From the monthly archives:

April 2010

Reposted in part from a friend in New York due to give birth at home next week:

Basically, in new york state midwives need to have a written practice agreement (WPA) with a institution or a physician. most of the homebirth midwives here had a practice agreement with st. vincent’s, which was essentially the best/most progressive hospital to birth in in new york city. unfortunately it was in a lot of debt and earlier this month it was decided that it would shut down. so as of friday all the homebirth midwives are without a WPA. which means all the homebirth midwives are kind of screwed and have been scrambling to figure out what to do. apparently there is legislation in the senate already to remove the WPA requirement and the only real thing to be done in the meantime is to have a “health emergency” be declared by the governor so that the midwives can continue practicing until either the legislation goes through or they find someone to sign a WPA. of course, the department of health is saying this is not an emergency because all we homebirthing women can and should just give birth in hospitals anyway.

This is really horrible up news, people. Pregnant women in NY will be denied a right to choose their births if something isn’t done very quickly. Hundreds of women are right now planning home births in New York, and have worked for months to provide their families with the comfort and medical assistance they need. Also, there will be several midwives completely out of work for an undisclosed amount of time, forced to send their patients to OB (surgeon!) strangers for labor and delivery!

Please call Wendy Saunders, Executive Deputy Commissioner for the NY State Department of Health, appointed by Governor Paterson. The goal is to flood them with calls tomorrow. the governor’s office number is 518-474-8390. Leave a message with her staff explaining that with the closing of Saint Vincent Hospital in NYC, there are hundreds of families now stranded and it is your understanding that the governor is the only one with the authority to declare a Health Emergency and to issue an Emergency Executive Order waiving the provision of the law that requires midwives to have a written practice agreement.

Please pass this message on to anyone from NY state that you know and encourage them to call!!!

{ 3 comments }

Pregnancy Comforts…

by Esther on Mon, Apr 26th, 2010

in Documentation,Pregnancy by week,Week 38

There are a few things that I don’t believe I could’ve gotten through this pregnancy, especially the third trimester, without.  I thought I’d take down a little list of those things here to share anything that might be of use.  Of course, the food listings are completely idiosyncratic, and included for entertainment purposes only.

1) Ingrid & Isabel Belly Leggings:  I’m going to come right out here and say THANK GOODNESS I got pregnant during a time when wearing what is essentially pajamas is considered hip.  I started wearing leggings practically every day during my first trimester, when my regular pants were just too constricting against my swollen belly.  I balked about the cost of these leggings at first.  $50 is a hefty price to pay for something like leggings… especially when they got a little pilled from boot chafing during the first week I wore them with last winter’s over the knee boots.  I was angry with them and tried other leggings… but nothing was as comfortable and certainly nothing was as seamless.  Cotton blend leggings (like these much cheaper ones from Motherhood) were OK… but had too many seams, didn’t fit as well, and seemed to attract hair at a ridiculous rate… which is not cool when you’re a hairstylist AND a cat owner.  I ended up with a second pair of the Ingrid and Isabel leggings, and wore them practically every day.

2) Amon Maternity Behold Belly Support Bands:  Honestly, I would not have been able to work without these bands.  I bought two and have worn one of them constantly, even while sleeping, since about 25 weeks into this pregnancy.  They are terrific for lumbar support.  They are also terrific for preventing sciatica as you sleep on your side.  I can not recommend this product enough!  My back immediately stops aching when I put on this band.

I will add that I have carried fairly high and tight through this pregnancy.  I do have some lower back scoliosis issues and started practicing yoga 10 years ago to build muscle support and combat pain.  It’s possible that the band won’t be enough support for someone who doesn’t quite have the muscle support to begin with.  If that’s the case, there are many many bands out there.  If you are in fairly strong condition, this band is the perfect place to start finding the right support for you.

3) Compression knee socks:  I bought a bunch of them at a doctor and nurse uniform store during my first trimester.  I’d call them a must for anyone sitting at a desk OR working on their feet.  My feet were immediately more comfortable, and I’ve experienced no ankle and foot swelling.  I wear them to work, but not necessarily on my days off.  I have one small varicose vein on one of my ankles from an old injury and being a hairstylist… and it has not worsened one little bit as my blood volume increased.

