Wednesday, October 29, 2014

I Will Never (II)

I will NEVER get an epidural.

I will NEVER let my doctor induce me.

I will NEVER give my baby formula.

I will NEVER bring my baby into the bed.

I will NEVER eat bad food after having the baby. How else will I lose that weight?

I will NEVER skip tummy time.

I will NEVER ask my husband for PERMISSION to do something!  He doesn't own me!  (No, but he will need to watch the kid...)

'Twas the Night Before the End of Maternity Leave

As I lay here listening to my husband snore away on my right and my baby snore through the monitor on my left (my new symphony of happiness) I find myself so overcome with emotion that I need to write it out.

Mommy guilt.

Oh man, Mommy guilt.

There are so many different versions:  Moms who work but feel guilty about not being home.
Moms who stay home and feel guilty for not contributing financially.

Then there's me:  Moms who feel guilty about being excited to go back to work.

Don't get me wrong, I've had my tearful moments (ask Ryan and my mom). I've cried nightly rocking my sweet girl to sleep. I just cried watching all the videos on my phone of Eliza's milestones and how far she's come.

I do mourn the end of my leave.  I do feel she's too young to go to day care (a wonderful in-home care with someone I trust and 4 other great kids).  I will miss snuggling through naps and watching her discover new things each day.

But I can't ignore myself either.  I can't ignore the fact that I miss my challenge outside the home.  I miss the smell of my classroom and the sound of 25 eight year olds growing.  

The truth is, I find a large part of my identity in my job.

And let's face it, if I'm going to be a working mom, I have a damn good job.  Summers and holidays off, spontaneous snuggly snow days, and hours that don't leave us scrambling through traffic and heading home straight into bedtime.

My most important jobs will always be Ryan's wife and Eliza's Mommy, but I can't deny that I'm a little excited to be Mrs. Marshall again...And being Mrs, Marshall will make me a better wife and mother.  I do know that about myself.

I fully anticipate a tearful, mascara free day tomorrow.  I plan to be gentle with myself and give in to the emotions if need be.  We'll find our new normal.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

"I Will Never..."

Having sweet Eliza was the most humbling experience of my life.  It has been enough to bring this confident Momma crashing down to a big ol bag of unsure and insecure.  We are still learning about each other and loving every minute, but it's been a long time since I've been new to something and haven't been able to dive right in and get it right!

I've quickly learned to eat crow and to never say never.  To pay homage to my naive self who's been knocked down a few pegs, I've decided to keep a running list of the things I've done that I swore I never would.  This will be updated from time to time!

I will NEVER get an epidural.

I will NEVER let my doctor induce me.

I will NEVER give my baby formula.

I will NEVER bring my baby into the bed.

I will NEVER eat bad food after having the baby. How else will I lose that weight?

I will NEVER skip tummy time.

I seriously just want to go back to past Ashley, pat her on the head and say, "that's cute!"  What a silly girl...

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Eliza's Birth Story

Miss Eliza's due date was August 16th.  After we found out that she had turned from being breech, my doctor went ahead and scheduled an induction in case she didn't come "on time".  We agreed that 41 and a half weeks was a reasonable induction date, particularly after being relieved that she wasn't going to come so early (August 11th was when the breech C-Section was scheduled).  I went in for an appointment on Friday, August 22nd with a different doctor (whom I LOVED) since my doctor was out of town.  I was only 1 cm dilated and only 30% effaced.  This doctor ordered a biophysical ultrasound and non-stress test to get us through the weekend.  In the ultrasound they measure fluid levels and look for a certain number of kicks and practice breathing for 30 seconds.  Everything looked good, but we couldn't see her practice breathing.  The ultrasound tech assured me that this is common and can be difficult to see, but it obviously made me nervous and more ready for the induction.  I'd had reservations about this because I wasn't convinced her due date was accurate, especially with her turning so "late" from being breech.  Ryan and I were charting to conceive and had a really good idea of when it happened.  I definitely felt brushed over when I explained this at the beginning, but had hoped it wouldn't matter.  Anyway, after the fear from the ultrasound, we were ready for the induction if she didn't come naturally before then.

