Sunday, November 23, 2014

happy birthday, James!

Our sweet boy is finally here... let me introduce you to the newest love of our lives, James Benjamin Anderson! I actually wrote a 40 weeks blog post last Monday, just never got around to posting to Facebook. Who knew that just a few short hours later, I'd be meeting my babe for the first time?!

Here's the (long? short? who knows?) story... if you don't want to read about labor and childbirth, you might want to skip this one. No worries, there will no action shots. ;) Just pics of a cute baby. (And a sleep-deprived mom.)

It all started Monday afternoon. I had spent the morning doing one last special cupcake order, and around noon decided I needed something else to keep me busy. I ran some errands to pick up some groceries for a fun meal and some craft supplies to make Christmas ornaments. I felt a few contractions off and on, but they felt the same as the Braxton Hicks contractions I'd been having for the past several weeks, so I just shook it off.

My afternoon plans included making some cute detailed sugar cookies for my baby boy. I had bought an elephant cookie cutter (to match his nursery, ha) about 4 months ago, but had never gotten around to using it so I had some fun. I also made some girly-girl baby cookies for my cousin who had actually just gone into labor the previous night. She was due November 8, and I was so happy that at least one of us was going to meet our babes!

Cookies for baby James! My mom actually ended up bringing these to the hospital later in the week and we shared with the nurses.
I had some more contractions throughout the afternoon, but not enough to make me notice anything. Around 4 or 5pm, I had some period-like cramps for a few hours, but I'd also had those before so shrugged it off as nothing. I made dinner (shrimp pasta in tomato-cream sauce and homemade sourdough bread!), and my Business Man and I ate and relaxed on the couch. I continued to have mild cramps and contractions but didn't think anything of it.

Finally, around 9pm, I thought I might want to start timing them. They were coming maybe 3-4 an hour, and not intense at all. I had an appointment the next day at 11:30am, so I figured I'd just wait it out and see what the doc said then. (Ha.)

We packed up the bag (just in case) and headed to bed around 11pm. I couldn't really sleep so I watched Gilmore Girls on the iPad in bed. Around 11:45ish, I started timing the contractions again, because they seemed to be coming more frequently. I was instructed to head the hospital when they were lasting 1 minute long, 5 minutes apart, for 1 hour straight. 

A few of them lasted 1 minute long, and sometimes they were 5 minutes apart, but every once in awhile there would be a 10-12 minute break, or a 30-second contraction, so I'd have to start over with counting my hour. I had heard lots of stories of women being told to go home once they got to the hospital, and I definitely didn't want that to happen!

Around 1am, they started to become really intense, and I was spending a lot of time in the bathroom. I figured that this might be the real thing, and maybe it was time to get my Business Man out of bed so we could figure out what to do. (Not that he was really sleeping anyway.) All of a sudden I heard a big splash in the toilet, and my water broke! Totally the real thing. We decided it was probably time to go to the hospital. 

The contractions all of a sudden became really intense, and were coming really quickly. (I wasn't timing them anymore.) My body was also shaking uncontrollably. It was at this point that even though all throughout pregnancy I was firmly in the no-epidural camp, I decided to for sure get the epidural because if these were the early contractions, what would the real ones feel like??! (Little did I know...)

It took about 20 minutes to get myself from the bathroom into the car, but we finally made it. Thank goodness we only had a 4-block drive to the hospital, not sure if I would have made it in the car for much longer. We got to the L&D floor around 2am, and the nurses welcomed us and showed us to a room. At this point, I was in a LOT of pain, and ready to get things going.

The nurses seemed to dilly-dally around with getting me gowns and checked... probably the whole first-time mom thing. I asked for an epidural the second we got into the room, and they were like "Oh, there's plenty of time! Just let us get some paperwork done first."

Finally, one of them checked me and I was already at 7-8cm. Woah! Forget the paperwork, we've got to get ready to have a baby. I kept asking about the epidural, and they just kept telling me to "just keep breathing, you're doing great!" Looking back this makes me laugh. I labored in the bed gripping the side rails as each contraction came, and focused on breathing slow and steady. These contractions were the worst pain I've ever felt in my life! I tried to explain it to my Business Man... they felt like someone gripping all your inside organs and giving them an Indian burn. My Business Man did a great job in keeping me calm and focused. He was also a great water boy, giving me sips of water as I begged for them.

Fortunately, out of my OB practice (6 doctors), my doctor happened to be the one on call. She arrived, and we got prepped for the birth. She and the nurses coached me in pushing - basically telling me to push when I felt the urge. The pushing wasn't nearly as painful as the contractions before it; it was just hard work! After about 20 minutes, James Benjamin was born into the world! I was so happy not only to meet my son, but to be done with that whole process. Wow, childbirth is exhausting! Lol.

