Monday, May 14, 2012


Today, Samuel sported his SuperSam romper again and showed that not even kryptonite could stop him!
His two-month check-up was complete with shots, an unsuccessful catheter (to see if we can rule out an infection for why he cries before he pees), and a tearing back open a little place where his circumcision over-healed.  It was quite a day!  However, he was stellar.  After each painful encounter he either settled down quickly or quietly nursed for comfort.  Mama and Daddy didn’t even do as well as he did.  We also had an awesome growth report.  Weighing in at 12 lbs. even he has more than doubled his birth weight!

With all of that growing and pricking, we now have some resting to do.  Samuel has given us the gift of three nights in a row of six hours of uninterrupted sleep!  Other milestones we’re making are holding his head up for extended periods of time, following a rattle with eyes and ears, and smiling a lot more in response to seeing mom or dad.  We are enjoying and treasuring these fun moments!

Sunday, May 13, 2012


            Many people happily uttered a “Happy First Mother’s Day!” to me today.  It was sweet and made me beam with joy at my still, very new to me, son.  However, it was technically not my first Mother’s Day.  On Mother’s Day last year, Greg and I looked excitedly on our first positive pregnancy test.  If you do the math, you will realize that that was too long ago to be our sweet Samuel.  Five days later, on May 13th, we lost our first baby.
Not many people know about this.  In part because we hadn’t even shared the news of our pregnancy yet and thus didn’t share with many the news of our loss.  It was really hard to know how to grieve.  The miscarriage started on a Friday and I recall Greg and I lounging around the house all day Saturday and trying to comfort each other.  We went to a friend’s birthday party that evening and shared our sadness with some of our closest friends.  We still struggle to know how to honor this life that we didn’t even get to know.
Approximately 1 in 4 births ends in a miscarriage.  I know so many women who have lost a child either in the womb or far too soon outside of the womb.  If you are reading this, know that I am thinking of you and saying a prayer for you on this bittersweet day.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Confessions of a Post-Partum Mama

So, I've been a little MIA.  I’ve had good reason.  It was truly ironic that the last post I wrote was about food.  The next day morning sickness hit me like a train.  That’s right, I was pregnant.  I knew it at the time of writing but at that point I was still doing Zumba and enjoying eating whatever I wanted.
12 weeks pregnant
Then came the aversion to all things poultry.  No more quail for me!  And worst of all, no more chicken.  What?!?!  Chicken is nearly a daily staple for me.  Oh wait, that wasn’t the worst…the worst was no Thanksgiving Day turkey!  Not even the lovely cage-free, hormone-less, beautiful 16 pounder from our local World Hunger Relief Farm!  Turkey is my favorite meat and I typically only get to eat it in the lovely stuffed form once a year.  I was determined to enjoy this turkey that my sweet friend slaved over so I forced some control over my gag-reflexes and ate.  What I really wanted though was some red meat.  Beef is the only actual craving I had throughout my entire pregnancy and chicken was the only aversion.  Strange indeed.

I mentioned Zumba earlier.  Yeah, that didn’t last long.  About week 5 I thought, I’m going rock this pregnancy!  I rocked it for about 3 more days and then one more thing fell to the evil clutches of the poorly named “morning sickness.”  It was certainly worse in the morning until I could choke down some food but it should really be called “All-Day-Any-Time-Of-Day-Suck-the-Life-Out-Of-You Sickness.”  Fortunately, for me, the sickness was almost as short lived as the Zumba.  Well, not that short.  Around week 17 I started to feel a little more on the normal side.
And then at week 20, something beautiful happened!  My husband and some friends and I trekked up to our camping spot in the Ouchita Mountains at Shady Lake for a little weekend camping and I felt completely renewed.
Greg on the mountain top.
A breath of fresh air, literally blew through me and helped me feel like myself again.  Myself that was now growing new life inside of me.  It was exhilarating.  I recommend this to all pregnant women and I will certainly do it again.  Besides, you’re all ready uncomfortable at this point in your pregnancy, so you’re not likely to feel any more or less comfortable while sleeping on the ground!
I continued to feel great until about week 30.  At this point, if someone asked me how I was feeling, I would honestly answer, “I’m feeling great but I’m starting to feel the very early stages of the third trimester discomfort.”  N response, there were three, count them, three women who then proceeded to mock me!  I couldn’t believe it.  They would look me up and down and say something like “Oh honey, you have no idea what you are talking about.”  This comment was apparently made because of my size.  I was continually judged for being “small” or having a “tiny baby”.
35 weeks.  The last pic we got.
Admittedly, I am generally a small person, but perhaps I was proportionally just right in size!  Every woman is completely different and those women had no idea what I was going though or feeling.  Perhaps I was even having a harder time than they did because I am a bit smaller.  Who knows!  Besides, I wasn’t running around groaning about how awful I felt.  In the grand scheme of things, considering I was growing a baby, I felt pretty good.  As for the size of my baby, every time I was measured by our midwife, he was measuring right on track, and indeed, when he came, he was still the average size for his age.  (He came 3 weeks early, but more about that later.)  So women, please give each other a break!  We’re all doing something awesome and don’t need to be comparing notes about who is having the hardest time doing it!
As my pregnancy progressed, I sill felt generally uncomfortable, but all in all, I thought what was going on inside my body was pretty miraculous and I was enjoying nearly every minute of it.  And then week 36 came.  I was on pins and needles that I was going to go into labor before 37 weeks, which would mean I would have to go to the hospital to deliver.  We were really hoping for a homebirth and I wanted to do all that I could to make that happened.  At this point I have been having Braxton Hicks contractions for about 2 months (yes, you read that right) and they had been pretty intense for about a week.  Our little boy had been head down about as long as I’d been having the BH contractions as well.  Besides, I still had a huge list of nesting items to complete, including cleaning the house so I didn’t have time for a baby to show up yet!  Fortunately, I made it all the way to the last day of the 36th week.  Someone asked me that evening, when are you due?  I excitedly replied, “Any day now!”  I also posted this comment on Facebook at 9:30 that evening, “Ready when you are, Baby Payne.”  He took me seriously.  Three hours later, just 30 minutes into the first day of the 37th week, I woke up to what was distinctly not a Braxton Hicks contraction.

But, I’m getting ahead of myself.  No birth story yet.  This post is already too long.  I’m simply writing to say, I hope I’m back to the blogging world.  I wish I had been able to log the special events of my pregnancy here but I didn’t.  This post will have to suffice.  Stay tuned for a birth story later.