Monday, August 25, 2014

Ruby: the aftermath

My mommy was here for a week after we came home from the hospital. It was so wonderful on so many levels having her here.  She is the first of our family to come visit Ithaca, and I knew she would appreciate all the beauty to be experienced here.  I was glad to get to share it with her.

It was also nice being able to sit around when I wanted to sit around.  I got to take a nap whenever I wanted! Grandma was so awesome when it came to playing with Theo and getting him all kinds of new toys and treats.  What are Grandmas for?

My mom also did all the laundry while she was here, the dishes, picked up the house, went to the store. She pretty much did all the stuff I didn't want to, and I'm so grateful for it!!

Theo was feeling under the weather pretty much the whole time she was here, so we didn't go out and do as many things as I'd planned on. (I guess I had just had a baby too.  It didn't limit me too much, but I didn't have a problem taking it easy) I don't think she was bored though, having two cute kids to play with and snuggle. 

This was three days after I had Ruby.  My mom kept telling me that I’m the woman that all other women hate, because I bounce back from birthing so quickly. I obviously can't take any credit for it, but I'm grateful.  I feel so good; I love having my body back, and being able to snuggle Theo properly. That was one of the top things I was excited to do after I had that baby.

Theo has adjusted well to being a big brother. He’s not interested in holding her, or fawning over her very much, but he does give her frequent unsolicited kisses.  He also places toys, or even his own blankie, on top of her to share with her.  He’s very gentle with her, even when he gets frustrated that I can’t tend to his whims while I’m feeding her. His latest obsessions are Buzz Lightyear, Cars the movie, and the Big Bad Wolf.  He goes around the house talking about the “Baaaad Wolf,” and I know he’ll get along with the Dr. Who fandom well.

Theo is very careful around Ruby, but doesn't quite get what's right.  He brought a trow pillow into the kitchen, and I told him to take it back in the living room.  When I went in a few minutes later, I saw he had put it right on top of Ruby who had fallen asleep on the floor during tummy time.  Nice try, Theo.

One day, we all went outside to hang out.  Ruby was in her bouncy chair, covered in a blanket and hanging out in the grass.  Later Corbin noticed that Ruby's blanket was gone, and he asked Theo about it.  Apparently, he had decided she didn't need it, took it into the house, and came back out to play.  What a love.

She's a lovely baby, sleeping for 5 hour stretches at night, eating really well, and being very patient with her brother's tough love.

Theo is convinced that the bum cream is lotion, and refused to let me wipe it off his face.  The little stinker has gotten into it several times, and each time he wants to rub it around.  This pic will be blackmail someday.

He found the beanie Ruby got in the hospital, and tried to convince me to put it on.  When I said it wouldn't fit, he demonstrated that it would indeed fit by wearing it himself.  He looks like a little fish monger or something.

Corbin loves snuggling his children.  They are all such sweet snuggle friends.

The other night, we were getting Theo ready for bed.  Corbin told him he could take one toy with him, so he turned to his new Cars from Grandma and tried collecting them all up into his hands.  Corbin repeated, "just one, Theo." and helped him put a few back.  When Theo still had two Cars clutched in his hand, he dropped his head down and walked straight to his bed and climbed in.  It was so cute, we couldn't stop him.

I guess I didn't realize how booty-licious I'd become, until it quickly went away after I had Ruby.  I missed the extra cushion when I was sitting on a park bench watching Corbin and Theo play. 

Here is a behind the scenes shot of Jill McCracken doing the newborn photo shoot.  I can't wait to see those pictures!  We also did some family pictures, and those will be wonderful too.  Thanks Jill!!!

What a wonderful little lady!

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Ruby Rose Miller

She's here!!!  My sweet baby Ruby is in the world, and she's better than I could have dreamed.

I'm excited to share the birth story, because everything went so well, and I am proud of my accomplishment.
(pictures not correlated with the story, sorry!)