Afterward, they put James on my chest, and I got to hold him for about an hour while my doctor stitched me up. (Let me just say, that is not the most pleasant feeling in the world...) 

Just a few hours after he was born. I was still hooked up to the IV, which was driving me crazy! They were just giving me fluids and Pitocin afterward to help shrink my uterus.
I just could not believe how quick the whole process was. I never expected it to go like that. I had packed my iPod for using during labor, the birth ball, and shot blocks to give me energy. Haha, never even had a chance to think about anything like that. So, so glad though! I can't imagine it lasting longer. 

We stayed in the delivery room for a couple hours, and then were moved to a regular mother-baby room around 5:30am. We snoozed for a few minutes (literally 30 minutes), then started the day. We had lots of visitors (friends, family) and lots of visits from nurses checking this and that. By the end of the day, we were SO exhausted. But so happy to have our sweet boy James with us! 

And here's a few pics from the fun couple days... this post is quite lengthy so I might blog more about our hospital stay later. I think I definitely covered the highlights! ;)

First family pic! This was post-shower, about 8 hours after he was born. Tell you what, I felt like a new woman after that shower!
Proud daddy with his son!
Changing one of James' many naaasty diapers. Those first few poos are no joke! My Business Man is a rock star and did about 95% of the diaper duty at the hospital.
How many grandparents does it take to get that perfect picture? ;)
James, me, and grandmomma! So glad she was able to come out and meet him right away. He missed meeting his grandpa but will see him soon next week for Thanksgiving!

Some much-needed Starbuck's for this sleep-deprived momma! The new Praline Chestnut Latte is amazing... also might have been the fact I was operating on 30 minutes of sleep after birthing a child. Ha.
The hospital treated us to a 'celebratory' meal the last night we were there... stuffed chicken, potatoes, and a clearly gourmet red velvet cupcake. The food was actually really good, and I just had to snap a pic of the cupcake. I will admit, it wasn't my favorite thing to eat that week. Ha.
Sweet baby James lying on the awesome blanket Lindsey made him! He loves it. (Or maybe Mommy just loves taking pictures on it...)

Monday, November 17, 2014

40 weeks + is it go time?!

Officially playing the waiting game... we are two days past Poppyseed's due date and patiently awaiting his arrival! We got a bunch of snow overnight and it's been nice to just cuddle up inside the house with nowhere to go and nothing to do. (Fortunately, the hospital is just 4 blocks away, so we shouldn't have any issue getting there when it's time.)

40 weeks on the dot! And might I say I am about ready to burn that hoodie... pretty much the only warm shirt I have that currently fits!
I've had the hospital bags packed for 2+ weeks... however I keep taking clothes out of them to wear. A girl needs her yoga pants around the house! 

I've spent the last couple days just putzing around the house... cleaning a bit here and there, watching Gilmore Girls, working on some fun recipes in the kitchen.

Fancy Cookies & Cream Hot Cocoa... SO GOOD!!

Homemade sourdough bread! This one took some planning ahead, with the starter and all. But now I am happy to say I have a sourdough starter sitting in my fridge, so I can bake fresh sourdough whenever I want! (Because I'm sure that will be a high priority with a newborn.)

Cutesy cookies to match Poppyseed's nursery. I joked with my mom that she could bring them to the hospital when Poppyseed is born and pretend to give them to us as a present. Ha.

40 Weeks - The Facts

Poppyseed's size: BABY!

Sleep: Not great. I've been getting a lot of quality Gilmore Girls viewing time during the middle of the night.

Movement: He doesn't have as much room, so I haven't been feeling as much.

Running/Workouts: Pretty much just daily activities at this point. I did walk 2 miles yesterday afternoon in the snow/cold to get some fresh air.

Snowy selfie! (Gag me.)
Cravings: Nothing really. I wouldn't mind a donut right about now though.

What I am missing: I seriously cannot remember what it is like to not have constant lower back pain. I am so ready to be able to move around with ease. (Praying for a quick and easy recovery from the birth!)

Looking forward to: My doctor's appointment tomorrow, and meeting Poppyseed! I know it will be soon. It HAS to be, right??!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

39 weeks + the final countdown

Well... 2 days from the big Due Date, and I feel like we're playing a waiting game! Poppyseed is still quite comfortable inside, and hasn't really shown any signs of making his appearance.

39 weeks + 4 days and rocking the winter coat. How is it 27*F outside in November??!?
I had my 39 week appointment on Tuesday, and got to have a surprise ultrasound! After a routine non-stress test, my doctor wanted to check the level of amniotic fluid, just to be sure he was still doing ok in there. (Good news: everything is great!) I got to see his little squishy face, and it was just what I needed!

I know that I'm probably the only one who sees this and immediately thinks "ohmyupercutebabyface!" My Business Man had a hard time figuring out what was what, ha.
Not much else is new... just waiting on our little man. I am officially *done* baking cupcakes after this Saturday, so I might have a bit of extra free time next week while we wait for this little kidd-o. Might have to do some Christmas shopping. 

