Monday, December 26, 2011

A very merry baby!

I can't believe the holidays have already passed. Time flies when you have a baby during Christmas! I'm super bummed that its all over for another year because I absolutely LOVE Christmas time and all the happiness and excitement that it brings to life. That being said, I most definitely got the best gift EVER on December 7th. Andrew and I are still in shock at how amazing Miss Chloe is and has made our lives.

And so, while things were a bit different this year (i.e. no going out to look at Christmas lights, no Christmas night Mi Tierra with the fam, no attendance of Christmas parties PERIOD), they were absolutely BETTER. Life is better. Sky is bluer (with sleep, yes). Even our dogs are getting the hang of our new life. And as we approach the 3 week mark, things are looking pretty sweet from our seats. And honestly, much of that has to do with the fact that in one week Chloe and I are FREE WOMEN. She will be cleared to leave the house and we will go whichever way the wind blows...probably to the grocery store and out to eat... BIG PLANS. HUGE. But even those things sound fun at this point.

That's not to say things aren't still a little shaky in the sleep department. I would be remiss to say that we aren't a bit nervous in this house every time the sun goes down. We aren't ever sure what baby is going to show up each night. You see... there are two.

Chloe the sleeping princess vs. Chloe the vampire child.

I would say out of seven days, we get to hang out with sleeping princess about two nights a week. On those days, good sleep means 3-4 hours between feedings and Andrew and I are easily able to trade off between diaper changes. Life is BEAUTIFUL the morning after sleeping princess visits.

However, vampire child is more often than not, the Chloe who shows up around 1 am. For the record, I'm not a terrible mother because of this name. I call her this because she DOES NOT SLEEP during these nights and likes to give neck hickeys while you hold her over your shoulder. It's one of those things that's cute and slightly strange at the same time. Anyway, back to the no sleeping thing.

It's those nights that I find myself tearing up at the sound of her first whimpering cry. The cry usually starts about an hour (or sometimes less) after I've settled her and placed her in her crib. It then takes me about 30 minutes after that initial set down to finally close my eyes. Why, you ask? Because for the first ten minutes I lay silently in bed, not wanting to move a muscle in order to make sure she's fully asleep. I barely breathe during that time. Then, I wait to hear her little 'i'm really tired' sigh. I then roll over, grab the monitor and watch her for the next ten minutes. I watch for eye movement, arm movement, ANY movement. She's quite tricky because she can flail around for a few minutes while she's sleeping. Tricky little vampire. For the last ten minutes I act like I'm turning the monitor off, only to turn it back on at the slightest sound of her cry. I flip that sucker on and off a good 10-15 times before I either accidently fall asleep or she starts crying.

So you see... I'm nuts. This contributes to my sleeplessness, but so does SHE! I'm getting better, but I have a hard time letting go of that monitor. Were you wondering if she's laying 2-3 feet from me in her cradle in my room? Why, yes...yes she is.

I dont' care and you shouldn't judge a sleep-deprived, over-protective, obsessive-compulsive mother. Bless my heart, I just can't help it.

Well, this post took a strange turn. I was supposed to talk about how great Christmas was.. because it WAS! One of the best. Here are some pictures to prove it :)

Our first Christmas as a family of three!

The whole Murphy (Ross) clan, Christmas Eve:

My sweet, sweet girl on Christmas Eve:

My fabulous parents before reading Chloe 'Twas the night before Xmas'...a new tradition.

I just needed others to witness the whip creamage going on in this picture.

Santa came!

Santa came and left Miss Chloe a note!

A darling girl and her sleep-deprived mother on Christmas morning.

A darling girl and her sleep-deprived father on Christmas morning.

Chloe's first walk outside in the neighborhood!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

I think it could be scientifically proven...

that the sky is bluer when you get more than four hours of sleep. Honestly. It's just fabulous.

The night before last I got maybe 2-3 hours total and was HURTING yesterday, to say the least. I was sitting/sleeping while sitting up at the dinner table last night and two thoughts ran through my head...

1. im never, ever getting sleep again.

2. i would like to never, ever work again.

i never thought id say that, but i kinda mean it right now. and this is coming from someone who loves her profession. i really do. but im so sleep deprived that it makes working normal human hours seem completely unreasonable.

although, i must say last night, the sleep situation was better. this morning, i even woke up because i wanted to, instead of having to because Chloe was hungry and crying. i showered (thanks to chloe's obsession with sleeping during the day) and i felt like a human today. hopefully this continues, as she is currently sleeping 3-4 hours between feedings. this is up from 2-3 hours and MAN that extra hour is GOLDEN. here's to hoping that continues.

as for chloe- still adorable. so far, we're learning each other (or i'm taking time to learn her, at least. not so much on her end...rude).

