Monday, August 29, 2016

Callie and Polly

I guess this is the start of a new tradition of posting about both of my girls! I can't believe it's been a month already. I'm a little sensitive to the fact that we already know from experience that time flies. I've been trying to soak in the tiny baby time but somehow this month flew by despite my best efforts to make it slow down. The days disappear in a blur of naps, diapers, bottles, breast pump, and meals. I can't get over the fact that we have two girls and that it's already time to start using these monthly onesies made by my awesome friend Steph. Here are some highlights from this month.
  • The 1 month onesie was a little baggy on Polly but serves as a quarter length sleeve on Callie. I can't wait to see how much she weighs tomorrow at her doctor's appointment.  
  • Leading up to Callie's arrival, I was very sentimental about Polly losing her role as the only child with our full, undivided attention. It turns out I do have enough room in my heart for two girls and Polly isn't sort of attention. She actually been so spoiled by visitors and presents that I don't think she's thought for one second that she's getting less. She has been so well adjusted and sweet. She just thinks her little sister is the cutest thing she's ever seen. 
  • When I got home from the hospital, Polly was excited that my belly was smaller, she asked, "will you be able to sit on the floor and play with me?".  I guess my activity and mobility the last few weeks didn't go unnoticed by Polly. Nothing gets by her really. Nothing.
  • It's becoming apparent that Polly has a very dramatic side. When she says something funny I usually leave a note in my phone so I remember when it's time to write about the month. This month I did a terrible job and only had one note. I can't remember the circumstances but I do remember something happening to her and her response being, "That makes my life yuck!" I will use this from now on to describe so many things.  I have no idea where she gets this personality...sorry kid.  
  • Breastfeeding hurts dammit. All of the books and lactation consultants tell you, "it's not supposed to hurt" which is the least helpful thing to say to someone in extreme pain from trying to breastfeed.  I had a hard time latching Polly but we eventually got the hang of it after a few months of using a nipple shield and powering through. Callie didn't latch at all the first week and a half so I started exclusively pumping. Then my boobs were killing me so I quit trying to get her to latch after a visit with the lactation consultant who determined that she has a high palate and a slight tongue tie. The lactation consultant said it would be very difficult for her to latch so I gave the boobs a break. Don't tell women what their bodies should and shouldn't feel!!! 
  • These last four weeks I've really thought a lot about maternity leave in our country and it makes me more and more mad. I'm a lucky person that likes my job for the most part. I don't really have a desire to be a stay at home mom but I do want more time with my baby in this first year. I can see how many women are forced into being stay at home moms even when they might rather have their career. We just need more time to focus on our babies. I'm already aware that my leave is quickly ticking away and I'm having a hard time picturing balancing it all. I know I will figure it out but it makes me mad that I have to. Then there is the fact that the leave I have isn't paid!!! I want to figure out how to pave the way for the women coming up after me.  That's my new plan.  
  • I've been reading my posts about Polly along the way and it's still true that the world is a scarier place when you have kids and now it's twice as scary. Instead of focusing on that I instead try really hard to be grateful and aware of how lucky we are. 
  • Naming your baby the day they are born means that you may call them every name you ever considered or just refer to them as that baby when you are really tired during the first week or two. You don't love them any less though. 
  • I can't stop looking at these two pictures and I'm already sentimental about them graduating from high school. This is why most moms are crazy.  

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Hello Calliope Mae Davis

She's here! It's amazing how quickly time passes between diapering, feeding, visitors and trying to sleep. I've been trying to get to this post for a few weeks now. We are slowly getting into a groove as a family of four.  For weeks leading up to her birthday I knew an ordinary day would slowly turn into the story of her arrival.  Here it is.

It started happening on Wednesday, July 27th in the middle of the night though I didn't really realize it at the time.  I didn't sleep well because I was having what I thought were braxton hicks contractions but every hour or so they would wake me up, that and having to use the restroom a billion times throughout the night. The next day I intended to go into the office to continue to get things in order but I decided to work from home with my swollen feet up in the recliner chair.  I'm so thankful for that flexibility!  I had an appointment with my doctor at 9 and I was 3-4 cm dilated at that point.  She offered to strip my membranes but I wanted to let things take their own course. She thought it could be any day now but didn't think I was in any risk of going into immediate labor or anything so back to my recliner chair to finish work.  

