Friday, August 28, 2009

Happy Birthday, Dad!

My dad gets to celebrate his birthday by going to Disneyland. So cool! And I am so jealous. But, my priorities lie with Claire. Happy birthday, Dad! Have an awesome day!

Claire and her grandpa hours after the birth

Monday, August 24, 2009

Family Photos

Tonight we took our first photos as a family. I'm not sure which I like better. What do you think?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

First Outing

I have been counting down the days when I could take Claire out in public. I have been going stir-crazy at home. Finally, I was able to go to church today and take Claire with me. She slept through part of the first meeting and then of course wanted to nurse halfway in between. Such is life. At least I heard most of the meeting. I didn't realize how much work it would be to take her. I couldn't stay for the other two meetings because I was exhausted and didn't feel good. But I'm so glad we got out of the house.

Claire in her first church outfit (the only outfit I bought for her)

BTW, it's a 3-6 month outfit

Diaper bag all packed and ready

In her carrier, ready to get in the car

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Happy Birthday, Mom! I hope today is special for you! This morning, Claire gave her grandma a gold locket with the word "Grandma" engraved into it.

My mom holding Claire hours after the birth

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Birth Story

My baby is 1 week old today! Time seems to fly and drag at the same time.

So... the infamous birth story...

It all started Thursday, the 6th when I started having period-like cramps just before my 5:00 student. I continued teaching all evening kind of ignoring the pain because it was uncomfortable, but not really that painful. I ended my work week Thursday evening looking forward to my usual 4-day weekend. Later in the evening, I realized what I had been feeling were mild contractions. My midwife told me to take a bath and go to bed. The contractions either stopped overnight or I slept through them. Friday morning, they started again about 30 minutes after I got up. They got stronger and stronger, but they weren't in regular intervals. Most were around 30 minutes apart, but a lot of them were either way more apart or a little closer together. I didn't sleep much Friday night because the contractions would wake me up so I wasn't able to sleep more than an hour at a time. Saturday, they were stronger and kind of closer together, but they were more like an average of 20 minutes apart and still very irregular. I took a bath when I got up to relieve some of the pain. By Saturday night, I was in a lot of pain and very confused about why the contractions weren't regular. I thought Braxton-Hicks weren't supposed to be that painful. My midwife informed me that I was not in labor and to just wait it out. I was devastated and thought I was going to break. I was just beginning to understand the word "exhaustion." The contractions were steadily getting more and more painful and I just wanted it to end. There was virtually no sleep that night. They were more like 15 minutes apart and of course they all woke me up. I even took a bath in the middle of the night because I was in so much pain. I called my midwife Sunday morning and she came to do an exam. I was 1 1/2 centimeters dilated and 80% effaced. Even though my dilation wasn't very much, we came to the realization that the contractions had been serving a purpose in getting me effaced. So, I was relieved about that, but still frustrated that it was taking so long. I spent Sunday in more pain than before, but I knew there was a purpose. My midwife informed her two assistants to get plenty of rest that night because it looked like I would be entering active labor soon. Of course, there was little sleep that night, the contractions being about 10 minutes apart. Monday morning, we started timing the contractions again (this time they were accompanied by lower back pain) and they were all 4-5 minutes apart and close to a minute in length. FINALLY, I was in active labor. So, I called my midwife early in the morning and she and her assistants (from now on referred to as the midwives) all came over by noon. They checked me and I was 5 centimeters dilated. My baby was posterior (her head facing the front instead of back) but we knew that already. She kind of half turned after I wore a strap around my belly for several days, but she hadn't turned all the way around. Posterior babies usually require longer labors to turn themselves around completely. Anyway, hours of contractions went by with Douglas, my mom and my midwives helping me through each one. They filled up the birthing pool and kept the temperature between 98 and 100 degrees and the warm water helped relieve some of the pain. I got out and walked around a bit while the midwives timed the contractions and then got in the pool again when it got to be too much. They did another exam and decided to break my water since it was still intact. At that point they realized that the baby still hadn't turned and that there was something in the way of her coming out properly. We used the belly strap during contractions to pull her up and in (which was really painful) to see if we could get her to have a more direct route down the birth canal. It was determined that I would not be able to give birth in the water like originally planned because of the obstruction. By this time, it was evening and I was in so much intense pain that I was willing to do pretty much anything to make it stop. The epidural wasn't available and I wanted to have a drug-free birth, but I might have caved if it had been available. Since it was not, I had no choice but to deal with the pain. I said the thing every woman says at that point, "I can't do this." Later my midwife told me she knew that was a good sign and that it was almost over. Just about when I thought I could not take another ounce of pain, I involuntarily pushed. It was one of the greatest feelings I've experienced. Every time I would have a contraction, I would push and it would relieve the pain of the contraction. I had really bad back labor, so it was nice to have some pain relief. We must have tried at least a half a dozen different positions to try and get this stubborn baby out and finally ended up on my bed. (Is this TMI?) I actually really enjoyed the pushing and it didn't hurt that much. It started to sting after a while, but it was very manageable. I was even able to feel her head with my hand. That made it more real for me and made me push even harder so I could meet her. After about an hour and 20 minutes worth of pushing (a little after 7:30pm,) I heard "Grab your baby" and "It's a girl!" I looked down and there she was. I almost couldn't believe that it was over. I thought there was more to it. It didn't register for a second that I had just pushed her all the way out. She didn't cry, only fussed a bit. They laid her on my belly and Douglas cut the umbilical cord. She started nursing right away. A natural! Even the midwives were surprised. Before I knew it, the placenta was out. Again, I expected more to it. I started shaking, but apparently there is a pressure point in my foot that makes it stop. I had a pretty nasty tear since her hand was by her face (hence the obstruction) so I had to get stitches. They did a newborn exam (where she cried for the first time) and she scored a 9 out of 10 (the only reason she didn't get a 10 was because her hands and feet were a little purple.) Since I went drug-free, her skin was a beautiful pink. She was weighed and measured. Her chest was an inch bigger than her head (15 and 14 inches, respectively) which is very unusual. I couldn't believe it when they weighed her at 9 pounds 10 ounces and measured her at 23 inches long. If I had been told that I would deliver a 9 1/2 pound baby with her hand next to her face, drug-free, I would have said no way. But, I did it! And, frankly, I'm really proud of myself. After the newborn exam, I was able to use the restroom (while I was in there, I heard my mom say "Hi, I'd like to order a large pepperoni..." ...classic) but I was so exhausted that I passed out on my way back to the room. Luckily, I was only out for a couple seconds and I wasn't hurt. I laid down on the bed with my baby next to me, had some juice and soup and then went to sleep. That was the best night's sleep I had had in days, even with the baby waking up every couple hours for feedings. By the next morning, I was feeling a million times better, but still very sore. I was able to take a shower, which felt sooooo nice. I got a visit from my midwife and one assistant to check on things. A couple days later, they came again and I was able to walk around more and felt almost normal. I am so glad I had a home birth and am very pleased with how everything turned out. It was such a sacred and beautiful experience and if I had to do it again, I would do the same thing. Words cannot describe how amazing the whole experience was. Now a week has passed since the birth. I am head over heels in love with my beautiful baby and am adjusting to this new life quite nicely. It has been really hard at times, but every time I look at her face or hear her coo (she's very vocal, especially when she nurses or sleeps), I realize just how rewarding motherhood is and how this was all worth it. I can't imagine my life without her. Even now, as she's sleeping on my arm, making it difficult to type, I wouldn't have it any other way. I love you, Claire Bear.

