Ok, before you read, just a disclaimer that this is a LONG post. It is mostly for my benefit so I can look back and remember the details of this wonderful time in my life. I just wanted to recap the memories of my pregnancy, birth and 1st year with my precious son before the details become fuzzy. If you don’t want to read through everything, feel free to skip to the pics and videos I am going to post!
Pregnancy: (Date of Conception: October 20 or 21st, 2008)
One of the wonderful benefits of Natural Family Planning (NFP) is the ability to know your body very well. By observing my fertility signs, I was able to know the day (well one of two days) I ovulated and when little Alex was conceived! I got a positive pregnancy test 10 days later on Nov 1, 2008 (All Saints Day). I had just gotten back from a business trip in Chicago the day before, and was enjoying my Saturday at home with Alex. I knew there was a good chance I might be pregnant so I decided to test. The line showed up, but was pretty faint. I told Alex I might be pregnant, and proceeded to go out and buy more (just to be sure). I took a test every few days for a week and line got darker and darker! I scheduled my first pre-natal appt. for a few weeks later. It was so long to wait, and I was so unsure about everything. I didn’t really feel pregnant at this point and was actually wishing I would get sick, so I would have some confirmation other than the positive pregnancy test! I finally got my first ultrasound at 6 weeks 2 days and saw the tiny baby and heartbeat! It was the most amazing thing ever, and the pregnancy now felt REAL! The first trimester flew by; before I knew it we were in Denver for Christmas getting ready to announce our special news to extended family and friends! My mom was saying the prayer before the meal, and at the end she said “and thank you for the little baby that is growing in Lisa’s belly” or something like that. Everyone starting screaming and congratulating us. I was sick from about week 7 to week 14, but only threw up a handful of times and could usually curb the nausea if I ate something as soon as I woke up. The second trimester was the best, because that is when I felt the baby move for the first time! I think it was about 18 weeks when I first felt something, and by 20 I was sure it was the baby. Alex felt him a few weeks after that, and we enjoyed feeling the baby getting stronger and stronger every day throughout the pregnancy. I was really blessed to have an easy pregnancy; the only issue was some upper back pain on one side under my ribs. This only lasted a few months though. I slept relatively well though, and made it a point to get plenty of rest. As our first anniversary approached, I was feeling good, but was very ready to meet the baby. Little did I know I wouldn’t have to wait as long as I had anticipated!
Birth: (June 29th, 2009 at 9:35 p.m.)
About 10pm on the night of our first anniversary, I started having contractions. We were already in bed, so I stayed there for awhile wondering if it was false labor since I was only 38 weeks. They didn’t go away so I moved to the tub as they started to get mildly painful. I moved between the tub and bed all night wondering what I should do about work in the morning. I still wasn’t sure if it was the real thing since they weren’t that painful so I decided to go to work (so I wouldn’t have to use any unnecessary vacation days). I assured Alex I would return it things got worse. A few hours after I got to work, the power went out. I started talking to my cubby mates and told them I was having contractions. Of course, everyone starts freaking out and soon the whole floor knew what was going on! I work with several nurses, so they all started coming over and feeling my belly. “Those are real contractions!” they told me. Even though I wanted to stay, everyone was adamant that I leave immediately and my boss and co-worker were nice enough to drive me home. Once I got home, things got a bit more painful so I started timing the contractions. They were all over the place-between 5 and 12 minutes apart. Later in the afternoon I called my doctor and talked to the NP. “Sounds like early labor, which could last for days” she told me. DAYS!? Back to the tub I went, dreading the thought of having to endure this for days. Luckily things sped up quickly from that point on. Around 5 or so, I was bleeding a bit with each contraction (which I was told later at the hospital can happen sometimes when you dilate quickly) and was worried so I called the doc and they told me to go to the hospital. Once Alex got home from the store (he was picking up a few items) we packed up and left. We decided to do valet parking so we could get inside quicker, and proceeded to make our way to L&D (we probably looked so silly with all the stuff we had-including my huge exercise ball). They got me in quickly and measured me to see how far I had progressed at home. 7cm! Yay! We made our way to the room and got all settled. I thought the exercise ball might help so I sat on it but quickly decided all I wanted to do was lay in the bed. When I stood up to get back into the bed my water broke and gushed all over the floor! I don’t remember how long it was, but at some point they said I was 8 or 9cm and it was time to call the doc. Not long after I had the sensation to push, but didn’t know if I should yet. I told them and they got me ready. The doctor barely made it in time! I pushed about 3 or 4 times and little Alex arrived- 6lbs. 8 oz! He was born on the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul (that is why his middle name is Paul). The first time I held him was the most amazing moment. He just stared into my eyes and was content while I held him (that didn’t last for long). They quickly got him all cleaned up while I got stitched up and moved to the recovery room. Alex went down to the café to get me a yummy turkey sandwich ( I hadn’t eaten much all day) and we anticipated the return of our precious little man from the nursery. I couldn’t have asked for a better delivery (ok, ideally I wouldn’t have had an episiotomy). I was happy I was able to have a drug-free and uncomplicated birth, and that little Alex was healthy.
