Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Just Washin' Up

Grandma Peggy was the official bather while she was visiting.  And Byrdie was the stylist.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Auntie Kim!

Auntie Kim made her first visit to Tennessee!
                                                         Conked out on Auntie's lap.
                                                     All kinds of love in this picture.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

One Month Old!

Our little fella is one month old!  Time flies when they are this little, so hold 'em and love 'em all you can.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Lark's Birth Story

Let me start by saying that this little guy's birth was a whole other ball o'wax compared to his sister's.  Byrdie's birth was 5x longer and wrought with all kinds of mistakes, made mostly by me not knowing any better.  What a difference 3 years and immersing oneself into the world of birth junkies can do.  And anyway, they say the 2nd birth is always easier.  Oh yeahhh. 

I started feeling some really consistent and regular mild contractions the night before, standing out under the stars, enjoying a campfire and chili.  Our neighbors host a chili and hayride party every October in our field.  I was visiting with their daughter-in-law, April, about being pregnant, because she was also (she had a lovely little girl about a week later).  Jeff didn't want to go on the hayride and I declined too, because I knew something was up with me.  I had no mild early contractions with Byrdie.  When she was ready, she hit me hard and strong and there was no wondering.  After the party broke up, I went to bed but didn't sleep much due to sharp cramps and excitement.  I just luxuriated in the fact that I had a bed to myself, something I was pretty sure was going to change quickly.  Mild contractions continued all through the day until about 3, when I was on the phone with my sister and realized that our conversation kept being interrupted by my need to stop and breathe.  We timed them and they were about 5 minutes apart.  I figured I better hang up and call my midwife, Talitha, and my friend and doula, Lesley, to let them know what's up. 

There were some parallels between Byrdie and Lark's pregnancies.  With B, I had an OB with the hope for a homebirth.  I didn't really like the midwife I'd originally found and as time progressed, was a bit panicky for help.  My OB was Nice, but I had my doubts about my autonomy once I was laboring in her hands.  Most of the pregnancy, who was going to attend me was up in the air, until I found Kathy at around 36 weeks.  A similar thing happened with Lark.  Kathy, Byrdie's midwife, was our go-to gal, but she had another mother expecting at the end of Haiti.  She set us up with Talitha and they took turns attending my prenatal appointments.  I was comfortable with both of them but part of me really wanted Kathy there.  Alas, she flew to Haiti on the 20th. 

Once I called Talitha and told her what my body was doing, she said to keep her updated.  It would take her an hour to get to my house.  I proceeded to make a breakfast casserole which would be our post birth feast.  It kept me busy and unfocused on the impending birth of my son.  When a contraction would hit, I'd yell for Jeff and he'd get the large vibrating massager I'd borrowed from my chiropractor and massage my lower back and hips until the surges receded.  What a relief that was.

Lesley and Talitha arrived about 5 o'clock.  I was just trying to let my body do what it wanted.  I did a lot of squatting while leaning on the bed and on all fours.  I naturally blew horsie lips, I don't know why, but it helped.  One of my biggest mistakes with Byrdie's birth was that I pushed too soon, not knowing what to expect and not realizing that most of the pushing is done by your body and you can't help it when it happens.  I swelled up terribly, had a lip on my cervix, she was posterior, and I had needed help pushing her out. All of this, plus the marathon timing caused a bit of a traumatic birth experience.  I'd done a lot of working through it, but it was still lingering in the shadows of my consciousness and would rear it's ugly head here, with Lark's birth.

When my body made it perfectly clear that it was in charge and that Lark was coming out extremely soon, Talitha* made her first vaginal check of my entire pregnancy.  (Yeah, they're not that important.  Really.)  A cervical lip.  Those two words, uttered to a woman vulnerable in the throes of labor, actually made me feel an emotion I'd never felt before: despair.  Again?  OhGodthisislikelasttime.  I can't do that again.  No. My spirit fell. Somebody (I found out it was Jeff, later) said in my ear, "this is NOT like last time.  It's NOT anything like last time. You can do this."  They had me labor on my left side (like last time).  Talitha said I needed to be on my back with my knees up so she could hold back my cervical lip (like last time).  Lesley whispered "just allow....allow" into my ear.  I pushed and his head was crowning.  I said, "I feel the ring of fire!"  Jeff teases me about that now.  I pushed again and his head was out.  One more push and he gushed out of me and among the cheers from my birth team, just started howling. I hollered, "I am NOT doing that again!!"  Lark just cried and cried and cried.  He was warm and gooey and soft and wonderful on my belly.  I had lived, I had trusted my body to do what it knew to do, I had proudly pushed him out all by myself--all 9 pounds, 7 ounces of him. 

*I want to also give kudos toTalitha's assistant, Heather, a midwife also. She was very active in this birth, but since my birth fog has set in, I can't separate what Talitha did and what Heather did (besides the vaginal exam and holding my cervical lip). They were both amazing and supportive and sweet.

Lark Daniel Wray was born October 23, 2011 at 9:24 pm, just as the sun entered Scorpio, even though the 23rd is considered Libra.  He was 21.5 inches.  Today he probably weighs about 12 lbs, is outgrowing his 3 month clothes, and is a voracious eater.  He sleeps well, coos sweetly, and just started smiling.  Byrdie is enamored and always wants to talk to her little brother.  She gets right in his face, which I can tell is annoying to him, but for now, he can't push her away.  I'm sure that will change. 

Playing Catch Up

 Queen of the Creek and her Squire
 Supervising the deck construction.
 Tinkerbell for Halloween
Red Hair! (we colored it)

New Family Member, New Blog!

I know that I was super lame this summer, not posting any pictures for months.  I'm going to make it up to you.  We have a new little guy in the family.  He joined us on October 23rd and today he is one month old.  This blog will evolve from one just about Byrdie, to one that includes her little brother and maybe some of the stuff their parents are up to, also.  First, I'll post some pictures that I failed to from this summer, catching everybody up.  Then, Lark's birth story and a bunch of pictures of him.  Hopefully this will kickstart me into keeping this blog up to date. 

~ Lark and Byrdie's Mom