Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Tummy Tub

So our friends Tatum and Miles have an 18 month old (adorable) little girl, and one night we were talking about bathing babies (exciting topic), and I mentioned this thing that I wanted called a Tummy Tub. Now basically a Tummy Tub is just a glorified bucket in which you bathe your baby. The thing that is supposedly so great about it is that it is "womb shaped" and makes your baby feel like he is back in utero, where it was perfectly warm and wet and the livin' was easy. Unlike a traditional baby bathtub, they sit in the tub in the fetal position and the warm water rises up and covers them up to their shoulders, so they feel secure and warm the whole time. Well, turns out Tatum and Miles had a Tummy Tub that was handed down to them, and since their daughter didn't enjoy it very much and had outgrown it, offered to pass it along to us to try! So nice!

So one night, we busted out the Tummy Tub and put Levi in it. Now, he used to not be a fan of bathtime, but had been getting much better at it to the point that he almost started to enjoy it. We had been using a regular baby bath this whole time, but I figured if he started to like the regular tub, he'd reaaalllly love the Tummy Tub and bathtime would be amazing!

Well...the first time we used it, he cried. Not sure why...maybe it was just because it was different or maybe because it was just his fussy time. Anyway, we decided to try it again the next night, and except for a little water in his mouth (whoops), he seemed to like it a little more. The next time we used it, I filled it up less so that the water didn't rise so high. My only complaint is that it is way harder to clean them in the Tummy Tub. For starters, the baby isn't reclined like in a regular tub, they are just sitting up straight. Since Levi doesn't have full head control yet, this means you have to support his head up while trying not to get water in his mouth while trying to clean him. Which brings me to gripe #2: it's hard enough to bathe a slippery, squirmy baby, but even harder in such cramped quarters, and one handed. I didn't feel like he was as clean as he could've been. Upon researching tips on how to use the tub, since I figured with all the rave reviews it got I must've been doing something wrong, I found that I was doing everything right, but that it was meant as more of a comfort tool rather than for actual cleaning of the baby. Hmm.

Since I didn't have to pay the slightly ridiculous $45 price tag, we will still use it unless Levi decides it's a no-go. Plus, it is insanely cute to see a baby in a bucket. :)

Summer in December

Although I'm always talking about itching to move away from Southern California, I must admit that it definitely has it's perks...namely, the weather. It's pretty dang good year-round.

But since this year we were ROBBED of a proper Californian summer and sat at the beach in fog and drizzle for the majority of June, July, and August, I feel that Mother Nature kinda owes us one before 2010 comes to a close. And she delivered, albeit for only a couple of days. Better than nothin!

Where else in the Northern Hemisphere can you say you went to the beach in the middle of December? In this respect, the west is best, baby.

Sunday was a picture perfect 80 degrees, so Levi and I decided to take a stroll down to the beach so that mama could soak some sunshine into her pale legs. We walked to a little coffee shop and got a huge, overpriced iced mocha (remember Levi indirectly eats what I eat, so I can get away with saying "we", like a crazy mom. That said, you will not hear me saying "Oh look at how BIG we are!" "Are we hungry?" "Do we need a diaper change?". I do draw the line somewhere). Then we walked along beach, and finally ended up at Ole Hansen, where we sat on a park bench and watched the beach goers and seagulls.

Yesterday we went down to the beach again and I got to read a magazine for a bit while Levi snoozed in the shade, then we got some tacos and headed home.

Unfortunately, winter returned today , so Leevs and I got back to reality with a grocery shopping trip to Trader Joe's, some chocolate chip cookie making, and some t.v. watching to pass the gloomy day away. I seem to always get the blues during wintertime and find myself constantly sleepy, no matter how much rest I get. I also don't really like being cold. Bundling up makes me feel claustrophobic, which is why you will usually find me under dressed. Is that weird? Sometimes I think I might have the oddly-fictional-sounding SAD...that is, "Seasonal Affective Disorder". But um, don't the seasons affect us all? Can you say "looking for any excuse to pop happy pills?" Ok, I shouldn't judge, especially since I probably have SAD. Anyway... the heat wave was nice while it lasted, hope everyone enjoyed Mr. Sun as much as I did! :)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

What I Learned about Breastfeeding...the Hard Way

OK, so I realize that this post will probably not appeal to nor interest many of you, but it might for some, so here we go! We're gunna talk about boobs.