Due to her being late, I actually ended up starting the school work week on Monday and Tuesday.  Tuesday night, Ryan and I went out to dinner one last time and then headed in to the hospital for the induction.  We got there at 7 and got checked in.  The nurses put in a saline lock and a cervix softener.  I went in with an "unfavorable cervix" being only 1 cm dilated and about 50% effaced.  We got a few hours of sleep (MAYBE) and the nurses came in around 4am.  She took out the softener and hooked me up to the Pitocin drip.  They increase this by 2 every 15-30 minutes with 20 being the highest they'll go.  My doctor came in around 7:30 to check me.  I had completely effaced and was only 2 cm dilated.  She broke my water at this time and let me know that we were in for a long day.

As they upped the Pitocin, I was starting to gradually feel the contractions growing stronger.  They started as uncomfortable and quickly escalated to painful.  I continued using our hypnobirthing techniques and staying focused.  The contractions were more manageable when I was standing or sitting on a birthing ball...they were completely horrible if I was laying down (remember this!).  I labored standing watching the monitor or walking the halls.  I wouldn't wish a Pitocin induction on my worst enemy, especially if they were trying to go unmedicated!  The contractions were extremely irregular, going every 2 minutes to back to back with no warning.  After 8 hours of standing and laboring, I was completely exhausted.  The pain was getting to be too much, but I knew I could keep going if we were close.  I asked the nurse to come in and check me...I needed a light at the end of the tunnel.  Unfortunately, after all of that, I had only progressed to 3 cm.  I knew I couldn't do it without help so I asked for an epidural. 

Well this was a complete disaster.  The anesthesiologist came in and got to work.  I was glad I didn't have to wait too long.  Unfortunately, this wasn't an easy task for some reason.  Trying to stay still during those contractions was really horrible.  For whatever reason, he ended up sticking me 4 times before he was satisfied.  He quickly left and I started feeling some comfort.  I was really happy with my decision.  I started to notice, though, that it was only working on half my body.  They suggested I lay on my right, so the medicine could drip down that way.  I quickly fell asleep because I was so exhausted.  Laying on my side helped and I woke up like a new person.  I got to eat some Italian ices and was happy to chat.  

My doctor came by to check me around 6 pm and told me it was still going to be a while, probably early the following morning.   I sent Ryan home to take a break since it still looked like we were in for a long night.  My Mom and Mother-in-Law kept me company.  Eventually, the pain started coming back in my right side and was growing pretty unbearable.  I told the nurses and they called in another anesthesiologist.  I was feeling full blown contractions again, but this time I was stuck in the bed since my left side was completely paralyzed.  They tried giving me lidocaine but it was only making me left side even more numb.  Then came the vomiting.  Holy cow that was awful.  My nurse had a feeling that I had progressed more quickly and was in transition.  I had my mom call Ryan back to the hospital just in case.  The nurse called the hospitalist in to check me.  I was at 9 cm and was getting close to pushing.  Ryan of course made it and the nurse suggested we give it a shot (this was around 11).  We cleared the room and it was just Ryan, the nurse, and me.  Our nurse, Tina, was absolutely AMAZING.  She taught me to push and things started really moving!  at 11:48 PM, Elizabeth Ward Marshall was born!  She was 7 pounds 4 oz and 21 inches long.  She was alert and had the most beautiful eyes!  We were immediately in love.  Ryan went and told our families that she was here (our parents waited!) and we were just over the moon!

I'll update on our first month soon!  It's been incredible!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Week 41

Not much longer!!!  If she doesn't come this weekend, it's safe to say she'll be here next week.

The past few days have really been the first uncomfortable days.  I've felt a lot of back pain and cramps.  I had a biophysical ultrasound and Non-Stress Test so we know she is all safe and sound in there!

The plus side, if I make it to Monday and the first day back at work, I get to pick up a few more days of paid maternity leave!

It's all looking up from here and Ryan and I are just enjoying our last few days just the two of us.  Can't wait to meet this sweet thing, though!!!!


Monday, August 18, 2014

40+ Weeks

Eliza's due date has come and gone!  She's still super snug in there and we're not sure when she'll come!  We're trying to keep in mind that Due Dates are just based on a calendar of a typical woman's cycle.  I know I've never been one to be typical and only Eliza knows when she's ready!

