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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

And Now The Fun Begins...

The first week after Haiden's arrival was a busy one full of new experiences, lots of challenges, herds of visitors and lots of kisses.
Breastfeeding became increasingly more painful and actually brought tears to my eyes but when my milk finally came in the feeling stopped. Haiden wouldn't eat and Greg and I were both very concerned. Because he wasn't eating we fixed him formula bottles we had gotten from the hospital until I was able to rent a pump. We were both relieved to see him eating again. And once we got the pump he was back on breast milk.
He woke up about every 2 hours but would sleep the rest of the time. We had no idea the sound sleeping would go away in a few months. The first 2 nights at home he slept in our bed but then we moved him to his bassinet by my side. I got up every 20 minutes it seemed to check on him, I was a concerned first time mommy, something I'm sure I'll encounter countless more times in his life.
By the time he was about a month old he was sleeping almost all through the night and I was finally able to get a bit more rest. And by the time he was 3 months old he was sleeping through the night and I decided it was time to go back to work. I wasn't excited about being away from my baby but it was a great chance for me to have some adult time each week. I started out at one day a week for a month or do then moved to 2 days a week, which is where I am now. That's a max for me, I look forward to the days I get to spend with Haiden.
At 3 months we moved him to his crib and until we got the video monitor with the movement sensor I was up every hour checking on him. That thing was my savior! Moving him to his room was a great move for us, Greg and I were ready to have our adult space back. And with him being in his own room we didn't have to tip toe around the bedroom anymore.
The older he gets the more fun he becomes, I am so grateful for such a wonderful, smart and sweet little boy.

Happy Birthday Haiden

January 12, 2011
Christmas Eve I started feeling different. I was having frequent pain in my abdomen, lots of lower back pain, swelling and several other signs of preterm labor. Everytime I mentioned it to the midwife she told me most first babies are late and that my symptoms were normal, though I just had a feeling she was wrong.
On January 10th, with 2 weeks still to go before my due date arrived, I decided to do some organizing before Haiden arrived and I wouldn't have time. I didn't consider it a burst of energy or a cleaning spree, it's not unusual for me to get into organize mode later in the day and into the night. I was feeling good and had no idea Haiden was ready. I had been telling him for weeks we were ready for him and whenever he was ready he would be welcome, we were ready to hold our little boy.
We went to bed around 11 that night and at 12:30 I woke up to use the restroom. I had only just barely made it to the tiled bathroom floor when a stream of water ran down my leg and all over the floor. I was in shock. I couldn't figure out if I had just peed on myself, which would have been really embarrassing, or if my water had broken. I proceeded to use the restroom and figured out that the stream that ran down my leg was uncontrollable and therefore must have been my water. After I had cleaned up I woke Greg up and he went into daddy-to-be mode.
He immediately stripped the bed and put on the waterproof mattress cover and 2 sets of sheets. He got the birth kit out and towels ready. Then the phone calls were made. My mom had already packed her bag earlier that night because she had a feeling it would be soon. The parents and my brother made their way over and by 2am we were all sitting in the living room.
I was only experiencing the pain I had been for the last few weeks, which felt like period cramps. I wasn't sure when the real contractions would start. Well, it didn't take long. By 4am I was perched on the yoga ball with my head on the bed. The contractions were moving along rapidly and everyone thought we'd have a baby by morning. Then the contractions stopped. I had no idea what was going on but I kept my cool and assumed this was normal.
The midwife finally arrived and assured us there was still much ahead. The dads headed to work but the moms, Mackie and Greg stayed by my side. I went through several more episodes of intense contractions and periods of nothing.
Finally it was late afternoon and I was exhausted, I was in the zombie mode we had learned about in childbirth class. I had a small nap in the tub earlier that day but I was only running on an hour and a half of sleep and I was wiped out. The midwife finally came back to check on me.
It had been 18 hours since my water broke and since I was not in active labor yet I had to be transferred to the hospital. I was absolutely devastated but by that point I was ready for this ordeal to be over and to hold my baby boy. My body had only dilated 2 centimeters in 18 hours although I was feeling all the pain and the urge to push. I was feeling like a failure but knew I had to press on to come to the end of this journey.
Everyone hurried to pack my bag and we made our way to the hospital. I was in extreme pain and all I could do was focus on my breathing. I was ready for the epidural. I needed some rest and that was the only way to get it. Unfortunately we arrived during shift change so it took a good hour before I got any relief. In the couple hours from when I was last checked at the house to when they checked my again at the hospital I had dilated 3 more centimeters to 5. Since it had been so long since my water had broken they did a round of antibiotics and when that finished and my epidural was in full force they decided to move things along and gave me petocin. I could feel my stomach contracting but no pain, it was wonderful. I was finally able to get some much needed rest.
Several hours later I was checked again and I was at 10 centimeters and ready to go. All the preparations were starting to be made and my room was buzzing. I had started pushing and about 10 minutes later we were ready for the doctor. Once she arrived a few more pushes and he was out, my sweet little man had finally arrived at 1:16am on January 12, 2011. He was blue and had a cone head but I was so happy he was finally here. Since he wasn't breathing right away they took him and rubbed him and a few seconds later he was crying with all his might, it was the best sound in the world.
While I was busy delivering the afterbirth, which was the biggest feeling of relief I had ever experienced, Greg was sitting in the chair with a vagina ice pack on his neck. He said seeing his cone head kind of freaked him out but once they put the hat on his head Greg did much better. My mom was over attending to Haiden and reporting back to me on what was going on. He was weighed and measured, 6 pounds 14 ounces and 21.5 inches long, wrapped up in blankets and handed to me. I couldn't believe he was finally here.
He was eager to eat and it went very well. A short time later the few remaining in the waiting room came in to see our new arrival. Everyone was so happy but absolutely exhausted. They finally headed home and Greg and I starred at our precious baby, we were in heaven. Then we finally got some sleep.
It was a long and very eventful couple of days but I will remember it forever. All the family and friends that stopped by and supported us were so appreciated. And my absolutely amazing husband who stood by me the whole time, rubbing my back, feeding me honey and strawberries, making sure I had plenty to drink and drawing me several baths was such a great gift, I couldn't have done it without him. It was official, I had joined the mommy club and now had all my own stories to share. I couldn't wait to get started making the memories.