Photo: Ruby is here! She was born around 11 pm on Tuesday, coming in at 9 lb 7 oz and 20 inches. She's beautiful and perfect, and we're all doing fine!
Our first Mother/Daughter picture
On Tuesday, I was obsesively thinking about  how the next day was the due date, and trying to not get my hopes up. I think that distracted me from the fact that I'd been having small contractions all day.  I assumed I'd just been having Braxton Hicks all day long, and that they were just an annoyance.  They didn't hurt, so I didn't think much of them.

Theo was so excited to hold his baby
 I wasn't in the mood to do much, so I sat on the couch and read my novel while Theo watched loads of TV.  I thought, I'm due tomorrow, I'm entitled to a day off from real parenting.  Little did I know I'd be having a baby that night.

pointing out her eyes, nose, hair, etc.
 Corbin came home around 5 to grab a bite to eat before going off to help our friends move. The three of us went to the grocery store for a few things on the way to dropping Corbin off at the move site. On the way home, Theo and I went to the park for a few minutes and played.

Thankfully, he had a poopy diaper and we headed home. Otherwise, it would have made the next few minutes very awkward.

Daddy relaxing on the comfy bed with his girl while I stretched my legs
 We got home, had a delicious dinner of cold cereal, and settled in for more TV.  Then, at about 6:45, I suddenly felt very wet.  My water had broken, and I was totally surprised.  I waddled to the bathroom to clean up, and called Corbin.  That stinker didn't answer his phone on my first two attempts. When he did pick up, I simply said, "you need to come home.  I'm pretty sure my water just broke, so it's time to go to the hospital."

It was great for him to be able to tell all his friends there that it was time to have a baby, and our friend gave him a ride back home.  After I called the midwife to let her know what was going on, we packed up the hospital bag, left Theo with our lovely friends Sara and Ramona, and left for the hospital.

She did not enjoy her first experience getting buckled.
 On the 20 minute drive to the hospital, we were both very calm and excited to meet our baby.  We talked about how the experience was going to go just the way it was supposed to.  I told Corbin I was... somewhere between curious and worried about whether I'd be able to do the labor naturally, as I'd had an epidural with Theo. We would just get there and do what we had to do.

Corbin chilling with his kids
 We arrived at the hospital around 8 PM, and got settled in our labor room.  I sat on the bed with monitors strapped to my belly, checking the baby's heartbeat and tracking my contractions. After a half hour (her heartbeat was great, and my contractions were about two minutes apart), I was set free.  They contractions weren't feeling very strong yet, but enough where I didn't feel like talking through them.

I laid on the bed and rested for a while, still in my street clothes.  It was already such a different feel than with Theo's, much more relaxed. At about 9:15, I decided to take advantage of the jacuzzi tub in my bathroom. It felt amazing, to say the least.  I poured water across my belly, and breathed through the contractions. Corbin brought a chair in the bathroom and sat with me.  We talked about this and that, pausing for my contractions.  My sweet husband seemed to ask me a question at the beginning of lots of contractions, so we'd have to wait til it was over for an answer.  Eventually, I just had him stop asking.

Ruby's first night at home
I shifted positions a few times.  The nurse came in every half hour or 45 minutes to listen to the baby, but beside that, it was just Corbin and I working through it.  We agreed that we loved how calm the atmosphere was, with little interruptions and the lights dimmed, very quiet.  It was perfect for me.

I had Corbin say a prayer, asking for His help through the night. I knew I'd need it.

After a couple of hours in the tub, the contractions had gotten pretty strong.  We had stopped chatting, and I would say things to myself between contractions to empower myself.  One I said a lot was, "each contraction comes, does its job, and goes." I was focused on not worrying about the pains that would come eventually, only the one that would come next.  Corbin was a wonderful support, helping me relax my shoulders, and giving me encouragement.  His rubbing my back through contractions became invaluable.

How cute is this little Disney buff?

When I finally got out of the bath at about 10:45, I asked the midwife to check me and see how far along I was.  I wanted to get a rough idea of how much longer I needed to do this- things were starting to get really powerful. When she said I was at a 7, I felt a little disappointed and concerned.  I was hoping to be farther, and I didn't know if I'd be able to handle much more of it.  I'd promised myself that if I could get to a 7 without drugs, that I'd be able to do it.  But now I was questioning myself.

