15 September 2011

Little Sophie's Story

2 days old
I was 37 weeks 5 days and it was a typical Tuesday. We had a fun weekend with the girls, venturing out to the Air Show where the Braxton-Hicks were quite strong. We joked of having the baby in the 2 hour car jam, but we never thought she'd actually be here soon. Our Sunday was normal as well: breakfast with my parents and dinner with his. When I woke up Tuesday morning I regretted that I had cancelled our apple picking field trip and thought maybe we'd head to the apple orchard an hour away but exhaustion got the better of me- thank goodness! The night before my husband asked me if I was ok with the house being so out-of-order. To be honest, I hadn't noticed it wasn't as tidy as usual but I took that as a sign that I should clean. (He wasn't being rude or anything, but I normally become extremely anxious with any mess so I think he was surprised and wanted to know if he should be cleaning). I vacuumed the whole house and listed 27 books on half.com during the day on Tuesday. I went through boxes of books and preschool things and cleaned out the house. I had no real movitavtion- I was simply trying to keep busy. My braxton hicks contractions were unusually dull. In fact, I was getting increasingly annoyed because they were so weak that the thought occurred to me that with contractions like these labor would never start, not even a month from now. So, after naptime, around 4:15 we headed out 30-40 minutes away from home to look for some red raspberry leaf tea in bulk. I wanted the bulk stuff so it was stronger. My intention was not to induce but to get some contractions helping me tone the uterus for labor, delivery and recovery later in the month. I had NO idea I'd have a baby that day. If I did, I would have never ever gone out, especially alone with two very active little girls. Our two stops were completely unsuccessful and I headed home annoyed that I didn't find the tea in bulk. I called my husband and told him I'd have dinner started when he got home. It was now 5:30ish and he was on his way home from work. I walked in the door and turned on the oven to make some biscuits and re-heat the enormous pot of homemade soup I made the day before. As I bent over to get a pot for the soup (it was 5:45) I felt a pop and then a gush. Never having my water break before my first thought was, "That was odd. I don't think I peed. No, I know I didn't. I'm still leaking. OH. MY. GOSH!" Realizing what just happened I had many discombobulated thoughts, "Oh God, I'm not ready! I wasn't expecting this for another few weeks. I don't want to push a person out of me today! ....I never washed those baby hats. Maybe I should call Dan....." I told Ruby Red, "Mommy's going to be having a baby today so I need you to take care of your sister until Daddy gets home". Her reply was, "Ok mommy. We'll just be jumping on the bed!" My reply, "Well, just don't bump your heads" as nonchalantly as if she told me they were going to read books or play with dolls. I really couldn't worry about what they were doing at that moment. I called Dan. I had just gotten off the phone with him about 10 minutes before so he was in complete disbelief when I called him back and told him to come lights and sirens home. He got home soon after and asked how I was doing. Well, except for this gross clear fluid running down my leg, I was fine. I assured him it'd be a much longer labor, a couple hours at least as I barely had cramping. I began to prepare myself mentally- something I've never been able to do before. I wandered the house wondering what to do. This was much too calm for labor. And then they started coming.....  The contractions picked up and with every one came a gush of fluid. I decided to hang out in the bathroom so I didn't leak fluid everywhere. My mom arrived to feed the girls dinner and Dan had the pool filled and ready to go. Yay, I'd actually have time for a water-birth!  Ruby Red would occasionally pop into the bathroom to rub my leg and tell me Sophie didn't mean to hurt me and assured me that I was ok. Baby Blue came in too, completely unaware of what was about to enter her world but loving a pool in the living room to splash in! The midwife was called and Dan stayed with me, helping me stay as calm and as relaxed as I could. I truly could not have done it without him! I had 3 contractions so bad I honestly didn't think I could go on. I remember my eyes welling up with tears and Dan telling me how great I was doing. I felt her drop downward quick and hard. I apparently gave him a look he recognized with the other two girls and told me we better get to the pool if I wanted a water birth. I agreed and then came the worst contraction of all. I stood up and Dan tried encouraging me to move but I couldn't. The pressure was so intense and all I could do was lean over him. He asked if I could sit back down. I couldn't. He was now kneeling on the bathroom floor and I had one hand on his shoulder, the other on the bathroom sink. He let me know she was crowning. Oh believe me, I know. I let out a yell as her head popped out. Her body followed soon after and Dan scrambled to find a towel in the bathroom to catch her. We rolled her over twice since the cord was wrapped around her body and her arm. (It's now 6:30- a 45 minute labor from start to finish!) I took her into my arms and we slowly headed to the bedroom where I placed her on my chest and instantly fell in love. I couldn't have imagined it any more wonderful. There was no rushing to get anywhere and I didn't even care that I never made it to the pool. It was just my husband and I, just as I always wanted. He's now become a pro a this baby catching and birthing thing! Our second unassisted birth complete! We sat together adoring our new little miracle. Our midwife arrived about 15 minutes later, I think. I gave birth to the placenta about an hour after she was born and Dan cut the cord after that.
Right from the start our little girl nursed amazing, latching on perfectly as if she was a pro! She hasn't stopped eating since. She weighed 6 lbs 6 oz and was 19 3/4 in long. A beautiful, tiny and perfect size!
The girls came in and were instantly enamoured with her. Ruby Red refused to touch her at first because she was "so cheesy" as she said. She was "cheesy" for sure and smelled so wonderful!
The recovery was difficult at first as I couldn't keep any food down for the first 24 hours and the after-birth pains were almost worse than the labor itself. My sister-in-law joked that my body just had to get those contractions in there somehow, even if afterwards. It really seemed to be that way. Homeopathy has been crucial and has thankfully made everything much more tolerable.
Ruby Red has been such a help! She holds her baby sister every time I need to get up and is so gentle and motherly. She had to check her out right away. "Mommy, can I see her bummy? .....Oh my goodness, she has the cutest and tiniest buns!" "Mommy, can I see her boobies?..... Oh they're so little....not like your big ones Mommy!"  LOL Out of the mouths of babes....  
Even Baby Blue has been amazing and gives "a-bee" (baby) kisses all day long!
Little Sophie-girl is happy with whoever she's with. She instantly recognized daddy's and her sisters voices and is easily calmed by any of us, except, of course, when she's hungry!
We are so grateful for this new blessing in our lives. Dan and I keep saying over and over again how incredible this all is. The third time around and we're still as in awe as if it was the first time.

