Tuesday, February 28, 2017

walter rey (his birth story)

On February 24, two weeks before his scheduled birthday, Walter Rey Fredrich decided he was done being in my belly and joined our family at 3:22pm.
So... what happened? I'll tell you what happened. NASA happened. JPL, the jet propulsion laboratory happened, that's what happened. Matt and I had a friend of a friend who works at JPL give us a private tour of the place Thursday which was fantastic and so exciting for this space nerd. We saw the Mars rover twin, mission control, bought Wally some souvenir plush space shuttle and walked quite a lot. Even up a steep staircase and I didn't drink enough water or give myself enough of a break for someone that's so very pregnant. I am about the size of a planet here.
I felt pretty weird and tried to keep my feet up the rest of the night. Then that night I was restless and uncomfortable and around 5am regular contractions started and though it had been 2.5 years I remembered them well. I waited for Alice to wake up and started timing them and mourned the fact that her little life was about to change and I was a crying mess, the emotions about that I'll dedicate a whole post to. We snuggled and Matt got her some bacon, we played and tried to keep things light as I waited to see if the contractions would stop which spoiler alert, they never did. Finally, we moved from denial into action and got some babysitters for Alice and told our family to be on standby. We got our already packed hospital bag into the car and made a pit stop to my doctor's office to see if they would prefer I head to the hospital or if they would check me and I updated my unemployment info with their guy and we headed to Providence St. Joseph.
It's now 10:30am. After parking and being wheeled up to L&D we were put in the triage room so they could start monitoring me and him. After about an hour the nurse checked me and I was not dilated at all since contractions continued they called my doctor. Knowing his style I felt like since I'm a repeat C and that I'm pretty much full term he would just say something like "let's just get this baby out" I felt pretty confident that we'd be meeting our son that day. I had a few minutes of mentally scanning all the things we didn't get to finish like taking nice maternity photos, filing our income taxes and attending a marriage conference the next day but no longer being pregnant anymore sounded like a terrific trade off. Finally a nurse came by and said she overheard that my doctor wanted to just do the C-section and they were just working on scheduling. The word came down: 2pm! We called his mom and told them to come on by and relieve our neighbor who was watching Alice. So now I was being prepped for surgery and since I had a feeling that might happen I made sure not to eat or drink before I got there which after all those months of being hit by nausea if I had no food in me on this day, it had no effect on me! BUT it did make me incredibly dehydrated and while on any given day my veins are ready for a poke it took them two nurses and an anesthesiologist to finally get the IV in me. Last time I labored without drugs for over 36 hours so these contractions were not thang but they insisted on giving me a shot of something that makes contractions stop but makes my heart race. I made sure to voice my displeasure but they insisted on making my uterus rest and they gave me the stupid thing and the stupid thing made my heart race and I felt like I was gonna pass out. Everyone started sounding far away and faint, I got sweaty and pale and I had to take some serious deep breaths to calm down. The IV commotion and the failure to get good blood drawn had about 3 nurses hovering around me for awhile and since Dr. P wanted this to happen fast they had a lot to do in a little time to do it. So many papers, so many questions, so much poking and beeping. Around 2 or so my doctor arrived to tell me the other C-section was running a little late so it'd be closer to 3 probably before we got in there. That little delay allowed Matt and I to just relax for a bit after all the flurry and just reflect and I played "Dear Theodosia" to my belly and had a moment. While last time I was wheeled into the OR this time I was up and moving and walked myself in.
Let's not kid ourselves friends. Having a baby via C-Section is not the way to do it and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. Get an epidural, do anything you can to avoid it if you can. It's a horrible, sterile environment and you lay there like something's seriously wrong with you but all that's happening is that you're getting a baby sliced outta you. I was able to look around the room way more this time and I just lamented the way we had to bring our boy into the world and that my body would have to endure what it was about to endure but I've made my peace with it. That's just how it was for our family. But... before they started I knew there was a shiny spot at the end of this because one of the things that had changed from the last time I had a baby sliced out of me was that they were focusing on skin to skin immediately even with C-sections so after I was stable enough they would bring him over to me and let me touch him and then I'd hold him and he wouldn't leave my side... ever. When the nurse told me that my heart soared. They did a spinal block instead of an epidural which wears off faster and doesn't require a needle staying in your back the whole time and that was a fast acting son of a gun. Immediately felt warm and tingly and I felt myself pee. They laid me down and gave me some oxygen and put up the curtain to block my view and when they were ready Matt was allowed in and held my hand. After sure enough, after what felt like an eternity and way longer than last time it felt like and hearing things like "where's the water bag?" confirming my suspicion that what I felt like really heavy pee that morning was my water breaking, cord around his neck once, and that he was breech I finally heard that sweet sound of my baby crying. Immediately the instinct kicked in. Gimme my baby. I want to hold my baby. My baby is crying I need to feed my baby, give him to me. The nurse brought him over and I got to feel him for a few minutes, his warm little cheek, his soft pink skin. He was so much smaller than Alice, probably because he was two weeks early, 7lbs, 1.2oz, and 19.25", skinny little feet and tiny hands. He looked like her though, and he had lots more little hair wisps than she did. But healthy all his fingers and toes, and a penis.
Like his sister before him, he was placed on me and helped wiggle himself right down to the boob and I nursed him. I was in the recovery room being monitored for another hour or so before they deemed me strong enough to wheel us up to the 4th floor. I held him, I smelled him, I just enjoyed my new baby while we waited for our family.
This was the part I was the most anxious and excited about, Alice finally meeting her brother. I was nursing him one more time right before she walked in and had to hand him off quickly because I wanted to be ready and waiting for her without a baby in my arms. 
My first baby. My girl. She will always be the first.
Here we are: the four of us. Alice was really curious about the baby. I held her and she kept pointing at him and we asked if she wanted to hold the baby and to our surprise she did.
She only held him for a few minutes and was very cautious and gentle before she stopped caring. I don't wanna push her too much so we were just happy she tried a little bit.
We are now home after three nights in the hospital. We're happy, we're tired, our boy is beautiful.
Alice comes home tomorrow and our real life begins as a family where this little space man came into our atmosphere. He's out of this world. Our shining star. 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