I stood up to resuscitate myself on the bed, and that's when the first huge one hit.  I clung to Corbin for dear life, and had him press as hard as he could into my lower back.  Up until then I'd handled the contractions quietly, but now I was yelling.

I laid on the bed, and had a few more contractions that really shook me.  I clung to Corbin's hand as he pressed his other into my back and I yelled.  But after only a few of those, right in the middle of a gasp, my eyes shot open and I said, "I need to push." Corbin said, "really" and dropped me like I was hot to press the nurse call button.  He did not want to be the only one in the room when I started pushing.

The nurse and midwife came in (around 11), and told me to follow my body.  I asked if I could push on my side, and the midwife said yes.  She was telling me to follow my body, and my body said to PUSH. I did, even though the midwife wasn't even at the bed yet. She showed me how to hold my leg and open up. She said I was very close, and I asked if she could see the head, just to make sure she was serious.  She could, and offered for me to touch it.  I didn't want to. After one or two pushes, out was a head.  I remember between the contractions that I was saying I just couldn't believe it.  To give myself strength, I said out loud "my baby," so excited to meet her. The end came so fast, that it was surreal. Lots of yelling and gasping, and one more push later, out came the baby. (11:13 PM)

Grandma and Ruby taking a nap
(afterward, the midwife told me that Ruby tried to come out with her hand by her face. I'm not surprised, because I could tell for a long time that's how she liked to hang out inside)

They laid her right on my chest and covered us with a blanket.  The next few minutes are a blur, but Corbin tells me that I started crying and saying over again, oh my gosh, my baby.  I remember lots of "I can't believe it" statements too.  I couldn't help crying, in awe of how beautiful she was, and how quickly it had all happened. This little spirit that we had been praying and waiting so long to meet was finally here!

I have never loved Corbin as much as I did in those first moments. The way he looked at his new daughter, and looked at me, and thinking about how much Theo was going to love his new baby, the tears came very easily.

In thinking about it later, I liked only having Corbin, the nurse, and the midwife there, instead of a room full of people. The whole affair seemed more personal and intimate, which I loved.

Ruby got to stay with me for the next hour, snuggling and figuring out this breathing business.  She even practiced nursing, wasting no time maintaining her sweet rolls.  At first glance, I could tell she was a big girl, the arm and thigh rolls gave her away. All the hair told me I came by my heartburn honestly. And looking at her sweet face, I couldn't tell who she looked like, so we decided she looked like Ruby.

We got to say a prayer as a family, thanking Heavenly Father for the safe arrival of our new daughter.  Without His strength, I don't know what I would have done. I'm filled with such gratitude at our blessings.

Once I finally relinquished her to be weighed and cleaned up, I realized how exhausted I was. This little girl weighed in at 9 pounds, 7 ounces.  She was 20 inches long.  When the nurse was putting on her first diaper, she said, "the newborn diapers fit today, but they might not next Tuesday." (after we ran out of the first round of diapers in the hospital, they did give us #1 diapers)

Knowing how big she is, I feel so proud of myself.  Not only for doing the labor naturally (and no tearing. Boom!), but for all the stuff I did while I was pregnant with her. No wonder I was feeling more tired and achy at the end.  I've caught myself thinking, go me!

Relaxing in the sun, warding off mild jaundice

Here is a huge shout out to everyone who took care of Theo while we were at the hospital: Sara and Ramona (Sara's mom, who barely knew any of us, slept over at our house and took care of Theo single handedly until Corbin relieved her the next morning.  I'm so touched.), the lovely Ludwinskis, and Kristy. It was such a load off my mind knowing he was in good hands.

Corbin was gone much of the day Wednesday hanging out with Theo, and I was surprised how much I loved the alone time with Ruby.  We relaxed, slept, and got to know each other. Theo got to come and meet Ruby. Sara and Ramona visited us that night in the hospital.

Thursday morning, I was eager to go home. I was feeling great, little to no pain, pretty slow bleeding, and already shrinking. My baby was a big healthy girl, if a little yellow.  I just wanted to be home with my boy. I was so excited to give him a proper belly-less hug and snuggle. So by 10 AM on Thursday, we were on our way home.


