Summer Travel

Forget snakes on a plane. Taking your baby flying for the first time is much more terrifying.

Not really, of course. But we were a tad nervous about how Rory would do during a week of travel. Originally, we planned to visit family in Ohio during the July 4 holiday weekend. We took off work the entire week, thinking we could enjoy some staycation. But then my grandfather’s interment date was moved, which meant flying to Minnesota, coming home for one day, then making the eight-hour drive to Ohio.

The return flight.
The return flight selfie.

All right then. Luckily, it turned out pretty well. Our Friday evening flight departed right around Rory’s bedtime. She was understandably curious about the new surroundings as we tried to put her “down” with a bottle in our laps. But she conked out right after takeoff.

Saturday, we said farewell to my grandfather, whose actual funeral had take place in San Diego in April. But it was nice for me to see where he and my grandmother are buried. Leo then got a chance to meet a bunch of relatives on my dad’s side of the family.

Sunday we spent the day in St. Paul and Minneapolis, adding a capital to our tour. We also said hello to friends of ours, who took us to lunch and a brewery. We capped off the day with a stop at the Mall of America.

Lunch stop.
Lunch stop.

Home on Monday, staycation Tuesday. Then, it was in the car for the long drive to Ohio. Again, it wasn’t too bad. We only had one moment where we surprised some middle-of-nowhere residents in West Virginia by pulling off the road across from their house to feed the baby, who insisted she must eat NOW. Oh, and poor Leo got the bad end of a diaper blowout during our lunch stop. 🙂 Ah well.

Overall, not bad. Is it time to get Rory her first passport?

Returning to Life

Whew! Keeping up with a blog isn’t easy when you’re focused on getting sleep and getting back to work. But now that Rory is nearly five months old, we find ourselves returning to our civic commitments, getting out for dinner, and doing more fun things.

It helps that Rory started daycare last week, giving me more hours to focus on work and some new clients.

rory

Next up: traveling!

Rory’s New Shoes

Today Rory celebrates her one-month birthday!

rory_1month

Today, she also received her second set of plaster casts. For those who aren’t aware, we found out during an ultrasound that our baby has club feet.

Later, we found out Leo had a club foot, as did one of my aunts, so it’s not too surprising that Rory would inherit feet turned inward like golf clubs. Luckily, it’s an easy fix, one she won’t remember, and one that will be complete before she’s even walking.

castsThe treatment is a concept akin to braces on your teeth: a series of minor corrections to put them into place. Last week, she got her first set of plaster casts. She will get six sets total, one per week. (Second set today.) Then, the doctor will make a cut in a tendon on each side before putting Rory in another set of casts for about three weeks. After that it’s the “boots ‘n braces” phase. Rory will wear a set of boots connected by a bar (similar to a snowboard, sort of) for 23 hours a day for a few months. After that, she’ll just wear the boots during naps and nighttime, like a retainer.

curled
No more curling up in a little ball.

Famous people who had club feet include soccer player Mia Hamm and figure skater Kristy Yamaguchi (who lives in Raleigh, by the way). While it will in no way impact her future athletic career, it does mean she won’t get to wear any cute shoes until late this year. On the other hand, the leg warmers we put on her casts for bath time are adorable. 🙂

Welcome Home, Rory!

One week ago today I was still in labor — hours after they had told me I was “pretty close.” We checked in last Thursday, Feb. 5. My induction was supposed to begin the next morning, after I got some sleep and some breakfast.

Instead, the doctor examined me and said she didn’t need to perform the overnight preparation procedure after all. So my labor began at 11:50 p.m. and lasted 21 hours. I didn’t sleep or eat. I gladly accepted the epidural, thank you. But by 6 p.m. the pain was cutting through as I pushed, and pushed, and pushed some more. For three hours.

Delirious, I was happy to hear the doctor say we could do something, anything, to make this done. So off we went for a C-section. Normally, you’re awake for them, with husband by your head. But after they administered my spinal for the pain, I struggled to breathe. I felt like a fish washed up on the beach, gasping. It was too much, and I gladly accepted when they offered to put me under.

Leo said it didn’t take long. He got to see the baby immediately, witness her first bath, watch them weigh her. I was wheeled to recovery, where I slowly became aware of my surroundings. A nurse fed me ice chips while I tried to wake up. I’m told it was after midnight on Saturday morning when I returned to the hospital room where Leo was waiting. I first held my daughter at about 12:45 a.m.

aurora_eyes

Here we are now, a week later. Those first couple of days in the hospital are fuzzy now. I had visitors, held coherent conversations. I held my baby girl and learned to breastfeed. But for the most part, consider me drunk. Hospitals are a constant stream of people, and I barely slept for the next two days.

We were so happy to come home Tuesday. Today, I feel more like a human being, healing and learning to sleep in one- and two-hour stints. So far, things are going well. I even managed to have a few sips of celebratory beer last night!

homecoming

Thank you to everyone who has given gifts, food, support and love throughout my pregnancy, especially during the weeks of boring bed rest. We are so grateful for your help and looking forward to the adventure of parenthood.

36 Weeks

We made it to nine months! But this is the LAST WEEK! It’s official: I’m scheduled to be induced next Friday, Feb. 6, which is Week 37. As you *might* be able to tell, the baby has dropped just slightly. For those of you familiar with the terminology, the doctor says she’s at -3 station, so she hasn’t moved much. But I can definitely feel a difference.

jen36

It’s been fun to watch my progress, but I’m looking forward to completing pregnancy next week. Instead of a big belly photo, keep an eye out for picture of our new daughter. 🙂

Set the Date

The delivery date, that is.

As you know, I’ve had some ups and downs the past few weeks. After they put me on bed rest, I returned to the doctor later that week and next thing I know, I’m in the hospital. You may have guessed that from the lovely fashion statement in our recent photos/video.

I officially have preeclampsia, and they tend to induce with that as soon as 35 weeks. However, my case is somewhat mild. So after five nights of hospital observation, they sent me home for more bed rest, hoping I can stay pregnant until week 37.

I’m visiting the doctor twice a week and so far, so good. Today’s update: come back Friday and they’ll schedule my delivery for Feb. 6 or a day or two after that.

Of course, things could change. Preeclampsia can get worse very quickly and if that happens, all bets are off. Still, nice to know that we’ll be meeting baby girl Suarez very soon!

 

A Life's Journey