Or more specifically, the biological purpose of them.

Now, if you have ever breastfed, I'm sure you will relate to this, at least somewhat. And if you are planning to ever breastfeed, I'm hoping you will learn things from my experience that will one day help you!

Before I even got pregnant, I always assumed I would breastfeed my babies. And when I found out I was pregnant, I just knew it's what I would do, no questions asked.

Then my old pal, a.k.a Unsolicited Advice, came a-knocking. I heard stories about how "hard" breastfeeding was and how painful it was and how great it was for the baby and tons of other opinions about how to feed one's child (I'm still bewildered at how opinionated people are about motherhood and others' child rearing methods...but that's another topic in itself). The main kernel of "advice" was that breastfeeding was great, but that the first two weeks were no walk in the park. People told me it was very hard and very painful. No matter, I thought to myself, I would have to just tough out the rough patches and fulfill my goal of breastfeeding.

Now, by "hard", I assumed what was meant was that it was difficult to get the hang of; getting the baby latched on and positioned right and maybe some sore nipples. (By the way, I am no longer shy of throwing around the awkward word "nipples", so just bear with me). In hindsight, I realize that no one ever really articulated what they meant by "hard" and that I didn't ever get the advice I really needed....but anyway, here's my story:

So I decided to prepare myself as best as I could, because I was truly determined that "breast is best" and that if I couldn't go through with a natural birth, I would most certainly go through with breastfeeding! So I armed myself by taking a breastfeeding workshop class - which was quite helpful in explaining techniques and other facts I knew nothing about, watching videos, and reading books and online articles. I researched the positioning and latching tips like a madwoman. When Levi was born, I had both the hospital's nurses and lactation consultant (yep, there's such a thing) come and make sure I was doing everything correctly before I was discharged, and was told that both Levi and I were pros. He seemed to get the hang of it better with every feeding and seemed full and satisfied. Hard? Psh.

The first few days were great! My milk came in with abundance, resulting in very large, hard boobs - excuse the visual, but it's what happens, and it's a good thing. I knew I was making milk and Levi was getting good at latching on and I was barely sore. Things were going great for the first week or so and I thought I was just so lucky and talented to avoid those notoriously "bad" first two weeks....until all of a sudden things started going downhill, fast.

First it started with ol' Leevs deciding that he favored the left breast, and he flat out refused my right one. I figured it was the way I was holding him, since I was using my non-dominant arm to support him, and he felt insecure or something. So I tried putting him in different positions, putting myself in different positions, nothing worked. Then I thought maybe it was my nipple that he didn't like, although there was no visual difference between the two...you never know. In the meantime, my right boob was filling up with milk and becoming engorged (which is when your breasts are overly full and can result in plugged ducts and infections...not to mention it is uncomfortable and you leak milk - NOT good!) So I got a thing called a nipple shield, which is this flexible silicone nipple looking thing that sticks onto your real nipple to help the baby latch. That seemed to work better, and he started to latch on. However, because this nipple shield makes it much easier for the baby to latch, they don't have to work as hard as they would when drawing a real nipple into their mouth, so he ended up preferring the nipple shield and wouldn't nurse without it!

So he finally started latching on to both breasts, which was good, but another obstacle loomed...Unexplained Fussiness. All of a sudden, he would cry and fuss and pull off of the breast for no apparent reason, even though I KNEW he was hungry....which leads me to villain #3, Constant Hunger. Now when I say constant, I'm not exaggerating. I was told that newborns usually want to eat every 2-4 hours, with feedings that last an average of 20 minutes or so, which seems pretty standard to me. I was also told that newborns usually ate about 8-12 times in a 24 hour period. But Levi was apparently not standard, because he would eat for 45 minutes to an HOUR and be crying with hunger a half hour later. By this time, I could read his signals and I knew it was a hungry cry, but for good measure I would burp him, change him, hold him, and try giving him a pacifier, just to cross those things off the list before feeding him again. And sure enough, he was ALWAYS hungry, nothing else satisfied him. So I nursed. And nursed and nursed. I felt like I couldn't go anywhere or have anyone over because he just always wanted to eat! I felt captive to a 2 week old baby.

