Sunday, October 29, 2006

More Brenna Pictures

Not much going on, so here are more Brenna pictures from this past week! Thanks to Aunt Sue and Uncle Tom for the outfit in the last shot. The next to last one is a Brenna in space composition, she appears to be doing her best Captain Kirk impression, almost vigilant in fact.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Why Do I Always Feel Like
(There's Somebody Watching Me)?

After watching a creepy episode of Celebrity Paranormal on VH1 (don't watch this show if you have weak bowels, kids), I find myself disinterested in going to sleep at the moment.

Another busy day at Casa de H, Emily went in for her first checkup since the delivery, everything is looking good, and she's already back to her pre-pregnancy weight, which she was ecstatic about. Brenna not only slept through this appointment, but us driving around to three Home Depot's and a Lowe's, in search of the apparently elusive Iris bulb (see my Addicted To Hoes blog for more gardening news)... my how my wife humors me sometimes. Oh yes, and we also stopped by Target on the way home. If gas was a dollar a gallon, I'd drive around town for hours if it lulled our precious child to sleep like it did today! Would you believe we both slept for over six hours last night?

In other non-Brenna related news, it's finally cooling off around here, barely reaching 80 degrees today, and we woke up this morning to 55, which was refreshing with the windows open (Emily might call it something else).

My working nearly every weekend (being on call, anyway) is finally coming to an end this Saturday, which excites me to no end. I'm supposed to go to Birmingham the middle of November for a celebration of sorts for the completion this 2 year project, but may stay behind if Emily is not ready to be left alone with Brenna.

Finally, for something completely random... back in October of 2003 (perhaps), Emily and I went to Tucson to see one of my favorite bands perform, Spoon. There is a picture of the band playing live someplace, and somewhere, on the inside cover of their latest release, "Gimme Fiction", and in that picture there are two people near the stage that look like us. Go to my Metal School blog to check out the picture and judge for yourself whether we were captured at this show at the Hotel Congress, or if these are our evil twins out plotting destruction of the free world. If this is in fact me, I don't look like I'm having a good time, although I am holding a t-shirt, and I recall buying one at this show (in addition to being given a free Miller High Life shirt while sitting at the bar there with Emily, funny since that was the first High Life I ever drank in my life).

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

She's Huuuge!

Brenna went in for her 2 week pediatrician appointment, and weighed in at a hefty 9 lbs, 1 oz. Two weeks ago she was at 7 lbs, 10 oz. She's also grown a half inch (Emily, correct if I'm wrong on that). I had to work through the appointment, but Emily soldiered on without me, and took her mom in my place. Good report all around, the doctor was pleased, Emily's a great mom!

BTW, Brenna's eyes are still a dark blue, with a light blue inner ring. We were thinking they'd turn brown considering her parents, but she's still a blue eyed girl!

And now, for your daily Brenna pictures, a few more from when the grandparents came for a visit.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Busy Week!

What a week Brenna and family have had! Grandma and Grandpa H came and spent some time visiting us, and we also saw Aunt Sue and Uncle Tom, and Melanie and Darrick! Wow!

Doesn't Melanie look like a natural? She's due in February with a boy, and we can't wait to see him! Darrick seems to be demonstrating how he killed a bear when when he was five (or was it three?). Thanks to Emily for capturing this classic moment in epic storytelling!

Brenna continues to struggle with tummy problems, but it comes and goes thankfully. We went two days in a row with little crying and lots of sleeping, and last night quite the opposite with non stop crying until 2am that's carried into today. We prefer to think of Brenna when she looks like this:

I'm back to work, at least during daytime hours, and am still working at night since sleeping is not really an option (well, I could try, but Emily may take offense at me leaving her with the baby duties all night, and I wouldn't do that to her).

Also, I'm sad to announce the retirement of our Acura Integra. After six and half years of faithful service (it's 14 years old) a number of repairs have presented themselves, totalling nearly four thousand dollars. Rather than giving the car away, we've opted for now to garage it, in hopes it might start raining money one day. In the meantime, we bought a 2007 Toyota Matrix as our primary around town car. Vroom!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

1st Bath!

Pictures here don't do the first bath justice... Brenna did NOT like getting wet and screamed like a banshee through the entire process. If I can figure out how to post a link here to the video of this, I'll do it (in my spare time, of course!).