Haidens First Steps!

December 5, 2011
It was Monday evening and we were all sitting on the floor in the bedroom playing. Haiden was standing up next to the bed holding on to the frame. He let go and stood by himself for a few seconds, which he was starting to do a bit more frequently, when all the sudden he took a step towards Greg who was about a foot away. Then he took another step and dove into Greg who was ready and waiting with open arms. He may have walked a bit more if we hadn't of freaked him out with all the cheering and clapping. :) It was a very joyous moment and this mommy was so proud! It was great timing because we were both there to see his first steps, a rare chance. I can't wait to see him walk again!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

New York 2011

December 2-4, 2011
Well, we just got back from our trip to NYC with both sets of parents and we had a great time. The parents left Friday morning about 11:30. Greg left the office early and we had a car pick us up at the house to take us to the airport. My amazing husband arranged for us to ride in style in a mini limo, it was a great start to our vacation!
After we checked in and went through security, we sat in the Delta Sky Lounge and had a few drinks while we waited for our plane to arrive. As I was walking back from the bar I saw a gray box sitting on the table in front of me. When I finally figured out it was for me I opened it up to find a beautiful diamond bangle bracelet inside, that handsome hunny of mine has kept his promise of showering me with diamonds! My wonderful husband also arranged for us to fly 1st class so we were the first to board. When we got on the pilots were standing up front talking to us. I told them my family was in avionics and they let us look in the cockpit and even offered for me to go in and sit! It was a nice flight.
Then when we arrived in NYC my awesome husband arranged for a white stretch limousine to carry us through town to our hotel. It was a wonderful evening so far and we had only just arrived!
When we got to the hotel we were greeted by excited parents. We unloaded our stuff in our rooms and got ready for the chilly search for dinner. We decided to walk the 12 blocks to Times Square. Once there after we looked on in amazement at all the lights, we found a restaurant called Bond 45. It was an Italian restaurant and it was busy but the food was fast and very good. They had a very interesting lasagna, called open face, where the noodles made a sort of calzone with the sauce and cheese in the middle. It was delish!
After dinner we went to the huge Toys R Us and got a CAT dump truck with blocks and huge wheels, we knew it was perfect the moment we saw it. The toy store was amazing, 3 floors with a huge ferris wheel in the middle. It also had a life size animatronic t-Rex and a Lego Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Carribbean and Legi replicas of famous NYC buildings. It was packed with people but really cool, I can't wait to take Haiden when he is older.
After that we headed back to Tines Square where the guys got some fake Rolex's out of a brief case and we witnessed and crazy accident with a runaway driver, a sworm of police and an ambulance attending to a person on the ground. It was an evening packed full of adventure!
The next morning, the guys headed out to the Intrepid to take a tour of the Concord, a famous and super fast plane that the rich traveled the world on. It could go from New York to London in less that 3 hours! Greg's grandfather flew on it in the 80's when it came to Jacksonville. The girls had a more relaxing morning, we took our time getting ready and having breakfast. We all met back up at the hotel and headed to Chinatown. We were in search of fake watches and purses. It was walk to walk people and secret sales going on everywhere. We sat down in a Chinese restaurant for some drinks and ended up having a few spring rolls and dumpling appetizers. After a much needed rest we started back on the hint for purses. We were taken up some back roads and lead to a huddle of people on a side street. After finally getting a peek I decided even the "A+" fakes weren't good enough, so I decided to hold out for the real thing.