4) Almond Butter and Jam Sandwiches.  Good lord, I eat a lot of these.  I rationalize the frequency of these sandwiches by thinking that almond butter is what has kept my iron levels up.

5) My Special Pregnancy Bananna Bread!  I cultivated this recipe a few months ago, and make about 2 loaves a week.  I tried to up the protein/fiber and lower the sugar content somewhat… again, this is how I rationalize the big thick slices I keep cutting for myself… Try to ignore the fact that the bananas aren’t local!  This (almost) doesn’t count when you’re pregnant, have leg cramps, and just really really want banana bread.

4 Ripe Banannas, smashed
1 Stick of Butter, soft
3 Eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 Cup of sucanat (or preferred sweetener)
1 generous gloop of Vanilla Extract
1 very generous gloop of Grand Mariner
1 tsp of Baking Soda
1 Cup of Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 Cup of  Chick Pea Flour
Lightly roasted Pecans, to taste
Coconut flakes, to taste
Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips, to taste  (we don’t like too many)

Combine bananas and butter.  Mix in sucanat.  Mix in eggs.  Add vanilla and Grand Mariner.  Sprinkle baking soda over this mixture and combine.  Add flours a bit at a a time and blend with a spoon until just combined.  Add pecans, coconut, and chocolate chips.  Bake at 360 for 1 hour and 20 minutes, covering bread with foil after 1 hour.

Bam.  Easy and delicious… plus it makes your house smell good.

6) Fistfulls of Almonds.

7) Pumpkin and Flax Kashi granola bars

That is all I can think of right now!  Now I’m off to watch my latest bulk order of bananas ripen because I really need some more bread.

{ 1 comment }

Operating Instructions

by Milton on Mon, Apr 26th, 2010

in Books,Week 38

Penny told us not to get too excited too early in labor.  That, half the battle is relaxing and giving yourself time to rest during the early parts so that when it gets to the difficult part you haven’t been up for 2 days living on Gu and granola bars and coffee.  Because who can do their best work then?  But then there’s the uncontrollable excitement, and second guessing, and wondering, When will it start?  So I can see how it will be a problem when the time comes, to force rest.  To be cool.

What is calming me, today, is this great book that a friend of Esther’s sent us the other day, a signed, uncorrected galley of Anne Lamott’s “Operating Instructions.”  I haven’t been very good at reading lately, and only trust myself to finish a book if I don’t put it down for more than a couple hours until it’s done, but this book is pretty amazing.  Esther hasn’t read it yet but she send a “Letter to a pregnant friend” by her from about 10 years after the book was written.  The whole letter is good, even if some of the advice in it isn’t really totally in line with the home-birth thinking, but that’s okay.

Anyway, read the book. Read the letters. She’s awesome. I also love her other book, Bird by Bird, which is a great book about writing.  Of course, it resonates with me that she believes that writing and raising a child require pretty much the same  strategies.  Ha.

Here’s a poem called “Deteriorata” that she included at the end of the letter:

Gracefully surrender the things of youth:
The birds, clean air, tuna, Taiwan,
And let not the sands of time
Get in your lunch …

You are a fluke
Of the universe.
You have no right to be here.
And whether you can hear it or not
The universe is laughing behind your back.

Therefore, make peace with your god
Whatever you conceive him to be –
Hairy thunderer, or cosmic muffin.

Give up!

Okay.

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You can never trust what any weather forecast says about Seattle.  You only know it’s going to be a beautiful day when you look out your window and see a beautiful day!  Sometimes, on a dime, that beautiful day can change with quickness.  Likewise for the rain we are so well known for.  Sometimes there is a break in the gray when the misty clouds part and, suddenly, you are overcome with how gorgeous this Pacific NorthWest can really be.

Sadly, we haven’t had too many of the fully gorgeous PNW days lately.  We had to keep rescheduling our final pregnancy shoot with our friend Jana K due to fussy weather.  It’s been grey, rainy, and far too windy for comfort lately.  There was some sun yesterday, but oh man was it chilly and holy moly did that wind gust!  I was worried that today would show much of the same.

