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