Sunday, May 6, 2012

Story of Claudia Angeline Elkins' Birth

On April 11, 2012 I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, Claudia Angeline Elkins.
I personally picked the name Claudia Angeline about two weeks before I gave birth. We had been thinking about using the name Claudia, Angelina, Gabriella, Charlotte, Clarissa months prior but I like Claudia as first name the most. For the middle name, I wanted to use Angel as part of her name, as well, because I want Claudia to have an Angel-like personality: kind, generous, loving, most lovable, adorable, caring, etc.  So I chose the middle name of Angeline.  Combined with the name Claudia, I simply love it.  The name Claudia is a Latin name, and derives from the same Latin word as cloud.  If you believe the internet, every baby name site out there will have you believe it just means "lame."  However, the origin of the word some say it means perseverance or persevering, and also has the same root of the word cloud, and can also mean to encompass, safety or haven.  Of course I would like to associate her name to perseverance and these other positive words.

1 Corinthians 1:27 and 2:5 God gives a promise, "...but God Has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong. So that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God! Claudias' persevere in the right direction...

What a great person to have perseverance along with a loving and caring personality.

Adam really liked the name "Charlotte".  I love the name Charlotte too, but Claudia sounds better with her big sister's name "Chloe" and it seems to be more unique in the US while it is still easy for people to spell without guessing, so we also considered these practical things when picking out her name.

Birth Story:

Early in the morning on April 10, 2012 I worked from home and started to feel cramping around 8 AM.  The bloody show had started the day before, right visiting to my OBGYN doctor for an exam. It is usual to have the bloody show after that. I didn't associate the cramping to "potential" labor but continuously monitoring for pattern. At 9:30 AM I took Chloe to her new daycare for observation day from 10 to Noon. I noticed the cramping happened almost every hour or two. Some are lighter than others but definitely noticable. I remember feeling uncomfortable sitting on a small toddler chair in Chloe's class room which I sat on the day before just fine. After lunch I took Chloe home and had a conference call related to projects I had at work. Back to back meeting from 1:30 PM till about 3:30 PM. During that time Adam called to ask me to do a TCPA Dialer (Interactive Intelligence product) test and I told him about the cramping while still telling him that I needed to go back to my other call with a coworker and assisting Adam with the Dialer test calls. I was heavily multitasking on my computer, my phone with two lines and having cramping every half hour on and off at that point. At this point I was still doubting that I was having a labor. I told Adam so but Adam who was a good labor support person and a great husband took the initiative to start telling Debbie, Erin, Amy and Sue (our neighbor who was our backup to take care of Chloe). I was expecting a callback from my OBGYN nurse at this point but our Doula Julie Pichon called at the right time. She asked me how I was doing and I told her about the cramping. The OBGYN nurse, Julie and myself were thinking that the cramping and the bloody show could most likely be caused by the previous day's exam but they both wanted me to still watch for the pattern and time the cramping just in case it is labor. The cramping interval period got closer but not close enough to be considered labor like the one I had last time with Chloe. It jumped from half hour back to one hour and then down to 15 minutes and half hour until it was more consistent every half hour and then every 15 minutes. When it got to consistently 20-30 minutes Adam was already home and started getting ready. We both finished all the things we have postponed like finishing assembling baby swings, car seat, re-adjusted baby bed and Adam finally packed clothes (which I had been reminding for a couple of weeks). Right when I thought we were ready, Amy and Chris came. I was lying on the bed trying to rest but the cramping became stronger. I started thinking this is definitely labor but when should we go to the hospital? Debbie came not long after that and I think she could tell that I was focused and she thought I was ready to go to the hospital. Julie has been checking regularly at this point and she told me I had to follow my motherly instinct regardless of anybody else says including Julie herself. She was right. I went to the bathroom not long after the call with Julie around 11 PM. I heard Adam talking to Julie while I was having a very strong cramping or contraction. I told Julie the intensity of the cramping convinced me of this being labor and I told Adam that we now had to head out to the hospital.
We got to the hospital at exactly midnight. There was no one at the receptionist table and the security guard could tell I was in labor as I had to put my head down the desk and wait to talk. Julie came not long after.
Adam, Julie and I were taken to the initial examination room. I was asked to change to the hospital gown but Julie reminded me that I didn't need to change to the hospital gown if I feel more comfortable in my dress.
I was wearing my long black dress that is really comfy so I decided not to change to the hospital gown.
We waited for a good 40 minutes before the nurse came back to do the examination. Before that I had to give my driver license, insurance card, answer some questions, gave urine sample and signed a hospital form. There was also an intern asking some questions which at that point was not an additional thing that I wanted to do in pain. Finally the nurse told me that I was 7 cm dilated. Julie reminded me how such good news that was and we got there at the perfect time. The nurse took us to the delivery room. More questions were asked right after I got in to the room and right away I gave the hand gesture and leaned forward on the bed showing that I was experiencing strong contraction and couldn't answer. I remember Adam trying to remember the pediatrician name. No matter how hard I wanted to answer I just couldn't. Julie put up the exercise ball on the bed and asked if I wanted and could kneel and lean forward on the ball. I thought I should try anything else other than standing at that point and I quickly climbed on to the bed without assistance and quickly followed Julie's direction to rest on the exercise ball. It helped but the contraction got stronger and stronger. Julie gave me some ice water because she saw my lips became dryer. The nurse put an IV heplock and started an antibiotic for strep B. I started to vocalize with every breathing (every time I breath out). At some point the grunt became the sound of pushing. This is when my experience giving birth the first time helped. I knew exactly that I needed to push. The resident doctor came and asked if she could help check the baby position and dilation again. I exclaimed "Yes". The doctor gave recommendation to change my pushing position right away. She said the baby wouldn't come out easily with the kneeling position. I followed the instructions to lay down on my left side and hold up my right knee with Julie on left side and Adam on the other side. I pushed two times (long pushes) and the baby came out.  It was a very quick birth.  We were in the triage room checking the dilation for about one hour from 12:00 AM to 1:00 AM, when we moved to the delivery room.  Claudia was born at 1:42 AM, which was so fast that they had not finished administering the strep B antibiotic, which is a typical procedure, but it goes to show how fast Claudia came.  She weighed 6 lbs. 8 oz, and was 21 inches, although Adam suspects that there was an error in measurement because she seemed shorter than Chloe.  At her first Pediatrician appointment less than a week later she measured 19.75 inches.