1st Year Memories:
Little Alex’s 1st year was definitely a whirlwind! The first three months were hard, but very rewarding. I LOVE the teeny-ness of the newborn stage, and we loved watching every little move he made. Luckily, my parents were able to come down the first weekend we were home to meet their grandson. It was so nice to have their help, and when they left we were looking forward to two weeks later when they would return with Amanda and Bobby. I had some breastfeeding issues early on, but I was determined to give him all the milk all I could (I pumped in addition to nursing and was able to give him breast milk for almost a year). He was very fussy and squirmy when he was young, and a lot of times we couldn’t figure out how to console him. Those first smiles were so precious though. Anyway, I am jumping ahead. Back to when he was 3 weeks old- we asked our friends Nick and Lesley to be little Alex’s godparents, and Nick was able to come to Houston for the baptism! So along with my family, we joyfully watched as he was reborn in Christ, and we celebrated the newest little Catholic with some sandwiches and cookies at our house afterwards. He was pretty fussy through the whole thing, but was actually calm when the water was being poured over his head! It was a very special day. We tried going to daily Mass while I was on maternity leave, and I remember thinking I would never make it through a whole mass again, because if he wasn’t fast asleep in the wrap, he was usually crying. I had to go back to work when he was 12 weeks old. It was a very sad time, but Alex takes great care of him during the day. The next few months were fun as we marveled at how much he was growing and learning. He rolled over for the first time when we was 4 weeks old (it was a fluke though; he didn’t do it again for several more months). He stated to coo shortly after his first smiles, and the most adorable laughs followed. His favorite game early on was peek-a-boo. He would laugh his head off every single time, sometimes for long periods (one time I think we played for 20 minutes or more). I don’t remember when he grasped his first object, but I remember laughing about how hard he would try to move his little fist from in from of his face to try and grab something. I loved watching him kick and punch his little arms and legs when he was lying down; so cute! Although he had a variety of sleep aids (mommy’s breast, the swing) he slept fairly well and we are happy to say that we never got too sleep deprived. He started sitting up on this own around 6 months (just in time for Christmas!) and rolling over (both ways) shortly thereafter. He didn’t start crawling til around 10 months, so in the meantime he rolled everywhere he wanted to go. In January, we moved up to the Spring/Woodlands area so I would be closer to work (before my commute was 45 min one way-yuck!) My parents came down to help us. It was such a big job, and we couldn’t have done it without them. It has been so nice being only a few minutes away. I get to come home for lunch everyday and see my boys! In February, he took his first plane ride to see grandma and grandpa in Denver! He did such a good job on the plane. He was entertained by kids and adults making faces at him from across the aisle and he slept the rest of the time. Ah, how I miss the days when he could fall asleep anywhere! We had a good time visiting everyone, and he even got to play in the snow! Like I said, he didn’t start crawling until 10 months (we thought he might go straight to walking), but after he learned, there were so many more opportunities for getting into trouble, and he took advantage of all of them. We baby-proofed the apartment, and he has lots of fun getting into EVERYTHING. Mealtime has been pretty easy, especially when daddy sings silly songs to him. I haven’t identified any food aversions, but this may change when he reaches the picky toddler stage. It has been so much fun to see him blossom into such a fun little person. He is SUCH a happy baby and is so fun to be around. I don’t think I have ever smiled or laughed as much as I have since he was born. I am so blessed to have a wonderful hubby and sweet baby boy!
Some fav pics and videos: