Friday, September 23, 2011

Five Question Friday

   I haven't done this in a while, but I'm feeling up to it this evening! I've had a pretty great Friday. Noah and I watched the Grey's Anatomy season premier at our 6am feeding and then slept until almost noon. We snuggled, washed clothes, did dishes and surfed the internet for new recipes! Then we made a quick trip to Publix! Now I'm chowing down on the Yellow Squash Stuffing I made tonight (so delish). Tomorrow we will have a busy day of relaxing with the hubby (we miss him during the week) and watching football. I hope all of you have a great weekend!

Questions for Friday, September 23rd: (Special thanks to @kristinascackle,Sandy,@donettadalman@gasfamily and @Lovely_Lici for their question suggestions! I'm dying for some fresh questions over here and besides that, I enjoy linking YOU in this little blog hop of ours, so please, please, please c'mon over to my community and offer up some question suggestions. OR, watch for my Twitter shout out for 5QF questions on Thursdays! If you go the Twitter route, remember to@5crookedhalos me and use hashtag #5QF!)

1. Dream job...realistic and completely unrealistic.

2. Do you fart in front of your significant other?

3. What's the furthest you've ever traveled from home? How far and where was it?

4. How do you celebrate birthday for your kids? Family only or friends? ... Alternate for those without kiddos: How did you celebrate birthdays as a kid?

5. Fave thing about fall?


1. Dream job....realistic and completely unrealistic.

Realistic: SAHM. I have never really felt a pull towards any certain career. The only thing I've always known I "wanted to be when I grew up" was a mommy. I'm a working mom now, but my dream would be to be at home with Noah full time. One day, hopefully not too many years down the road it will be a reality and not a dream. 
Unrealistic: Stylist to the stars. I'm creative and very stylish-- if I had money to throw around, I'd look like a darn rock star. I'd adore spending other people's money for them and making them look fabulous.

2. Do you fart in front of your significant other?

It happens, but I try not to.

3. What's the furthest you've ever traveled from home? How far and where was it?

Belize on my honeymoon. It was fantastic. We took a small speed boat to Caye Caulker this tiny island off the coast and had breakfast on the beach and talked about living there one day...

4. How do you celebrate birthday for your kids? Family only or friends? ... Alternate for those without kiddos: How did you celebrate birthdays as a kid?

Well we haven't thrown a birthday party for Noah yet, but I'm more of a family party person. Especially when the kids are really young, they don't really care about "friends" being there. As a kid I had spectacular parties. One year I had a tea party and everyone wore party dresses and had tea and made mini cakes and my mom made a mock Mr. Mcgregor's garden on our front porch like from Peter Rabbit. Another year I had a costume party and our huge front yard was set up carnival-style (I'm an October baby).

5. Fave thing about fall?

I've talked about it too much already, but tea olives blooming. Love. It. Pumpkin pies come in a close second.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Week 3 Update

    I'm kind of freaking out that Noah is 3 weeks old and I'm halfway through my maternity leave. Time is flying by, and I'm sort of not ok with it. We are adjusting sensationally to having Noah here. It helps that she is an awesome baby. She rarely fusses, she's sleeping 4-7 hours at a time, she feeds beautifully on both breast and bottle, and is a total doll. I'm feeling pretty good, too, three weeks out from delivery! Emotionally I'm doing fantastic! I haven't had any baby blues, or ppd episodes- which to be honest I was a little worried about due to my PMDD and family history of depression and anxiety. I've felt great, though, only tears of joy from this lucky mama (unless you count the one St. Judes commercial that made my heart hurt and I had to change the channel). Physically I'm doing way better than most, but still not good enough to suit me! I'm moving around the house, getting out and running errands and today did a 45 minute stroll around the neighborhood! I realize this is great for only 3 weeks, but I'm dying to exercise-exercise. I want to spin, or jog, or something, but I'm just not there yet. It's hard for me to be patient with the healing process because every fiber of my being wants to get the ball rolling on operation "Get Smokin' Hot Bod Back". When ever I'm feeling frustrated with the wait I just snuggle and stare at my baby girl, and I'm thankful I have such a perfect distraction until I'm ready to work it out!!
    Cloth diapering is a total breeze. We're washing diapers every other day, and sunning out the stains as often as the sun will allow. Lately this hasn't been much, although at noon the sun popped out today so I rushed my dirties through the wash and got them outside in a hurry!
our version of line-drying