 Our homecoming was very sweet.  Theo was excited to see Ruby, and have us all back home. It was an amazing feeling being together as a family in our own home, one that I'm still enjoying the glow of.

My mom arrived that night, and has been wonderful and so helpful.  I'm so glad she got to come, partly to see her new grandbaby, partly to help around the house and to entertain Theo, and partly so she can enjoy being on the East coast. We've been pampered, and Theo has been spoiled (in the best possible grandma sort of way.  I mean, she took him to the movies for the first time today. Score!)

Very long story short: everything went smoothly and quickly with the labor. Ruby is beautiful, and I love my family of four.  Life is beautiful, and I am so blessed!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Adorable Selfies

Here is a photo shoot that Theo and I had today.  He wasn't feeling well, so entertainment from the couch was a nice distraction. 

Well, This one is from the other day.  Holly was so wonderful and sent us tons of clothes for Ruby, and some bonus clothes for Theo.  He loved his new robot shirt and Buzz Lightyear pants!  Thanks, Aunt Holly!!!!

So we started looking at pictures on my phone, when Theo was concerned that there were no pics of Mommy.  We decided to take some selfies, and it just evolved into this...

Theo's approximations of my faces are too cute!

This one is a favorite

But when I busted out the curly tongue, he was histerical!  He had to lean forward to get a better look at my silly face!

Then of course he had to try it.

And this is me getting kicked in the face, which signaled the end of the shoot.  I love that boy so much, and I hope he never forgets how special he is to me, no matter how many babies come into our family!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

I have some great guys in my family!

First off, Happy Birthday to Shelley!!! Sorry my baby will most likely not share with you.  I hope that you have lots of fun celebrating, and that all your wildest dreams come true!

We had a busy weekend. Saturday was the designated get the house ready for baby day.  This meant cleaning the carpets (finally. It was my dream to do it every year, but last summer rolled by and we never got around to it.  I figured the baby should get a clean carpet to start out on, since she might be spending a fair amount of time down there).  This process took much of the day, and Corbin was a dream and a half at doing it!  I prepped and vacuumed the house, but he was the master mind behind the actual machine.   He even did the car, and it all looks so beautiful!

Theo came out with his camera to take pictures, so I followed suit.  Anyways,  Corbin also set up our new air conditioner, returned the old one, dropped off books at the library, and transported the carpet machine all over town.  He even pulled out all the baby stuff from our storage closet.  I'm talking bassinet, baby swing, car seat, the works.  I sure love that husband of mine.

While he was busy slaving away, Theo and I took all the covers off the baby stuff and washed them. We set up the bassinet in our room, and filled it with toys to make sure it was secure. He was actually quite helpful in the fact that he went down for a nap, and slept through two hours of us using the vacuum and carpet machine, usually simultaneously.  What a champ. 

Theo was very adamant about testing out Ruby's stuff with his own baby.  We buckled and unbuckled her about five times in a row, then he held and patted her, whispering "you ok, baby?  Ok, baby?" and gave her a little kiss.  My heart absolutely melted.  He is going to be such a sweet and helpful big brother!

Speaking of how sweet he is, here is something funny from this morning.  I was in the bathroom at about 9:30, just gotten out of the shower and getting ready for the day. Theo was running around doing his thing, and I saw him walk past the door holding my phone.  He was talking to Grandpa, which I assumed was a pretend conversation.  Only after I chased him down a little did I see him hit the end call button, which means that Grandpa had received a 6:30 AM unsupervised call from Theo!  I guess they had had a lovely little conversation before Theo hung up.  They talked about breakfast, and Ruby, and dogs, so my dad told me later.  My dad called me back after I'd snatched the phone away, and I apologized profusely.  Luckily, he had already been awake, and was tickled about the whole thing. I guess he'd asked Theo if he had a little sister yet, which was a good guess (too bad not true). So I got to talk to my daddy for about 20 minutes, which was a lovely treat.  And now I know Theo can use my phone well enough to call someone in case of emergency!