I held baby Claudia right away and put her close to my chest. However due to her low temperature she needed to be warmed up and taken from me right away as well. Not long after that she came back though and I nursed her on my left side. Julie assisted. The baby sucked but didn't latch too well. The nurse came and suggested to try the other side. Claudia latched on better on the right side. After about 10 minutes the baby let go and I tried the left side again. It was a little bit better. I continued nursing until I came home from the hospital. Although I didn't really want to use pacifier, there were times we used pacifier at night/early morning.

One the way home from the hospital we stopped by CVS and I didn't try to wake Claudia up right after we got back home. I gave pacifier when Joe, Mamaw and Erin visited and skipped a feeding when the baby fell asleep after the visit. What a big mistake. My milk came in that night and my breasts were engorged. I felt I just had breast augmentation with a very unexpected super large result and I felt like carrying heavy bricks on my chest. I tried warm shower, cold compress, pumping, nursing and Adam helped with Reverse Pressure Softening, (Adam's Commentary:  This could also be described as "Boob Pushing."  Now you know.).  The latter was not a good idea... extremely painful and the nipple ring was back to its swollen state right away. My milk didn't come out when I pumped and the baby refused to nurse which I think is because of the hard and swollen nipple and breast. I know being a Mom is not easy but this engorgement period is one big struggle. Mom goes through a lot of pain and this is one of them after birth.  I later read online that the addition of an IV, which we used during this birth, can contribute to this engorgement.   I finally called Julie and she suggested to take Ibuprofen. The next morning I felt better.