I started attending two different breastfeeding support groups (yep, those exist too), one at the hospital and one at a "breastfeeding boutique" called Milkalicious. By the way, if you are a BF'ing mama, you will love that store! They had lactation consultants and nurses talk to you and watch you nurse to help you do everything right. I started weighing Levi at these meetings too, so we could track his weight gain. Everyone said he was positioned properly and that I seemed to be making plenty of milk. No one could tell me why he was fussing and constantly hungry.

Well, all this nursing did finally lead to sore nips. So not only was my kid ALWAYS nursing, but it also hurt like heck every time. I busted out the breast pump to put some milk in a bottle so that my poor nipples could have a break, and was shocked to discover that I could barely pump 3 ounces of milk on a good day.

One night I was SO exhausted from feeding him all day (not to mention the sleep deprivation from the night feedings) and STILL having him fuss and cry that I myself broke down in tears and we cried together on the couch. I didn't know what I was doing wrong and I figured I just must not be making enough milk...so I committed the ultimate breastfeeding sin: I supplemented with formula. Now, let me tell you, it's a sad day when you lose trust in your own body's ability to provide food for your baby and turn to the "Evil Manufactured Formula". And everybody tells you that supplementing usually always sabotages breastfeeding. I admit that I kind of felt like a failure! I told the lactation consultant and she just sympathized and told me "the main thing is that your baby is fed, no matter how you do it." She also gave me a list of ways to increase my milk supply, because I was determined that supplementing would be just that: a supplement, not the main source of Levi's meals.

Frustrated, I decided to take matters into my own hands and research all of these symptoms to pinpoint the cause of Levi's fussiness and hunger. Google became my breastfeeding savior! The more I searched for answers, the more I learned that not only was I definitely NOT alone, but that all of these obstacles I had faced were totally, completely NORMAL!! I found tons of information that I wished I had found or been told sooner. Here, my friends, is what I learned:

(I realize this post is getting looong, but hopefully you're still with me, cause there IS a happy ending!)

#1. The most useful bit of knowledge of all: breastfeeding works by supply and demand. The more your baby demands milk, the more your body supplies it. In the first 6 weeks postpartum, your body is establishing your milk supply based on your individual baby's needs. Every time your breasts are emptied, your brain tells your body to produce more milk to fill them back up. Therefore, when your baby nurses frequently, he is working with your brain to tell your body to produce enough milk for his needs. Once you realize this, everything starts to make sense. Who knew how perfectly designed our bodies really were to sustain life?! Amazing!

#2. Babies go through intermittent growth spurts. As a newborn grows, so does his stomach, meaning your milk supply has to cater to this growth. As we have learned, it's supply and demand, people! So when your baby is suddenly ALWAYS hungry, he is telling your bod to start crankin up the milk production to fill his newly enlarged tummy capacity! Growth spurts usually happen at 2 weeks, 4 weeks, 6 weeks, and then at 3 months, 6 months, and 9 months. So Leevs was right on target.

#3. Normal pumping output is anywhere between 2-4 oz of milk TOTAL for both breasts for the first couple of months! Anything more than that is simply considered extra good. Also, breastpumps are not as efficient at draining your breasts as your baby is, so chances are your baby is actually consuming more when they nurse directly.

#4. Music to my ears...the unexplained fussiness is 100% NORMAL! Babies usually tend to get fussy during the late afternoon and early evening, regardless of whether they are breastfed or formula fed. No one really knows why. For breastfed babies, it is because your milk supply is at it's lowest point of the day and they are trying to fuel up before going to sleep for the night.

#5. A lot of babies suckle just for the comfort of it, not just when they're hungry...yep, I'm basically a human pacifier a lot of the time!

#6. Super duper long feeding sessions start to get shorter as your baby becomes more efficient at nursing and emptying your breasts...we're down to about 10-20 min sessions now, depending on how hungry Levi is!

