Sunday, March 29, 2009

sleepy baby blue light

we were hoping to be sprung from the hospital today, but learned that tristan's biliruben levels have increased. so he has been spending the day under the phototherapy lamp to clear himself of a mild case of jaundice, and we will probably be here another night.

thankfully the lamp is in our room, so we don't have to be separated from him. he seems to be taking to it quite well, completely relaxed and waking for his feedings. all i could do was cry when we first put the goggles on him, but really he doesn't seem to mind them that much. right now he is asleep on his tummy, and seems to quite love it. babies sleep the most deeply on their tummies, which is why it is a sids risk. but the nurse said that as long as i'm beside the bassinet, tummy time is a good way for him to be under the lamp.

he is otherwise doing so well for a 35 week baby. he is nursing like a champ and quite enjoying his wakeful moments of gazing at us and his new surroundings. he has got incredibly elegant long fingers. and his cheeks are delicious to kiss. i am so very much in love.

and he has already taken to tashi. all she has to do is sing to him in her sweet voice, and he calms. i just know she is going to be his goddess.

it would be so much better if we could do all this sitting around and gazing at each other at home, but the time will soon come. so right now i'll take advantage of being fed rather decent hospital food at regular intervals, and spending all my spare moments either sleeping, reading or online, because i don't have to cook or clean or do laundry just yet! hmmm, i am reminded of the value of knitting in times like these!

Friday, March 27, 2009

introducing tristan orion

with a due date of april 30, who would have expected my march 25 to have such a hollywood beginning. after climbing out of bed and finding myself standing in a pool of amniotic fluid, my first words of the day were, dan. . . i think my water just broke.

i proceeded to putter through the morning, packing my hospital bag, showering, doing a few loads of laundry, carbo loading on food, sending out emails. labor had not begun.

when i finally went to see my ob to have it confirmed that indeed my water had broken, he ultimately had enough faith in my judgment and the vbac process (vaginal-birth-after-cesarean) to let me go back home and hope for labor. most obs at 12 hours after water breaking, especially in a five-week-early vbac, would have had me under the knife asap.

we were asked to return to the hospital by midnight, as i had agreed to prophylactic antibiotics due to the broken water. but by midnight, our various natural methods of jump starting labor during our interlude at home had not succeeded. again my ob allowed me to decide whether or not to wait it out, and i chose to wait. dan and i decided to sleep at the hospital with the grim feeling we would wake to no other option but a cesarean birth.

but at 2:15am my labor started with a bang. contractions suddenly kicked off at two minutes apart, and i was smiling through the first hour. i was permitted intermittent fetal monitoring with the doppler, another break from protocol for an active vbac hospital labor.

contractions became intense beyond belief, but the support of dan and my doula, and the freedom of being able to move around and change positions, guided me through. i definitely had thoughts of surrender running through my head. . . i'm never going to make it through several more hours of this. . . maybe i should consider pain meds. . . maybe i should break down and cry. . . maybe c-section isn't such a bad idea. . . but in the heart of it all the cleansing breath cleared the path, and the constant mantra:  this is all leading to the birth of a child i have gone through five miscarriages to meet. i somehow found a peaceful oasis between each contraction, and on that beautiful island i met the strength to survive.

less than four hours from the beginning of contractions, after climbing out of the bathtub, i felt an incredible change in pressure and the urge to push overcame me like a mighty force. i called to my support team with alarm. my nurse, quite surprised i'd progressed so quickly, called dr. wolanski, who arrived equally surprised that i was as far along as i was.

and just when i thought i would never be able to push for another hour my ob said, you are going to have your baby with the next contraction.

tristan orion arrived at 7:41 am on march 26, vaginally, an absolutely perfect six pound baby boy, after five and a half hours of natural labor.

i'm grateful to dr. wolanski for allowing me to birth naturally and vaginally the way i wanted to, unhindered by the clock and electronic fetal monitoring. he exceeded my expectations. and i think he was pretty surprised when i finally kicked into labor 19 hours after my water had broken.

my dream has come true.

and so has tashi's.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

first weekend of spring

it seems at least a quick update is due. it was a lovely sunny weekend. we did lots of lounging around saturday, with a walk thrown in. the calves are out in droves, and we had fun visiting a flock of bovine at a neighboring farm. can you call them a flock? i have been corrected -- it is a herd -- all shortfalls in language and logic to be blamed on the pregnant mind!

on sunday we headed up to the far reaches of crozet, below buck's elbow mountain, to a house a friend is renovating.

this is the back of the house

this is the entryway

hawker cooked up a terrific batch of french toast, with veggie sausage and fruit compote.

very tasty with the zing of ginger & orange

hawker & aurora

blossom & aurora

aurora is a baby i was honored with seeing come into the world, just last may. she is loads of fun and had a magnificent natural birth.

the light was beautiful on sunday, and i had fun snapping some rustic shots of a house in transition.

yes, all things good in life: sentient beings, food, sunshine, mountain air and the renewal of a solid house.

and then at home, we had a tasty dinner too.

i've really been loving tempeh lately

today i am giving a presentation on cyprus to tashi's class as they are studying ancient greek history. there will be a slide show, a lesson of some basic greek words, some show and tell, and food of course!

i will save the tales and tragedies of greek food preparation for recipe wednesday however, a blog event that tifanie is kick starting.

see you then!