Claudia seemed to cluster fed from 10 PM to 2-3 AM for the first three weeks. The first two nights at home we had to give formula to Claudia but the next day Julie reminded me to not give formula and pacifier. Even when the pediatrician told me to supplement every other feeding due to potential jaundice on the one week visit, Julie again reminded me that I could go back to the old habit of supplementing if I do that. As long as I breast feed continuously and sufficiently it should help with jaundice she said. I really took in this suggestion and for the next couple of nights I persisted on nursing even with one eye open and baby on my chest and lap almost 24x7. Of course I carefully laid the baby and woke up periodically which also meant I didn't get enough sleep for three weeks. However, right after the first week and a half I felt very comfortable nursing already regardless of my lack of sleep.

Right on the start of week three of Claudia's life, she slept longer at night giving me good 3-4 hour of sleep at one time, nursed for half to one hour and sleep for another 3-4 hour the next. What a relief.

Some things that helped in breast feeding Claudia:
1. Cross hold
2. Skin to skin and touch the back of her head directly on her neck skin. Don't cover the back of her neck with blanket.
3. Massage or express milk before nursing.
4. Nose aligns with the nipple and let her open her mouth wide. Sometimes letting her cry first and right after she opens her mouth wide push her mouth right on to the nipple until she latches on.
5. massage the breast close to the underarm right after the latch to force her to open her mouth wide and re-adjust the latch when the milk is coming in faster.
6. When she is sucking, continuously in one stroke massage/gently put pressure on the breast close to the underarm and let go every time she stops sucking. Also put a gently pressure on the neck behind her ear/massage her hand/touch her chin to remind her to keep sucking especially when she is falling asleep.
7. Align her body horizontally facing me (make sure she is not falling on one the bottom side).
8. Sometimes I have to let her start sucking even with small mouth opening and let her re-adjust after one or two sucking motions.
9. Start using nipple lotion from the start of nursing at the hospital until the nipple is soft and the latch is good. Continue applying in between feeding.
10. Burp in between before offering more
11. Sometimes massaging or expressing milk caused the milk to come faster than the baby can handle so expect the baby to let go and burp first before offering more. But offer right away before the baby falls asleep.

One new thing that happened at the hospital this time was one of the nurses told us that I was Hep B positive. Actually I was Hep B Antibody positive which would be expected, because I got this antibody from Hep B vaccine during the Green Card process.  However, the nurse apparently incorrectly told the pediatrician and didn't get the feedback from the OBGYN in time. To be safe, Adam and I decided to follow the suggestion to provide the Hep B vaccine to Claudia and administered the booster to help fight the Hep B virus, if that was the case.  (Adam's Commentary:  Oh by the way, we were also freaking out about having Hep B.  Thanks nurse.  Fortunately, using the powers of deduction, we had figured out by nights end that there must have been some confusion, however, it wasn't until the next day when the doctor came in and explained the mistake and that there wasn't anything to worry about that we felt 100% better.)  We didn't want to give the Hep B vaccine right away, similar to how we did a delayed vaccine schedule with Chloe, but this event forced us to give this to Claudia right away. According to Dr. Gates (my OB) and the hospital Pediatrician, the booster wouldn't do any harm. What a headache due to a nurse not knowing what the antibody means.

Claudia continues to grow, and I have been nursing her and we have only used about three bottles worth of supplementary formula.  Her weight dipped as normal, and she reached her birth weight about a week after her birth.  She is very attentive, and looks around all the time.  Her cheeks are getting chubbier now, and she's very cute.  She looks like a little version of Adam.  Chloe is thrilled with her, and has adjusted splendidly.  She talks about seeing Claudia when she comes home from daycare, and she says, "Claudia kisses" when she wants to give her kisses, which is all the time!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Story of Chloe Grace Elkins' Birth

We are very excited about Chloe Grace Elkins, born on February 16, 2010. I know, it has been two weeks and we still hadn't announced it on the blog. That's right, we're just now getting to it. Don't worry, I still remember the story and I will tell you now.