The forecast for today was grey and cloudy, with a high around 50.  Not good, but really the last day we would be able to get together with Jana before she goes out of town and we possibly give birth.  We decided to chance this morning, since it wasn’t supposed to be totally rainy.  We only had an hour free that we could all meet, but Milton and I live just a few blocks away from the Pike Market, and spend at least a small portion of every single day walking through those alleys and streets.  It was the perfect place for us to shoot a few photos and it’s literally right down the street.

Imagine our surprise when Seattle presented us with a BEAUTIFUL day!  It was almost too beautiful for photos as it approached noon and sunlight got a little too high, but Jana found some terrific spots!  This one is bound to become an all-time family favorite!  I almost cried just now when she sent it to us… then I decided to make-out with my husband instead.

Cuddling at the Market

After our shoot at the market, we hopped into a zip car to head out to Greenlake and take a walk around the lake with our doula, Cheryl Murfin.  She brought another lovely lady with her who is expecting her baby on May 6th.  We walked and walked .  I noticed right away that I could keep a pace that was much more vigorous than the turtle’s pace I’ve been sporting for some months.  I didn’t feel winded at all!  But, oops, I did have to pee a whole lot more than usual.  Cheryl thought that some of the pre-labor suspicions that I had were right on, which was really encouraging.  I’ve been a frenetic nesting crazy lady for the past 2 days, and my uterus is practicing contractions like crazy for a big big show.  Couple this with my being able to breathe, having to hit the bathroom a whole lot more, and the fact that I ate a HUGE brunch after our walk at Portage Bay (a feat I have not been able to accomplish for months), and I’d say that this baby is on his way to getting here on the sooner side of my due date.  (If I’m wrong, I’m wrong, and that’s fine too!)

SO, we went home and I started to cross things off my list of 12 final things.  Some friends came over and helped me set up our little patio a little better.  Then they left.  I wrote some thank you notes, took a nap, and woke up to more friends stopping by!  I cooked us a quick dinner and enjoyed the awesome company.  Now I’m looking around our little loft and thinking that I definitely should pack a hospital bag… which is a chore to me since I dread having to transfer to the hospital once this labor starts… but a family has gotta be prepared for anything!

I’m expecting more visitors tomorrow!  I love it that everyone is stopping by!  Also, I think that I’ll bump up all of the final beautifying appointments that I made for next Saturday to Tuesday and Wednesday.  I’d sure hate to go into labor without having my eye lashes dyed, hair tinted, or toe nails perfect.  Yes, people, I am serious.

{ 9 comments }

38 Weeks!

by Esther on Sat, Apr 24th, 2010

in Documentation,Week 38

We had a fun half hour this afternoon when contractions actually got uncomfortable and forced me to break our stride to a lull several times! Milton kept asking if I wanted to go home and I kept saying, “But this is so interesting!”

And it was. All of this is! Really interesting! The most interesting thing my body has ever done, I think. Today I had just about the the most pleasurable uncomfortable feeling I’ve ever had. I mean, how often does something that’s uncomfortable yield such impressive results? I’ve made a human being and now that human being and I are going to work together to bring him to the outside world. That is so cool!

This week, I am checking things off of my latest list of things that need to be done.

TODAY I wrote some thank you notes, hung art on the walls, tried on my ugly new nursing tank tops, went out to lunch, took photos of my baby belly at the market, went for a walk, cooked dinner, labeled and reorganized baby clothing, made a huge grocery order (thanks, Amazon Fresh!), and did 4 loads of laundry.  It was a good day!

(Speaking of those new nursing tops… I’m really curious as to why everyone assumes that new moms want to cover up their cleavage.  I’ve never had real cleavage before, and I am stoked to show it off!  My nursing tops didn’t look so modest online… but they are ever so modest.  It’s not fair!  Having never had large pornographic breasts, I’m not a terribly modest girl when it comes to cleavage.  In fact, I have it on good authority from my mirror that subtle cleavage works better for me.  Stupid nursing tops!)

