Friday, July 26, 2013

Marlee has Arrived!

After a much anticipated arrival, Marlee Josephine was born on Tuesday morning at 6:57am. She weighed 7 lbs and was 19 1/2 inches long. Perfect in every way. 

We were to be induced on Monday at 7:30am so we started the day with breakfast at Lindsay's. I was going to eat light but I can never turn down a pancake - or three! 

Daddy to be! 

Then off to the hospital! My last belly photo of my wonderful pregnancy was very bittersweet. 
Now I know that picking out a hospital outfit is dumb. I was in this for about 4 seconds till they made me switch to a hospital gown. 

Then the process started. Surprise number one is that I have been having contractions for about two weeks and I just thought Marlee was pushing around. So I was able to forgo the pitocin for awhile, which was nice. 

Once I was dilated to 3cm, I was able to have an epidural. I would like to have these available at all times. Why doesn't everyone get one of these?! Seriously fabulous stuff. I felt nothing for hours and my legs were warm and happy. I was able to sleep for a while and rest for the pushing marathon I was about to endure. 
This is how I knew we were getting close! 

So lets fast forward to 6:30 am Tuesday morning. I had been pushing for almost 4 hours and -surprise- they notify Nick and I that baby is sunny side up and slightly crooked. At this point, I was done. Exhausted. Pissed. Sad. Done. Doctor said that at 7 am, they would have to take her via c-section. As stated before, a c-section was my worst nightmare - more down time, surgery, pain, incision - all bad. At the time though, this was music to my ears! C-section! Yes! Please! Take her now! I was done! I couldn't push another minute. Physically, mentally, and emotionally done. It was the worst feeling. I had failed but I just wanted it all to stop. The damn BP cuff, the contractions, the back pain, the cheering, the heat - everything. At this time, the room was filling with people from surgery and people from NICU because -surprise- there was meconium in my amniotic fluid. My poor babe was as stressed as I was. 

At 6:55 am, Nick was still at my right side , holding my gargantuan leg while blotting my head with a wet towel. Thank God for him. He just kept reminding me that I did not want a c-section - which at the time I was begging for. He was the best cheerleader I could ask for. Supportive without being annoying and irritating - which after four hours of labor, everyone is on my shit list. He somehow convinced me to push on. With two doctors at the helm, a nurse to my left, and my husband at my right, I pushed. I pushed like someone was about to cut me in 5 minutes - literally. Marlee was born into this world at 6:57am. Three more minutes and I was going to be escorted to the OR. They delayed her cry for a minute so they could suction her  which in itself was scary as hell but it was over. I had Marlee in my arms within 20 minutes. And she was perfect. I know it's cliche to say, but she made it all worth it. My family was then able to come see her quickly - God bless you guys for your support! I know it was rough to listen to that ordeal from the outside! - and then Nick was able to hold her since I had to delay breast feeding till her respirations went down. 

Nick by the way was awake the entire 25 hours so looks so tired in this picture! But how beautiful this picture is to me <3 

Flattering pictures were not possible at this point but my face says it all. It was love at first sight. 

Baby Girl Hough had finally arrived! 

It has been a nonstop photo shoot ever since! 

Such an amazing journey. There is definitely so much to learn in the next couple weeks but I can say that a couple things are already evident. 

Breast feeding is a learning experience. Not as easy as I thought it would be! 

I better start keeping good records! I have to keep some of these papers forever! 

Headbands, hats, bloomers, even pants are completely useless and only get in the way of feeding and changing but I still put them on because its the cutest darn thing! 

And last but not least, labor was absolutely 100% worth it. She has given me a joy that is unexplainable. BUT when people say that once she is in your arms, you will forget all about the labor part - it is a bold faced lie. I don't wanna scare anyone but labor is not fun. Marlee will have a lot of making up to do in the next 18 years of her life. That's right Mar - you owe Mommy. 

Now back to motherhood and my 24 hour photo shoot! 
Thanks again to all those who have been so supportive the last week. It is hard to imagine how people go through this process alone. My family and friends have been amazing and I am proud to bring Marlee into this loving environment. I truly mean it when I say I could not have done it without each and everyone one of you! Lots of love!!