Natalia and I went to work that Monday morning, the 15th, just like any other day, the only difference being, Natalia's due date had been the day before, so we were wondering when this baby would get here. Natalia called me at about 10:00 in the morning and told me that she was having back cramps. I didn't think too much of it until she told me they were about 45 seconds long and about 10 minutes apart. Then I got real interested. I had noticed that morning that she was up and alert very early, at around 7:00 in the morning, and she said that's about when she had noticed something different, like a small discomfort in her back. Later she said that morning she had asked the baby, "Baby, would you please come out today?"

So Natalia and I were at work, and Natalia started timing these cramps to see if they were consistent, and she found that they were always from 8 to 10 minutes apart, and were about 30-45 seconds long. We were pretty sure they were contractions, but Natalia says she wasn't sure if the were Braxton-Hicks contractions, which are false contractions within a week or so before labor truly sets in, or if they were real contractions.

Natalia kept timing, and I kept working, but we kept in touch via IM. I went downstairs before lunch and we talked about what to do. I had called Mom and my Sister Erin by this time, and they both agreed they were definitely contractions, and we should probably think about heading home. The weather was very snowy that day, and Amy was on her way home because her school was sent home early to avoid the worsening weather. So, at that point I decided to run and get us something to eat from the deli at Marsh, and I met Tom Fisher, Abi Chandra, and Dave Paine for lunch. I told the boys, "I think this is it."

Once I got back from lunch, Natalia told me she had noticed the bloody show, which means this was definitely the early stages of labor. By about 2:30, Natalia and I decided to go home and let things progress further before going to the hospital. Once we got home, Natalia relaxed and walked around, because that was the most comfortable thing to do. During the contractions, Natalia could still walk around at this point, and contractions were staying at the same intensity, which was just slightly uncomfortable. My Sister Amy had come over and met us when we got home, and she helped out with a few things, like organizing the stuff we had packed to take to the hospital. Amy then left to go to her house to meet Mom, who was on her way down to Indianapolis from Bluffton.

Natalia continued to walk around, and I video taped her and took some pictures. Natalia then took a shower, and then we made some food. By this time it was about 6:00 and we were starting to think about heading in to the hospital. I was letting Natalia make the call on that one. We didn't want to go in too early, but we also didn't want the weather to get too bad before we left. According to our Bradley class, we wanted to wait until the contractions were about 5 minutes apart and about a minute long. At this point they were about 6-7 minutes apart, and were about a minute long.

At about 8:00, Natalia was definitely progressing, and contractions were still about 6-7 minutes apart, but occasionally only about 4 minutes apart, and still about a minute long. They were definitely stepping up in intensity, to where she would have to stop walking, and I remember she was doing dishes and she would have to stop what she was doing. We decided this would be a good time to head to St. Vincent Women's Hospital.

We got to the hospital about 9:00, because we had stopped to get some granola bars and fruit juice to sneak in to the hospital, because we knew they would not allow any food. Natalia didn't end up eating any of them at the hospital, by the way, but I was glad to have them. It took about 20 minutes to do the paperwork at the front desk, and then they sent us to the triage room. In the triage room they asked Natalia questions, monitored the baby's heartbeat and contractions, and checked Natalia's dialation. The came back and reporte she was at 6 cm, and this was good for Natalia to hear because they were admitting us, but also because she knew she was making progress with all these contractions. They let Natalia change into a hospital gown, and during this time the contractions intensified, to the point where she would need to lean on me during contractions. She started feeling like she needed massages on her lower back in the sacrum area during contractions.

They admitted us to the delivery room on the 3rd floor at about 10:00 and Natalia continued to labor there. Natalia felt like standing still, and really needed lots of pressure on her sacrum during contractions. I was helping to massage her, but she was massaging with her own hands as well. I felt like I was digging into her with my fingers, but she wanted more pressure. She said it really helped. This was definitely back labor, and the fact that the baby was posterior may have contributed to that. This means the baby was facing towards back, which can put extra pressure on the sacrum area. I kept coaching Natalia, and helping her with massage and letting her lean her head against me and hugging me during contractions.