After Chinatown we hailed a couple taxis and headed to Katz Deli for a Jewish deli sandwich. It was absolutely packed! Apparently it's the deli where Sally had an orgasmic sandwich in the movie When Harry Met Sally. The food was huge and good. We were stuffed but it was time to go get ready for dinner! So we finally found a subway and made our way back to Midtown.
Before dinner Greg and I wanted to take a carriage ride through central park but when we found out the wait was 45 just to get a carriage we decided we didn't need to go that bad. We took a walk down 5th avenue and window shopped, then made our way back to the hotel. Dinner that night was at Gallagher's in Times Square, a steak house the Pierces had been to years before. the food was good but we were all tired and still kind of full from lunch. After dinner we walked to Rockefeller Center to see the tree. It was a mass of people there too! So we decided to walk around the block to the other side of the tree. On the way there we were just in time for a light show in the side of the building, I don't know what the point of the show was but it was very cool. The other side of the tree was just as crowded and we were all ready for bed so we went back to the hotel for the night.
Sunday we slept till 9 and were rested and ready for the full day ahead. We searches for a place for breakfast and settled on a hotel restaurant in front of central park. It was very modern and clean and very expensive but the food was good and just what we were looking for. After breakfast we walked through Central Park and down 5th Avenue to the Trump Bar in one of the Trump buildings. We had some adorable and crazy expensive cocktails but it was a nice break and a beautifully decorated lobby. Mom and dad headed to a raw foods restaurant mom was interested in and the rest of us headed back to the hotel so Greg and I could get ready to catch our flight.
The driver was early but it was ok, we were ready to go. He dropped us off at LaGuardia Airport and we had some lunch and relaxed at the Delta Sky Lounge until time to board. The gates were crowded and we were bussed to our plane, which was a first for me,. We were ready to be home.
We were greeted by a sick baby, not exactly the homecoming we were hoping for. After much calming down and a throw up covered sheet and pj change, his fever broke and he started feeling much better. It was a rough night but the next day he was much better and kept improving throughout the day.
It was a great trip. It was short but packed full of memories and lessons. We can't wait to go back again next year.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Year's Gone By...

Well, it's been about a year since I last wrote, and A LOT has happened. My sweet little man was born on January 12th at 1:16am after a long and painful 25 hours of labor. We are 90% complete with the master bathroom remodel (yes, a year later and we still haven't finished). A year of many first's and happy times has passed and there are so many more ahead. I'll do my best to fill you in on the last year through a series of small posts. Things are finally getting a bit easier, at least for the moment, so I'm going to do my best to take advantage of that! I look forward to recounting the last year and reminiscing the memories, I hope you will too!

Monday, December 20, 2010

33/34/35 Weeks! Getting Closer!

Well, we have been busy....extremely busy!

Haiden is gaining weight like he should...he is around 5.5 pounds now...which doesn't seem that heavy until you put it all in your tummy...then it starts to feel REALLY heavy. He is keeping me awake some nights with wiggling and squirming...but soon it will be with crying and poop so I guess I better be thankful for the little wiggles. Only 2 more weeks then he can come whenever he'd like...and I'd really appreciate it if he would choose that time to be sooner rather than later! My hands and feet stay pretty much in a state of swollen, some days more than others. Getting around towards the end of the day is becoming a real struggle and everything takes much longer than it use to. I guess that's just another way the body prepares you for life with a baby. It's very frustrating for me because my mind works so fast and my body can't keep up with it anymore...I'm not use to that at all! I can't wait to have my body back to myself...I don't mind sharing Haiden! Not too much longer...maybe this time next month we will have us a baby! Wouldn't that be awesome!