Monday, July 22, 2013

From Your Baby Whale

I dedicate this post to my husband, my best friend, and the father of my soon-to-be child.

My husband will probably kill me for posting so many pictures of him but it is hard to pin point one picture to display all the many aspects of his personality. I love and admire him for so many reasons. He is such a huge part of my life and the person I am today. I am going to try to not get too sappy because no one enjoys that, but lately I have been reflecting on the reasons I have chosen him for my partner in life and the father of my Marlee.

I am not going to sit here and go on and on about how he is the best husband in the whole wide world. I do not recall that I have met every husband in the world so I do not think this is an accurate portrayal. I can say that he is the perfect person for me. We just have a good bond. We have a good time together. We laugh everyday - a big, belly hurting laugh. We have good conversation. We have similar values and morals. We are on the same page. He has taught me to love unconditionally and to not take things so seriously. He showed me what it is like to worry less and smile more.

He showed me what a loving, caring father is supposed to be. I see in Nick what every child should have when it comes to a father. He is patient, attentive, reliable, responsible, and supportive. He loves his son and he will love Marlee all the same. He doesn't expect anything in return. He wants to be a good dad. He is a good dad. Marlee is going to have him wrapped around his finger - just as every little girl should.
Daddy's little girl.

It is strange and scary going into a situation like motherhood not really knowing what to expect. We are not fancy people. We do not have access to the 'best' things in life. I am going to love the best I can and attempt to fulfill her every need and want. 
I can say though that I picked a great father for her and I hope she never takes this for granted. 
Thanks Nick for being a commendable man and father. Thanks for setting the standard high for her so she knows what it is like to be loved and treated with respect. Thanks for giving me a glimpse of what a father is supposed to be. Thanks for loving me the way I would want someone to love her someday.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Eviction Notice

Nothing says I love you like a good ol' eviction notice.

Yep, I will be induced on Monday starting the most emotionally confusing day of my life. How can I be happy to push a babe out of places it is just not fit to go? It does not make sense. Yet, I am. Happier then I can even imagine. I cannot wait to meet Marlee and start this journey of motherhood.

Doctors appointment was much longer this time because they had me do a Fetal Non-Stress Test to measure Marlee's heart rate and movement. I had no fears though because this babe is constantly moving and kicking. Nick and I were able to listen to her heart beat for a whole half hour though which was music to my ears. So now is just the waiting game.

Appointment Summary
Blood Pressure: 120/60
Marlee's Heart Rate: 145
Weight gain: 1 lb
Induced: July 22nd
Goals: Be as ready as possible for Monday

After our appointment, I indulged in whatever Marlee's little heart desired for dinner.
I only have a couple more days to blame her for my appetite.
I really went all out too, as you can see. Pizza, corndogs, and french fries. Nick never complains when I do crazy dinners. I can appreciate that.

Now to cross a couple things off my 'Before Marlee Arrives' to-do list!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Family Walks

Today was a free for all dinner day. We had a ton of leftovers from the weekend so I let the boys decide what they wanted. Isaac had pancakes, Nicholas had ribs, potatoes, and corn, and I had pancakes with spicy Mac and cheese. Strange, yes. Delicious, oh yes. 

After dinner we decided to go on a walk. It was hot but the cloud cover was sufficient enough that I wasn't going to kill over. 
Walks are always an adventure when Isaac comes along. 

We stop to pick flowers. 

We look at 'waterfalls'. 

We admire all the large rocks in this guys front yard. 

We checkout the water. 

And of course, I occasionally fall behind. Slow and steady wins the race. 

Tomorrow is Marlee's due date and we have a doctors appointment in the afternoon. I feel a little bit like a kid on Christmas Eve. More updates then! 

Monday, July 15, 2013

We Must Be Doing Something Right

On our way to Momma Hough's for the last family dinner before Marlee Jo arrives, I stopped in the garden to see the pumpkin that Isaac said was growing. Lo and behold, we have a pumpkin growing! I have to admit that I was probably more excited then anyone.  
How awesome is that!