-the hair dryer (obsessed, actually)
-having me stroke her face with my hair (again, obsessed) it's hilarious.
-latching onto my breast like a hungry shark
-getting her hair washed
-sleeping on our chests
-throwing up on mommy at inconvenient times
-christmas tree lights
-driving in the car (as long as you dont STOP)

-getting her diaper changed
-changing clothes
-being reswaddled in the middle of the night
-not being held EVERY WAKING MOMENT (we're working on this one)
-getting strapped into her carseat
-mommy's singing voice

she's quite the little character and is truly a happy baby most of the time. she rarely cries, which means when she does--it sends us into a whirlwind of emotion. in fact, it makes me cry everytime she cries her real tears. i literally will do anything to make them stop. hopefully she never reads this b/c most likely, this will always be true.

okay, time to go. she's been sleeping on my chest as i type and she's apparently all done. which means i'm all done (for now).

here is the latest of the cute pictures...

first sponge bath. saying she was 'not a fan' is an understatement.

after the bath. better but still angry.

peace, erin

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


As I was eating lunch this afternoon I realized this week has FLOWN. I can safely say its true that, "You blink and then your kids are all grown up." Well, perhaps its not THAT fast...the sleepless nights do seem to go on FOREVER. But, for the most part I cannot believe that a week ago today, our little Chloe was born.

And its also true that you forget the pains of childbirth. I didn't push her out, but the trauma of an 18-hour labor still has its haunting effects. Although, the jury is still out on whether that's the joy that makes you forget...or the pain killers. Either way, a foggy memory is created and that's best for everyone.

I've also decided that I am out of control with the picture taking. I know, I know... every first-time parent goes through this. I've heard (and experienced in my own family) that the first child has ALL kinds of memorabilia saved for them (ahem, thanks mom & dad) and that it just goes downhill from there. (Although, I tend to believe its because they love them (ahem, me) best.)

Anyway... I'm on the road to hoarding as we speak. I keep EVERYTHING. Newly added to the list of 'keeps' is her umbilical cord sensor. SOOOOOOOOOOOO gross/cute. Andrew doesn't bat an eye... just adds it to her growing box of keeps. The picture taking isn't much better. I currently have over 60 pictures on my phone that are of Chloe...and those are just the ones I've decided are too cute to erase. Yikes. But seriously, she's freaking cute. You need pictures to capture the moment. First sponge bath, first 'sit up while sleeping on her boppy,' first time in her white blanket. See? The need for such documentation is obvious [to Andrew and I]. So, we have it, just in case someone forgets that's she's perfect and needs me to text them the latest development.

OMG. I'm THAT mom. I swore, swore, swore I wouldn't have conversations about my child's most recent poop.

Already done.

I swore that I wouldn't make everyone I see look at pictures of her doing important things like sleeping.

Too late.

I promised my friends that I would still have great things to talk about after her birth.

Nope. Nada.

And mostly, I told myself that I would continue to focus on me time during her naps, not obsess over her every move when she's sleeping.

She's sitting right next to me as I nervously type this out in the fastest way possible so that I can start staring at her again.

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh LORD.
It's been a week and I'm already THAT mom. And I couldn't be happier.

Peace, Erin

And because I have to... here are some parting gifts from a crazy proud mom.

Leaving the hospital with her perfect father.

Her visit from Aunt Brooklyn...this picture has two of my very favorites in it. I look at it often...

Bored with mom already... for the record, she started holding her head up for seconds a time on the night she was born. YIKES.

told ya i took a picture of her 'first sit/sleep in her boppy'.
i kid you not, i'm nuts.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Story

Well, here is the most important, anticipated post yet. By now, I am sure everyone knows this story has a happy ending. An amazing, miraculous ending, actually.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011:

We are eagerly anticipating our 41 week appointment. We hope Dr. King has good news for us today. I was 1 cm dilated and 40% effaced last week. I had been having some good contractions over the past week, nothing to set off any alarms, but they were stronger and longer than they had been before, so I was feeling positive that we could expect some forward progress. I even had some good contractions before we met mi familia at El Jarro last night, so we took our bags with us (just in case). But Monday night came and went and I did not have another contraction. Booage.

So, as we listened to Dr. King tell us that I was 1.5 cm dilated and 60% effaced, I couldn’t help but be super disappointed. I mean, I “realized” that I have no control over anything at this point, but I just had a feeling (a hope really) that I was farther along. I had done my best to mentally prepare myself for the possibility that I would not be admitted to the hospital for my induction at any time before 4:00 pm tomorrow, but it was still hard to hear the news. We left the appointment, totally discouraged, but knowing deep down that we were one step closer to meeting our Chloe.