  Noah is starting to be awake and alert a lot more. She gazes at the ceiling fans, the pattern on our couch, and me! It's clear that she recognizes mine and Chad's voices and faces. It's super sweet when she gazes up at me and I know that she knows who she's looking at. Right now we're feeding every 3-6 hours depending on when she tells us she's hungry. At night she's really good at sleeping at least 4 hours straight, but even more frequently 5-6 hours straight. She's a baby after her mother's heart, because I LOVE SLEEPING. When she's awake she is totally chill. She sat through an entire lunch outing last weekend wide awake. We kept waiting for fussing, or restlessness, but she just sat in her carrier pretty as a peach! I'm not sure what we're going to do when I start work back- Chad and I will be fighting for her. Right now he pretty much steals her the minute he gets home from work...he misses his baby girl during the day!! They tend to have excellent snuggle time during the Monday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday football games...

   Noah is sleeping in a bassinet at this point. We tried the crib a couple of times but never got more than 1/2 hour out of her. She loves the vibrating newborn napper that attaches to her pack-n-play. It's been a godsend to have that. We keep it set up in our den and that is where she sleeps 80% of the time. We also got a super cute bassinet on a stand that also vibrates that we put in her nursery that she sleeps in some nights after her middle of the night/early morning feeding. That is what she'll sleep in during the day at her caregivers house, so we're trying to get her used to it. She sleeps fairly well in it, but at this point nothing compares to the pack-n-play. 
ahhh...this is the life...

   Momo definitely loves his sissy, but most of the time he just ignores her. He still inspects every new outfit, toy, etc that we bring into the house for her. He'll give her kisses if we hold her down on his level for him to see. They're on the same nap/sleep schedule so they don't do much interacting, though. The past week he has started to get on the couch next to me when I nurse her, an attempt to be a part of the special experience, which is really sweet. I love having both of my babies close! She still has the craziest head of hair. We keep thinking it might fall out, but it doesn't! It's even growing! She's got super long pieces that hang over her ears, and a crazy cowlick in the back that gives her a mad scientist look if we don't keep it brushed! She probably would look even cuter than cute if we trimmed her a bit, but I can't bring myself to cut a 3 week-old's hair. I love every weirdly placed strand of it!! Plus, I like it being a little wild when we put her in a headband!
I am le tired!

  So that's how its been going down here at casa del Stalvey. We're insanely happy, a little tired, a little sore, but totally blessed and loving every minute of this amazing life!! Noah, Dee Dee and I went on a stroll this afternoon and I smelled tea olive on the breeze. My favorite smell ever, and a sure sign that fall is coming. I hope you're all able to get out and look at the leaves changing and see the signs of fall. Love, Layne

Monday, September 12, 2011

Things I've learned from 2 weeks of being a mommy...

   It does not seem like it's been 2 weeks, but tomorrow baby girl will officially be 2 weeks old. Time is flying and I'm dreading the fact that in 4 more weeks I have to go back to work and leave her to spend her days with someone else. Luckily she'll be with a friend from church who we trust and feel comfortable with, but that doesn't mean I'm not going to be a complete wreck. These have been the best two weeks of my life so far- despite being tired and the house being a mess, I've been more happy than I've ever been before. I've learned a lot over the past 13 days some profound truths and some little tricks so here are a few of the things I've discovered since bringing Noah into the world...

1. I thought I couldn't love my husband more than I already did, but I was wrong. My love for him has grown so much stronger and more complete through the process of seeing our love manifested in a small human being.

2. No matter how tired I am at 3am when I'm up to feed her, I can still manage to smile when she puts a hand on my chest or grabs onto my fingers.

3. There is no such thing as too many bibs.

4. A vibrating bassinet is a godsend.

5. Always go to the bathroom before you start breastfeeding. Because once you start it's not easy to stop and take a restroom break...

6. It's good to have help around. My mom and hubby have been fabulous!

7. I will not go anywhere longer than a quick trip without a Boppy.

8. DVR and smart phones make 2, 3, 4, 5am feedings much easier...

9. Line drying cloth diapers in the sun really is miraculous. Stains disappear!

10. God is good. I'm blessed beyond measure. It is unreal to think about my life and the road that has brought  me to the wonderful and fulfilling place I'm in right now.

