin would have needled. while he did that, i needled the points i could reach easily, and felt i had a pretty good treatment...all things considered. febri made dinner, and i caught up on email. it was during this time (around 7 pm) i realized my braxton hicks contractions were really frequent...coming anywhere from 5-8 minutes apart. i started recording them - more out of curiosity than anything else. febri made an amazing dinner, as usual, and i was bummed that i felt really full - and a little uncomfortable - and just couldn't eat more than a few bites. that was weird...
after dinner we decided to go for a walk to see if the contractions would pick up at all....it was so cold outside!....we walked around the neighborhood, and things did get stronger..i even had to stop a couple times. still, i wasn't convinced things were happening...after coming home we layed in bed and put a movie on...i felt fine, and went to sleep around 11:30. at 1am a contraction woke me...a painful one....whoa. febri was enjoying his friday night with movie #2. i went to the bathroom, then got back into bed - wham! - another contraction - 5min from the first. i turned to febri and suggested he get some sleep - this could be the start of labor. he turned the computer off, and started to get comfortable. another contraction...again 5 min...ok, i told febri - you better get the birthpool ready, this is it!

the labor

contractions were coming every five minutes. between them, i was helping febri prepare for the birth....putting plastic over the bed, setting up the lights and music, lighting the labor candle that had been filled with blessings from those at our baby shower. it wasn't long though (about an hour) before i was unable to continue helping because the contractions were intense, and i needed to rest between them. they continued to come very 5 minutes, but were growing in strength...i found the best position to be in was on all fours - or supporting myself with the birth ball. febri rubbed my back during the rushes and i was surprised at how exhausted i was after each one.
around 3:30am we paged the midwife. she called back quickly, and i answered the phone. i told her what was happening, and i had to put the phone down through a contraction - she told us to call her back in about an hour to let her know how it was going. i continued to labor as febri continued filling the pool. i was feeling weak, so decided to have a spoonful of peanut butter and some orange juice. at some point through all of this, i went to the bathroom and noticed blood when wiping...i took this as proof that my cervix was dilating! after another 2 hours, we called linda (our midwife) again. she told us she was going to walk her dog and would be over shortly... febri got on the phone with her and this time told her what i had left out - that my contractions had actually started at 7pm the previous evening - (i had only deemed the *painful* contractions important information to relay) linda said she'd be right over.
i started to feel really nauseous after each contraction - febri brought me a bowl in case i needed to vomit, but i never had to use it. i was also getting really shaky...i took these signs to mean i was in transition... but it was all the same to me. contractions were still about 5 minutes apart, and continuing to grow in intensity. i was now moaning through each rush...and falling asleep between them. when linda arrived (around 6:30 or 7am), she checked my pulse and blood pressure, and the baby's heartbeat. she also gave me what would be my one and only internal exam my entire pregnancy and announced that i was 6cm dilated. woohoo...over half way! this is where things really begin to become a blur.
linda asked me for a urine test...i took the stick into the bathroom, but completely forgot to use it. what i did discover was a large bloody show and mucous plug...ok - here we go! i continued laboring on the floor in the living room. as i felt each contraction coming i called for febri for support. he was my rock through labor - i could not have done it without him....well, i would have done it - no choice, but febri was the only thing i was concerned about. i put all of my focus on him, and as labor proceeded i began to panic if he wasn't near when i felt the next contraction building. i was also keenly focused on the pain of each rush...i realize now that things may have been easier if my focus were less on the pain - but at the time, i was very much in it - consumed.. i experienced labor to its full extent. linda decided to leave febri and i alone, and went to the bedroom to rest a while. i felt the contractions becoming more difficult to get though...my moans became louder...and i wanted to move to the pool. i was concerned my contractions, still at 5 min, might slow down if i got into the water, so i decided to hold out a little longer. as the contractions grew in intensity, i made it my goal to get through one at a time. when i thought i couldn't take the pain of another rush, i promised myself to make it through one more - then i would reward myself by moving to the birthing pool. i made this promise several times and continued to labor out of the water - every minute my mind building the birthing pool up as a warm water oasis that would diminish all pain...ahhh, what a reward for all of my hard work!
finally i decided it was time. i walked to the bedroom and asked linda if she thought it was too early for me to get in the water. she said to give it a go - if labor slowed, i could always get out. febri helped me into the pool - the water felt warm as i reclined and waited for the next contraction, which would be,undoubtedly, pain free. i was SO disappointed when the next contraction (and each thereafter) came with the same pain and intensity as those before. being in the water made NO difference...boo! well, no matter, i had to continue laboring..and so, that's what i did. the water didn't slow the contractions ~ in fact, it seemed to speed them up a bit. i was progressing well when debbie, the assistant midwife arrived. debbie brought with her a breath of fresh air - and i felt a little bit rejuvenated ~ maybe it was the brief reconnection i had with the outside world.
the last two hours of labor i remember very little of... i know i was leaning over the side of the tub - still on all fours for each contraction - and drinking lots of water in between. the contractions got stronger and i could feel the heaviness of the baby descending........the midwives checked things out and decided it would be best for me to get out of the water so they could pull the anterior lip of my cervix over the baby's head to help things progress. i got out of the water and layed on the floor. linda proceeded to move the cervical lip - and POP! my water broke and gushed onto the floor. i then got back into the pool and awaited my next contraction. this, i think, is when things really started moving along. i felt a burning pressure - and though the intensity of each contraction came every couple minutes, the burning pressure was continuous. this part of labor was tough - but satisfying because i could feel the progress - the baby was coming! i pushed for a while (actually, all told, i pushed for just under an hour) and could feel the baby crowning. however, at the end of each contraction, i felt her head move back up the cervix. finally, linda and debbie suggested taking a new position by turning over on my back to labor. they were afraid the baby would go into distress if in the birth canal too long. i wasn't thrilled to take this new position, but i felt the midwives knew best - so over i went.