We're hoping to keep this as natural and in her court as possible.  We promise to keep you posted on any changes!  We're so anxious to meet our sweet girl!!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Change of Plans...again

She turned!  She's head down and ready to rock and roll.  We're officially back on her clock and playing the waiting game.  There's no place I'd rather be!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Weeks ????

Sorry for the delay!  These past weeks have been a complete blur!  I'm currently 38 weeks and 4 days.  It looks like we may be meeting Miss Eliza sooner rather than later as she's transverse breech!  She's been that way for a while so it's unlikely that she'll turn.  This has been a hard pill to swallow, but I'm coming to terms with it and growing more and more excited.  I can't wait to have this little girl in my arms!!  Be on the lookout for a birth announcement pretty soon!!

  Honestly, I haven't been feeling too photogenic lately!!

Friday, July 18, 2014

An Open Letter to My Unborn Daughter

Sweet Eliza,

It's my birthday!  As I sit here changing positions every three minutes trying to find comfort, I think about how my mom (your Laynie) felt just weeks before this day 29 years ago.  Considering I was two weeks "late," I imagine it was a little bit different physically, but probably not emotionally.  I came across this article the other day that really spoke to me.  It validated these new emotions I've been feeling and gave me a place of comfort to find in them.  

When we found out we were blessed to have you in our lives, a dear friend wrote me a sweet note and her words have stuck with me.  She said, "you think you know how much your Momma loves you now, but you're going to quickly realize that you weren't even close."  Baby girl, I haven't even laid eyes on you yet and sometimes I find myself so overcome with love for you that I can hardly stand it.

Now, here we are just four short weeks away from your due date, and I make an open promise to you to not wish a single minute away.  Sure, there are times that I drop something and come very close to leaving it on the ground because it's so much easier than having to bend down and pick it up, or I feel one of those nice little jabs in my left rib cage (you know the ones) and I grow so frustrated because I can't figure out why you won't just drop already, but those moments are coming to an end.  I won't get to feel you that way any longer.  Those not-as-cute baby kicks are our sign that you're alive and healthy and thriving.  The days are numbered of me being able to keep you so safe tucked away in there.  It's the closest you'll ever physically be to my heart and I can't ignore that.  I dream about the day that I get to see you turn my sweet husband into your Daddy, but for right now, I'll enjoy being selfish and keeping you all to myself.  I don't have to share you, yet, and I think I'll hold on to that for a little while.

I want you to come when you're ready.  I'm pretty sure you'll let me know.  Right now, it's just you and me, babe!


Friday, July 11, 2014

34 Weeks

Size of the Baby:  Eliza is the size of a cantaloupe.

Maternity Clothes: Everything maternity.

Nursery:  Done!  See the previous post.

Movement: Always!  

Symptoms: Frequent bathroom trips!  I tire quickly, too.

Sleep:  Getting tougher.

Cravings:  Cheerios again.

What I Miss:  Feeling energetic

Best Moments This Week: Finishing the nursery!  I love being in there.  Also, Ruby Madeline arrived!!!!   I love you, Kort!  You're amazing!!

Looking Forward To:  Another beach trip with the Marshalls!

Gestational Psychosis:  I was pretty good this week!

Eliza's Nursery

It's (pretty much) done!  We're just waiting on the side table!

We knew we didn't want to hang anything heavy over the crib so I got this adorable pennant off! Etsy The seller couldn't have been nicer and easier to work with!

We refinished this chest at Tynkers and Co.  It's absolutely beautiful in person and meaningful, to boot. It belonged to Ryan's grandfather and Ryan grew up with it in his room.  

Got these off etsy, too.  Each are from different sellers.  3 are song quotes (Ray LaMontagne, Pink Floyd, and Bob Dylan)

The side table will go next to the chair.

Need to grab one more basket!!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

EI 2014

We had such a great week!  I love spending extended periods of time with Drew.  He's so funny and smart and he just blows me away!!  We had 6 gorgeous days plus one hurricane adventure!  Can't wait to share all the beauty with Eliza this fall!!

Sea turtle rescue

33 Weeks

Look, Drew!  A whale!

Size of the Baby:  Baby Marshall is the size of a durian.  Again, no clue!  I Los read she's the size of a honeydew...more my speed.  Regardless, she's around 4-4.5 pounds and pretty much the length she will be when she's born!

Maternity Clothes: Everything maternity.