Around 11 a.m. I messaged Ben with a list of 25 or so names that I have compiled over the last several months and a note that said, "we have to name this baby!!!" Callie has been on my list from the beginning and he quickly wrote back and said, "how about Calliope but we call her Callie."  Polly is named after both of my grandmothers and Callie is the name of my great grandmother.  Mae is my mother's first name though she goes by Joanne. I was glad to have a family name for her that Ben liked but also a name that he had come up with since I had named Polly. After that I think my body said, "ok, she's named, let's do this."

As the day progressed, so did my contractions.  Between working, I was timing them and by 3 or 4 in the afternoon they were 7-8 minutes apart.  I still figured they could go away but they didn't.  I was supposed to pick up Polly from school but around 4:30 things were feeling more and more uncomfortable so I called Ben to tell him he should probably come home from the studio and pick up Polly on the way.  

I had a few work emergency calls around 5 or 5:30 which helped distract me as I talked through the issues and tried to pretend that I wasn't having contractions with my coworkers on the phone.  By the time Ben and Polly got home a little after 6 we called his mom to come just in case.  We finished packing our bags, fed Polly and things got more and more uncomfortable for me.  As the contractions got closer to 5-6 minutes apart Polly decided it was time to play the cymbals, the one musical instrument that she's NEVER touched until that day.  That's right the cymbals.  I have a distinct memory of me laying on the couch on my side trying to relieve the contractions and her playing them inches away from my face saying, "here mommy, give it a try!".  I did NOT want to give them a try.  I also didn't want to freak her out by what was going on with me so I tried to play along and encourage her to pick a different instrument.  She did not pick a different instrument.  

As 8 approached I decided to call the doctor. Since I was going to attempt a VBAC my doctor told me to call when contractions were 5-6 minutes apart so we did. I was getting a little more stressed out with my cymbal player, the increasing pain, and the realization that this was actually going to happen sooner than later.  Ben's mom arrived shortly after 8 or so.  I snapped one last picture of Polly and I before we hit the road to the hospital. I can't even get into how I felt about leaving my first baby to go welcome our new baby. It was tough and I worried about how she was going to take all of this change and what if I don't love this new baby as much?!?

It was a sunny, bright drive to the hospital hat was sprinkled with normal conversation between contractions and then I'd turn into Hulk Hogan or something and tell poor Ben to shut up even if he was simply responding to a question that I had just asked. It's funny how you can go from normal conversation between contractions to I DON'T CARE ABOUT ANYTHING YOU ARE SAYING RIGHT NOW!!! 

We got to the hospital a little before 9. Ben offered to drop me off but I was too tough for that, I wanted to walk.  We had to pause for a contraction between the car and the door and Ben thought it was a good time for this selfie which made me laugh.  We accidentally dressed alike for the occasion.

They monitored me for an hour to make sure I wasn't in false labor. I felt like things were really speeding up but they said I was only at 4-5 cm dilated and suggested that I might want to labor at home since I wasn't progressing rapidly and I didn't want any interventions or medications. My gut told me this was not the right thing to do. If I'm supposed to call at when contractions are 5-6 minutes apart, how would I know when to come back. Plus there was the complications with saying bye to Polly again if she were to wake up. My gut said stay and Ben agreed so we stayed. Ladies, listen to your gut!

By the time we settled into our delivery room I was relieved we had decided to stay.  At this point it's around 11 and I naively thought I could try to sleep a little which didn't happen.  Around midnight I was 7 cm dilated and things just quickly progressed from there.  I walked, I kneeled, I tried to bounce on a damn ball but the baby monitor was too hard to deal with and it would lose contact with the baby and alarms would go off.  I hated this so much. I wish they would monitor the baby after it comes out and you stay awake all night watching them to make sure they are breathing not while I'm trying to labor here!  Around 1:00 things were feeling pretty serious.  As I labored in the bed for a bit I felt a burst and my water broke.  After that it was on!  Somewhere in these hours I sent an email to my coworkers telling them things were on and good luck!  