TOMORROW we are going to walk around Greenlake with our doula. She swears that she’s going to walk me to 3cms. I sure hope she doesn’t, because I still have 10 things to do on a list of 13 things that must be done before labor.  Things on the pre-labor list include lanolizing breast pads, ripping old towels into rags for the midwives, buying more chlorine free bleach, finishing thank you notes, planting this season’s container garden, or organizing three more drawers in the closet.  Things to do during labor are strictly food related.  I am going to cook my way through every contraction.  That’s the plan, anyway.

Of course, I suppose that I am ready enough to run.  I mean, how important is planting that basil before he’s here?  Not terribly important in the grand scheme of things. Basil will last on the window sill for another month or so.  Drawers that aren’t organized will only annoy me a little.  Etc, etc.

Our due date isn’t for another 2 weeks, but my body is doing so much that other pregnant ladies bodies don’t seem to do this soon. I do feel as if he might come a little bit early.  I could be wrong, though! That’s the fun part. I’m not completely tired of being pregnant yet, which surprises so many people. People say to me again and again, “Aren’t you so ready?!” and, well, I’m not. Not really. I don’t really mind this whole mysterious process. I am still not hating pregnancy (ESPECIALLY now that I’m done with work) and I don’t know if I’m gonna… I sleep well, eat well, walk sorta well, feel smaller thanI am in photos, and can still manage yoga class. It’s all very funny to me.

On our walk today!

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I’ve finished working!  Which of course brought about a round of emotions last night at dinner.  I can’t recall the last time I straight up didn’t work for 4+ months.  I must have been about 10 years old.  As soon as I finished my last client yesterday, I felt a wave of “What in the heck am I supposed to do now?”

Of course, I have a long list of things I need to get done before the baby comes.  After the baby comes, that list dissolves into all the things that are completely imminent!  Breast feeding.  Burping.  Swaddling.  Rocking.  Catching whatever sleep I can.  Rinsing and repeating until something changes in the overall baby scheme and I have to reformulate my parenting style completely.  Intellectually, I am aware of all of this.  I’ve read about 100 books and talked to at least 100 moms.  I’ve got all the stories, all the supplies, and all the information.  Of course, I have no real knowledge of what having a newborn will actually BE like, because I have never had a newborn.  I’m looking forward to experiencing something altogether new, but am of course a little apprehensive about being the best possible parent I can be.

My mother suggested recently in a facebook comment that it’s ok to be scared.  I immediately felt defensive!  Defensive is my go-to emotion whenever anyone suggests that I am, in any way, vulnerable.  Goodness forbid I should appear to be vulnerable!  Luckily, I am able to afford being self-aware, and was thus able to step back from my defensive stance and investigate.  Am I scared?  I don’t really think I am.  I don’t think that’s why I’m crying here and there, all overwhelmed with emotion.  Frankly, I think I’m crying here and there because my hormones are peaking with impending babyhood…. but that’s not to say that the emotions that are coupled with the hormones are anything but totally viable.  I am emotional because my time alone with my husband as my only immediate family (side note: my parents and siblings are technically immediate… but live 3k miles away.  This is less… immediate.  Obviously).  I am emotional because I have no idea what the life ahead of us will be like.  On a lesser scale, I am emotional because I missed the Wedding Present perform Bizzaro at The Crocodile the other night (alas, I am too pregnant for shows right now) and because I can no longer just skip out into the city to catch shows or grab drinks at bars.  I am emotional because I might never have visible abs again.  Everything is changing!  When you can afford to be self-aware, you can’t help but well-up a little with emotion.

I’ve said it before, many times.  Pregnancy is  a long time.  A whole lot happens in 40 weeks!  There is a whole process that we have gone through as a family to prepare us for the next step.  I’m not feeling emotional because I haven’t prepared myself for life on baby island.  I’m 34 years old and filled with all the love and capability that is necessary.  Arguably, I am a fantastic candidate for a mothering job.  I’ve worked out all my kinks, gotten jollies in my career, let the ants in my pants make me break dance, lived in several desirable cities, and generally ensured that I’m not going to freak out and wonder if there was something I didn’t DO before building a house on baby island.  I’ve got a solid loving relationship with a partner who is a fantastic candidate for a fathering job.  I’m also seasoned enough to know that I’ll DO plenty more as my child grows and my family progresses.  I’m ready.  But until the time comes and the whole transformation occurs- I am over here feeling grateful, reflective, and emotional.