Andrew left the appointment and headed to work to grab what he needed for his paternity leave (thank you, Sinkin & Marvel). I went to lunch with my mom and brother and then home to rest. (At lunch, my mom told Chloe to make a move and apparently she was listening!) Andrew got home from the office a little before 5:00 pm. Things were uneventfully humming along until 5:30 when I had a debilitating contraction, longer than any I had felt before. Woah, I thought… sweet. This was followed by another contraction 21 minutes later lasting for 1m6s and another 21m later lasting for 2m2s; then things got exciting and painful: another contraction 6m14s later for 41s, another 14m6s later for 1m27s, another 10m43s later for 1m28s, another 8m30s later for 1m39s and another 7m27s later for 1m31s. For those of you who are keeping up, we are now at 7:00 pm on the dot. (Andrew felt it important to include these times. Hopefully all of you are taking notes for the "Chloe’s Birth Story" exam.)

Aaaand you may be wondering how in the world I know this annoyingly detailed information. Well, we found the most amazing iPhone app in the world for anxiety-ridden mothers: “Fullterm.” It is a contraction counter that allows you to be psychotically accurate. In fact, the hospital staff laughed out loud when we arrived that night and they asked how close my contractions were at that point. I pulled it out and boldly noted, “4 minutes and 23 seconds.” Whatever… no one is shocked. Let’s move on.

Over the next hour and a half, the contractions got more intense, more frequent and lasted longer. I feel like I skipped the whole 5-1-1 stage of labor. Andrew called the on-call doctor and explained my symptoms and she suggested we make our way to the hospital. This would have been an exciting moment in this journey but for the fact that I was in excruciating pain. We called our family and told them we were on our way to the hospital. The moment had finally arrived.

Once at the hospital, we were checked in and I did my best to answer questions while I felt like my insides were being ripped apart. We were assigned room #7- our newest lucky number! We got situated in the room, meaning we all moved in. And when I say “we,” clearly I mean the Murphy-Ross army brigade. [Enter: Mom, Dad, Sherri, Steven, Patrick, Andrea, Taylor, Alisha and Alan.] We ALL proceeded to pull an all-nighter in one L & D room sleeping on couches, in chairs, and of course, some not sleeping at all.

Anyway, I digress. Once the epidural was in, contractions were a piece of cake.

Literally, I cannot handle that women labor without that little piece of fabulousness. I’m sure it makes them more awesome than me, but I don’t want to be known as awesome for that pain. My uterus would be going crazy and I didn’t ever feel a thing. Oh, the wonders of medicine, until of course… it wore off. Ooooh yeah, we’ll get there…

But, the rest of the night was pretty uneventful in terms of pain. I proceeded to dilate slowly and was too anxious to sleep. Instead, my mom and I hung out and laughed while everyone slept but then said, “I didn’t sleep at all.” Yeah right… we totally watched you snore.

So… so far, the hospital staff was amazing, our families were beyond supportive and Andrew was my rock.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011: Happy Birthday, my Chloe.

There really was no delineation between yesterday and today because the entire night just blended together. Every time the nurse checked my cervix, I was dilating properly (about 1 cm per hour). While it felt like forever, when I wasn’t in pain, it was just slow. However, she did note multiple times that I had a ‘bag of steel’ and that water-breaking wasn’t going to happen until it was done so by the doctor. He wasn’t making rounds until around 8:30, but when he (Dr. Theis) did, my water broke and I was promised things would speed up. My hopes were high.

Contractions were still humming along, but Chloe’s head was not dropping as quickly as it should. Her heart rate was nearly a steady 120 bpm throughout the entire labor and she never showed any signs of distress, so Dr. Theis and the nurses decided I should continue to labor. With the help of the nurse I tried different positions with my body to aid Chloe’s entrance into this world, but the pressure was increasing and I could feel it, but so far the pain was not there.

And then it was. Within a span of seconds around 11:00, I became incredibly uncomfortable. The contractions felt as bad as they did when I was admitted to the hospital 14 hours earlier, except now they were only about a minute a part. Again, I would like to reiterate the necessity of an epidural. HOLY COW!! The button providing me with an extra dose of pain meds in my epidural, which was pressed only twice since getting to the hospital, was pressed twice in the last 20 minutes. Oh sure, the medicine would do a good job numbing my legs and feet, but it didn’t touch the pain. So now I had managed to make my entire lower body unusable, but the pain was increasing. Awesommmme. Yet we continue to try and get her stubborn little head into the birthing canal. No dice.

