Impressed by my speed at another post? Thought so. I was so looking forward to my very first Mother's Day. After spending 5 weeks completely devoted to my daughter, I realized that this day was more important to me than my Birthday or any other holiday. I don't dis anyone that doesn't really care about it, but I do. The day started with a little extra sleep - Ceej got up with Hazel after her feeding from 6 to 7:30. We relaxed before church at 10:30 (the days of waking up at 10 and speeding out the door are long gone). My mom and his family were at Mass, and then my mom and brother came to our house for brunch. Ceej made eggs benedict with a family recipe (impressed, elementarycooking?), and it was superb. After brunch we headed to Irvine Park for a walk around the zoo. It was our first time going & we were both really happy with the free little zoo and park. It was a beautiful day & the park was full of families. Very cool. We decided that since they were such a popular site, I should take a picture with Hazel in front of these steal animals. We thought it would be fun to have one of the first time she was there because we assume she will want pictures with them as she grows up (we came to this conclusion because I had to wait in a line of children to get the picture). After the park we relaxed at home for a bit and then went to Ceej's parents' house for dinner. It was great to be able to spend the time as a family but also with both of our moms - not many people get to do that. Hazel got me a beautiful necklace with her birthstone in it - one that she will get someday when I die or just when I'm really super old, I haven't decided yet. Anyway, it was a very special day and definitely lived up to my high expectations :).
Oh boy. The long awaited update has arrived! I know, it's been far too long, dear blogging friends - but in the past 7 weeks, when I haven't been holding/feeding/loving on my sweet (or crabbing) baby girl I have been speed cleaning my house, folding laundry (WHO KNEW that a family of 3 could have 6x the laundry loads than a family of 2?), or doing the other 100 things that need doing. The general update (for those who don't thrive on details): Hazel Leann Thurner arrived on 4/1/11 weighing in at 6 pounds 12 ounces and 19 inches long. She is now 7 weeks old with a beautiful smile and chubby thighs and bright eyes. We have spent the past 7 weeks discovering the she is lactose intolerant, has overall tummy issues/is colicky, benefits from chiropractic care, loves her musical lamb, loves baths, hates her car seat/stroller/not being held by mommy or daddy. We are crazy about her. Seriously.
Now for the details: Let's start with Thursday, March 31st. This is the day I reached the all time low point of pregnancy: I knowingly & willing peed my pants. You did not read that wrong. Here's the deal, I was on a 70 minute walk, I was going to be running late for an appointment, I had to pee desperately, and I was stinkin' tired. I was also contracting (but I had been for weeks, so this was not new). The closest bathroom was at Altoona Library, a whopping 2 blocks out of the way (okay, 1.25). During a tough contraction I squatted to get through the pain (this was not out of ordinary), and during this said squat, pee leaked out. I was 30 minutes from home, and I still had to go (the leak did not help). I weighed the odds, and I let it all flow out. Before you judge me, I was wearing black pants (you could NOT tell), and IF someone had the nerve to ask me about it, I decided that I would tell them that my water broke. Problem solved. I walked the rest of the way with soaked pants & wet socks. AS I SAID - low point. Anyway, after a quick *and needed* shower, I went to the chiropractor to get my back and fascia straightened out (I still do not know what this "fascia" is, even having participated in a full cadaver lab and 2 anatomy courses throughout my undergraduate and graduate careers - however she said it would help me dilate and progress through labor quickly, so I did not ask questions.). After the appointment we went for dinner at the Trachsels. I had a backache at this point, but I attributed it to being the size of a whale and/or getting cracked into place by the chiro. As the night progressed, my backache was getting worse, to the point that I could not sleep when I got into bed. I realized that the pain was no longer constant but spaced apart. I was not in denial that labor was starting, but after 3 weeks of contracting and backaches, I was not convinced. I rested until 2:30am, when it was too painful to lay there. I got up and took a bath to relax my muscles. After an hour I went downstairs to eat something, and by this point the contractions were more painful than anything I had ever experienced.