Then I looked a little closer at our tomato plants and found more fruits of our labor starting! We have Cherry Tomatoes...
And Beefsteak Tomatoes! 

I will be on the lookout for more progress and updating as they grow.
I can taste the sauce and salsa now!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Random Thoughts Saturday

Nicholas is having trouble sleeping this morning which is more then likely because he has been on midnights this week so his sleep schedule is all off. Of course, in my mind, he is having trouble sleeping because he is anxious about things. Which makes me anxious about things. And now my mind is going and I can seem to shut it off. So this post will have more random thoughts then is necessary for a 7am post should ever have. 

The usual thought I have lately is what Marlee is going to look like. I figured this is pretty common for pregnant ladies. I hope she has hair. Shallow I know but I want that beautiful, dark, Italian haired babe. I haven't had any heartburn though. Is that old wives tale even true? I will google that later. 

I painted my nails two days ago and they already look like crap but I'm too lazy to remove the nail polish so they will continue to look like trash. I painted my toe nails like two months ago and they look brand new. What gives? 

I always thought I wanted to be a dog if I could be any animal. Brusco pretty much has the life. Then Scuba Steve (or Raphael as Isaac is now calling him) came along and I'm starting to reconsider. This turtle does nothing but bask in the sun all day long. Sometimes he power swims but usually he just sits there. Waiting for this next feeding. I need some sun in my life. 
"Hello, I am zee laziest French turtle." 
Yes, Scuba Steve is French. 

I'm gonna make a pot of coffee. I need coffee. 

Pregnant girls in bikinis; is this a no-no? Too bad. I do not have any other types of swimsuits and as previously mentioned, I need some sun. 

I need to scrub my shower before I go into labor. 

I hate contractions. And by this I mean 'don't', 'can't', 'won't' etc. This must be a AP format thing. Thanks nursing school for ruining me. Sometimes I have to use them though. It seems unnatural  to write 'do not' especially when I don't (see!) talk like that. 

Candy Crush is the devil. Who would make such an addictive game?

I still do not want to give birth to this child. The actual labor part seems so much less fun then the pregnancy part. What happened to the stork bringing new babies? 

Marlee is up! 

Now I am hungry. I am thinking I will bribe Nick with coffee to make me some breakfast. I love breakfast. 

Sports bras are the bees knees. I should have been wearing them my entire pregnancy. 

The sisters (-1) are going swimming today! So I am justifying my lack of sleep on the fact that I need to get things packed. 

Hope everyone has a happy Saturday! 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

One Week and Counting

I can't help but look at this picture and question when my belly got so big! And how I don't fall over from the disproportionate weight!? Now I have a better understanding of the phrase 'ready to pop.' Yea, I would say I am right there. Marlee feels differently though. Still no contractions or even enough pressure to bring attention to. My happy little nugget is content on the inside.  

Doctors appointment on Tuesday went well. The doctor set a new record of a whole 4 minute long meeting. I guess that is the norm when nothing is really going on and we don't have any questions. My husband asked about the lack of excitement at the end of this pregnancy and the doctor said that it is pretty normal for a first time mother with no health issues. No contractions mean no baby just yet. Next week we discuss the possibility of being induced. I would really rather stay away from a pitocin induced labor but I don't want to cause any stress on the baby either during labor because of her size. Still hoping she is not 9 pounds...

Appointment Summary
Blood Pressure: 117/74
Weight gain: 1 lb
Uterus Height: 39 cm
Marlee's Heartbeat: 151 BPM
Goals: Not to go into labor at work

 Nick continues to try to talk Marlee into making an appearance this week. For one, he is on midnights this week and would get out of work for a couple days. For two, the Hough side of the family made a betting board for Marlee's due date and he wins between now and noon on the 12th. An outstanding 21 dollars! I told everyone that she is going to be late but few listened. Here is a little preview of the board:
I am down for July 21st - PM.
Still not sure if I pick the day to be induced or the doctor does...
Either way, here I am at 39 weeks and waiting for the next move. Marlee is going to be here so soon!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Nine Month Baby Oven

My sister called me a baby oven the other day and it made me chuckle, hence the title. 