Dr. Theis checked me again around 1:00 pm and said nothing had changed in the last three hours. At that time, he felt there was a 50-50 chance of needing a C-section because he felt Chloe may be too big or my pelvis too small. This was the first time I even considered the possibility of having a C-section, and it scared me simply because it wasn’t in my subconscious plan…you know, the one I said I knew I shouldn’t have several posts ago. Well, apparently I still had one because I got insanely nervous and started to cry those tears of exhaustion. With Andrew completely focused on my health and well-being, I was free to consider Chloe. I certainly did not want her to go through the stress and trauma of several hours of pushing. Frankly, I did not want to go through that either with the thought that I would inevitably need a C-section.

At around 1:30, Dr. Theis came in and examined my cervix for what would be the last time. He said there was not a noticeable change and he was now 90-10 in favor of a C-section. Okay, done. Get her OUT. Andrew and I headed to the O.R. to meet our Chloe.

Okay, now long story short (FOR REAL). At 2:34 pm, I cried the happiest tears as I heard her sweet little cry.

Andrew and I have been on cloud nine since those moments and I am honestly already forgetting the long journey to seeing her perfect face for the first time. As she was being pulled out we heard, “oh my goodness, that’s a big head….woah, look at those shoulders. You’re gonna be glad we sectioned you!” She measured a prize-winning 9 pounds 5 ounces and measured 20.5 inches long.

Andrew brought her over to me and I gave my Chloe a kiss. I was amazed. I cannot believe Andrew and I created such a precious angel. I’m a lucky, lucky mom.

Anyway, the pictures speak for themselves. She’s a knock out and we know it… and aren’t at all biased ☺

But seriously, Andrew and I want to give a special thanks to our parents and family for staying with us and giving us strength and unconditional love. Thank you also to all our friends who were not physically with us but were supportive and concerned all the same. Finally, thank you to the amazing medical staff at North Central Baptist Hospital for taking such good care of Chloe and me.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

My name is Erin and in 48 hours...

I'm going to officially be a mom! How cool is that????

That being said, the moment obviously begs for a little introspection and reflection on life lessons thus far. It's hard to wrap my head around the fact that in 48 hours life will NEVER be the same again.

Honestly, there are tons of things that we experience in life that are life-changing. Weddings, divorces, people in and out of our lives.. .change is a constant. But some change is not necessarily as life-changing as others. At least not for me. For example, when Andrew and I got married, we both fell right into our roles as husband and wife. When we got engaged we said right away, we already 'felt' married. We had tons of time to practice, get to know each other and learn to be joined as forever partners. But this, this is HUGE. There is no such practice available. (With the exception our two small furries that are absolutely part of our family.) They sure FEEL like children when you wake up to puke in your bed at 4 a.m... but, I digress.

So, for life to change so drastically, so immediately and so completely- it's a little nerve-wracking to have no practice. I like to plan. I always have. It's empowering, works to control my anxiety and makes me feel organized.

I have said all throughout this process that planning was impossible, but secretly... I've tried. I've read the books, organized Chloe's closet about 100 times (by color, size, item, etc.) 48 hours out from her birth... I'm gonna let you in on a little secret... IT DOESNT MATTER THAT HER CLOTHES ARE ORGANIZED BY SIZE. What actually matters is that we adore her, we are ready for her, and we recognize her significance in our lives. That's it. That's all we can do. I'm finally okay with that (although, let's be honest, that doesn't mean I plan on DISorganizing her closet.) ;)

So, I wanted to compile a list of things off the top of my head that I want Chloe to know. These are the things I've learned from myself, life, and those most important to me. Then she can't say I didn't teach her anything...

Dear Chloe,
1. learn to love yourself early. it makes the rest of life much easier and MUCH more fun.

2. pay attention to people. that's how you learn the most about yourself.

3. enjoy time spent alone. figure out what YOU like doing and then do it whenever you can. it feels good to be good to yourself.

4. don't take yourself too seriously, but know that others might. you can't control that, but don't let it cramp your style.

5. when it comes time to pick a profession- do what you love. you can always figure out a way to make money doing what you love (thanks, dad).

6. never, ever, ever settle (thanks, mom).

7. be good to your partner. let your partner be good to you.

8. learn to enjoy food and try everything. but, don't let it consume you or allow it to be something you judge yourself about.

9. most of the time life doesn't make sense. appreciate it anyway.

10. college is absolutely a blast. let yourself go explore and figure out how to make good decisions during that time of your life. friends usually matter most during these years.

11. use your head for something other than a bow rack (thanks, creepy piano teacher).

12. learn to sit in the moment and listen to really powerful lyrics- music can change the way you think and feel. (its one of my favorite things in life and man, i hope you like tracy chapman one day).

13. its okay to like nice things. don't let people make you feel bad for doing so.