the birth

this new position didn't feel as uncomfortable as i had dreaded. once i was on my back, i heard febri yell out in surprise and excitement, and i looked down to see the crowning of my baby and her full head of hair. this moment caught my breath - it was awesome. debbie told me to reach down and feel my baby - i did.....amazing. but, i was still in a lot of pain - and i was ready to finish this! when linda suggested i feel my baby again, i promptly informed her i already had, and i was ready to push. i was instructed to push gently with the next contraction...i didn't know what that meant. when i felt the rush come on, i pushed - and pushed - until i felt her head come out. debbie told me to keep pushing - i asked if i could rest a minute (this was hard work!) - she said no, she's almost here - push! i pushed, and felt the great release and relief as my baby came out of my body and into the water. i pulled her to my chest and gazed at her as the world around me fell away completely. it was just me and my baby - and i was so proud, and so in love - immediately...what an incredible feeling! i couldn't believe how perfect she was - every last bit of her... perfect. gradually, the voices around me filtered through the haze, and i heard voices asking if it was a boy or girl. this hadn't even occurred to me, as we were expecting a boy. the low lights and murky water made it hard to see, so i reached down to feel, and thought..hmmm...., this doesn't feel like a boy. i said - i think it's a girl! someone got a flashlight and shined it on her - sure enough, a girl. i heard febri on the phone announcing luna's arrival to my parents - i could hear the joy in his voice...such a happy moment!

the afterbirth ----- story to come.....


Thursday, January 7, 2010

this little piggy

yet another night of being awakened by luna. not because she's crying, but because she's grunting... in her sleep. luna still sleeps next to me in bed. we're trying to establish a routine before moving her to her cradle... which, by the way is right next to the bed, therefore failing to mask the noises that come from that cute little baby. i don't mind them really... in fact, i think they're really sweet. my baby. and, i'd much rather wake to grunts and squeaks, and pull luna to my breast before she's worked up, than wake to her cries. this way, too, luna is in that slumber land... not fully awake, and able to fall right to sleep again after feeding. those noises though..... and why don't they wake febri? most of the time, i think she sounds like a little pig.. :) ... but sometimes, like a bird - or a squirrel. she also peeps and pops...but the grunts are what really get me - sometimes she grunts while she's stretching, and it's so cute! my baby. do all babies do this? maybe it runs in the family? my grandpa was a wilbur......

two days ago, luna was officially one month old. the day before that, she was lying on the floor looking around the room, and she smiled. i don't know what she smiled at - but she smiled. and this was a big deal, because up until this point, luna had only smiled in her sleep. i was so happy, and thought it wouldn't be long before she flashed that smile right at me.
yesterday - she did! it was early in the morning...luna was awake and full, and we were sitting in bed 'talking' to each other - and she smiled at me! my heart melted... then she smiled again - looking at me with those big brown eyes. how gratifying - that first smile! i called febri (who was getting ready for work) - he came to the room - guess what? he got a smile too! great way to start the day... thank you luna! today she's handing out more smiles, and each one goes straight to my heart. and i realize these moments are fleeting... she's already growing so fast, and yet she's still so new. so, i'm taking it all in...every minute of every day - and again, i feel so blessed.

also of big importance in our lives:
luna is establishing a nightly routine. for the last week or so now she wakes, like clockwork, at 1am, 3am, and 5am for feedings. this is great because now my body is used to it and able to handle the sleep breaks without trouble. we both fall right back to dreamland after luna eats and gets a fresh diaper. she has also shifted her lucid time during the daylight hours... preferring to stay awake after a morning nap until around 4pm. this is a long stretch for her... i've been trying to get her to take an afternoon nap, then stay awake later into the evening. last night = success!! she woke from an afternoon nap around 3:30 and was awake until 9:30pm. after a bath and a feeding, she slept until 2am. then until 4:30. then until 8am! woohoo! last night was wonderful. i know it's too early to get excited, but...
these last couple days have brought much in the way of optimism and magic (ahh those smiles!).

oh, the wonders of parenting....




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