SO RELIEVING! Now if anybody ever asks me if breastfeeding is hard, I would tell them yes, but unlike the advice I got, I would tell them WHY. I would tell them that it's not as hard as it is time consuming. But...it is only for a short period of time, really the blink of an eye in respect to your baby's whole life... and it's so worth toughing it out. We rarely need to supplement with formula anymore, and if we do, it's only a couple of ounces and it's AFTER I've nursed him at the breast. That way I know I am still stimulating my milk supply.

By the way, after having experienced both breastfeeding and formula feeding, I can honestly say that breastfeeding is a LOT easier to deal with now that we've gotten the hang of it. For starters, cleaning and sterilizing bottles and bottle nipples is pretty time consuming (especially since we don't have a dishwasher), not to mention having to buy special infant water and heating it to just the right temperature in a separate container before pouring the exact amount into a bottle and then measuring out formula to mix...which doesn't seem SO bad until you have a screaming baby who is hunnnngggrrryyy now. Not to mention the insane cost of formula!

I still usually bring bottles when I have to go out, and believe it or not I still haven't nursed in public yet! I didn't plan on not nursing in public...it just kind of happened I guess. I got a few nursing friendly shirts and a poncho type thing to nurse with, but the after Levi's whole nipple shield/latching problem episode, I learned it was easier to just bring a bottle with me than to fumble around with my boob potentially hanging out. Not only am I pretty shy about such things, but because I worry it would be more work to find a discreet place to sit down and nurse than to just whip out a bottle no matter where I am. But, the great thing is knowing that if I should ever forget a bottle or run out of one while I'm out, I wouldn't have to worry because I am fully equipped to feed my kid whenever, wherever! It's also easier because I can feed him one handed and do lots of other things while I sit and nurse, like go on the computer, talk on the phone, read a book, eat...you can't do that with formula until the baby is old enough to hold their own bottle! I also highly recommend investing in a sling or wrap ( I happen to love both, but use them for different purposes)! You can literally nurse NO HANDED. Today I put Levi in the sling and he nursed while I did dishes, and he is actually nursing in the sling now as I write this using both hands! Levi sleeps in a bassinet right next to me, so when he wakes up in the middle of the night I can just scoop him up and feed him without even leaving my bed, no warming bottles required. I even take naps and nurse him simultaneously! How's that for multitasking?

All in all, I have grown to love breastfeeding and have gone from the brink of giving up to being such an advocate of sticking it out no matter what. I would never look down on people who supplement or stop to fully formula feed because I've been there and I know how hard it can be IF you are not forewarned and forearmed with the right information. And I'll bet most women stop because they think they are not making enough milk or just can't get the hang of it,when inadequate milk supply is rarely the main problem. When I started sharing my troubles, almost every woman I talked to admitted they had the SAME problems! I wish I had known before Levi was born what I know now, but some things are just learned by experience. I can also see how difficult it would be to continue through the hurdles if you didn't have supportive people around you. Fortunately, Clay was very supportive and even went with me to that breastfeeding workshop, even though he was only one of 2 guys there. I was proud that he went with me anyway. My mom didn't breastfeed me or my brother and sister at all, so I couldn't really ask her for advice in the bf'ing department, but she was really supportive nonetheless. I hope my struggles and discoveries can help other women, though! If you have any other questions, feel free to ask me! I've learned things that even lactation consultants didn't tell me and I feel like I've become alllmost an expert by now! ;]


By the way, this website was VERY helpful: www.kellymom.com

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Pecan Pie Failllll

I loveloveLOOOOVVE comfort food. I totally could live off of mashed potatoes and gravy. So keeping with this Southern theme, I decided to make a pecan pie for Thanksgiving.

Now, I made one last year and it was perfect! Absolutely, positively perfect. Can't say the same for this year, though. I don't really know what happened, but it was kind of undercooked or something, even though I cooked it for exactly how long the recipe said to and the crust was golden brown. Any longer in there and it would've burned!! I think the trouble is that I deviated from the recipe I used last year and used the one on the back of the Karo corn syrup bottle instead (because it called for more brown sugar...mmmmm, I thought it was a sign from above). So either I took a wrong turn somewhere during the recipe following, cooking in a different oven messed up my game, or the recipe just isn't as good as the one I used last time. Either way, I shall not despair and I WILL conquer the art of the pecan pie again for Christmas!