14. when people get jealous, they can get mean. don't make excuses for your success.

15. learn to fail. it never stops SUCKING, but it will make you a stronger person.

16. if you're anything like your mom, you're going to need to know how to use your sarcasm at appropriate times. it's fun to be spunky, but know that it may come with a cost.

17. read. a lot.

18. there is a difference between feeling sad and feeling angry, but most people don't realize that. anger is secondary to sadness, but its tricky because its usually easier to feel. let yourself be sad when you feel that way instead of masking it with anger. you'll thank yourself later.

19. learn the art of doing nothing. i'm not very good at that one...

20. love, love, love God. that's where i come in - I can't wait for you to know Him. He's just totally awesome.

Love, Mom

so, we'll see. armed with three different 'coming home' outfits, my birthing skirt and ipod birthing playlist- andrew and i will venture out tomorrow night to do the very best we can at being good parents. my two primary goals are: (1) deliver her and pray that she and I are safe and healthy. (2) love her like crazy.

i'm going to be a mom. its exciting. its totally unreal. and i thank God every night that its with Andrew by my side. let the show begin...

peace, erin

Sunday, November 27, 2011

And the time stands still....

So while this may be one of my last posts as a preggo lady, I realize that, ironically, life has been so busy lately I have forgotten to post anything! This is ironic because life is about to get MUCH busier in a very, very good way. We are officially ready for our little bundle of Ross and eagerly awaiting any sign of labor. On a positive note, everyone now picks up my phone calls on the first ring thinking I will tell them to head to the hospital. I thought several times that playing a joke and acting like my water broke would be hilarious... but Andrew thinks that it's probably only going to be funny to me.

Anyway, it has been a good few weeks, but I have definitely reached the 'uncomfortable' phase of pregnancy. I'm just blessed that it didn't find me until now. I am, and have been, so unbelievably thankful for the pregnancy that we have had. Andrew told me long ago that he hoped we got the hard part out of the way with the conception, and hopefully.... he was right. Of course, labor is a whole other ball game.

At our 39 week appointment I was told I was one cm dilated (which I know can mean NOTHING), but nonetheless, we were excited to be moving in the right direction. Since then, I'm hopeful that we have gained another 2-3 cm.. we will see on Tuesday morning. However, unfortunately, little miss Chloe has not moved her head from the 'sunny side-up' position. This basically means her face is pointing up towards my pelvic bone, instead of down towards my back. This apparently makes labor more painful and, as I was reminded by my doctor- this may not change because Chloe is already so low. Well... one week later, she has dropped further and feels like she's headed out soon.

I must admit, this raises my anxiety about labor a little, but not much. My dad assures me an epidural works just as well and thus, I find peace in the meds once again :) For now, I'm trying just about everything I can think of to help me with the intense back pain. Ughhh. Not wanting to be a chicken about this labor thing, but MAN it would be nice if feeling like this meant she was on her way. I can't even trust that's the case yet.

But at this point, we are 39 weeks and 3 days pregnant. Wahooo! I officially feel and look like a beluga whale. Pictures are no longer cute/fun/worth taking. Andrew wanted to document my belly at this point, but that picture will not be making an appearance on Facebook anytime soon. But, whale or not, I'm SO unbelievably excited to meet Chloe that I don't really care what I look like anymore. I started dreaming about her last night. I met her and she was beautiful, but she (strangely) was already talking and extremely sarcastic. I thought it was hilarious, but was nervous that she was going to get in trouble in the nursery. Haha. I told her to be respectful. Very odd, but made me wake up laughing.

Perhaps next post will be one showing pictures of our sweet little Chloe. I feel like I've been pregnant for at least 15 months, so maybe its actually an elephant, not a baby. Either way, I'm glad its almost over. I think I've decided that while being pregnant is a gift, being a mom is a bigger gift. Plus, you can have wine and deli meat as a mom, and that's just fabulous.

Come on, Chloe. WE ARE READY!!!!! Love, Mom


Monday, November 7, 2011

2 years of wedded bliss...

Andrew and I celebrated our two year anniversary this weekend (and the rest of today)! How lucky am I to be able to spend my life with such an amazing partner. And, I can honestly say we spent every minute enjoying each other and the last few weeks as a two-person family (even though we always say we're about to be a family of five, because dogs count as people in this household.)

We are truly blessed and spent the weekend celebrating just how lucky we are.

So, in order to do so, we went back to the place the magic happened two years ago (Westin La Cantera Resort). For those of you that spent that weekend celebrating with us, I'm hoping you remember that as a great weekend. We had the time of our lives. literally- one of the best nights/weekends of my life. just perfect.