{ 4 comments }

Baby blogging

by Milton on Wed, Apr 14th, 2010

in Documentation,Week 36

I have a lot of questions about the idea of baby blogging.  For example:

  • Is it important to keep pictures and stories about our future son private?  Or is it okay to share those stories in the same way that I share stories about all of the other parts of our lives.
  • Is a more structured blog in order?  One that explicitly tracks things like growth charts, firsts, memorable moments, etc?
  • Where to host and store pictures and videos?  For some reason, I’m okay with posting pictures of my own life to Flickr and Vimeo, but I want to make doubly sure that photos and videos of Axelrod never get lost, and are as secure long term as photo albums.  I guess that means coming up with another form of backup, but nothing really has proven itself to be reliable on the scale of decades rather than years.
  • Should it be something that also has email notifications for those family members and friends who are less internet-savvy but still interested in baby news?
  • Are baby blogs only interesting to their parents?

Of course, being an online fanatic myself, I want to do this right.  There’s a whole generation of nerd babies being born right now, and I myself was raised as a nerd baby of my generation, so it’s pretty much a tradition at this point, right?  I am tempted to build something myself, but can’t really justify taking on a big project like that at the moment (hm… you think?), so have been looking around at other sites that have hopefully done most of the hard work, and which I can be inspired by in the future.

Best one so far?  TotSpot, by far.  Anyone else find anything that they like?

{ 9 comments }

Birth class is done!

by Milton on Wed, Apr 14th, 2010

in Week 36

Last night was the last night of our “Home and Birth Center Child Education Series” with the mother of all doulas in this area, Penny Simkin.  I remember when I was a kid I was convinced that all parents needed to take a class in order to become parents and I asked my parents what classes they had taken and they (shockingly!) told me that parents didn’t  need to take a class.  I did end up finding this purple book about parenting on the bookshelf though, and I greedily (and a little guiltily) looked through it for any clues on their parenting strategies.  I don’t remember much about it, other than that it was a purple book.  And the animal book was red and the plant book was green.  It was a great book series and I’m sure many of its images and words are ingrained in my brain.  I saw it as a source of all true knowledge.  That is, until the World Book Encyclopedia came around a few years later and my obsession moved over to those.

Anyway, the birth class we took, along with Penny’s two awesome books “Parenting, Childbirth, and the Newborn” and “The Birth Partner” sort of live up to my expectation that parents should study to become the best possible parents that they can be.  The classes were highly informative while also being very enjoyable, and we ended up making some friends as well.  I gotta say that there’s a huge benefit to being around people who are having babies around the same time as us.  There’s so much to relate about, ideas to toss around… and as much as I like to say that I can learn anything worth learning from a book, I don’t think anything could’ve replaced the experience of this birth class in preparing us to become somewhat competent for the first few days, weeks, and months of little Axelrod’s life.

While I’ll probably see some of the people in the class between now and then, we’re also going to be having a reunion in a couple months where we all get to meet each others’ babies.  It’s going to be surreal and awesome.  This is all such a crazy and life-changing experience.  It’s all sort of tripping me out today.

{ 5 comments }

A few things…

by Esther on Tue, Apr 13th, 2010

in Challenges,Home,Midwives,Pregnancy by week,Week 36

1)  I just don’t know how to make the reflux stop this week!  I couldn’t possibly eat dinner before 9 on nights when I work, and when I go to bed at midnight, all hell breaks loose.  Last night was just terrible!  I kept trying to sleep my way through through the reflux, which would result in hilarious dreams about people trying to buy me a spittoon for my pregnancy, but arguing about what china pattern should be on the spittoon… and here I am yelling, JUST GIVE ME THE SPITOON!  I NEED IT NOW!  I ended up spending time in the bathroom, convinced I was going to toss cookies all over the place, still lucidly dreaming, and in that lucid dream, convinced I was going into labor.

I’ve never had food poisoning, rarely had heartburn, and acid reflux was only a problem when I occasionally went so BOLD on my spicy foods that even the heartiest belly would object.  Granted, I’m lactose intolerant, soy sensitive, and can’t really digest much red meat… but it’s not like I’m shoving these things into my system.  I can’t wait for this little man to drop down a little and give my stomach some room to digest.