In case you are wondering, here's the old recipe for the pie. You won't even BELIEVE how easy it actually is!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

baby smiles and other loves of mine

Levi had his first real real smile on Halloween and it's by far the cutest thing my eyes have ever looked upon. The trick is having the camera on hand to capture it! Here's a video of him a few weeks ago when he was laying on Clay's lap. Since then he has been smiling alll the time, and I LOVE it! He also loves it when you smile back at him. Sometimes he smiles so big and gets so excited and you can tell he reeally wants to laugh, but can't yet. I'm gunna freak when he's able to laugh too. My sweet little boy!!!

Speaking of Levi, another thing I'm loving is Pendleton's collaboration with Levi's! Yes, a match made in heaven. Both companies have a long, cool, rugged history and are still going strong today. Together, they make me drool. I once scored an awesome Pendleton shirt for Clay at a thrift store for like $3 bucks. Now perhaps I can happen upon the perfect worn in Levi's jacket for him too...

I know I posted about this on my Facebook a short while ago, but if you missed it or wanted another look, here ya go.

I'm loooovvin the poncho/cape thing worn UNDER the jean jacket. Genius! Gotta try that one out.

So Pendleton is definitely on a roll lately, as they've been collaborating with a bunch of other designers as well. I'm diggin their collab with Opening Ceremony too. AHHHH!

I love every item in the last look.

They've even collaborated with Hurley, which I'm usually not a fan of, but loooook! Cutie pie stuff fo sho:

Touche, Hurley, touche. I'm kind of impressed.

The best part about all these dreamboat clothes is that they would look uhhhmazing with my wedge desert boots! Oh yeah.

All images via Pendleton

Monday, November 22, 2010

I heart desert wedges

I've been kiiind of obessed with wedge desert boots lately, they've started to become a growing trend (which I'm not sure is a good or a bad thing, since I don't really like to jump on the trendy bandwagon), but nevertheless I have satisfied my craving and finally found the (almost) perfect pair. I say almost perfect because the heel is a little bit higher than I would have preferred, but I guess you can't have it all!

These babies by Marc Jacobs are what sparked the fire of my lust:

So I got some knockoffs at Nordstrom Rack, yeahyuhhhh!!
The ones I got were a true dark tan, not olive-y, which I like. I also like the fact that they were about $300 cheaper.

Here are some more that have me drooling....

How rad are those yellow ones?! Supies cute if I do say so myself.

But now of course I want...no, need some in black too. The hunt is on, my friends.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Hello, my friends. Yes, I am alive and well. My apologies for not updating this blog for TWO MONTHS...that's what life with a newborn does to you - makes you fall off the face of the earth for a time.

Annnnyway, I figure since I amVERY slowly but surely starting to get slices of more free time back in my life (Levi isn't quite as ravenous anymore and the seemingly 24 hour feeding sessions have waned), I might as well spend it updating all my friends about how Life with Levi...and Beyond is going.

First off, I guess I have to ease into the updates with the official laborious (ha!) story of my labor and delivery. Hope you're interested, if not, just skip this entry and join me next time.

It all started on September 23rd, a warm autumn day to break the streak of unusually grey late summer weather. Now, I planned on working up until a few days before my due date, which was October 4th. Mostly because I could use the money, but also because my job consists of me sitting at a desk for a majority of the time and I figured if I wasn't there I'd just be sitting at home, so I might as well get paid to sit, right? So I got off work that Thursday and headed to the doctor for my 38 week check up. She checked me out and I was "almost 2 cm" dilated and 80% effaced. At the end of the visit, she said "Looks like we might be having a baby this weekend!". This weekend?! My due date was still 11 days away and for some reason the thought of him coming early had never seemed a possibility. First babies are usually late, I'd heard. We'd just have to wait and see.

So I got home and reported back to Clay, who was instantly excited. Even though my pregnancy was pretty close to perfect, I was tired of being huge, tired of peeing every 5 minutes, tired of rotating the same outfits that still somehow fit, tired of being asked "when are you due?" "boy or girl?", and tired of being TIRED. Trivial, I know, but hey, if you've ever been pregnant you know, and if you haven't... you will. Looking back, I shake my head and think how I thought I was tired then...ha! I didn't know what tired was. THOSE were the days! But moving on...

