Friday, March 28, 2014

Jacob's birth

Jacob's due date was last Friday, March 21st. The day before, I had an appointment with my midwives. After being dilated 1 cm for the previous month, I was dilated 2 cm (hooray for some progress!) and my midwife stripped my membranes. That was not a pleasant experience and it doesn't work for everyone, but it did seem to get the ball rolling for me. The next morning, on my due date, I woke up with bloody show, a sign that labor could be starting soon. I had some cramps throughout the day, but they were few and far between and I went to bed a little disappointed that I was once again going to have to play the waiting game past my due date.
last belly picture, on my due date
As it turned out, I didn't have to wait long. At 3:15 Saturday morning, I was woken up by painful contractions coming 10 minutes apart. I tried (mostly unsuccessfully) to get some more rest before everyone else got up.
my last day as a mother of one
Throughout that day, I kept waiting for the contractions to get closer together, but they just wouldn't, staying 5-10 minutes apart hour after hour. Thomas and I went on a 2 hour walk and they got slightly closer together while we were walking, but slowed back to the same rate as soon as we stopped. It was pretty frustrating, especially because they became more intense and painful as the day went on, just not closer together. The same thing happened when I took a hot shower in the afternoon. The contractions also got closer together while I was in the shower (about 4 minutes apart), but when I got out they went back to every 10 minutes. We went on another walk and the same thing happened again. By about 9:00 that night I was super worn out. I had already been awake and in labor for about 18 hours but with no end in sight. All I wanted to do was press pause on the whole thing and go to sleep. Since that wasn't an option, I took another shower, and miraculously while I was in the shower my contractions sped up to 2-3 minutes apart and stayed at 4-5 minutes apart when I got out. We called the midwife and finally got the green light to head to the hospital.

It was nearly midnight by the time we got settled into our room at the hospital. I was dilated 5 cm and 100% effaced, which on the one hand was encouraging--yay! progress! early labor is over!--but on the other hand was pretty discouraging too--really? over 20 hours of labor for 3 measly centimeters? The contractions continued to get more painful and lasted seemingly forever (really about 3 minutes). I was planning on a natural birth and the best pain management techniques for me were back rubs from Thomas as I leaned over the bed, the birthing ball, hot showers, and the labor tub, all of which I used extensively. Progress was still slow though. At 4:30, after being at the hospital for nearly 5 hours and in labor for over 25, I was dilated 7 cm. Only 2 more centimeters in all that time. At that point my midwife and I decided it was time to break my water. She did so at 4:40 and I got back in the tub. Now, I stopped paying much attention to the clock at this point, but it couldn't have been more than 15 or 20 minutes before I started feeling a lot of pressure and was fully dilated and ready to push. So it took 20 hours to go from 2 cm to 5 cm but only 20 minutes to go from 7 to 10. Ridiculous.

So then it was time to push, which was far and away the worst part of the entire experience. I was just crazy with exhaustion and in addition to the contractions I was also now experiencing super intense pressure on my lower back. It was driving me absolutely insane no matter what position I got into. It was so hard for me stay on top of the pain that I was seriously losing it for a while. There was talk of having the doctor come and do a forceps delivery because I was having such a hard time, but happily I pulled myself together before that became necessary. I worked through all that pain, pressure, and exhaustion, and after 27 1/2 hours of labor I finally pushed my baby out into the world at 6:40 a.m. on March 23, 2014.

While there were definitely things I wish had gone differently, he was only 2 days late and I had no induction, no drugs, no tearing, and a perfectly healthy wonderful baby boy! So overall I am really happy with how the experience turned out.

Our experience after his birth was so different than with Jamie. Without us even having to request it, they left Jacob with me for over an hour before doing anything with him--weighing, measuring, eye drops, bath, anything. It was so wonderful. And when they did get around to those things, they did ALL of them right in our room. I even got to hold him during his hearing screening. Jacob never left our room at all until he was 28 hours old. We also didn't have to change rooms, there was a pull-out couch bed for Thomas, and if we were asleep when the nurses came, they just left us there and came back later. In all of these ways it was the complete opposite of our hospital stay with Jamie.  Jacob's first day of life was so peaceful and special.

The best part of the day was when Jamie came with his aunt Emily to meet his baby brother. He was so excited and took to Jacob right away. He gave him about a million kisses, held him and rocked him, sang to him, and was very interested in everything we did for Jacob, like diaper changes and feeding. It was so, so wonderful to have all of us together and to see my two boys with each other.
Jamie loved helping me eat my lunch.
We got Jamie a big brother gift. It was a Ninja Turtle. You can see how excited he was!
Jacob with Aunt Emily
We got to have a special Mommy/Daddy dinner: steak, baked potatoes, broccoli, cheesecake...It was pretty great for hospital food!

The next morning Jacob had to have a couple newborn screenings, and after that it wasn't too long before we were able to head home. 
sleepy boys :)
all ready to go!
...and home!
Big brother welcoming Jacob with a kiss. :) I love these two boys!!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

introducing Jacob Wilder

Our baby boy was born at 6:40 this morning. 8 pounds, 2 ounces, 22 inches, and sweet as can be. More pictures and info to come once we're home.