2)  In other news, I started taking these herbs last week.  My midwife said, “I’m not going to say they work, I’m not going to say they don’t work.  Some people like them and swear by them.  You can try them if you want.”  I did some research online, found some reviews, and the reviews basically echoed everything the midwife said.  I decided to order them because I am petrified of carrying 2 weeks or more past my due date.

As directed on the package of pills, I upped my dosage of the herbs on Saturday.  I am having LOTS and LOTS of contractions.  I don’t mind them at all!  They usually don’t bother me a whole lot.  In fact, they make me happy.  I feel as if my body is practicing for this labor.  When my belly contracts, I instantly leap into breathing and meditation exercises, which help so much.  Even Milton is getting so used to the contractions that he rolls over in his sleep and starts to practice touch relaxation exercises with me.  If he can do it in his sleep, people, imagine what a magical birth partner he’s going to be when the real deal comes along!

Anyhow, I left the pills at work yesterday and haven’t taken any in about 20 hours.  Thus, the contractions have slowed down quite a bit.  I’m still not sold on these supplements being a great thing or a not so great thing, all told.  I don’t want to have this baby early (no Aries men in my house, please- no offense meant to Aries men), don’t want to have this baby late, just want to have this baby on or around his due date.  It’s just that my mother carried so so late with both of her children… and my torso is so roomy… I can totally imagine kiddo hanging out, taking his sweet time, and going so far overdue that it’s too late for my highly anticipated home birth.  What to do?

3)  We hired a lovely cleaning woman!!!!!!!!!  This is an idea I have been flirting with ever since I started working a whole lot after moving to Seattle, but I kept putting it off and putting it off because, frankly, I didn’t want to spend money on something I figured I could do myself.  The fact is, yucky floors make me feel so sensitive, and I’m always convinced that no one sees the grime in the bathroom as well as I do.  Here I was, all sensitive, starting to resent the grime.  The more pregnant I got, the more I couldn’t reach grime without grunting, resenting, and working myself all up into a blood pressured tizzy.  Who has energy enough for grunting, resenting and pregnancy?  Gross.  Finally, we called a cleaning woman and she did SUCH an amazing job that I nearly cried when I came home from work yesterday.  So so worth it!  I imagine that this will be such an amazing help when the baby comes.  We don’t have any family here to help us out in Seattle, and will both be so busy figuring out how to take care of our new family member.  Thank goodness we can afford the ease of this wonderful woman coming over to take the pressure of cleaning off our backs!  It is definitely a luxury that I am now happy to pay for.

Here is a photo of myself earlier this week that is somewhat unpleasant for me to post, but par for the course, I suppose:

Hugeness

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It seems weird to refer to you as Axelrod, considering how we’ve been calling  you by your real name for months by now.  But your father has some idea of us keeping up with our code names in this journal, and I’m not going to argue with him.  I’ll admit that our code names are pretty funny.  (Your father is currently doing the dishes after cooking dinner, isn’t that awesome?)

Currently, you are making me very pregnant.  I’d post a photo of my bare belly right here for you, but I’m afraid it might be scary.  Rest assured, kid, the belly I keep you in is BIG.  Your very big personality is making for a very big globe in my middle where my whole world rests within.  Or most of my whole world, anyhow.  You are the evolution of all those generations that led to your father and I growing up, finding each other, and getting together to create whatever you are to become.  I find this fascinating.

There will soon be three of us.  I can’t imagine you not enjoying your time with us, frankly.  Tonight, I’ve been looking nostalgically through some photos of your dad and me.  I gotta say, we are a fun bunch.  This is what we looked like on the night we met in person on a fateful New Years Eve that we didn’t realize was fateful for some months:

All wrapped up

That was a good time.  I think that must have been at about 1am, which is an hour we should be seeing a lot of with you, very soon.  During those days in our shared, imminent future- I can guarantee you that we will not be as well dressed or have as much champagne in our bellies.  I am quite sure that we will, however, still be having a good time.  We do that very well.