Around 1:30 the 12 year old nurse checked me and I could tell she was surprised that I was at 9 cm.  She all too calmly said that she was going to call the doctor.  I could tell that she was even a little nervous about how quickly we got to this point.  Before she left the room she said, "if you have to poop, don't poop!  It will be a baby." She was 12 but she was awesome.  

I had wondered when I would know to push and how to push despite reading so much about how to do all of this with no drugs. Around 1:50 I knew all too well what the urge felt like.  It's the craziest urge I've ever had in my life and I yelled at that poor, very helpful 12 year old nurse that I wanted to push. The doctor still wasn't there so they called in a resident that came with a team of other people which was great because this is when I thought I'd try to labor on all fours with my butt waving in the air.  They still wouldn't let me push because I wasn't at 10 cm yet.  The doctor walked in and my body was finally 100% ready and I 100% didn't know what I was supposed to do but the 12 year old nurse talked me through all of it as I wondered, "am I going to poop on the table?"

At this point I was so tired after not sleeping the night before and considering it was the middle of the night.  Ben and the nurse held my legs and I was surprised that Ben didn't faint and hung in there the entire time though I could tell he didn't know what to do with me and my yelling and breathing. Pushing took every ounce of willpower that I had and between contractions I closed my eyes and tried to focus on getting this little girl out of my body. I went between thinking, I CAN'T DO THIS and I CAN DO THIS!!!  There were a few times in there where I severely regretted no drugs but I also felt empowered and determined. The nurse was very encouraging and did an amazing job of talking me through it. I was afraid to ask how much longer they thought I had or how close she was to coming out.  They could see her head but that felt like forever. They kept telling me, soon your little girl will be here and I felt terrible because all I could think was I DON'T CARE, I WANT TO SLEEP.  I could tell they were getting out more equipment and suiting up for something so I figured it had to end sometime.  

Around 3:15 the doctor said, we have a head and an arm and the next thing I know they laid her on my chest.  I couldn't believe it went so quickly, I was in shock that she just slipped out after all that work to get the head and a surprising arm out.  As they placed her on my chest they all said, "that's a big baby." My vagina spoke up and said, "yeah, I know this."  At 3:18 am on July 29, 2016 we had another healthy baby girl on our hands.
When they weighed her the scale said 7 lbs 10 oz and I thought, "ha! you were all wrong" but the nurse determined the scale must be broken. Two scales later and she actually weighed around 9 lbs 3 oz and 21 inches long.  So sorry to my lady parts. She also missed my mom's birthday by 3 hours and 18 minutes.  

They said she was cute and later Ben and I both confessed that we both thought...is she and will that wrinkle in her forehead go away?  We were definitely spoiled by the perfect little face of a c-section baby. Poor Callie had to go through a lot to get out of there, we were an awesome team.  At this point I was so awake, I'd never felt so awake in my life. I felt like I could benchpress the entire hospital. I just couldn't believe that she was here and that I had done it.  I've never felt so invincible in my life. I was also relieved that I didn't have to feel another contraction.
I was done. I sat in that room for the next two hours waiting to move to our recovery room and looked at my new baby girl absorbing every tiny detail. Ben promptly fell asleep sitting up in the chair. I had worried that I couldn't possibly love another girl the way I love Polly but by the time the sun came up in our recovery room, I already wanted to eat her, a sure sign that my heart is big enough for these two girls of mine even if the deep wrinkle in her forehead was permanent.  

The wrinkle was temporary and faded slowly over the next day.  It was like ordering a mattress online that's compressed, it takes a full 24 hours for it to expand.  Callie expanded into a beauty!

She met her big sister which nearly made my heart explode. I was sad and excited for Polly.  She's so proud to be a big sister but I'm sad she has to share us and her days of our full, undivided attention are over.