As this pregnancy is coming to a close, and I begin to feel Marlee shifting into position, I am realizing that not only will I have a bouncing baby girl soon, but I will also not have this giant belly of mine. Tying my shoes will no longer be a task and my husband will finally stop poking at my protruding belly button. 

We started this pregnancy with taking a picture every week since we found out but we soon decided this task was bigger then we thought. The weeks literally started to fly by. In the words of Sweet Brown, ain't nobody got time for that. 
Damn you Pinterest for setting the expectations for documenting pregnancy so high. Have you seen the chalkboard lady? Yeaaaa, I am a bit jealous of those cute chalkboards, trendy outfits, and the time this lady must have. Anyway, I digress. 

I put together a small collage of each month of this pregnancy, hopefully portraying the joy I have had each month. I feel incredibly blessed to have had such an easy and smooth pregnancy and being able to share it with the people I love.  
I will let you guess which month the doctor started scolding me for my weight gain...

I have to admit I am not ready for this journey to come to a close but the excitement of meeting Marlee is overwhelming at this point. She can come at any moment! I am asking her to wait  at least 12 days which is when my maternity leave starts. Then again, she might be the feature of my next post! 

Doctors appointment tomorrow and hopefully everything continues to look good and I can get in another couple weeks of work. Updates then!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Craft Time

The combination of my obsession with Pinterest and the upcoming arrival of Marlee has brought out the crafty size of me, which to be honest, I did not know even existed before a couple years ago. I am the least artsy person I know but Pinterest makes everything look easy. My latest project has literally taken me 4 months. I originally bought 2 yards of fabric and only completed two rows of flowers. So then I procrastinated for a couple months, finally bought more fabric, and was short AGAIN. I procrastinated some more and realized Marlee was going to arrive before her lamp was complete. I went to Joann's for one last fabric purchase and can finally say it is finished! And I am quite happy with the way it turned out.

Fabric Flower Lamp Shade

The original Pin of this from the wonderful blog of Simply Ciani. Her lamp shade is definitely Shabby Chic, as she states, while mine is more on the shabby side BUT I was very proud of my lamp and received a ton of complements on it back when it looked like this:

This lamp shade was really easy to do, once you got the hang of wrapping the fabric. If you are a perfectionist, this is not the craft for you. My 'flowers' are all different in shape and size and style - not on purpose - but because they just turned out that way. If you are in a hurry, this is not the craft for you either. Even without all the delays in the fabric, this took many hours of my time. It does look great in Marlee's room though and I always feel proud when I finish a project.

I started with a plain lamp shade and base which I bought at Lowe's for 15$ - on sale of course.
The fabric I went with was a costume chiffon shear because I liked the color and it was easy to wrap around my finger. I was also able to pull it apart easy and it made kind of a rough edge which I liked. I purchased a total of 8 yards of fabric (4 light pink and 4 platinum grey).

I cut the fabric into 1 inch - 1 1/2 inch pieces and then tore them into strips.

Pile of strips of fabric

I wrapped each strip of fabric around my finger till a 'flower' was formed.


 I used my handy dandy hot glue gun to glue the end of the fabric together and then placed a nice size glob of glue on the lamp shade.

Then pressed the flower in place and held for a second until the glue was dry.

One flower at a time and it was finally coming together!
You can tell that my flowers continued to get bigger by the bottom of my lamp shade. I was tired of wrapping and gluing so bigger flowers = more coverage!

Wrap. Wrap. Wrap. Glue. Glue. Glue.
(All those little strings are from the fabric. I just cut them all off at the end.)
And finally, I was finished!
 Proudly on display on her dresser.

I have a feeling this will probably be the last craft I will be completing before Marlee Jo arrives so at least I finished with a bang. Two more weeks till maternity leave!