look at this adorable small laundry room

Class, what's my idea of pretty much scandalous sexy images? That's right: laundry rooms. And look at this little one below and online. It's so freaking small and efficient and adorable!
Theirs is right off their master bedroom just like ours is and it multitasks holding pet items just like ours does and I would totally do butcher block countertops if I ever did that in the laundry room. Anyway, go check out the whole post, it's just... adorable.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

the third trimester: finally!

Miserable pregnancy has been upgraded and about freaking time since the calendar says we have 16 days to go. My appetite never fully recovered and food aversions are a lot less extreme but I'm no longer barfing (except for this one day where all I had for breakfast was coffee and a donut, bad move) but I do have to watch my protein intake because if I don't I get pretty nauseated. I managed to fight off one of the colds Alice caught too! Sleeping is way easier this pregnancy as I mentioned before, I think I just go to bed really tired and am able to shut my brain off more this time around. Know what helps a lot too? Reading a physical book before bed and removing facebook and twitter from your phone, can't recommend that enough. I sleep pretty elevated and I have a pregnancy pillow too and I alternate from one side to the other and that usually lets me get enough sleep and on a good night I only get up once a night to pee. I am very winded if I have to walk a lot. We went to Universal Studios one last time last week and I was beat after it so we're trying to take it easy so that I don't go into labor. Even at home, I spend a few hours on my feet doing stuff around the house and I gotta make myself just sit down.
I have about five shirts that still fit okay and give me enough coverage but it's comical when I put on PJs because the bottom of my belly is exposed. Matt thinks it's cute. The weather is chilly this time around unlike my pregnancy with Alice so I am wearing a lot of jeans and shirts and I wish I had the cojones to wear a dress and shoes thing. I am going to attempt very hard to wear a dress for Saturday since it's our last big 'events' weekend and people will be seeing me in public so I wanna look cute with a big belly one last time. Speaking of, my sister Mari is gonna take some maternity pics for us which I never really did for Alice. I think since it's the last pregnancy I should try to commemorate it in a nice way since I'll never be in this state again. I weight about 4 pounds more than I did when I was 9 months pregnant with Alice and thankfully most of it has been belly and thigh weight like last time. I feel like I like how I look while pregnant. Belly is cute, nice thick shiny hair, boobs look good, skin is glow-y, nails are long. At least this pregnancy was okay on my self-esteem though it did shatter my will to continue for a few weeks in the beginning. 
How are we feeling as far as "ready"? Well with a large majority of to-do list type things checked off I'm nearing the 'bored' stage which is how I knew I was ready for Alice. I had done every productive and non-productive thing I could think of and I was just ready to do something else which is how I am feeling now. Now all I wanna do is take advantage of only having one child to deal with and go out for a few more dates and enjoy being the family of three we have been for the past 2.5 years. Okay, I better go to sleep now, Matt and I have a morning day date somewhere pretty cool!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