Look at the hair on this kid!

Brenna's Birth - In Emily's Words

I bring you today Brenna's birth story, as told by the mama (funny how her recollection is slightly more detailed than mine!).


Brenna is here!

Brenna arrived via c-section on October 7th at 12:28 pm after 18 hours of non-medicated natural labor. My water broke on the way to Burger King, I had been sitting with Tom at my mom's house and got up to go get some Whoppers (one of my favorite pregnancy indulgences, gotta love the grease)...when I felt something go 'sproing' (gross!). I thought it was my pelvic bones moving, or any one of several weird things that happen when you're preggers.

So I get out to my sister's van and my mom and Tom join me. Tom had to take a work call on his cell phone so he was occupied. Just seconds after sitting down I felt a weird gush. I pretty much knew what was happeing, it was exactly on my due date after all...but I was in denial a bit just because of human nature I guess. I turn to my mom, who was going to be driving-we hadn't even left the driveway yet-and said...'umm Mom...I think my water broke.' She very calmly asked me what was going on, and I told her, she agreed that my water had probably broken. Meanwhile Tom was sitting in the back of the van talking on the phone with his customer, totally unaware of what was going on. I got out of the van and immediately REALLY knew my water had broken! I started walking over to our car, and was intending on just waiting for Tom to get done with his call, but then I started feeling contractions and told my mom to grab Tom. According to my mom, when she told Tom his eyes widened a little, and without missing a beat he politely excused himself on the phone and told his customer that his wife's water had broken and he needed to let them go...that's my professional unflappable sweetie! He told me later he was just wondering why everyone got out of the van and left him there in a closed vehicle in AZ. :-)

We made our way to the hospital, without my hospital bag or anything, and found out that due to the storm we'd just had that caused a change in barometric pressure, and the full moon that night, that every dang pregnant person in the Valley was also in labor. Well not really but that's what it seemed like! I had to sit on a puddle pad on the couch in the waiting room with contractions that were between 3 and 5 minutes apart for a couple of hours before I got into a room.

When I got in and they checked me I was 3cm dilated and Brenna was still up really high, like she had been all along. That had been a concern for a while, that she had no interest in getting locked and loaded into position. My former jerk doctor was pushing for an induction or c-section was wasn't interested in letting me go into labor naturally and also had no interest in letting me try to go for a natural childbirth, so I had switched at 38 weeks to a really good doctor who was willing to work with me. So the nurse recommended that I try to labor sitting on my birthing ball fo a while to see if that would help her to come down into position, Brenna looked really good on the monitors and since my doctor was a good one and not the jerk they let me move around and not be constantly strapped down in the bed.
When several hours of laboring on the birth ball didn't bring about any changes, the nurses and my doctor had me start walking....and keep walking. I ended up walking off and on for 12 hours! All of this got me to a whopping 4 cm, and no change in how high Brenna was in my pelvis, so by 4AM my doctor was going to check in and see how things were and to see if there was any progression. This whole time I'd been having strong contractions, enough that I couldn't walk or talk through them, and was getting pretty exhausted. Tom and my doula stayed by my side the entire time, with my mom and sister filling in and providing moral support.

My doctor had mentioned to the labor nurse about using pitocin to augment labor to see if that would get things going, and I really felt funny about it. I knew that pitocin could cause heart rate changes in the baby, and also thought that since it wasn't a foregone conclusion that I could have the baby the old fashioned way, that it was safer for Brenna for her to be delivered by c-section. It seems that I have a rather shallow pelvis and my height didn't help matters any, so both doctors, the good one and the jerk one, had thought that there was a distinct possibility that I would have problems with going into labor naturally. The difference between the two doctors is that the jerk one wasn't interested in letting me try to have her naturally, and the good one gave me some pointers on getting Brenna to drop-she was willing to try, and that meant all the world to me. It feels much better to be part of a team rather than having some jerk tell you 'this is how it's going to be'.

I was really hoping to go drug-free and have her naturally, but at the end of the day the only thing that matters is that the baby stays healthy (and Mom too!)