That night we took Clay's mom out to a belated birthday dinner, and while we were at the restaraunt I started having my first real contractions. They felt like cramps, but slightly worse. We got through dinner just fine, but once we got home we started timing them. Sure enough, they were about 6 or 7 minutes apart for an hour, and even though they weren't BAD, we decided to call the doctor just to be safe. When we got ahold of her she told us to continue timing, and if the contractions continued this way for another hour, we should check into Labor and Delivery at the hospital. An hour and a half went by and the contractions were still coming, so we packed our bags (ok, so mine had been packed 2 months ago...better safe than sorry!) and drove up at about 11:00 pm. Upon checking in, I got hooked up to a heart rate monitor, which tracked both mine and Levi's heart rates, and also recorded the length and strength of my contractions. I had to lay there for an hour, and finally the nurse came back in, looked at the monitor, and told me I was still barely 2 cm dilated and wasn't ready to be checked in yet. I had to go home and wait. I told her that there was no way I was going to be able to sleep (I'm a suupper light sleeper....good news if the house should catch on fire, bad news for burglars and my ability to sleep during contractions). She gave me some Ambien to take to help me sleep, assuring me I wouldn't sleep through giving birth or anything. I reluctantly took it, knowing that if I was truly in labor I'd need all the rest I could get.

Well, the Ambien did NOTHING. I was awake all night, tossing and turning and pacing around. Finally, at about 6 am, I woke Clay up and told him it was time to go back to the hospital. So away we went. I got hooked up again to the monitors for an hour. This time, they checked me out and told me it didn't look like I'd made much progress, but to walk the halls for an hour to try to get things moving along. So walk we did. After a painful hour, the nurse checked me and I was STILL only 2 cm dilated! What. The. Heck. She told me to go home AGAIN and said "I hate to say this...but when it gets worse, come back." Ugh!! So home we went.

...that's when it got bad. I mean, I've never felt pain like that before. It was like the absolute worst period cramps times 10000000, which doesn't even come close to describing it. I tried walking, I tried sleeping, I tried sitting, I took about 5 showers, nothing eased the pain at all. Clay massaged my back and told me to just breathe.... I told him to shut up! No amount of childbirth prep classes or breathing techniques could have prepared me for what I was going through. The scariest part was knowing that it was only going to get WORSE. Now, mind you that by this point I had been awake for 24 hours. I already wasn't happy. That beautiful autumn day turned into the start of a weekend long heat wave, I was sweating, exhausted, and in horrid pain, and finally I couldn't take it anymore. At about 2 or 3 in the afternoon I told Clay we were going to the hospital, and if they tried to turn us away again I would sit in the lobby and wait.

Luckily, when we got there and they checked me out, I was about 5 cm dilated (on a scale of 10) and 100% effaced. It was time to stay. YES! I told them I wanted an epidural and I wanted one NOW, and about an hour later I was drugged up and feeling much much better. Now I know epidurals an controversial, not because they are necessarily dangerous (although in rare cases they can be), but because a lot of women think they take away from "the birth experience". Our bodies were designed to give birth, it is beautiful and natural and transcending the pain makes the birthing process that much more rewarding in the end. Not to mention the fact that it it is certainly better for the baby. The thing is, I have to admit that I have like ZERO pain tolerance and childbirth has always been at the top of my list of scariest things I will ever experience, alongside dying a slow and painful death. Really sad, I know. I'm sure that 90% of my pain came from not only the expectation of it, but from the fear of it. I wish I had the strength to do it au naturel, but alas, I don't. Obviously if I were living in a time or place where epdiurals didn't exist, I could do it. I know my body could. But there I was, in the year 2010 at Saddleback Memorial Hospital, and epidurals were very much in existance, so I chose to take advantage of that. And in defense of my decision, I must say I am SO glad I did. I was able to relax, get some much needed rest, and most importantly be excited instead of scared. It made the experience an enjoyable one instead of a traumatic one. Oh, and I now give major props to anyone who gives birth naturally. Seriously.