Mommy and Sophia's 1st picture together

Daddy with his little princess

Ruby Red in love

Proud big sister, Baby Blue!
(She now walks around like she's "hot stuff" LOL)
                                  Praise Him from whom all blessings flow!

13 September 2011

A Shopping Experience Like No Other

Anyone that knows me knows that I am in love with Wegmans. Seriously it's almost hysterical how excited I get at even the thought of going there. Ruby Red has picked up on this by now and asks weekly when we're going again, knowing a trip is sure to be around the corner. I am proud of myself, though, because I don't go just to to buy stuff but simply use this as my almost exclusive grocery store. Many have argued with me telling me it's more expensive than the other local grocery store and I politely ignore them.

This actually brings me to the point of this post:
In an attempt to prove people wrong and prove to myself and my husband that I wasn't wasting money going there instead of the other grocery store, I decided to "painstakingly" compare prices for every item on my rather large bi-monthly shopping trip. Painstakingly here is in quotes because except for the two separate stops with two kids who wanted to be in and out of one store only, it was easy peasy. Why? Because Wegmans is awesome, that's why! Before we went I printed up a shopping list on Wegmans website for the store location that we use- they listed every item on my list with prices by aisle, making it a quick in and out trip for a momma! So, with my printed Wegmans list in hand we first went to the other grocery store, going up and down every aisle and comparing the prices. I would only put in my cart what was cheaper than Wegmans- not even what was equal in price (there weren't many things equal in price anyway). Why would I want to give them the business when they are clearly not the superior grocer?! Am I crazy? Probably a little. I ended up with a very small shopping cart and spent only about $15. These items were on sale- if they hadn't been, none of them would have been cheaper! I'm not even kidding you! In fact, I found that overall, items ranged from $0.20-$3.00 more expensive per item! For the little amount of money I saved, I've resolved that except for the quick trips (since Wegmans is about 2-3 miles farther away) Wegmans is for us. And, except for some things at VitaCost, Wegmans usually has many health-food items for a pretty decent price! Also to mention, they have W-kids, which Ruby Red loves, so why wouldn't I go there?!

Now on to my Wegmans shopping experience. Oh yes, there's more....  Once Ruby Red is dropped off and happily playing, Baby Blue and I make our way down the aisles that the Wegmans shopping list has carefully organized for me so that we're not back-tracking our footsteps. My husband was amazed by the ease of the list when I used it again for a different trip. I would have him look at the list and he'd go off and get me a few things. He told me the list was incredible and that he'd be able to do all my shopping with no mistakes once baby comes saying it's "husband-proof" (his words, not mine). I mean, they do have cute little pictures and everything so it's really quite hard to mess up.

When my husband isn't with us I also ask for a carry-out. I get the kiddos buckled into the car and they load my groceries, and since they're not allowed to accept tips it's all very easy for the mom with kids in tow. At first I was really awkward about asking for this and only tried it after seeing two other moms ask for one. It really was quite wonderful. However, I have to point out that I only use this for big trips when my husband isn't there.

I know it may seem funny that I'm writing a whole post about my favorite grocery store, but I really really love this place and I didn't even mention the awesome cafe or bakery!

I don't know about other grocers, but if you don't have a Wegmans around you, you should check the websites of local stores to see if they print lists. It really does make it easier!