What have I been up to!?
How long has it been since I've really updated you all on what's been happening in my life? TOO long, I'm sure! ;) Well, here's a big surprise for my blog followers, the ones who've stuck around for this long! I've been busy with a new creative project, a collaboration really. One that was an entirely unexpected HUGE surprise, and which was welcomed with open arms: A wee babe!
Entirely unexpected, since Darling and I had been, well, not exactly trying, but not exactly not trying either, for the last 7 years. We both had a very "Que Sera, Sera" attitude about the whole thing, thinking that if it was meant to be, it would happen for us, and we never questioned our lack of fertility, seeing as we'd already had Mimi 10 years ago. I suspected that since I was going through a precocious perimenopause, it explained why I hadn't gotten pregnant. Until last August, when I developed what I thought were flu symptoms. I had been feeling under the weather for a few weeks, not SICK sick, but really uncomfortably queasy all the time. And fatigued. And just generally achy all over. My BFF Maria insisted I purchase an pregnancy test on one of our excursions, since everything was making me unwell - brusk movements, smells, bright lights.... Of course my reaction was "Why on earth would I waste $20 on a pee stick, only to find out I'm NOT pregnant?!?" To which my ever wise Maria replied "Well I would. At least you'll have peace of mind"
I came home, ran to the loo, peed on the stick, hid it in the medicine cabinet, and left it there for the required time. Meanwhile, I tried to pretend I wasn't really doing anything noteworthy in the bathroom, and came out to help Darling serve the lovely dinner of Greek fare I'd picked up for us while Maria and I were out. We sat down to eat, and 'lo and behold, all that delicious food laid out before me made me want to hurl! Then I remembered the stick waiting for me in the bathroom, so I jumped up and ran to the bathroom, retrieved the stick, and OH MY GAWD! THERE ARE TWO LINES ON THE STICK! My reaction was complete shock. Darling's was complete elation. :) I called my Mom, crying. Then Maria, still crying. I seriously was in shock! Could I do this? Was I ready? At MY age? (Ok, I'll put it out there, I'll be celebrating my 40th this coming August... But don't tell anyone, k?) ;)
So there you have it. I was pregnant. Was...
Attention: If you have issues with births, then do not continue reading. In this post I share our little one's birth photos and story.
On May 7th, 2012, at 2:22 am, we welcomed our sweet Baby Girl Adèle Géraldine Brice, who weighed in at a whopping 8 lbs, 9 oz, and measured 22"!
From 18 weeks on, I dutifully shared a weekly belly photo on my facebook, for my family and friends who were interested in following our progress. "Peanut" became our little mascot, and I would regularly share her progress, videos of her incessant activity, and any news that pertained to her. It actually did a lot more for me than people can imagine. I felt less isolated this time around. Here I could stay connected with everyone, and their loving words of encouragement gave me all the support I needed, besides the love and support my Amazing family already provided me of course! And Darling was truly amazing: Pedicures whenever I wanted, especially after I could no longer reach my own toes. Endless back massages that lead to his own aches and pains. And cravings? Well, that man would have crossed an ocean if it meant I could satisfy them. Thank goodness my greatest weaknesses, Eggs Benedict from The Egg & I, and either Dr. Pepper or Root Beer Slurpees from 7-eleven, were right around the corner!
Though I felt Peanut would arrive early, what with the seemingly endless nights of Braxton Hicks contractions and false labor, my May 3rd due date came, and waved at me as it went by, and any iota of patience I may have had stored up until that point completely disappeared. I was SO uncomfortable with bad edema in my hands and feet, and having had infernal gastric reflux since month 5, that I started perusing websites promising labor via this old wives remedy or that 'Tried and True" trick. Mom and I started walking everywhere. Any excuse that got me out of the house and made me move was good enough for me. Finally, on Sunday morning, I called my midwife, worried, because I hadn't felt Peanut move in a few hours, which was very strange for a baby that rocked my belly with her moves like Jagger 24/7! My Mom reasoned that she was getting ready for her impending arrival and storing up her energy. My midwife agreed after a few hours of monitoring, and told me that she thought this baby would arrive either that night or the next morning. Well she didn't lie! That photo above is of yours truly walking off some considerably uncomfortable contractions up and down the street that Sunday night. In my pajamas no less! ;)
After a full hour of walking, I could tell this was it. So Mom and I went back inside, and called the midwife.
The photos that follow are me in the throes of labor. And what a beautiful labor it was. In the comfort of our own home, I was able to spread out to the bedroom and the living room. It was calm, Lana Del Ray played in the background, the lights were dimmed, Mimi slept through most of it, and Mom and Darling were absolute rocks. Having both of them there to support and help me through the arduous process was a blessing. It felt as though both of them knew what I needed before I'd even ask. Always ready with strong hands to hold or massage me, always an ice cold drink waiting for my lips to sip on, and soothing words of encouragement to keep my head in the game. Kelly and Anne, the attending midwives, were wonderful! They took fantastic care of Peanut and I, but stayed enough in the background to let us absorb the intimacy of the whole experience. At the risk of sounding all New Age'y and stuff, it was a purely magical night.
Still in stage 1, we were waiting for Kelly to arrive at this point. Mom and I were keeping track of my contractions, which were anywhere between 3 and 5 minutes apart, at a good minute each; though I could still talk through them.
Now Kelly has arrived, we've set up a few spot for the actual birth, one in the bedroom, one in the living room, just in case. I was very comfortable in our living room actually. It had all these useful pieces of furniture I could grab onto for stability, plus there was more room for everyone there. Two midwives, Darling, Mom, Mimi, Myself, and oh! Two cats that had NO clue what was going on!
Mimi woke up after one particularly intense contraction. Let's just say I was rather primal in my vocalizations... Enough that poor Mimi at one point decided she'd rather go hide in the bathroom so as not to hear Mommy making those noises, and for my own Mom to think "Thank Heaven nobody can hear, or else the cops would come knocking..." But that was the only part that freaked Mimi out, those primal sounds. Once Didi was out, oh she was ecstatic and wouldn't leave our side! The one thing most memorable to her was "My sister looked like an alien!!!", because she was "... blue and covered with slime, but as soon as she cried, she turned bright pink!" LOL!
Here's the part that Darling will never forget. Well not that he'd forget any part, but I'm willing to bet this was the most memorable. We didn't get a chance to do this with Mimi, because we didn't know we could, but he got to physically deliver her. Kelly was right there beside him with careful instructions, but he got to do it. Again, Magical!
I'm telling you, the incredible sensation of absolute relief when the baby finally comes out is beyond description. Here I had just spent 5 solid hours in excruciating pain, and in one instant, relief... and unabashed, absolute Love.
We did it! We all did it! :)
Kelly giving Peanut her first weigh-in under her big sister's watchful eye.
Mama, totally in LURVE with her little bundle!
Didn't take long to become a Daddy's Girl.
A moment of sisterly bonding captured. Mimi is totally amazed by Didi, and thinks they look alike
See? That's Mimi on the left, 10 years ago, and Didi on the right.
Though Didi had a good 1.5 pound on her sister.
Morning snuggles with my girls.
And there you have it, this is what I've been up to. :)
I figured since it had been so long since I'd blogged, this was a perfect story to get me started again. I'm hoping that I'll have more inspiration for writing, and that perhaps I'll get back to it.
My creativity seems to finally be coming back to me, I've been sketching and working on a few projects for my shops, which are still closed for the time being; at least until we all get accustomed to each other, and work out a semblance of a feeding/sleeping schedule, and until Mama doesn't feel dead tired midway through the day...
Until next time, be good, and have fun! ;)