Our family feels complete. I have two daughters and an awesome partner in crime.  Look at him...
People warned me that Polly would seem giant when the baby came but I thought, no not my little girl. They were wrong, she didn't seem giant, she seemed like Godzilla, giant and destructive. It's heart breaking how grown she seems. It's made me try to absorb these tiny sleepless baby days even more because before we know it we'll have two tiny bosses in the house.  Polly so far has been the best, most well adjusted big sister ever. I could just eat them up.

Welcome to the family Calliope Mae Davis.  We love you so much already. 
I have to say that compared to my c-section, I much preferred the natural birth experience.  As soon as it was over I said that to Ben immediately.  I barely remember holding Polly for the first time and I was so sick from the medication and surgery that the first few days were a blur with her.  I hated that.  I actually think the recovery was a little similar just the pain was in different places and I was a lot more mobile this time around.  I refused to take anything stronger than Motrin which helped keep me clear.  I didn't want to be all foggy when Polly met Callie and a zombie when my family visited.  I'm so glad this little girl was facing the right direction and let me have this experience. I'm also glad that we will probably not do this again. I keep thinking about the days when people had 9 kids! No thanks.

Side note: I'm definitely not one of those beautiful photogenic moms after birth. Yikes! There isn't a photo filter powerful enough to make me look anything but tired and in shock!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Your Belly is Getting So BIG!

This picture. This morning I told her that it was picture day and she picked up two pair of glasses and asked, "can I wear these?".  I'm wondering how that's going to work with her wearing two pair but I said sure. Of course one pair was for bear, of course.

This month felt long yet I didn't scribble as many funny Polly notes because I'm tired!  Here are some highlights:

  • I'm still pregnant. I was a little too hopeful last month thinking my last post could have been the last before the baby but this baby has her own plans.  My due date is still 4 days away but...
  • Polly is very quick to point out with wide eyes, "Your belly is getting so BIG!"
  • She asked who the baby got in there while we were at the store the other day. I simply said, "It grew in there." and that seemed to be enough.  Now I'm just waiting for her to ask how it gets out.  
  • Polly still hasn't mastered the potty.  She does pretty well but I think some of this is her choosing but it's hard to know.  I'm not really sure how many accidents are to be expected but we (I mean Ben) wash a lot of laundry.  I'm wondering if I'm going to end up with two stubborn girls. I guess I'm okay with that as long as that translates to stubbornly standing up for their values, stubbornly fighting against discrimination and hate, and stubbornly loving people who try to oppose them.  
  • Conversation between Ben and Polly while talking about rhyming words:
    • Polly: What rhymes with mommy?
    • Ben with no hesitation: Salami  (thanks dude)
  • At night when I tuck Polly into bed I lay down with her for a few minutes to talk about the day after reading a book. Tonight she was not a good listener before bedtime so we talked about that:
    • Me: Polly, daddy and I need you to try to be a better listener okay.  
    • Polly: Okay, mother.
    • Me: We don't like having to fuss at you and put you in timeout.  We'd rather play.
    • Polly: Okay.
    • Me: You know we both love you very much.
    • Polly: (sweetly) I know you do.  (this made my heart explode, she knows we do!)
  • Above she said, "okay mother" I'm not sure where that comes from but when I have to fuss at her or tell her to do something she switches from mom or mommy to mother.  It makes me laugh each time.  She can lay on the drama. 
  • I'm still pregnant.  

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Officially 3.5

Well look at that big kid! This picture is freaking me out. First of all she cooperated without a bribe and she has developed a slightly fake yet adorable "I'm having my picture taken" smile. This month was loooooooong to say the least so maybe there was enough time for her to turn into a big kid in one month. Here are some highlights from this month:

  • First of all Polly developed pneumonia at the beginning of the month after having a cough for a long time. I had a very busy week at work and super dad was there all the way staying home and taking her to the doctor but she wasn't getting better.  I was up all night with her many nights and dad had day duty as I dragged my giant pregnant self to work. Pure will power got me through the week.   As a pending out of town work trip across the country drew nearer, this mama was losing her mind with guilt and worry. We booked another doctor appointment and Ben dropped me at the airport. I felt TERRIBLE about leaving my sick baby. As I'm boarding the plane I get the word that she's allergic to amoxicillin. We've been poisoning our child all week, great.  So, turn your phone to airplane mode and don't freak out during the four hour flight. OK. Two days later she was back to her normal self and I couldn't have been more relieved.  
  • A conversation with Polly
          Polly: Mommy, can I watch a movie?
          Me: Not right now
          Polly: (angry) Mommy!  When I ask to watch a movie, you say yes!