By about 5 AM it was determined that I wasn't getting anywhere in terms of having her any time soon, so I told the nurses that I wated to have the c-section, and since I knew I was going to have to get drugged anyways, I consented to the epidural to allow my body to rest before the surgery. They put in the epidural around 7AM, and the people who did it were great, the anesthesiologist and the nurse anesthetist (sp?) were nice and did a great job, and totally made me feel at ease and comforted me over being a bit sad over having to get the drugs. My OB booked an operating room for noon, so I was able to catch a little rest without the pain of the contractions getting to me.

They prepped me and gave me the spinal block for the actual surgery, and even though I had been warned that it would feel like I couldn't beathe, I was still unprepared for actually having that sensation! Logically I knew my brain was getting enough oxygen, but the feeling that you can't take a full breath had me in full scale panic mode in no time flat. Once again the nurse anesthetist was great and made me feel better, and I somehow kept from trying to jump off the table and run I would have accomplished that while numb from the chest down is beyond me...

After a lot of weird tugging but no pain, Brenna came into the world at 12:28pm, and immediately let out a cry. That was one of the best moments in my whole life. Tom sat by my side the whole time, and took some pictures of her as they put Brenna in the warmer and assesed how she was doing. My upper body was behind a screen so I didn't get to see her be born, but Tom did, and he got to hold her pretty quickly after birth, and he brought her to me to look at her before they took her to the nursery. She was one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen. She weighed 8 pounds and 2 ounces at birth, and she's 21 and a half inches in length..a tall baby from a short mom, which I find funny. :-)

While the doc was evicting her, she said 'oh, that's why you wouldn't come down' turns out that Brenna had a true knot in her cord, and also had the cord wrapped around her neck. Either of which could have meant very bad things for her at any time, but especially if she had been forced down into my pelvis by using the pitocin. I thank God every day for Brenna, and for Him letting me know that pitocin was NOT a good idea!

After a severe bout of the shakes coming down from the drugs and the hormonal shock after a surgical birth, I finally got to hold Brenna when she was an hour or so old. She looked so tiny and perfect, after all the bumps and thumps in my belly I still can't believe I was able to grow this precious human in my body. She has long eyelashes and a full head of dark hair. She came out with baby blue eyes, but at one week and one day old they're already starting to turn darker, so I think she'll be a brown eyed girl like Mom. Daddy has brown eyes too so it's a very likely thing!

We've had our ups and downs since being home, I'm healing and getting more used to being a mom every day, and Brenna is an excellent baby and a very good sleeper. I'm also grateful for that! It's been a wild, wonderful, though sometimes terrifying ride so far, and I can't wait to see what's next as our baby girl grows.


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Brenna's First Visit To The Doctor

We strapped Brenna in today and took her to the doctor for her first appointment. She weighed in at 7 lbs and 11 ozs, which we're told is normal for a baby to lose a bit of weight the first week out of mama's tummy.

Brenna has spent most of today sleeping on our bellys. She's still keeping us up most of the night with gassy problems, but we're thinking that will be settling down pretty soon, and each night is getting a little better. She only cries when she has good reason, which we're appreciative of.

I'll continue to post here on a fairly regular basis, until I got back to work the week of the 23rd (I'm actually still working late at night when sleep isn't an option).

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Brenna At Home

Brenna is settling in nicely at home, although she's having some digestive issues that keep her (and mom and dad) up all night. Emily's sister and mom have been a huge help in watching her while the two of us catch a few hours sleep here and there.

Tomorrow we're taking her to her first pediatrician's appointment, and the rest of the week we'll be hanging out at home!

More pictures of Brenna have been added to the Photos link to the right, including some of her leaving the hospital to come home.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Announcing The Arrival Of
Brenna Elizabeth

(aka A Funny Thing Happened On
The Way To Burger King)

Brenna Elizabeth was born on Saturday, October 7th at 12:28pm via C-Section. She weighed in at 8 lbs, 2 ounces, and was 21 1/2 inches long.

On Friday morning, after going with Emily to see her doctor, the two of us and Emily's mom were planning on going to Burger King for lunch. While sitting in Emily's sisters van, talking to a customer on my cell phone, Emily announced to her mom that her water broke. We headed to the hospital and checked in at around 1pm Friday afternoon (actually more like 3 or 4pm, the waiting room was overflowing with pregnant people).