Here is the point I should tell you - I have what I considered to be a zero pain tolerance. I have literally passed out from the pain you get in your chest from swallowing wrong (twice) and from getting blood taken when the nurse couldn't find the vein. I have never broken a bone. My biggest pain prior to birth was the said swallowing wrong. Seriously. However, I was determined to have a 100% natural birth and did a lot to prepare myself physically and mentally to help me do so. This included researching about epidurals, staying active throughout pregnancy, chiropractic care, birthing class, and having married a wonderfully supportive man.
Okay, back to the birth story.
By this time, I was 90% sure I was in labor. Another hour went by and that percentage increased. I woke up Ceej (who had slept on the couch for the first time to give us both more sleep because by this point in pregnancy I was tossing and turning for several hours before finally falling asleep at night). At 4am we watched Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice On Demand and he helped me through contractions. They sucked. Even at this point. They were 7ish minutes apart & lasting about 45 seconds to one minute. We decided it would be a long day, so Ceej should sleep more and I should rest, so we spent about 2 hours doing so. I was having all the pain in my lower back, and Ceej was wonderful at pushing on it with a tennis ball very diligently. At 10am, after a terrible contraction on my big ball, I threw up all over the kitchen floor. This was followed by Ceej cleaning it up, running to the sink, and throwing up himself. He had to step outside because he kept throwing up "every time (he) thought about (my) puke". Wonderful. We are obviously champs at this labor thing. The contractions were about 1.5-2 minutes long but still 6 minutes apart. We were advised to stay home until the were 3-4 minutes apart, so we kept on truckin'. I took another bath. We ordered Erbs & Gerbs. We took a "walk" and contracted throughout. I threw up again. While walking the contractions increased to 3-4 minutes and we decided to go to the hospital because the pain was getting very intense and I had to know where I was at/how long this was going to be. My contractions returned to 6 minutes apart while driving, and Ceej did not want to bring in The Bags for fear we were going to be sent home. I made him do so. We got to the hospital at 2:30 to find out that I was 5 cm dilated and very much in labor.
Ceej helped me through each and every contraction. I could not have done it without him - and I'm not just saying that. He was so wonderful and attentive, and I was so thankful for him/to him for that. I was loving that tennis ball on my back and the pain stayed there the entire day. We spent time on the ball & in the tub & walking the halls. I threw up 2 more times. Labor actually progressed quickly for a first time momma - by 6pm I was 6 cm dilated, and by 8:20 I was pushing. Hazel was born a little over 2 hours later at 10:34pm - so beautiful and perfect. I honestly was blessed to have had a wonderful labor & delivery experience and actually think back about it often. I'm so proud and thankful for Ceej and I getting through it without medication or the epidural, and I am so thankful for and happy with my sweet baby girl.
It has been a crazy change of pace these past 7 weeks. I am more relaxed but more busy. I get less done and spend more time just sitting and cuddling. Life is more simple and yet 100 times more enriched. I am truly trying to enjoy each special moment with my beautiful daughter, and I love watching her grow and change every day. Time is going by so fast. Too fast. I am treasuring her as my tiny little peanut girl, but I'm also so thrilled to see her get stronger and bigger each day. I look forward to our future and am so thankful for the present. I have been so blessed, life is good, and we are happy.
After being crazy in love for a decade, we officially became a family on May 23, 2009. We are thrilled to be married and enjoying this exciting time in our lives! Ceej worked as a Journeyman plumber and is now bidding jobs for a local plumbing company, and Em graduated from UW-Madison in December of 2008 and is in the Masters of Occupational Therapy program at the University of Minnesota to be completed in the Fall of 2011. Our sweet baby Hazel Leann arrived April 1, 2011 (no foolin'!) and is the biggest joy and blessing we didn't know we needed. Life isn't perfect, but it sure is wonderful - We're truly enjoying every new second of God's awesome plan for our lives!
Pictures credit to Forever Photography (family/baby) and McManigal Photography (wedding).