  • I'm still feeling super sentimental about these last few weeks with just Polly and I think she's feeling it too. Today she was very cuddly and told me she loved me a lot which is just too much for this pregnant mama's heart. 
  • Public service announcement: after a certain point in pregnancy, don't talk to women about their bodies. Saying, "you look like you are going to go any day now" when they still have 5 weeks left isn't helpful or "are you sure there aren't two in there?" 
  • This could be the last Polly post before the baby comes. At least that's what I'm hoping. I'm so swollen and I'm a few pounds away from having to cut a head hole in a bed sheet and wear that to work. Just in case, we snapped this pic today.  As you can see, my sausage fingers and feet are out of control.  I definitely didn't swell like this with Polly but this heat is out of control and that isn't helped by all of the sitting in meetings I'm doing these days at work since it's planning season.  So, if I'm still pregnant when I post next month, know it is accompanied by lots of tears. 


Thursday, May 26, 2016

Lonely Song by Polly

I'm definitely hitting a phase in this pregnancy where I'm really sentimental about the fact that my days with my one little sidekick are numbered.  I know we have enough room in our lives for two little girls but there is something bitter sweet about hitting this final stretch of pregnancy.  This last month seemed to go by at a normal pace aside from the fact that work is CRAZY for me right now.  Here's this month in review:

  • While eating breakfast the other day Polly breaks the silence with, "sometimes when you and daddy leave me at school I sing a lonely song."  Well thanks kid, that feels terrible.  I reassure you that she loves school and playing with her friends but she definitely loves her music too and to mess with our emotions.
  • She likes to request songs to hear in the car by basically telling you a playlist when you get in. If you don't play them all or play the wrong one she will notice.
  • You are NEVER allowed to end a song in the middle.
  • She got in trouble at school the other day for eating weeds on the playground.  When I asked her why she was eating weeds she said it's because she and her friend were pretending to be panda bears eating bamboo.  She actually says bamboos which made it sound even cuter.  I'm thinking this is how I trick her into eating salad.    
  • She's really into running around naked and shaking her naked butt in your face. Where does this come from? 
  • She had a lapse in potty training over the last few weeks just to keep us on our toes.  She's finally gotten back on board but our nerves are shot at this point.  
  • I'm definitely at an emotional point in this pregnancy.  On Monday I was working from home and I looked out the upstairs window to see Polly swinging on her glider in her Wonder Woman shirt with her cape blowing in the wind.  The sun and weather was perfect and the whole scene made me cry. Yikes.  
  • Polly is officially in a big kid twin bed which this emotional momma can barely handle. She's so proud of it.  We made sure she knows to sleep close to the wall and put a pillow between her and the edge of the bed along the side.  That didn't keep her from falling...off the foot of the bed and smacking her little face on the bookshelf. There were big tears and blood which is extremely stressful in the middle of the night. In the middle of the crying and the dabbing of her bloody lip she looked up at me seriously as I rocked her in her chair with big tears in her eyes and asked, "Is Marlin a clown fish?" I'm confused by this question in the middle of the drama, "Like from Nemo?", I ask.  She lets out a sad pathetic, "yeah." I assure her, "yes Marlin is a clown fish." She is satisfied with this and says, "ok, I'll tell my friends at school."  In my mind I'm thinking, OH OKAY, YOU ARE FINE?!?  I'M A LITTLE STRESSED HERE, PLEASE LET ME KNOW THIS SOONER!!!  It is terrible seeing your little kid get hurt but I was so proud of her too for getting back in bed without worry. 
  • There is a baby room with a crib waiting for a baby. No, I'M NOT FREAKING OUT A LITTLE OVER HERE! I'm freaking out a little over here.  

