Feb 21, 2007

One Week Old!

Charlotte is a week old today and I cant believe how the time has flown. She has opened up and stretched out a lot in a week and she is pretty darn cute and soft.
We had lots of guests (family) in the first few days, but it became a little too exhausting to have people coming around while trying to learn baby's cues and get enough sleep, etc...so this week, we really aren't taking visitors at all so that we can really get the rest we need. A few close friends and our family members have been dropping off yummy foods and picking up groceries and that's been wonderfully helpful.
I am still lying-in with Charlotte, and will not be using the stairs (at the direction of my midwives) for yet another week. Its very hard for a type-a person like me to be confined to one floor (our house is three stories), but I know that its an investment in my body and health to remain upstairs as long as I can, and to properly heal after that pretty intense and traumatic birth. Plus, I know that once I venture downstairs, the babymoon is over and life begins again, and I am not quite ready for that anyhow. So, Charlotte, Mike and I are spending lots of time getting to know one another and we're all three developing a bit of a rhythm. Tomorrow Charlotte gets her newborn screenings done by the midwives, and we see the pediatrician next week.

The challenges:
Breastfeeding was off to a tough start, but it is going MUCH better since Peggy Stedman, a lactation consultant (and my Sister in law's mom) came by on Monday to give me pointers. In fact, last night I was even able to nurse her lying down which was good because I was feeling really spent and could barely sit up. Sleeping has been a challenge of course, but the most surprising thing for me has been how bad my body is feeling....still.
My jaw, pelvis, tailbone, butt, back, legs and feet are all aching like I was hit by a car. I am super sore and achy. In Labor, I pushed for a loooong time (reviewing he photos it appears I was in labor for 22 hours, but actively pushing for at least 4-5 hours), with very little energy (I threw up alot after contractions) and so I htink my bod is still in reaction to that event...Next week I hope to see the chiropractor, but for now, I have to live with it....So that's the biggest hurdle today...being tired is nothing compared to the body achiness. And then, today I think I may be developing an infection (mastitis) in my right breast, which tells me I have probably been doing too much, so I am trying to take it easy, keep nursing, and keep positive...and will it away. Oh, and the mothering hormones kicked in a few days ago and I find myself very weepy at night, especially when I am feeling sore and tired....so I sound like a mess, and it sounds like a lot of griping, but truthfully I am keeping it in perspective...I know that this too shall pass, and I love little Charlotte with all my heart and I wouldnt hesitate to go through it all again for her.

Mike has been wonderful throughout this --At the labor, he was so engaged and a wonderful coach. I was so impressed -- most men I know would never have handled that experience as well as Mike did. He didnt avid anything, and he was totally and 100% there for me. And all this week, he has been so thoughtful, so helpful and so sweet with Charlotte. He has to go back to work tomorrow and I am dreading it. We will miss him.

My mom has also been stellar -- She was an amazing help at the birth, and ever since, she's been showing up here each morning at 7 and bringing me breakfast, giving me time to take a shower and letting DH sleep in in the other room....and then she goes off to start her day. Its been wonderful and special for me and Charlotte to see her each morning...and that's something that no one except my mom could really do for me. I dont know what I would do without her. When I was feeling horrible and weepy and we needed a "traffic cop" the other day to answer the door, phone and tell cleaning lady what to do, she was here. She has been throwing our laundry in, emptying trash and just doing a million little things to help us out.

So that's the quick update. We're good!
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Feb 18, 2007

oh Baby!!!

Welcome Charlotte Anne Dunn!Born at Home on February 14, 2007 at about 10 p.m.
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Feb 17, 2007

Charlotte's Birth Day

The Natural (unmedicated) home birth was an intense but amazing experience. I had Charlotte right in our bedroom and we really couldn't be happier that we did it at home - especially because I certainly would have been C-section bound if I had been at hospital...the way things unfolded would have been way too slow for the hospital staff but the midwives (all three of them) were super supportive and they really helped keep our spirits up. One of the midwives has been back each day to check on us and will be checking on us for the next six weeks. The first day was (expectably) a bit rough because of lack of energy, lack of sleep and all 3 of us adjusting and of course, lots of family visitors. But it was so nice to wake up here at home and to be able to stay out of the freezing weather...and so we're living in a bubble right now, enjoying a babymoon. I am not using the stairs for a week to promote faster healing so Charlotte and I have been hanging out in bed, Mike has been helping with everything he can, and my mom has really been helping out a ton with just kind of keeping things going (making and bringing me food, handling laundry, trash and kitchen duty,etc) and I think we're off to a great start.