Friday, March 20, 2009

happy vernal equinox

the day has slipped through our fingers, but tomorrow the spring festivities will commence.

wishing everyone a sensational first weekend of spring.

thrift thursday

who says you can't have fun dressing boys? i scored some pretty sweet garments at the spca thrift shop on thursday. these items were in such great condition, and though they have a vintage look about them, the tags seem fairly contemporary. i think they came from abroad in a big steamer trunk. there were so many items, i really had to limit myself to just these. it will be a while before baby boy grows into them, so for now, i think they will hang on the walls (or against the sheet covering the huge mirror in my sewing room)!

the embroidery & smocking, oh so sweet.

visions of little toddler in these balloon pj's -- irresistible.

i also scored a bottomless box of pearly snaps from freecycle. these are just the snaps i love to use on the bend the rules bibs that i've been sewing. they are actually not cheap in any significant quantity, so to have a box full like this is quite a score.

this is a bib & blanket set i sewed up for a silent auction at our school.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

lunch blog update

as i eat a steaming bowl of matzo ball soup and take a little lunch break, i'll let you know i've had a rough couple of days recovering from food poisoning! what was i thinking when i ate crab crakes friday night???

i will spare you the details, but let's just say sunday morning started with nausea which eventually ended up with a sunday night full of the awful things that happen when you have food poisoning.

my body at least held out through the "blessing way" gathering a couple of my kind friends held for me on sunday afternoon.

it was a very sweet passage of stringing birth beads, cleansing away my fears and concerns about this major change coming our way, admiring special items placed on a birth altar, hearing the birth and parenting stories other women had to share, laughing, crying, and being crowned.

i was also gifted with lovely items, including the above beautiful crochet blanket handmade by molly.

on the drive home, the food poisoning hit hard, but i had a plastic bag open on my lap to spare my mother's car a rather unsavory mess. you can imagine the rest of the night.

yesterday my body was done with the purge, so i slept. baby moved a lot throughout it all, and i kept myself well hydrated, so i think he fared well.

now we're on to matzo ball soup, and life as usual. no more seafood this pregnancy.

Friday, March 13, 2009


snow today.

melting quickly though.

and the belly photo patrice requested. i had to play with it a little in picnik first, because photos taken in splotchy bathroom mirrors can be a little strange anyway.

so much on my to-do list, i'm trying not to feel overwhelmed. just when you've bounced back from the holiday expenses, things like car inspections (and inevitably repairs), cat vaccinations, tuition contracts, broken clothes washers and this & that needed for a baby-almost-due tumble into one's sphere. excitement and terror skip along on either side of you, while you try not to let either knock you off balance. just when you come out of hibernation, you find yourself wanting to retreat to the nest. but that is where the eggs are laid, and all possibilities born.

i hope that you have a great weekend in your nest, or swooping in and out of it if so you choose.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

the waves

we had another remarkable spring day today, with plenty of sunshine and a warm breeze. when tashi and i arrived home we tramped straight out onto the deck and spent a good stretch of time there, reading. so lovely. but we must brace ourselves, as temps are expected to drop and snow is even in the forecast for tomorrow. at this point, i'm ready for sleeveless shirts, comfy sandals and flowing linen.

speaking of flowing, i had an interesting dream this morning. i was swimming in the sea, in deep water, when a huge wave came along that i was sure i would die in the throes of. but it washed over me, and there i was still, in the deep water, neither gasping for air nor fighting to stay afloat. another wave came along, and with it, certainty of death, but it too washed over me, and i remained unscathed, floating in the beautiful sea, under the radiant sun, stunned only by my good fortune.

might it be a metaphor for labor?

i just started reading birthing from within, and could kick myself for not reading it much sooner in my pregnancy. as a doula i have read parts of it here and there, but it has a whole other dimension when reading it for one's very own process. i think it's going to be a good journey.

and so i will get on with it, reading while propped up in a nest of pillows. patrice requested a belly photo, and so i will try to post one soon. for now i have this little collection of all things baby.

and a pretty flower, too.

Monday, March 09, 2009


today i received a package from my mom, full of sweet baby clothes and astonishing knit things. she sent tashi and i hats, beautiful hats.

and for baby boy, sweaters and blankets and a hat of his own.

i'm not sure what happened, but somehow it seems i didn't inherit the knitting gene. it could still happen, i suppose. but for now, my mom seems to provide. thanks mom!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

sleepy sunny sunday

we are enjoying a gorgeous virginia weekend -- despite last night's insomnia -- in addition to the hour time loss.

as evidenced by the new blog banner, the daffodils have begun their blooming. dan and i are trying desperately to clear the leaves from the edges of the yard. two and half hours of raking yesterday may have taken care of a tenth of the job. if even. i found all sorts of plant tags as i was raking: clematis, helleborus, cinquifoil, geranium, aster.

today, more raking. another walk perhaps. the doors wide open. happy cats. chicken soup with stock from scratch.

i hope that you are enjoying a taste of spring, whether mild or wildly spicy!