Nursery:  Almost done!  I'm hoping to do a nursery post later this week!

Movement: All the time!  It's really awesome.

Symptoms: I went on a looooong walk on the beach earlier in the week and thing the unevenness of the sand caused some problems.  I had extreme back and lower abdomen pain.  I got a brace to support the bump and it's helped so much!!

Sleep:  Lots of bathroom breaks and some hip pain.  Getting tougher!

Cravings:  sweets

What I Miss:  My body...same old, same old.

Best Moments This Week: Fun in the sun with family at the beach!!!

Looking Forward To:  Finishing up the nursery and baby purchases.

Gestational Psychosis:  I had a pretty emotional week. I cried uncontrollably when we left Milk while we went to the beach.  I cried for two days with Ryan left the beach early (he had to work).  I also put high for the paint from. Honestly, I was a wreck.

Friday, June 27, 2014

32 Weeks

Size of the Baby:  Eliza is the size of a jicama.  Whatever that is!  

Maternity Clothes: all the time!  I'm squishing myself into my Lululemon workout tops...they're nice and loose so they give me space in the belly.  

Nursery:  We've picked up our dresser we had refinished!  It was Ryan's grandfather's and was in his room growing up.  We had the stain match the crib and it's absolutely beautiful!!!!  When we get back from the beach, I'll finally be able to organize her room!

Movement: A lot!!!  It's the best feeling!  At the doctors today, the nurse was listening to her heartbeat and Eliza kicked so hard her hand flew up!

Symptoms: Still have lots of rib pain.  The doctor says it's how my nerves are spreading. 

Sleep:  I can't nap during the day or I'm up all night!  I tend to hit a wall around 4, so I usually go on walks at that time.  

Cravings:  Food.  All food.

What I Miss:  feeling good about my body

Best Moments This Week: Seeing her nursery come together!  Also, some great deals I've found!!

Looking Forward To: THE BEACH!!!!!!!  

Gestational Psychosis:   I've been pretty good!  No real crazy moments!!  

Sunday, June 22, 2014

31 Weeks

*Week 30 was the last week of school.  So, we'll just skip that because it wasn't documented!*

Size of the Baby:  Eliza is the size of a pineapple.  She's weighing in around 3.5 pounds.

Maternity Clothes: All maternity pants, still wearing some normal tops.

Nursery:  Her chair is in!  Now we're waiting on her dresser to be finished so I can organize the room.  We have all of her bedding!

Movement: Most people have been able to feel her.  She's active all the time now!  We can just look at my belly and see her moving now!

Symptoms: She nestles nicely under my left rib.  It's the sweetest and most excrutiating thing!  There's actually some bruising outside...yikes!

Sleep:  Loooove sleep.

Cravings:  Food.

What I Miss:  Sports and Running...starting to get sad that we'll miss a few football games, too.

Best Moments This Week: Eliza's Shower!

Looking Forward To: THE BEACH!!!!!!!  Long walks, sleeping soundly, time with family, getting Eliza to EI for the first time, even if it's in utero!

Gestational Psychosis:   I had the hardest time packing up my room.  I'm just not myself!  I felt like I was in a fog.  I'm normally so routine and on top of it!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Eliza's Purple and Grey Shower!

The incredibly talented Jennifer and Meredith hosted an amazing brunch shower for Eliza Ward today!  Everything was absolutely incredible!  It was brunch and they served all my favorite things, from mini quiches to tomato pie to milk!  I had such a great time, I could have sat and visited for hours!!

"Mom"osa bar

The beautiful hostesses!

These diapers are hilarious.  They'll definitely bring some late night laughs.  My favorite said, "Daddy's turn!"

Grammy, Gamma, Mommy, Laynie, and Gigi

Eliza loves Ruby

Sweet Mommas

Marshall love!

Lauren got E some pirate gear!!!

Monogrammed bottle koozie!

Thank you everyone for making us feel so special!  She can't wait to meet you!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Candlewood Shower

My amazing second mothers threw such a wonderful shower for our baby girl this past Saturday!  We felt so loved and blessed!  Baby Eliza Ward was spoiled rotten!!  Thank you so much to our generous friends and family. We love you so so much.

The amazing hostesses

Mom and Grandma

Gorgeous high school gals

Aren't we cute?!?