If he doesn't arrive by the end of next week, we will most likely induce... which is mighty fine with me. In the meantime, I'll be eating all the pineapple, drinking all the raspberry red leaf tea, bouncing on all the birth balls, walking all the miles, eating all the spicy food, and perhaps I will treat myself to a massage and pedicure. Ha.

39 Weeks - The Facts

Poppyseed's size: The size of a baby. Not bigger than 10 lbs I hope. ;)

Sleep: Getting progressively worse... I am waking up 6-7 times a night! Ahhhhh. But napping almost every afternoon.

Movement: More bigger movements, like he's stretching out. It actually hurts my skin sometimes, the pushing and pulling.

Running/Workouts: Walking, walking, and more walking! Rolling over in bed is quite the workout, too.

Cravings: Nothing really, to be honest. I've had a larger appetite (since he's dropped) which is nice. We had a Friendsgiving over the weekend and the mashed potatoes were amazing! I also made some pretty bangin' homemade rolls if I do say so myself.

What I am missing: Walking like a normal human being.

Looking forward to: Seeing Poppyseed in person! Hopefully sooner than later... not really thinking he's going to greet us by Saturday, though.

Friday, November 7, 2014

38 weeks + post-baby plans

I figured I better hurry up and write this week's blog post, considering I'll be 39 weeks (full term) tomorrow! To say I am excited about that would be an understatement. He could come any day now... or he could camp out in my uterus for another 2.5 weeks. Lovely.

Now that he's seriously almost here, I've started to think about post-baby plans. One of the challenges of running your own business or being self-employed - how does maternity leave work? How much time do I want to take off? Not only does time off mean no income, but it also means lack of growth with the business. 

In the baking biz, the time of year definitely makes a difference... November and December sales are quite different than the months of January or July. (Aka Nov/Dec = super busy... January not so much.)

So, as you can see Poppyseed has timed his arrival pretty much perfectly. ;) 

When the business is in full swing, I work about probably 45-50 hours a week spread out over 6 days. Crazy holidays = even more. (Hello 15-hour baking days.) I know that will be unrealistic with an infant. If everything goes well with the delivery, and Poppyseed is healthy, and I have a pretty quick recovery, I am hoping to get back into the kitchen within 3-4 weeks of giving birth. (Lots of "if's" there... am I crazy?!)

Insert random picture of milk - Poppyseed's due date!
Right now, the cupcake counter is open Wednesdays & Saturdays. I am hoping to have it back open by the first or second weekend of December, but Saturdays only... which would mean only 2-3 days of work each week, depending on how many orders I receive. (Or take. I gotta remind myself, I can turn orders down! People will survive.) I hope to be able to go full steam ahead with Christmas orders, but then scale back down and take a few more weeks off in January. (When it is generally slow anyway.) Then back to the usual volume in February.

I will have some help a few days a week with childcare in the home, so I think my plan is pretty realistic. Remind me that when I have a fussy baby and am elbow-deep in buttercream. It'll be an adventure!

Of course, this is all assuming we have a safe & healthy delivery, and I recovery from childbirth pretty quickly. That is our prayer and desire (duh!), but if somehow we have a different outcome, my baby and family definitely come first. If I have to close down Sara's Sweets for several weeks or months, that's ok... the health and care of my child is way more important!

38 Weeks - The Facts

Poppyseed's size: A baby. It is still surreal to believe there is a full-sized baby currently residing inside my body.

Sleep: Not good. Just preparing me for mommyhood, right?!

Movement: Lots of squirms and jabs. It feels like he can't really move around a whole at this point... probably because there's not a whole lot of room left in there!

Running/Workouts: Mostly just walks on the treadmill. It's been nasty outside, and I've discovered Gilmore Girls on Netflix. One day I walked 5.5 miles, ha. (Did nothing to bring on labor.)

Cravings: Cheese, especially cream cheese! This week, I worked ahead on a bunch of recipes for the Chief Supermarket Market Blog, and one of them was a Bagel & Cream Cheese French Toast Bake. OMG. I could not get over it. Everything bagels + cream cheese chunks + cheddar cheese = best combo ever. We also made Buffalo Chicken flatbreads with a spicy cream cheese sauce, so good!

How could a pan of everything bagel chunks, cream cheese, and cheddar cheese NOT be good?! This was before being topped with an egg custard and baked for an hour.

What I am missing: Feeling like my normal self, and being able to move without it being a huge ordeal. I know that's still a far way off, but evicting the child will have to give me a little relief, right?!

Looking forward to: Meeting our little guy, of course. His due date is just 8 days away now. Though I'm making myself think Thanksgiving... because he seems quite cozy in there. 

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