Monday, March 17, 2014


Jamie's favorite color is green, so he was SUPER excited about a holiday where everyone had to wear it. He chose his own clothes today (he was also wearing Green Lantern underpants):

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

banana ice cream

This recipe has been such a hit at our house that I just have to share it: One-Ingredient Banana Ice Cream. For the record, I don't like bananas, so it really doesn't do it for me, but both Thomas and Jamie love this stuff. The only change I make to the recipe is that I've found I need to add a little liquid to help it thin out and get smoother. I usually add a big spoonful of peanut butter and maybe a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Jamie has been so excited that he gets to have ice cream every time we have a few overripe bananas, and I'm super happy about giving him a dessert that has NO sugar. Win-win!

Friday, March 14, 2014

baby update

Today marks 39 weeks! 
At my appointment yesterday, I was 1 cm dilated and 75% effaced...but I have been for the last 3 weeks, so that doesn't mean anything. I've been having tons of Braxton Hicks contractions, but unfortunately that also doesn't mean anything. We've got all the baby clothes washed and put away, Jamie's room (and ours, since he'll be in there at first) is all set up and ready to go, the freezer is full of food for after he's born, my hospital bag is packed, and basically we're at the point where we're just playing the waiting game. Fingers crossed that baby brother comes faster than Jamie did!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

the bean

Jamie has recently been talking a lot about wanting to be a scientist (usually a paleontologist) and asking to do experiments. We've done several small, quick "experiments," but the best one by far has been growing a bean on a wet paper towel. We just used a dried pinto bean from a bag we already had in the cupboard and set the jar in Jamie's window every morning. He loved checking on it each night and putting it back each morning. I don't know for sure when we started but it was some time in January and we just finally pronounced the experiment finished last week when the leaves started drying out and the roots started turning black. It was so neat to watch all that time.

January 28
February 6
February 13

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Valentine's Day

This year we started getting ready for Valentine's Day by preparing for Jamie's preschool party. We made peanut butter cookies with Dove hearts in the middle instead of kisses and I put together these super cute Yoda valentines that I took right off of pinterest. Unfortunately the day of his party coincided with one of our snow days and it was cancelled...but then we were able to make it up after all on Valentine's Day itself! Our first batch of cookies somehow didn't last that long, so we made sugar cookies instead later. :)
and of course we had to sample them!
this kid loves sprinkles like you wouldn't believe
Thomas and I got to go out on a Valentine's date. We had dinner at Altruda's, a local Italian restaurant, and then went to see The Monuments Men. We both read the book last year and had really enjoyed it. The movie was all right but (big surprise) the book was better!

On our actual Valentine's Day, we had a special breakfast of French toast with nutella, strawberries, and bananas. I thought about using cookie cutters to make the bread heart shaped but then I got lazy and decided not to bother. So there was nothing very Valentine's-y about it, but it sure was good! Then we had Jamie's make-up Valentine's party and in the evening we had a special dinner as a family: steak, mashed potatoes, and roast asparagus. Yummmm.
Jamie was being a pirate right before breakfast, hence the bandana.
a nutella-loving pirate, to be more precise :)

and our delicious dinner!
The final (totally random) event of the evening was a glow-stick bath for Jamie. I've seen the idea on pinterest so many times, and since we had extra glow sticks from the valentines, I figured it was a good time to try it out. Jamie LOVED it! He did not want to get out, and I'm pretty sure he had the longest bath of his life.
couldn't get any good pictures, but it was really fun!
It was such a fun holiday! I love celebrating with my little family.

snow days

This has been a weird winter for Knoxville. We've gotten so much more snow than any other year we've lived here. There were two days in particular where we got quite a bit and traffic was horrible, school was cancelled, etc. The first time it happened, it started snowing lightly in the morning. Jamie and I went to story time at the library as usual, and there were only 5 kids there (the previous week there had been probably 40)! By the time we left, traffic had already gotten very congested and slow. It took forever to get home because everyone was only driving 10-15 mph even though there was no snow sticking to the main roads yet. Gotta love the South. Of course, I shouldn't complain because of how much worse others (like my brother and his family in Atlanta) had it. We played in the snow that was very powdery so no snowmen that day but Jamie had fun just digging and tromping and making snow angels.
He doesn't look very happy in this picture, but I promise he was loving it.
 A couple weeks later, another snowstorm hit. It really started to come down in the afternoon and kept up all night. We woke up to nearly 7 inches of snow! I couldn't believe there was really that much in Knoxville. This time the snow was the *perfect* packing snow...seriously amazing. Thomas and Jamie together made a cute family of snowmen. There were snowmen all over the apartment complex...but not for long. It was so warm that day that by the time we went to bed, almost all of it had melted. And the weather continues to be erratic...Today it's nearly 70 but we may get some more snow or freezing rain in the morning. I'd love some consistency!
another huge snowman someone made outside our building