A few things that have been going on:
-Tree Trimming Party at Tommy and Gloria's
From The Holidays 10
We all headed to Tommy and Gloria's for the annual tree trimming party which was a blast. Greg made a crock pot full of spaghetti and Gloria made some yummy garlic bread. Then we headed into the living room to decorate the tree. Brett and Ashley headed over later to join the festivities...it was a fun night. We all stayed the night and woke up to a wonderful breakfast. It was a very nice weekend. Then Tommy, Gloria, Greg and I met up at the Ski Club's Holiday party at the Town Center later that night for some dinner and mingling. It was very nice but Greg and I were very tired so we called it a night early.

-A new jet ski :)
From The River
We are trying to sell our EZ-Go so we can get a jet ski for the summer...well one day Greg and I decided to head over to Beach Blvd Power Sports and check out their selection (we have a family friend who works there and wanted to help us get a good deal). We ended up leaving there with a new 2011 model which we love...it's beautiful! We were planning on going down to the river that weekend and Greg surprised me with our new jet ski in tow when he came home from work Friday...I was so excited. We took a short putz that weekend but it was pretty cold and I'm not able to ride very rough so we headed back. I can't wait to see what she's made of! I don't think Greg and Tommy realize the kind of hard core jet ski fanatic I am...guess they'll just have to wait and find out. Just another reason I'm anxious for Haiden to get here! :) I also made my first pot of chili and to my surprise (and I think everyone else's too) it was pretty darn good! I'll have to try that again soon!

-Our last childbirth classes
It's official...we have been educated on childbirth (still don't think we are ready for it though!). I was really thankful we took the class and our instructor was wonderful. We had a fill in one night with a doula named Heather...before meeting her I didn't think a doula would be necessary because we will have so many people at the birth already but after class that night Greg and I could see the reason why you'd want someone like her around. She was so calming and knowledgeable...it sure would be nice to have her there to help guide us. We found out her fee is $600 and includes 2 pre-birth visits, the entire birth and a postpartum visit...she's definitely worth the $600, we just don't have it. It's too bad because we would love to have her there. But we will have all the family and the midwives so we will survive.

-St. Augustine with Mom and Dad, the River, neighborhood Christmas Caroling and Christmas shopping (all this past weekend)
After a super busy week at work, Mom, Dad, Greg and I met at the Santa Maria restaurant in St. Augustine for our annual holiday trip to the Tini Martini. We ate appetizers and had planned on eating dinner there but were so full after the appetizers we decided to skip dinner and head over the the Tini Martini. It wasn't as cold as it had been the previous year but we still had a good time. It's such a beautiful place (the bar is on the porch of the Casablanca Inn, in case you didn't know). The music wasn't as good as last year but the martini's were the same wonderful concoctions as always (so I was told). Then we headed to a new piano bar next to Scarlett O'Hara's called Rhett's...it was nice but small and very loud! I had some apple pie tart and then we headed back to the car...it wasn't a real late night but we were all exhausted after the very long and busy week and VERY busy day. It was nice to spend time with them. Greg and I headed to the River to move the jet ski to it's new home on the new trailer. We slept pretty well but were up early to move the jet ski before it poured (which it never did). After a short visit we headed home where we relaxed for a little while before heading over the the Carbondale hood for some Christmas Caroling. Greg and I always love this time of year because there are so many wonderful memories we share. Christmas Caroling was the first time Greg and I officially met. We danced the night away, agreed to go on a date (I admit I sort of tricked him into that but I don't think he regrets it) and I gave him my phone number. This time of year is so special to us, and soon we will add our little one to the special winter holiday memories...how exciting! Caroling was cut short this year because it was raining. And after we got back we snacked for a bit then headed home, everyone was just exhausted. Maybe next year it will be back to it's usual loud, fun and crazy glory! Sunday Greg finished tiling the bathroom (I'm so proud of my hubby!), we cleaned the house, took maternity pictures with Eric (can't wait for you all to see them, they are adorable!) and then went Christmas shopping. We were only out until 6:30 (we started about 4) but it felt like we had been out all day and we were exhausted. We came back, ate dinner and I was in bed by 8 while Greg tidied up the bathroom for grouting tonight. He is such a hard worker, I'm so lucky to have him!