My last pregnancy picture, taken Sunday night after over 72 hours of contractions (40 weeks and 4 days)

About 10 minutes after birth

Bad picture, but here's Claire meeting Daddy for the first time

Newborn exam

Getting weighed

Everyone had birthday cake to celebrate (it said "Happy Birthday" on it and of course nobody bothered to take a picture of it before I reminded them)

Her first outfit on day 2. It's never too early to be stylish.

Hey, Mom, check out these muscles (BTW, she was able to hold her head up by day 2)

Claire loves her daddy

Her first time in the bouncer. She's not sure what to think of Pooh.

Little fingers

And little toes

It's so tiring being cute

I think this is my favorite picture of her

She's so beautiful

Smile for the camera


Asleep on Grandma (I think she looks like Douglas)

Strong head

First time in the swing

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Claire Nicole Turner

Claire Nicole Turner
August 10, 2009
9 lbs, 10 oz
23 inches long

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Due Date

Today is my due date. And I'm still pregnant. Seeing as how my pregnancy has been a lot like my mom's (and she was late with all 4 of us), I knew I would go past my due date. I don't consider myself "late" because post-term isn't until after 42 weeks. My baby can't read a calendar, so she doesn't know she's "supposed" to come today. I'll let her come when she's ready. Although, now I don't have anything to count down to. I'm going to try and stay preoccupied with other things so I don't go mad. She'll be here before I know it.

40 weeks pregnant

The bassinet is all ready to go

The clothes, blankets and burp cloths are washed and folded

The diapers and wipes are waiting to be used

And now we wait.....

Saturday, August 1, 2009


When we first found out I was pregnant and due in August, that particular month seemed so far away. And now it's here! I can't believe it! When I reached full term in the middle of July, I thought there might be a possibility we would have a July baby. Looks like we're getting an August baby after all!

August's birth flower

August's birth stone