At about 12:00 Natalia went to the bathroom, and she felt better, but she felt shivery and started feeling weak. She said she didn't feel like she could do this for much longer, and that rang a bell with me because I knew this was a sign of transition, between first stage labor and second stage labor. This was the one time I consulted with the Bradley book because I wanted to confirm that shivering was also a sign of transition, and sure enough it was. Natalia felt most comfortably laying on her left side by this time, and I continued with massages, and reassuring her that this was transition, and it would soon be time to push. I asked the nurse if this shivering and weakness was indeed transition, and she said she didn't know because 99% of the time they saw this after the Epidural, so she didn't have any frame of reference. Wow.

Natalia's water broke at a little after 12:00 and they checked her dialation once again and she was at about 8 cm. They said the last few centimeters would go quickly and she continued with contractions, without pushing, although it wasn't long after this she felt the urge to push. At about 12:30, Natalia said that she needed to push, they checked her dialation and she was at 10 cm, and she was definitely entering 2nd stage labor. the nurse immediately called for the doctor. There was an Ob-Gyn in the room, but it was obvious she was only there to make sure a doctor was there in case the baby came out quick, and she didn't really want to deliver the baby. That was ok with me as long as the real doctor got there in time. They had me wondering for a few minutes. During this time, Mom got down beside Natalia and had her focus on breathing. This was different than what we had learned in Bradley class, in that they recommend abdominal breathing, but no other focus on breathing. Mom had Natalia try breathing through the nose and out through the mouth, and having her focus on that, and also on Mom, and Natalia immediately took to this, and grabbed out and latched on to Mom's arm without saying anything, but it was obvious she wanted her to stay put and keep doing what she was doing. I was standing on the other side of the bed, and it was pretty dramatic from my perspective.

By about 12:40, Dr. Deborah Ronco had arrived, and she sat down on the bottom of the bed and had Natalia start pushing during contractions. Here's where things got really exciting. Natalia would push 2 or 3 times each contraction. At first she would try to breathe 3 times and then push, but after about 30 minutes of that she just started pushing when she had a contraction. It was really amazing, and you could start to see the baby's head, and it was 2 steps forward 1 step back for what felt like a long time. In hindsight it went really fast, but during that time, it felt very suspenseful, and climactic, exciting with lots of anticipation. I had so many questions running through my head, like, "Is this what is supposed to happen?" and "Should this happen faster or slower?" and "What if the baby comes out with a really small head?" because it looked like that at first, but the doctor told me it was perfectly normal, because during birth, skin on the baby's head bunches up, and that was what I was seeing. During this time, I kept my mouth shut, except for saying, "You are doing perfect, honey!" and, "This baby is going to be here very soon!" and, "Isn't she doing great?" to which all of the nurses and doctors would say, "Oh, she's doing great!" There were about 8 or 9 medical folks in the room at the time, a combination of nurses and student doctors. I am pretty sure they were interested in the process of natural childbirth, because they don't get to see it very often. I don't blame them, because it was really an amazing thing to watch. Natalia was a trouper!

By 2:25, we were very close, and the doctor had Natalia push, and the baby started to come out. At this point, the baby's head was sticking out, but that's it. They started cleaning out the baby's nose and mouth to make sure she could start to breath once she was out. They had Natalia push one more time, and the baby came out completely. What an experience! We were Mommy and Daddy to a brand new little girl! Once she started crying she went straight to her Mommy's chest and we got to see her. She was just beautiful! She looked a lot like Natalia to me. I was as happy as ever. Natalia said, "I can't believe you are here!" She looked exhausted and happy. The doctor had me cut the cord. Mom and Amy had witnessed the birth, and I asked Natalia to tell them the baby's name, which we had decided on, but I wanted Natalia to be the first to tell them. She said, "Her name is Chloe Grace." Everyone was excited to meet little Chloe.

We couldn't wait until the morning, and we started calling family members, and everyone was very excited for the news. I was especially excited to call Mamaw and tell her Chloe's name, because this is where she got her name--Mamaw's full name is Marilyn Chloe Bell. At first, Mamaw was so excited to hear about the birth that she forgot to ask about her name. I finally said, "Well, don't you want to hear the name, Mamaw?" and she said, "Ohh, yes!" I told her her name was Chloe and Mamaw just about went through the roof. She was so excited, and she kept thinking of it and getting thrilled by it over and over during the conversation. It was a very special conversation I will never forget.