-My Rocker to Glider Conversion
I absolutely love the look and feel of my rocker but it doesn't rock as well as I'd like because it's on carpet. I would have loved a glider that looks like my rocker but they are about $800 and no where near as cute....so after doing some research online I've decided to convert my rocker to a glider. I bought a cheap glider chair and ottoman from craigslist and after disassembling the glider and keeping on the glider mechanisms I need I found them to be a perfect fit on my rocker and ottoman. Greg is going to pick up some long bolts for me at Home Depot this afternoon and hopefully by late this evening the rocker to glider conversion will be complete (or at least by later this week). I am very excited! The rocker was such a great deal and the glider we picked up is in great shape...I can't wait to try it out!

That's just a few of the highlights from the past few weeks. Christmas is less than a week away and we can't wait...another week closer to our little man! Plus we like spending time with the family and all of course! We are excited to host Christmas dinner again this year, only we've decided to hold it on Christmas Eve, a renewed tradition from the Bragg side, and one of my favorites. I'll be sure to let you know how it goes! I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

31/32 Weeks! Thanksgiving and Getting Things Done!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We sure did! It's been a very busy couple of weeks...we've been working our butts off to get things done.
Haiden is almost 4 pounds now and putting on about 1/2 a pound a week...he'll be ready in no time! He's kicking and squirming all day now...you can even feel a little heel or knee near my ribs. I've been having a lot of Braxton Hicks contractions lately and he is definitely head down...but it's all normal for this time...no indication that he will be early...although that doesn't stop everyone from thinking he will be.

The nursery is about 95% done...just a few more decorative items to put up and a tiny bit of touch up...it feels so nice to be this close to completion after so long! Here are the pics...it's just as I imagined!
From Baby Pierce
(The closet has actually filled in with a lot more clothes since I took this picture a few weeks ago...can you imagine!)

The living room and dining room are coming along...I just love our new pillows and curtains...they make all the difference. And the crown molding in the dining room really finishes the look (now we just need to finish the baseboards).

Thanksgiving was wonderful, it was so nice to see everyone. And the food of course was an absolute delight...YUMMY!
From The Holidays 10

From The Holidays 10

On Saturday Greg and I went to the Town Center to walk around...it was such a beautiful day. Greg ended up with a new pair of shoes (he definitely deserves them!) and we stopped at Once Upon A Child (a consignment shop for the little ones) where Greg found an Eddie Bauer diaper bag for $15 (regularly $40) and we found a bunch of adorable outfits for our little man. It's a great store and we are excited to be able to buy Haiden some really nice things without breaking the bank. Then when he grows out of them we will trade them in for new items...it's economical and eco-nomical! How exciting!

My rocking chair came in this week and it looks great! It's a bit more difficult to rock because it's on carpet but we will get a mat to set it on. We were also given a Stokke Highchair from Joel. He had it sitting in his hangar and brought it over to us. Little did he know the gold mine he had sitting there. This thing is awesome! It's a European company (think Ikea) and this chair is a HUGE deal in Europe. It's a highchair that grows with the baby. It eventually turns into a regular chair that can hold up to 300 pounds. I don't think I've heard one negative thing about this chair...everyone who has one absolutely adore's it. It retails for $250 new...and that's just for the chair. To use it for an infant you have to buy the Baby Set (why it's called set I don't know...doesn't seat make more sense?) which is about $80 and to make it more comfy you can get a padded seat cushion with a cute design for around $60. It's well worth the investment because if we ever sell it (and most people don't) we will get our money's worth! Most people end up getting a second when they have another child. It's been around since 1972 so my guess is that it isn't going anywhere.
From Baby Pierce
Here is what it looks like as baby grows:

It's been getting harder to breathe, Haiden is taking up a lot of room these days! My feet have been killing me and are starting to swell daily now. I finally had to give in and buy some comfy (maybe not the cutest) shoes. I went with some cute Crocs...not like the original clog ones you see everywhere. These are pretty darn cute for Crocs and they are extremely comfortable. just what I needed. They don't stop the swelling at the end of the day and sometimes my feet still hurt but I can't imagine how much pain I would be in if I was still wearing my regular flip flops or flats...I'd be miserable!

We have only 2 more childbirth classes left and I am learning a lot! It's amazing how the body knows just what to do. It's also really cool learning about all the ways your body prepares you...and you thought it was just simply an inconvenience! I have to say...I might miss the classes when they're done. Our instructor is really nice and very knowledgeable. We were lucky to find such a good teacher!

Well, I must get back to the craziness. The Christmas holiday is fast approaching and there is much to do! The shower is almost done and the bathroom won't be too far behind. I'll get some pictures up soon!