Love, Layne 

Sunday, September 4, 2011

the birth story...

After a first and second trimester that flew by, and a third trimester that seemed to last a year we finally have our baby girl! Here is her birth story…
As most of you know several months ago we hired a Doula and I began to make a comprehensive birth plan with the goal of having a natural and what I called “organic” vaginal delivery at University Hospital. I wanted the experience to be as close to what nature intended it as it could possibly be, I wanted to be alert and involved and I wanted what I had in my mind as the ultimate birthing experience. Due to the health issues/pregnancy side effects that arose my original birth plan was slowly edited little by little, until it hardly even resembled what it once was.  The amount of pain I was experiencing from the varicosities was ferocious and it wasn’t long before my Doula, my OB, and I realized that not using pain meds was not going to be an option. The pain from the pressure of carrying the baby landed me on bed rest for 3 weeks, so we knew it was unreasonable to think that I’d be able to endure the pain of actual labor and delivery. There were also some concerns about my health and the rest of the delivery due to the severity of the possible pain. I talked with my Doctor and we agreed that a low-dose epidural was going to be essential to bringing to pass a pleasant delivery.  Again, with the level of pain I was experiencing I agreed to an induction and it was scheduled for 39+ weeks. We didn’t go too early, although that wasn’t for a lack of trying on my part, but I’m glad we induced when we did because there was truly no more joy in my pregnancy at that point and I shudder to think about my emotional and mental state had I gone past my due date. I knew being induced was going to limit me to the hospital bed and I wouldn’t be able to be up and moving through labor pains, etc., but I was willing to give that up in order to get my baby here faster!
Two nights before my induction brought the arrival of my mom, dad and younger brother to North Augusta to stay with us and be at the hospital for the birth. They helped us get stocked up on groceries and get the house ready for us to be gone for a couple of days and then come back with our first child. On Monday night my brother brought me Chinese food from my absolute favorite restaurant in our home town which is about an hour from where we are now. Over the course of 2 hours I paced myself through Veggie Egg-Foo Young, fried rice and steamed dumplings. Since I was being induced I wasn’t allowed to eat or drink after 6pm so I made that last meal count! I got in bed a little after 8 pm with the alarm set for 4:30 the next morning and with the help of a sleeping aid actually managed to sleep!
Tuesday morning I got up and hot-rolled my hair, put on a full face of make-up, threw on some clothes, and Chad and I headed to the hospital. I figured that I better make myself look good that morning because there was no telling what labor and delivery would put me through and I wanted to stand at least a decent chance at not looking like hell for a first picture holding my baby girl. We got to the hospital at quarter-til six and met our doula and started to wait…there were about 15 women waiting to be admitted for L&D!!! We didn’t get back to our room until 7 am, and at 7:02 my OB was there ready to get me hooked up to the machines and start the pitocin! I have to say that one of the most painful things throughout the experience was my IV. I have never had problems with IV’s before, I don’t have an issue with needles or anything but the location of the line was super annoying and it felt tight and bruised and made me more miserable than even the contractions I would have!
And so the labor began. The contractions were really manageable for the first 2 hours but my OB was concerned that I was going to take the maximum dose of pitocin in order to progress to where I needed to be for delivery so instructions were given to jack up the meds slowly but surely until I got to the maximum amount. My OB and nurse, who were both awesome during this process, had a hysterical work dynamic. It was very clear that my nurse thought the Doctor was being too aggressive, she even told us that the “policy” was to only go up to a 20 level for pitocin while the Doc was instructing her to take me up to a 40. My progression was checked about every hour and a half and that brought some funny disagreements between the nurse and Doctor, also. Don’t get me wrong, they were very friendly to each other and my nurse did exactly as she was asked, but she gave my Doc a hard time none-the-less and luckily my Doctor took her jabs with a good sense of humor.  The OB would check me and in the process stretch out the cervix as much as she could to help it along, she’d call it about 2 centimeters more than the nurse had called it and it proceeded in that same manner  all the way up until I started to push.  