Emily bravely labored, medication free, until 4am Saturday morning, when it was determined she was not progressing past 4cm, and she'd either need to be induced via Potassin (sp?) or be scheduled for a C-section. Emily wisely opted for the C-section and at 12:28pm that afternoon, Brenna arrived.

As it would turn out, her doctor advised us afterwards that Brenna's cord was not only wrapped around her neck at delivery, but the cord was in a knot. Had she chosen to be induced further via the Potassin, we can only cringe at what could possibly have been the outcome for this delivery. We're both thankful that Emily left her God-complex ex-doctor for one that was willing for Emily to make her own decisions, on her own schedule, rather than us having to cater to someone's golf plans.

Because uploading pictures here is tedious, I'm posting more Brenna pictures in the photo link in the right margin (header of More Photos, below the Links), once we're officially home with baby (Emily will probably not be released until Monday or Tuesday, although her recovery is going very well).

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Please Leave Your Comments!

Okay, I'm a little slow on the uptake, I've changed the settings on this blog, as well as my other two (my gardening and music ones), to allow anyone to post comments, not just members of Blogger. My bad, Emily just pointed this out to me a few weeks ago and it dawned on me that I hadn't changed this as yet.

Anyway, we welcome your feedback, comments, etc!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Completion? Well, Close
aka The Longest Blog Ever

Brenna's room is almost finished, lots of pictures to follow. The only thing that remains (I think) is the spread for the bed. I hung a mirror in there today, my lone contribution since painting the glider. Oh yeah, and I vacuumed the floor.

Emily's visit to her new doctor this past Friday went well, her next visit is this upcoming Friday. We heard about this doctor through our birthing classes... a couple with a new born experienced the same resistance from their doctor regarding natural childbirth, and switched to this lady with a few weeks before giving birth. Emily seems relieved that our birth plan was well received, and she can rest easy that there will be no more scary encounters with Doctor Hairy Big Hands. We can all sleep at night now, knowing this.

Next update will come this Friday, assuming Emily doesn't go into labor between now and her next appointment. This Saturday is 40 weeks, and her "due date", for whatever that's worth. I think her stomach has reached critical mass at this point, and she's indicated that Brenna seems to be riding lower in the saddle these days.

As for me, I'm getting as much work done this week as I can, fully realizing this may be the last one for a while. I have 12 days vacation left this year, and am planning on using 9 or those for after Brenna is born and while my parents are here visiting, and will be saving the last 3 for Christmas time. As the Beck song goes, "I guess I'm doing fine".

While it may look like a stroke of genius that the ceiling appears to have clouds dotted across it, this was a result of my sheer laziness in not finishing the second coat of paint. I think it worked out pretty well, whether it was our plan or not.

My only complaint with this room is that the toys are all so high on the shelves they're hard for me to get down and play with. All moronic comments aside, I like having this spare bed in the room, for times when Brenna needs overnight company. We got a new mattress for this frame, so it seems to sleep much better now.

We had already painted this piece of funiture a while ago, so that was a time saver. More nifty animals suspended overhead, the sea horses and other sea creatures were made for this years Vacation Bible School, and Emily stole these from the church for Brenna's room. J/K, of course, she and her mom made these and are the rightful owners... really.

I promise this is the last Lilo and Stitch mural picture. Emily is finished with this masterpiece and we're very proud of her!

After four attempts, this picture finally uploaded, courtesy of Blogger. Thanks Blogger for doing what I haven't paid for. Can't be too ungrateful here, but I agree with my cousin Christine, who jumped ship for another blog site, sometimes uploading pictures here takes an act of Congress. I was starting to think Brenna might be in grade school before I finish this post. I had to show off here my final contribution to this room, the aforementioned painted glider, which Emily's parents bought her some time ago.

Brenna's in high school now... seriously, I've been working on this blog for almost the entire Beck's "Sea Change" album, 55 minutes worth. BTW, if you're into Beck doing his best Jim Croce impression, this is the CD to own, anyway I'll save that for my Metal School blog, for those of you keeping score.

Anyway, this is the final picture, Emily's last creation in Brenna's room, a surfboard/height chart, pretty cool.

My apologies for any spelling errors, at this point in the post, I'm just glad to be finished!