So, we arrived to the resort yesterday and I drove the golf cart while Andrew played a round of golf. the course was gorgeous and it ended up being such a beautiful, peaceful afternoon. not only was i in charge of driving and scorekeeping (although he wished i didnt...), I also was the photographer for the day. here are a few from the afternoon...

before we left :)

definitely hot. definitely ready for the pro tour.

me trying to be artistic. instead, capturing trees that now look purple.

definitely artistic. we wanted to capture our anniversary date... 11/7. yes, thank you, we ARE creative. pay no mind to the bulging belly in the first number 1.

just a cool scene..

then later that night, we spent the evening at Francesca's- the fancy restaurant in the hotel. im always worried at restaurants that nice b/c i'm clearly NOT that nice. but, we had a blast and i even ate quail. poor, little cute bird. i made andrew eat the areas closest to the baby wing bones. that's just not right. but, it WAS delicious.

i love us.

just wanted everyone to see a large marge party barge OUT of water. mental note: this dress makes me look REALLY FAT. dont put it on again.

we exchanged fun little gifts and had a wonderful night. we brought our 'box' to the hotel and read through old cards, gifts, and the notes we wrote to each other on the morning of our wedding day. andrew and i both felt we could have written those today. they are just awesome to read, two years later. our love has grown tremendously since that day, but it remains unfaltered and completely unconditional. we are anxious and excited to watch and feel it grow with the birth of our sweet chloe.

i think that things that have made us so very happy these last few years are the same things that attracted us to each other four years ago.
1. fierce loyalty
2. a constant desire to communicate better
3. amazing passion
4. honesty...always.
5. a LOT of laughing (we think we're hilarious).

plus, have i mentioned that he's hot?


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Ready, Set, WAIT.

While I realize I am only 34 1/2 weeks pregnant, I have reached the stage where I'm nesting, uncomfortable and most importantly READY for Chloe's arrival. At some point over the last week I realized that throughout all the things I have prepared for, worked hard to be and have anticipated happening in my life, being a mother fits best.

You know, I have laughed in the past at the thought of me being in charge of another life...(especially when I think back to what my priorities were in college). However, there is nothing I want more (other than to be Andrew's partner for the rest of my life) than to be Chloe's mom. It's the coolest feeling ever to feel peaceful in that role. I'm sure my friends with kiddos can attest to this. It's peaceful and yet, so unbelievably exciting. I find myself day dreaming about singing with her in the car, having fun conversations with her about life, and even just pushing the her around the neighborhood in the stroller while she happily dangles her feet. I want her to love life the way I do. I want her to question everything and love unconditionally. I want her to never feel the need to settle and most importantly, feel empowered to be authentic. Big goals, I know. But there isn't a doubt in my mind that Andrew and I can be great parents. It feels nice to have that confidence in myself and in my amazing husband.

So now, we are left to wait. I have, from the beginning, felt that Chloe was coming early. I have no reason to feel that way and recently have assumed that its because I WANT her to be here already. However, everyone else seems to think she's coming late. While a healthy, happy baby girl is absolutely the primary goal.... I've never been good at being patient.

We go next Tuesday for our 36 week appointment. At that time, they will tell us how much she's weighing, the current status of my placental lakes, and what direction she is currently facing. We already know she is head down (thank goodness), but she was last seen "sunny side-up" which is destined to be a painful delivery. So, we're hoping she has turned and is facing my spine now. Apparently, this is the natural positioning b/c its easier on the mom during delivery. But, if this is any indication of what she'll be like out of womb, then I fully expect her to remain "sunny side-up" for the heck of it. :)

I will update again after that appointment and let everyone know the status of our Chloe. Until then, think happy thoughts and say some prayers that she remains healthy, active and stays wherever she needs to stay (regardless of an impatient mother!)


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Baby Mama movie, take two.

so its been a while since i've updated. sorry about that. life has been totally crazy in the ross household lately.

as i write, andrew is currently riding in the MS150 race that he has worked very hard to train for. i heard from him about 2 hours ago and they had 30 miles left to ride for the day. its 70 something today and 60 more tomorrow. not exactly 150 miles like it advertises, but that's because they've recently changed the route. i'm sure the riders don't mind cutting off 20 or miles :) anyway, he's doing great and i'm headed up to new braunfels in an hour to hang out with him and eat some BBQ :)

life is good. but i do find myself (as i seem to always do with big life events), daydreaming about the next stage. i have a hard time staying in the moment when i'm excited and/or nervous. in this case, i'm both.. i suppose.

we spent all of last saturday at our child birthing class and while it was (mostly) good, we both came away frustrated at the last half of the day. here is why...