We have been very excited to have little Chloe around, and we are loving being parents. Thanks to everybody for everything, and we are excited for you to meet her if you haven't already.

This is a big blog entry, and I'm planning on catching you up on the last two weeks, as well as adding more pictures. In the meantime, I'll add a picture or two here, and you can check on facebook where we have many more pictures.

Adam, Natalia, and Chloe

Friday, January 22, 2010

About 3 Weeks Until the Due Date!

Hello again everybody! It's January 22, 2010, a Friday night, and Natalia and I decided to spend a little time this evening doing some blogging. Natalia is now 37 weeks pregnant, still doing great, and is getting even bigger, as you can see from the latest pic.

Natalia says that the baby is still kicking a lot, but she feels like the baby has less space to punch and kick, and the baby's movement feels less like a "poking" feeling and now is softer and more deliberate as the baby gets bigger. The baby is definitely on the right side of her belly, facing the left, with the head low and the feet up towards Natalia's rib cage. This is a good position, and at this point it is likely the baby will stay there.

Natalia last went to the doctor about a week and a half ago, and she had gained 31 pounds, which would be right on track to gain about 35 pounds by the due date, and that's right where she should be. Natalia is definitely feeling more out of breath, and has had more trouble finding comfortable positions to sit and sleep in. She's still getting at least 5 hours of sleep at night before she first wakes up, so it's not too bad.

We've got the nursery well on it's way now. The latest thing we got was the travel system, which consists of a baby carrier that hooks into both a car seat base and stroller, for the non-baby experts out there. We were excited because once we had the car seat base in it's place we could envision carrying the baby out of the hospital and putting her in the car. We went ahead and left it in the car because it won't be long before we will need it! Very exciting!

Natalia has been swimming lately, a few times a week to stay active and she finds it enjoyable and relaxing. I haven't jumped in with her yet, but I probably will sometime this week. Last week I couldn't because I came down with a nasty cold and I was just not up to it. I'm pretty well recovered now, so I will probably swim next time.

We finished our Bradley class last Tuesday, and we are feeling very prepared. We're both determined to make this a natural birth. Natalia will do her best to stay relaxed during the birth and I'll do my best to keep her relaxed and make sure they don't start pumping Pitocin and other drugs into her, so that Natalia's body can do what it is supposed to. We've shown the birth plan to the doctors, and they were obliging. We've got things pretty well packed, and we're going to stay at home for as long as we can, until Natalia says, "This is it, let's go!" and then we'll be off to St. Vincent Women's Hospital to have this baby!

By the way, we've pretty much decided on the name, but we're still not telling anybody until she's born. We will say, it's not Borbanog, and it's not Klondike Mush.

Don't forget to hit up if you want to be really cool!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas!!!

Merry Christmas everybody! We are back at Mom and Dad's for the holidays, and enjoying seeing everybody and looking forward to Christmas day. Natalia is still looking good, and feeling good. The baby is definitely growing, and the last time she was weighed by the doctor she had gained 28 pounds. That was Dec. 10, so she's right on track to gain about 35 pounds, which is the average, according to our Bradley class.

Natalia says that the baby has definitely grown, and she feels like it is taking up all the space in her tummy, and we've still got about seven weeks to go. We're starting to get very excited! The baby has also moved up in her tummy, and seems to be kicking in the upper right "corner" close to Natalia's rib cage on the right.

Other changes since the last update are, Natalia has felt like she's had to sleep on her side because the baby is getting really heavy, and she feels like its easier for her to get out of breath, and definitely more weight on the bottom of her stomach. The baby is still very active, but doesn't have as much space to rear back and really kick. It's been more nudging lately, as the baby has less and less space. Natalia still feels like the baby does shift around some, and we're going to ask Lee, our Brother in Law to see if he can feel what her position is. Natalia has felt cramps in her legs at night, but the last few nights that has gotten better.