Just for journaling sake, here are some things we've done. Corbin had a couple sweet gigs this weekend, and he is a rock star. I went on a girl's night out to Applebee's for some free water (I didn't actually order anything.  Thanks gestational diabetes for keeping me healthier than I might have been.  So ironic), and some trivia.  By the time I left, our team was very much behind, but it was really fun getting out of the house.

At my midwife appointment last week, I had a surprise ultrasound.  They like to do them late in the game with women who have gestational diabetes. I didn't mind the bonus view of my sweet baby.  This was the fourth one of the pregnancy, which is crazy compared to the one I had with Theo.  Ruby is looking good, in a great position, and roughly estimated to be 7 pounds.  It would be most convenient if she waited til my mom came, so we wouldn't have to worry about babysitting for Theo.  But I wouldn't mind one bit if she chose to come earlier than that.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The day I almost threw Theo out the window

I am now 38 weeks pregnant, and feeling it. This pregnancy has been so different from the first. So many more aches, so much more fatigue, so hot all the time.  Not to mention a two year old to keep me busy.

Yesterday, I was feeling especially tired in my body, and all I wanted to do is sit or lay down all day. I was sitting on the couch, when I realized I hadn't heard from Theo in a few minutes (always a dangerous sign).  I got up and found him on his step stool in the bathroom (also a bad sign).  I found his hands covered in petroleum jelly, and the scene below.

If you've never tried to clean up petroleum jelly before, it is a huge pain.  I count my blessings that he hadn't left the bathroom.  But I was pretty mad about it. I cleaned him up, gave him a time out, and locked myself in the bathroom armed with a roll of paper towels.  I don't know how long it took me to clean up, but I did have to take apart my hair dryer to get the goo out of the mesh on the back.

By this time, I was exhausted, but I knew this crime had happened out of boredom, so I was going to whisk us off to the Sciencenter. But as I opened the door, I saw this...

Theo has been getting into the fridge a lot lately, and I guess this was the perfect opportunity for him.  I am not a yeller, but I was so mad I yelled his name.  When his head popped out of my room, I pointed to the ground and said, "what is this?" 

That sweet little face said, "butter."  If I wasn't so mad, I would have laughed as I do now.  Instead, I told him it was timeout time again, and he must have seen the look in my eye, because he sat down right where he was.  I set a timer on my phone, because I knew I could have kept him there indefinitely.  I turned my back on him to try and breathe some calm into myself, but instead I cried.

After cleaning up yet another greasey mess, I slapped some shoes on us and we drove to the Sciencenter.  I wasn't sure how I was going to waddle up and down the stairs trying to chase him, but we had to leave the house.  Usually there are ten or eleven cars in the lot, but yesterday every single spot was full (luckily there was an open expectant mother's spot near the front, bless them).  Keeping track of Theo is hard, but keeping track of him when there are millions of other children running around is insane. 

Heavenly Father must have been paying special attention to Theo yesterday, seeing as he didn't get thrown out the window by his mother, or taken home on accident by another family. He must have also been watching out for me, because we'd arranged a Theo-free night.

At least I got this sweet lad to take a sweet picture at the Sciencenter.

Last night, our delightful friend Sara joined us for dinner, then watched Theo as Corbin and I toured the new maternity ward at the hospital.  It opened last week, and is pretty swanky.  Each room has a jacuzzi, and you know I be hitting that up. We even got frozen yogurt afterward, the closest thing I could have hoped for on a Tuesday night.

Theo using his spear head to chip away the rock wall, very diligently

Today has been good.  Corbin came on a lunch date with us to picnic at Ithaca falls. It's the perfect local, because it's a three minute "hike" to these beautiful falls. And I sure love what a wonderful daddy Corbin is.

Trying to fill our days so that waiting for this little girl to come is a challenge.  I want to keep us busy, but it's so hard to wrangle Theo when I can barely get around, myself.  We watch a lot of TV, and although I tell myself and others that it's ok at this point in our lives, I still feel the mother's guilt for turning Theo's brain to mush. We can't wait for Grandma to come and take care of us!