i am ALL FOR having as natural of a birthing process as possible. i think its a natural experience, healthy for the baby (to a point) and good for the soul. HOWEVER, sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures. some women need a cesearean section. some women are not as pain tolerant (ahem). and some women have complications that call for varying medical interventions during the birthing process. but, as i try to live/remember each day... "if you want to hear God laugh, tell him YOUR plans." i know this going into the process of birthing. but what frustrated me during our class was that the information shared was EXTREMELY biased towards having a completely natural birthing experience. the moral of the story was that medicine was BAD, DANGEROUS and should be avoided, if possible.


maybe its because i've grown up around medicine my entire life. maybe its because i feel bad for the women who were told this for 8 hours non-stop and, in the end, may not have a choice. maybe its because i have a deep love of narcotics. i don't know, but i do know that this biased information is not true.

i left the class completely irritated at what information was given to us... by a representative of the hospital, no doubt. she made epidurals seems horrific and the idea of a c-section to be dangerous and very complicated. i agree, it IS an invasive surgery. do i WANT one? not really. will i be less of a woman if i have one? Nope. that's just dumb and really... women have enough negative dialogues playing around in their head regarding motherhood. let's not add to it, 'k nurse tammy?

anyway, just a little vent. i was sad for one lady in particular. she explained at the beginning that she was ONLY interested in a natural, silent birth. she wanted to birth at home until necessary. FINE, GREAT. she then sat through 8 hours of terrible stories about c-sections and medication and then told the class that she was 37 weeks pregnant and that her baby was breach and sunny side up (and she was uninterested in trying the inversion technique). well, crap on you. does it count as natural if c-section is the only option? she was completely defeated and depressed by the time the class was over. not the kind of attitude one hopes to have prior to bringing a child into this world.

as for me... andrew and i played out the scene in baby mama very nicely. we (and by we, i mean me) bounced on our exercise ball and excitedly exclaimed our plans for a epidural. we quickly became 'that couple.' as if that's a surprise to anyone, really.

we even got to have a little giggle moment in which our instructor advised us to begin "rubbing olive/mineral oil on my perineum to stretch the skin." that makes me laugh just to type it. but, for anyone that knows the baby mama movie... you know that you need to say that last sentence with a lisp. there are no exceptions. so, of course when our instructor did not have a lisp, i added one for special effects. she was not as impressed and andrew and i were. (i know... i'm the most mature sex therapist you know.)

so, anyway.. we are 33 weeks. that's awesome. some of my friends had already delivered their babies by this time and that blows my mind. every time i say i'm ready for her to be here, i have to stop myself. she's not ready yet. still needs a few more weeks to cook. but MAN, this last few weeks really tests the patience (of which i have little). but we are thrilled. everything is set up. clothes (all of them) are washed and smell devine and baby-like. both of her rooms are 90% done. its getting real. how cool is that? someone upstairs thinks its a good idea that we raise a child.

and i agree... we're pumped.

oh, and here is my latest baby bump picture. excuse the "i might fall over if you don't take this picture" look that i was sporting. it was midnight and you can tell.. ;)

peace, erin

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

30 weeks...woah.

Today we had our 30 week check-up (a few days early) and everything is great! I went into this appointment a bit nervous simply because I was spending a bit too much time listening to people who shouldn't matter.

You know.. it's amazing what people will say and assume is 'okay' because you're pregnant. And the truth is, I knew this. I knew to watch out for the 'creepy tummy toucher,' 'the negative nancy,' and the 'food police.' But honestly, I can say I wasn't ready for the 'I'm gonna camouflage my concern with a compliment' person. That's the person that makes me INSANE. For example:
#1: "Hey, you look great! How far along are you?"

Me (I smile, very pleased at the compliment): "7 months and counting! We are so excited!"

#1 (Facial expression change): "Huh...[pause. index finger tapping lips]... Weird. I wouldn't have guessed that. Is the baby okay? Your stomach looks small."

Me: I smile and try to disappear.

Okay, how about this one:

#2: How have you stayed so fit?

Me (Clearly impressed by this flattery): Oh, I just try to watch what I eat most of the time. But honestly, I've tried to stay sane though and definitely submit to my cravings. Gotta have my sweets.. Ha. ha. ha.

#2: Oh, yeah, I mean because you don't eat healthy, really. I would be HUGE if I ate like you. Are you allowed to have that much fried food?

So you see, some people suck. Ellen DeGeneres has a stand-up routine that is perfect for this occasion. She makes a joke that people often use the 'Just Kidding' to cover up something that is not really nice at all. "Did you PAY for that haircut? Just Kidding."

No, actually you're not. Otherwise, you wouldn't have said it. And while we may WANT to say that, what actually happens is that we begin to doubt ourselves just a bit.And that's what happened over the last few weeks for me. I began to doubt the health of my child based on some idiot's caring person's comment.