We've been enjoying the Bradley class, and we're really starting to get into the heart of it. We are learning lots. This next week we are putting together a birth plan, which we will discuss beforehand with the doctors and the birth team. It's one of the most important parts of what we have learned so far, because it lets everybody know how we would like the birth to go. We want to have a completely natural childbirth, and want to try and avoid any drugs and/or procedural interventions which hospitals tend to present as conveniences which are "all part of the experience" but may actually harm the mother and/or baby. Yes, we would like to avoid that.

We had a hospital visit at St. Vincents Womens Hospital where we plan to have the birth take place, and we were very pleased with the visit, and happy with how open they were to a natural childbirth, and with their responses to our questions. They were very nonchalant when talking about a Cesarean section, but they have to make it sound routine for all the people who are half expecting or fully expecting that to be part of the procedure. The birthing room was very nice, as it had a shower, which Natalia expects she will want to use during labor, and they have beds which can be moved into different positions, and have a birthing bar for Natalia to hold onto during contractions. So in that, they seemed very open to the mom being in different positions for birth. Also, they stressed that during the birth, when the baby came out, it would immediately go on the mother's chest. That allowed us to check off some big items, and we're expecting the birthing plan discussion will check off the rest.

We have the nursery furniture in place and we're ready to start putting more clothes and things in it. Erin, my sister, gave us some of Kai's old clothes, so we've already some ready to go. We're planning on having the baby shower sometime in January, maybe towards the end, and my sister, Amy, is planning on hosting.

We want to mention the baby pool again, at It's getting close, and the prime slots are going fast, so get them while you can!

In this Holiday season we feel very blessed and thankful to have such great family and friends, and we are excited to bring another life into this world very soon! Merry Christmas to all! Love, Adam and Natalia.

Monday, November 16, 2009

More Baby News

The Baby is definitely growing! Natalia has gained 16 pounds total so far. I believe it is normal to gain 25-30 pounds during pregnancy. Natalia says the doctor wanted her to gain 35 pounds. What? That's like 1/3 of her normal weight. Natalia x 1.333 repeating. Ha!

The baby is very active, and is kicking a lot. It's really cool to feel the baby kicking, and I can talk to the baby and I'm pretty sure she responds because she recognizes her daddy. Natalia said that she felt the baby shift last Sunday when she woke up, and then Tuesday after that. Natalia said she thought the baby had definitely moved. It seemed like weight moved from the bottom of her stomach to the right side. The doctor said this was normal.

We started taking Bradley classes two weeks ago and those are going well. It's a method of natural childbirth which focuses on relaxation. We're taking them from Amy Ferris, who is the wife of Jeremy Ferris, one of my chiropractors. My sister Erin teaches Bradley courses, and had originally trained Amy.

We're watching Natalia's belly moving right now. It looks like Jello moving on it's own.

Natalia says she is feeling healthy. She's had more trouble finding a comfortable position to sleep as she's gotten bigger, and she's also had leg cramps on occasion. She's also felt like she's had hot flashes, all of which I'm pretty sure are normal for a pregnant woman.

Here is a picture of Natalia. If you compare it to the previous picture, you can definitely see a difference!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Starting Preparations for the Baby

This past weekend we started the baby registry at Babies R Us. Our registry number is 44542971 in case you want to check it out. We went there both Saturday and Sunday, and we still have things we need to pick out.

We're not only shopping for the baby, but we are also preparing the room. The nursery will be in the bedroom next to the master bedroom, and we've got it completely cleared out except for the bed, which we are going to get rid of soon. We're planning on painting, at the very least (VOC free paint, of course), and perhaps adding a chair rail, and maybe some sort of surface below the chair rail.

We started walking yesterday, because we want to make sure Natalia's got the endurance to have a baby. We're going to try to get out and walk 2 or 3 times a week from now on, as long as Natalia feels comfortable doing so.

Don't forget to place your bets at

As promised, here is a picture of Natalia today, at 23 weeks and 5 days.