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Elephants Are...

So, so tired.  Having a toddler at 26 weeks pregnant is no joke.  Luckily she keeps me on my toes.  She was not interested in cooperating this morning but we did get this serious pic.  Even when she's driving me crazy, she is still the cutest person I've ever seen.  She's also at an age where you never know what is going to come out of her mouth.  Here are some highlights from this month:

  • Just tonight she was telling us about how elephants are vagitarians to which Ben and I both busted out laughing and corrected her, "we think you mean vegetarians".  Vagitarians are probably something completely different and it's perhaps a title that belongs in the adult film industry.  To afraid to google if this title exists out there but if it doesn't, you are welcome world, it's yours to use. 
  • The other night Polly was calling for me to come into her room but I sent daddy instead to which she said to him, "get out of here, I don't like your hair.  I don't want to look at it."  WHERE DOES THIS COME FROM?!?
  • Every thing good she learns is from us and everything bad she learns is from school.  That sounds about right, right?  Fact.  
  • She is making room in her mind for her little sister.  We bought a new rocking chair for her room this weekend that gives her room to sit next to me in the chair since I'm running out of lap space with the belly and frees up the old chair for the baby room.  We were reading the other night and she stopped and said the baby has room to sit on the other side of me.  I love that she's thinking of our routine and imagining her baby sister there.  She's going to be so loving.  This baby is going to have a second mommy for sure! 
  • She remembers everything. EVERYTHING!
  • She pretend reads and it's my favorite thing right now.  I love hearing her version of the stories that we read.  I'm always amazed by how much she remembers but she also just makes up her own stories too. It's crazy to see that transition. She's growing so fast. 
  • I'm feeling very ill prepared for #2.  By this point in my pregnancy with Polly her room was in process and we were reading everything.  We have time right? 

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Pizza Cake


It truly feels like I just posted the last Polly update.  Time is going so fast between work, stealing moments to enjoy spring, and chasing this crazy little lady around with a growing baby belly.  I usually have a note open on my phone that I write funny little things that she has said over the last month and there was only one thing that I have down:

She's really exploring her boundaries and experimenting with listening or better yet, not listening.  After a back and forth exchange with her about doing something she didn't want to do she yelled, "walk away, you're not in my life, this is closed!"  Again I find myself wondering what in the world will come out of her mouth in the teenage years.  Here are a few other highlights from the month:

  • The web of night time routine that she weaves is constantly evolving.  Right before bed she is hungry, thirsty and transforms into half sloth, half human.  She has developed a kiss routine that has grown to include a regular kiss, an eskimo kiss, a butterfly kiss.  Just added this week we have the forehead kiss which consists of her banging her forehead against mine and then the grand finale where we kiss one another on the nose.  Last night she tried to add me doing the routine with Bear before turning off the light but I declined.  I could hear her high pitched voice, which is her voice for Bear, fake crying as I went down stairs.  
  • When given the choice between most restaurants and Indian food, she will always pick Indian food.  The pizza option can throw her for a loop though.  
  • She has been talking a lot lately about wanting to make a pizza cake.  She describes it as having sauce on the inside and frosting, strawberries and cheese on the outside.  
  • She got me a bear for my birthday.  The bear I've slept with for the last 20+ years finally lost both of it's legs this month.  She named it Mommy Bear or Chris.  
  • All of this is cute and funny and sweet but this year so far has been hard.  Work has been a challenge and I feel tired a lot which is tough when you have an eager little lady ready to play all the time.  I'm so lucky and I know that but that doesn't make it easier or make me feel less guilty for wanting some quiet, alone time.  I try to remind myself that this time is passing so quickly and there will be a time in my future when the world is still and quiet around me and I will probably hate it.  I've been trying to focus more on appreciating the simplicity of one before there are two little ladies with hilarious bedtime routines.