Here's me after the ep...I wish I had a "before" picture...or maybe not:

I'm going to skip the boring details about the next 8 hours that went by, but finally at about 11:30 p.m. the epidural was slowly wearing off, I was finally 10 cm dilated and I was feeling an urge to push (which is what they wanted, so I wasn't allowed to get another dose). I was verrrry nervous...THIS WAS IT! Nine months of carrying Levi in my belly was about to come to an end. My mom started crying before I even started pushing! It was scary and thrilling all at once. Clay stood next to me and held my hand while the nurse helped me count to 10 between pushes, and about 3 pushes in she told me I was a little too good at this and that I'd have to wait while she ran and got the doctor! Finally, the doctor showed up and it was show time. I pushed about 5 more times and voila! Baby Levi made his grand entrance into the world at 11:50 p.m. on September 24th, 19 1/2 inches long and 6 lbs 14 oz. First of all, it wasn't nearly as scary as I though it would be. I was so focused on him being safe and healthy that I was in The Zone and nothing else mattered. I could feel pain, but it wasn't painful, if that makes any sense. It was just beautiful! Looking at his face for the first time was amazing. I suprised myself when I didn't completely lose it and cry, since I cried everytime I watched birth videos of other people's babies being born. But I was just so tired and happy and overwhelmed that I couldn't cry at that moment. It was the best day of my life. :)

Levi Francis Campbell

September 24th, 2010

6 lbs. 14 oz, 19.5 in. long

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Surprise Showerrrr

I promised I'd write about the surprise baby shower that four of my dear friends threw for me, so here we go! One day my good friend Blythe (check out her blog too, it's great!) asked me what I was doing the following Sunday, because she had something in store for me, but she wasn't going to tell me what we'd be doing or where we'd be going. After much nagging to try to get the secret out of her, I resigned to the fact that I would have to be surprised. And surprised I was! She called me that Sunday morning and told me to meet at her house at 1 pm and to dress as if I was going to a brunch. BUT - she said it was NOT a brunch. Huuuuh? Alrighty Blythers, I shall do as you instruct.

So I arrived at Blythe's and after parking across the street and being accosted by Jehovah's Witnesses from halfway in my car, made my way to the doorstep. Blythe and I walked out to her car on the driveway (a distraction ploy, I'd soon realize) and then she said "Oh wait, before we leave, someone left a ring in the backyard the night of my party, maybe you know whose it is". (She had had a really super rad make-your-own-grilled-cheese-sandwich birthday party the weekend before). So, we ran back inside and toward the backyard, and when we stepped outside there were my pals Angie, Gina, and Rian standing beside a picnic table set with uhhmmaaaazing delicious food!! I immediately BURST into tears - helllo hormones! Anyway, they had set up a gorgeous outdoor lunch with the yummiest food ever: turkey sandwiches, chips and salsa, fruit salad, a delish non-alcoholic margarita-ish concoction, and much more. They threw me a baby shower because they weren't able to make it to my other one. Isn't that so sweet? I have great friends.

It was so fun catching up with the gals and eating great food on a perrrfectly sunny September day.

Blythe MADE this quilt for Levi....it's the coolest! Loveloveloveee the color combos!

Gina made these adorable strawberry shortcakes with Leev's name on them in blueberries :)

All photos were taken by the talented Blythe Hill

Thank you to Blythe, Gina, Rian, and Angie for the best super surprise shower everrr! :)
Love you guys!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

All's Well!

Went to the doctor last Thursday and it's confirmed...Levi is HEAD DOWN and ready to go! It was hard for her to tell at first, his "boney butt" (her words by the way) made it difficult to know which end was up, but she did an ultrasound and sure enough, his little head is right where it's supposed to be! It was cute seeing the back of his head and his little ears in the ultrasound. So we're good to go!

Then today I had my 37 week checkup and I am 1 cm. dilated and 50% effaced!! AHH!! Now, I know that being 1 cm. dilated is not a huge deal, and I could stay stuck there for awhile, but it's still pretty exciting. Things are finally happening, there is a light at the end of the tunnel! No pun intended...ew! ;) Doc says it's unlikely I'll go past my due date, but we'll see. Now all I have to do is wait and prepare as much as I can.