More photos to come...

Feb 10, 2007

39 weeks...and counting

So no baby yet. Actually, I did some research and most first time mothers go at least 5 -7 days past their estimated due date. My estimated due date is somewhere between Feb 17 - Feb 20 (depending on which method you use to calculate) so I am trying to be patient and realistic...based on statistics, the baby very well might not come for another 3 weeks. And since we are planning a natural homebirth, we won't even discuss induction or worry me about being "over term" until we hit 42 weeks. So it may be a long month!

So here is a rundown of the baby gear I think we will really need for the baby's arrival and first few months. Most of what we have amassed is due to the generosity of others and came as a hand me down or gift.
  1. Car Seat: Got the Primo Viaggio Infant seat as a free hand-me-down from friends, so we will be using that and then investing in the Britax convertible seat we planned to get as soon as the baby outgrows the free seat.
  2. Crib: We got the Arm's Reach Mini-Co-sleeper as a shower gift, and we intend to use that as a sidecar option for our bed until the baby gets bigger. Many friends of mine never needed a larger crib, they just co-sleep, but we are going to just see what works best for us -- We do happen to have a fancy crib as a backup, but I dont know if we will end up using it or not. We'll see. The super-fancy ultra cool Black Bugaboo Gecko Stroller that my parents gave us came with a detachable baby bassinet, which I plan to use as a crib/ Moses Basket when I need one downstairs.
  3. Slings/Wraps: Maya Wrap was a gift from my sister-in-law -- and I know it will be handy right away; We also borrowed a Moby Wrap on loan from my friend Virginia, because apparently they are great for newborns, but a bit too stretchy for when the kid gets bigger. We got other carriers for later on, but basedon testimonials from friends, those are the ones I suspect we will most use in the first few months.
  4. Clothes: We were lucky to get lots of hand-me-down infant clothes, but I bought a few gowns at Target (to make nightime changes much easier), a few little hats and some socks just to fill in the gaps. I still want to get some of these Zutano Booties, which my friends swear by. I also have a great red (hand-me-down) Lands End Snowsuit, so I have a feeling the baby will be wearing that a good deal in the beginning...Oh, and my friend Virginia gave us some Rainbow Baby Legs, which are absolutely adorable.
  5. Diaper Bag/ Changing Stuff: We converted an old kitchen cart into a changing table by securing a pad to the top of it. As for a bag, I did buy a Little Tripper from Land's End, but I also got a large plastic changing pad and waterproof bag and I plan to use these interchangeably with my messenger bag or hiking daypack when I need a larger diaper bag... I just don't see the point of buying a fluffy looking diaper bag. Lord knows we have enough bags as it is!
  6. Diapers: Since the volume of waste to landfills is significantly lowered when using cloth diapers, and we know so many people who successfully use cloth diapers, we're going with cloth diapers. So, we secured a diaper service (about $15 /week) for the first six weeks... (we have gotten our first delivery already and boy are the cute little diapers!). We also have some Seventh Generation Disposables on hand for travel and night time but I hope not to use disposables too much. Eventually we may move away from the service to washing-our-own diapers after the first 6 weeks (which seems much much cheaper than buying disposables or paying for the service), but we'll see....
  7. Nursing bras/gear: We were lucky enough to get the Medela Pump in Style as a gift which will be terrificly helpful as I do plan to go back to work and wold like MIke to have the ption of feeding the baby too. We also got a My Brest Friend which my cousin Lisa gave us, and swears by (over the Boppy). I also got recruited for a nursing feedback group at Motherswork, which is going to supply me with several free nursing bras and tops to try...All I have to do is go to their feedback sessions once a month and report on how I like the products!
  8. Books: After the Baby's Birth: A Woman's Way to Wellness: A Complete Guide for Postpartum Women by Robin Lim, and The Baby Book by Dr. Sears are the two books that I got that I think will be most helpful in our first few weeks.
For now, that's our basic list of the stuff we think we will actually use right away. I look forward to seeing how right or wrong I am!

Feb 3, 2007

38 Weeks and counting


Here is a glimpse of the ever growing belly. Just a couple more weeks to go!
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