About 2 hours in the contractions got significantly stronger and more painful. I had very strong contractions about 2 minutes apart for 6 1/2 hours- because my cervix stayed pretty high and slowly progressing for a while- it didn’t seem to want to catch up to my contractions. I asked for my epidural about 3 hours into the labor when the pain got really severe and I couldn’t talk through the contractions and was having to seriously zone out to endure them. An hour later the anesthesiologist came and administered the epidural.  The epidural hurt. I felt every nerve the catheter hit on the way in and the only comfort I took from it was that after about 20 minutes it was going to help ease the pain of the contractions. So the medicine kicked in and it was all a waiting game. I did lose complete feeling in both legs but I didn’t let that freak me out, I stayed focused on the task at hand. I made up my mind before I was ever admitted that the process of bringing Noah into the world would not continue to be a negative experience for me. I was going to stay calm, focused and as clear headed as possible so that my labor and delivery could be positive experiences. At about 3:45 pm my cervix had dropped lower and I was about 8 cm. so my doctor decided I needed to do some preliminary pushing to try and get to 10 cm. At this point in the room with me was the nurse, my doctor, my doula, Chad, my mom and dad. I vacillated a bit on who I wanted to help hold my legs, who I wanted to hold my hand, etc. Chad stayed in the room with us for delivery despite it being a plan for him to leave due to a weak stomach and tendency to black out. The hospital would not give him a band to allow him to be alone with our daughter unless he was present for delivery, so he and his touch pad sat in the back corner of the room once I started pushing. The “prelimary” pushes worked well and a little after 4 pm I was pushing for real. My dad and the nurse had my legs, my mom was by my head holding my hand, rubbing my head and encouraging me and my doula stayed at the foot of the bed behind my doctor so I could use her as a focal point to concentrate. I pushed for 2 hours.  It had been a full 24 hours since I had had any sustenance, and I was exhausted, but I pushed. I pushed hard and long and I stayed quiet and focused. I never screamed out, and I tried not to talk at all- I must say it was very “zen”. I pushed when they told me to, breathed when they told me to and relaxed when they told me to. It was hard. I was so tired and weak but I refused to not push my hardest, I wanted my baby out!! I had a horrible headache and I was violently shaking- the tremors were uncontrollable and something that took me by surprise. It got close and my Doctor suggested an episiotomy. It was in my birth plan that I did not want one. My OB said the way my body was reacting to the pushing and pressure from the baby I was going to be permanently altered if she didn’t do an episiotomy. (I censured the details and exact quote- but you can imagine.) My doula and nurse very quickly agreed with the OB and knowing that they could see down there and I couldn’t- I said sure, whatever, do what you need to do. Snip snip snip.  About 30 minutes before I had the baby my mom said “Are you ok?” I thought she was talking to me but quickly realized that Chad was up and standing by my head! He was watching it all and was going to get to see his baby being born! As the baby started to crown my Doula tried to grab my hand to feel her head, but I yanked it back. She said- you wanted to feel the head, you wanted to pull her out! All of which was true, but I was so tired and knew I couldn’t take focus off of my pushing for a single second or else I’d lose what little steam I had left. Before I knew it she was out and up on my chest crying the most beautiful cries I had ever heard in my life!! I kissed her face while they were wiping her off and inspecting her, she was so BIG! My big ole baby was here and I was on cloud nine. Sometime during all the commotion I delivered the placenta, was stitched up and the room cleared of the mess- but I didn’t realize any of it was happening. I had requested for her to be bathed and weighed in the room with us, which is not typical hospital policy so it was about a two hour wait or so before the nursery came in to do this, which worked out perfectly because it allowed all of our family to come in and meet our angel. Chad’s parents, my parents, both of my brothers, and my grandfather were all waiting to meet Noah Layne Stalvey. After what seemed like forever she was weighed at 8 pounds 8 ounces and measured at 20.5 inches. We were so proud.  From start to finish my pregnancy was nothing like I thought it would be but I am so pleased with how it ended. I am at peace with the entire event and I’ve never been more in love with my husband and my daughter in my entire life. Being a mommy is amazing, I am so blessed.   Layne 

Friday, September 2, 2011

Let me introduce you to Noah Layne Stalvey

I am on cloud nine! On Tuesday we were blessed with the arrival of our first child, Noah Layne Stalvey. She was born at 6:29 pm on August 30th and weighed in at 8 lbs 8 ounces- 20.5 inches long. Tonight is our second night at home and we're adjusting well to being new parents. We're tired, but elated. I can't wait to share her birth story with you in a few days- once I get a grip on reality and some much needed sleep! Love, Layne

first night at home

Mom, Dad and Noah