Speaking of preparation, Clay and I finished our birth preparation classes a couple weeks ago, went to a tour of the hospital on Monday, and went to a breastfeeding class last night. The breastfeeding class was REALLY helpful, and gave me a lot more confidence. So many people tell me horror stories of how hard it is to breastfeed, how it is excruciatingly painful, this problem and that...it gets discouraging. But it's something I really want to do, so I'm trying to just set my mind to it. I'm expecting it to be hard, but I hope I can just set my mind to it and succeed.

By the way, my next post will be about a beautiful surprise baby shower that a few of my friends threw me (they couldn't make it to the real shower). And there will be pictures! :)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Week 33!

This week is number 33...only 7 more to go! It's crazy how fast it goes by. As much as I am tired of being pregnant, I am also not ready for Levi to come quite yet. He has some more cooking to do and I have some more preparing to do.

So my dear, sweet friends Kari and Lindsay threw me an amazing baby shower for my close friends and family! A big THANK YOU to everyone who was able to come. :) We got almost everything we needed and a bunch of other great things. We ended up having a monkey theme going on unintentionally, and let me tell you, we are stocked up with monkey stuff! So cute. Monkeys are kind of a thing for me, when I was little I had a stuffed monkey named Bobo and my dad used to make up bedtime stories about Bobo's adventures (kinda like Curious George)...mom made Bobo an outfit once too. So Lev is carrying on the tradition! Here are a few pics:

Clay's mom got us this onesie...ha!:

My niece Brooklynn and sis-in-law Kassi...Brooke likes her cousin already!

The hostesses with the mostess..ess!:

In other pregnancy news, Clay and I went to the doctor for a checkup last week and I was informed that I have gained almost 5 pounds in 2 weeks!! That is twice the weight I am "supposed" to be gaining. The doctor said "so um...just try to slow it down a little bit..." HA! I can't say I ever thought I'd hear that! Besides that, everything looks like it's going well, except for the fact that little Mr. Levi is still laying horizontally, which isn't too much of a problem at this point, but he should start to be heading head down fairly soon, which I hope he does because I really want to avoid having a C-section.

He...and myself too....are getting large. He's about 5 pounds already and should be gaining a half a pound a week from here on out! He's started pushing his hand (or foot?) out and I can GRAB IT!! Then he'll pull it back...wait a second or two...and do it again. I think he likes this little game.

One thing that has it's pros and cons lately is the "advice" I have been getting, which actually is nothing new because everyone has been adding in their two cents since I've become pregnant. Now, this isn't to say that I don't like advice or that I don't find it helpful. It most definitely is! And for the most part I truly do like hearing people's pregnancy and birth stories and tips that they've discovered. But to be honest, it gets a little annoying sometimes, usually when it's from strangers or people who feel like they have to scare me with every little detail. So for the record, I do not enjoy being told how "huge" my belly is getting...I do own a mirror. And telling me that only makes me feel freakish and scared that I'm going to have a ginormous baby to deliver. I don't like being told that my boobs haven't gotten much bigger either. I am aware of this fact. Yes, I know my clothes don't fit anymore but I'm tired of buying ugly clothes that I grow out of every 2 weeks, so deal with it. You don't have to look at my bellybutton through my shirt if it bothers you that much. I don't talk about your body or criticize how you look all the time, and just because I happen to have a human growing inside of me doesn't give you the right to either. I also do not like being made fun of for using the restroom constantly...there is a 5 pound kid tap dancing on my bladder, thank you very much. I also do not appreciate stories of your 60 hour labor, your guts on the table during your c-section, and your newborn's brush with death. I'm freaked out enough, and telling me horror stories doesn't better prepare me for anything. So there's my rant.

Anyway, last night Clay and I started our first birth class (we have 3 all together) at the hospital. It was kinda fun actually, probably much more so for me than for Clay, but he didn't look too miserable. ;) And get this: out of the 14 couples in the class, 12 of us are having boys!! Weird huh? I thought so.

It was more of an introduction class, but we did learn about signs of early labor, pre-term labor, and some breathing and relaxation techniques. Man oh man am I scared to give birth!! BUT we learned that fear is a huge contributer to tension, which increases pain, so I guess the more relaxed I am hopefully the better it will be. I'm countin' on Coach Clay!


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