Those moments make me wish I had a camera on me, just like Jim from The Office. We all have those moments... the 'Yep, she/he REALLY just said that." All Jim has to do is silently look up at the camera with a blank stare and we all just know. We all know that people are ridiculous. We all know those people that do it for the sake of doing it. And in some cases, those people truly don't have a CLUE they are saying something rude. Hard to believe sometimes, but I think it's true. But, in Jim's case, the camera seems to give him validation that at least someone else heard/saw that moment as it really was. Now that I think about it, I wish I had a 'Jim camera' on me for most of my day.

But anyway, back to our happy visit today. Baby girl's head is officially down and ready, she's kicking up a storm and she's growing PERFECTLY. My belly is 30cm for 30 weeks. So, I may appear to be 'small' to some, but I'm really not. So there.

But honestly, thanks to everyone for all the feedback- positive and negative.
Just Kidding.

I'll leave you with a few fun pictures from the fabulous baby shower that my co-workers threw for me this last weekend. Chloe got all kinds of fabulous outfits, toys and cutesy baby things. The attention to detail placed into making things special was just awesome. Thanks again, you guys!

Peace, Erin

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

We've got PLENTY of time.... OH wait.

So, this entire pregnancy I've been chastised, laughed at, and gotten a good 'ol eye roll from (ahem, certain family members) about how 'ready' I want everything to be for Chloe's arrival. They've scoffed at my "attention to detail" and told me to settle down. But, honestly, let's be rationale...What if I deliver early? What if she comes before the showers? What if someone pops out of some bushes and starts quizzing me on my motherhood knowledge?

So in order to calm my nerves throughout this journey, I have joined consumer reports, planned out the timing of her showers (as much as possible) and have already washed every single piece of clothing for her in this house- with approved detergent. Also, I even have a birthing plan (a.k.a working on my birthing playlist to be played on the ipod at the hospital).

Ain't NO thang.

Words I have heard in conjunction with my name: (in no order of hurtfulness)
Control Freak
OCD Queen

Sticks and stones people. sticks. and. stones.

So, perhaps at ONE POINT in this pregnancy, they had a point. But no longer, my friends. As I find myself in the 28th week, I also find that I am now frequently saying "Oh, I'll need to take care of that..." "I'll get that done soon." But, then it dawned on me today that that's no longer true.

I NEED to take care of that NOW. I may have really cute bedding picked out and that stroller decision (albeit, a tough one) has been made. However, how about things that MATTER? (i.e. pediatrician, diapers, carseats). I think I need to perhaps kick it into gear.

So, we've (ahem, I) have reorganized my priority list and it goes like this...

1. Make sure Chloe likes good music. Make sure Chloe has a place to sleep.

2. Find cute decor accessories for her room. Figure out how her carseat will fit into my car (still not sure about this one).

3. Buy her adorable clothes for her first Cancun trip. Interview pediatricians.

You get the picture. My priorities are better now. Especially since all the showers (yes, all 5 of them) are just around the corner. Getting the essentials for her makes me feel more prepared for motherhood.

P.S.- if you're wondering who needs 5 showers, Chloe does. Thank you very much.

Speaking of, Andrew, Chloe and I were 'showered' by such amazing family, friends and loved ones this last Saturday. The best sister-in-laws in the world (Andrea, Alisha and Amanda) hosted the most beautiful occasion. We had a blast hanging out with friends and family and got some GREAT new things for baby girl.

I have to tell you about this game that Amanda created for the shower. So, because our pregnancy/conception story isn't what one would call 'normal' she decided that she would add to the original 'pin the tail on the donkey' game, to celebrate our 'differences.'

She created a 'pin the sperm on the egg in a petri dish' game. It. was. hilarious. She made a poster with a picture of my preggo self and a giant petri dish with an egg in it. Guests were blindfolded and given a little colorful 'sperm.' This weren't just any sperm, but you don't have to take my word for it... take a closer look:

So, you see, my Andrew has pretty impressive, tatooed sperm. (And, please note that his sperm arm tatoo says "chloe". It proves he's a family man. But, really, normal isn't in our vocabulary and that shouldn't be a shock to anyone. As a side note, and to point out the irony, I'd like to mention the two men involved in the game were the FARTHEST from the egg (see below and noted the blue sperm on the left side of the window.) I'm just sayin'.... practice doesn't always make perfect.

Anyway, beautiful, amazing day filled with love. We had a blast and are so very grateful for our families. I'll leave ya with some of the pics from the shindig. And for the record, my brother, Taylor, is fabulously talented and had much to do with the beauty of the decor. thanks, tate... you rock in so many ways.

Peace, Erin