wonderland meets tomorrowland: part II

Okay... so Alice is really into my digital camera and decided she wanted it the very moment I wanted to use it to take photos of the finished room so one there's one more part to this room thing. After much hemming and hawing this became the eventual layout of the room.
As I commented to my mother in-law Jill, I wasn't sure why the room felt bigger with the extra bed and she thinks removing the curtain gives us a lot more floor space which was definitely true. 
I never hemmed the curtain either so it would pool at the bottom but in order to accommodate the crib and glider moving over here we've settled on this arrangement which is blinds and a blackout roller blind on top of it since just the blinds lets in too much light for afternoon naps.
While at my sisters I asked "where'd you get those roller blinds?" "Ikea! Super cheap." Yup. When it's all rolled up at the top it looks like one seamless unit. I feel like it was pretty easy to install but I didn't do so ask Matt what he thought. Highly recommend them.
I always wanted to make a shared room where the beds were side by side. Eventually, we'd probably do bunk beds for as long as we can milk boys and girls sharing a room. 
I still want some sort of comforter and have her namesake great-grandmother's blanket folded at the foot of the bed but I got those two pink toss pillows at Ikea and they made it look a little more finished. There's some trickery to kid bed making I've not mastered yet.
The little bed is so freaking cute and I love that it'll grow with her. When Jill saw the bed in person she made a comment about the width being nice in case Jarah ever spent the night and that made me so happy imagining the cousins having a sleepover sometime.
Alice and I have a killer arrangement with these toys. I make the bed and she unmakes the bed and chucks these toys out the bed. It's a fun game we play. Not.
We actually have more Alice in Wonderland arts and prints that we know what to do with so in an effort to restrain myself I just kept it with one over the bed and these two large ones. The little circle one with the Ace A is just there to hide some holes that the glider caused. Shh. Secret.
I ordered the print on the left from Etsy forever and my sis Mari made the one on the right. She's working on a custom piece for the boy too, I just feel really weird about putting an official name on him until he's born and we're like, yeah, that's your name.
The baskets, I don't mind. I moved them back from the office and the nightstand doesn't quite fit here but we have to have it for the humidifier. Ooh know what might be good? A folding tray table then I can put it away when we're not plagued with constant winter colds.
And here was one of my more brilliant ideas. Under some art work related to their 'theme' I'm gonna put an initial hook and then hang an article of clothing decoratively for them. Freaking Anthro stopped making the matching hook I got for Alice so now I have to either buy two different hooks whose style we're not super wild about or try to find just the other letter on ebay which after a mini search I got nada. Couldn't I have forseen the future and picked the right letter? Idiot.
The print for him I'm not wild about but I was pretty excited I thought to use a part of moon wrapping paper I already owned and then write 'little brother' in chalk paint.
This sight just makes my mama heart so happy.
I didn't even think it through that much. I just put things together and poof, magic. 
Her side with her collection of Alice books.
His side with the space bits.
Most of these look familiar to you guys already, I just put them together.
This used to be in our master and we now have a King Kong poster instead.
The space mountain one we had unframed and then I put the Apollo photographs in black frames.
Here she is clamoring for the "cheese" camera.
Crib skirts, bumpers, pft. All you're getting is a gender neutral sheet set kid.
But to prove I'm not heartless, here's some stuffed animals that can't sleep in your bed until you won't try to kill yourself by rolling onto them.
The bookcase. We had glass doors for it but I told Matt, let's get real, they're not gonna be mature enough for glass doors maybe ever so bye bye doors.
Alice has really picked up on the numbers and will tell me which basket she wants to play with. Number 1 has baby toys, 2 has wooden blocks, and 3 has her bedtime reading books.
Former bookseller Matthew Fredrich spent quite awhile thinning out our book collection to make room for the alarm clock/white noise machine. He's good, what can I say.
And I just love this little sight.
I like to put bunnies in her room in sneaky places. Here's one.
We split her little shelf making it half Alice and half boy.
Her many accessories for that girl life.
 And his side with boy junk.
His only accessory are these cute bowties that clip onto buttons.
That little cup was Matt's keepsake baby cup when he was a tyke.
And the way back has some cool Apollo and Space photo books.
Here's the second bunny holding up the DVDs in the back.
And the top shelf is now shared as well.
Buzz and Wall-E and a big F.
And her side with her Alice ears.
White Rabbit from Disneyland Paris, Flamingo, and Cheshire cat. Themed Alice stuff is so easy.
Ta-Da. Now it feels ready for two.
Part III coming soon. And now momma is gonna take a nap.