Here is a little story in photos about your immediate family and how you came about…

Your father and I fell quickly and immediately in love about 3 years and 1 month before your due date.  This is a photo of us from our second date:

Look at his turquoise hair!

Yes.  Your dad had turquoise hair.  I had significantly less hair.  This will happen again!.  In my dreams, you have rainbow colored hair that matches your father’s rainbow colored hair.  It will be a travesty if you grow up to have conservative tastes in hair, son.  Luckily, you live in downtown Seattle and have a mother who works at a crazy hair salon.  I can’t imagine that your hair tastes will run bland for any great extent of time.

Anyhow, back to the story…

By the time the above photo was taken in the summer of 2007, your father and I already pretty much knew that we were going to spend the rest of our lives together.  We couldn’t tell anyone, though.  Not quite yet!  People wouldn’t have taken us seriously, and we didn’t want to have to argue.  It was fun to keep the secret to ourselves for a while, anyhow.  It was the beginning days of creating that feeling of family that still makes us so excited.  We whispered a lot of secrets to each other when no one was looking.  We talked about definitely getting married and MAYBE having a baby someday.  Not too long after the above photo was taken, your father asked me to marry him after 4 months of a crazy, bi-coastal courtship.  I didn’t hesitate to say yes!  I was with it enough to know when the best thing that ever happened to me asked me to marry him!  We announced our plans to our family and friends about 2 months later.

4 months after the announcement, your dad flew out to NYC (a magical place where I once lived and hope you will live one day, too) to help me move my whole big East Coast body and mentality to be with him in Seattle.  We had a dramatic cross country trip that included a blizzard, several hotel rooms, fantastic fun times with friends in San Francisco and Northern California, and an hours long relationship survey that you might someday be interested to read.  After arriving in Seattle, things looked a little like this for the two of us:

Biggest sand dune on the whole beach!

Love bites

Roadside Attractions

We even posed for fancy engagement photos with your Uncle Andy (I’ll bet you like that guy, he’s awesome).

Engaged!

After 10 months of your father putting up with my difficult West Coast transition (people out here are so weird to me.  You will never understand just how weird, my little West Coast son, and I am glad for that), we got married in a gorgeous East Coast affair in my hometown, Wilmington, Delaware.

Just Married!

It was one of the best days of our lives.  We were supported by our family and friends and had the greatest time, ever.  You were there in spirit, I’m pretty sure.

After the wedding, we went off to Italy, where we talked for three whole weeks about the future.  Sometimes we were on a gondola, sometimes we were eating pizza, sometimes we were hiking, and sometimes we were riding bikes.  Mostly, we were filled with huge expectation.  We knew that great things had happened, and that even greater things would be ahead of us.

On a gondola in Venice

3 months after this photo was taken, we decided on another fateful New Years Eve that we should expand our family to include the person who is shaping up to be you!  This is a funny and somewhat bad photo of what what we looked like on that night:

Soul Night!

In the seasons that followed the above night, we tried to figure out for a good 8 months just how to make you.  We were about to stop trying so hard and concentrate on something else when some sort of magic happened.  Suddenly! your father and I shared a secret once again.

A Secret...

In this photo, I am about 7 weeks pregnant and very excited about having recently heard your heart beat for the first time.  That book that I’m reading is the pregnancy book that led me to hire your midwife.  I had to hide the cover from your Aunt Carinna, who took this photo but didn’t yet know that we were expecting you (I’ll bet you like her a whole lot, too).  This photo excites me, particularly, because at this point in my pregnancy I am dying to lay on my belly in the grass.  I can’t wait for you to get here, so I can spend the summer doing just that!

For a couple of parents who have known each other for only 3.5 years, we’ve got a pretty epic and awesome history.  We are absolutely filled with gratitude and joy to welcome you into our fold.  We know how quickly life can expand with love, how precious all that creating joy is, and how important it is to have a tight unit of family around you.

We are now up to date with our relationship’s photo history and this blog.  Everything between there and here is more or less recorded, in one way or another, for you to read when you are ready.  I hope you can see from the above content just how much we love each other, and just how much we are excited to have you become a part of the very special thing that we share.

We love you, we welcome you, and we think you are awesome, already.

Yours,

Mom

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