Friday, October 30, 2009

might be a while

It might be a bit before I can post anything new and inspiring. We had our baby girl a week ago and are trying to manage that. I did have two great food experiences in the hospital...

First I learned that a midnight snack of peanut butter and honey graham crackers is AMAZING. Big kudos to Nurse Molly who brought that little bit of protein packed deliciousness into my life.

Second, if you have to order off the menu at Methodist Willowbrook, trust me when I say to go for the chicken fajitas. They were really good and fresh tasting and the tortilla rocked. It was the perfect amount of chewiness and would have been easy to make into a good taco. Top off the meal with their oatmeal cookie. It was the perfect balance of oat/cinnamon/raisin flavor and the consistency was soft with just enough give to make you feel like you are enjoying a nice dessert.

I will get back to better food posts soon!

39 weeks?!?

So here we are at 39 weeks and things are not looking like they are "supposed" to. My belly has definitely deflated over the past week. It is strange to think that our baby girl should be growing inside of me still. I would feel so sad to not have had the past week with her, but then I guess if I hadn't had the past week with her, I would not know to feel sad.

This is why we have a saggy belly: because Baby MacKenzie is out here in the world to be with us directly, rather than through mommy!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Our little Aggie

We almost forgot to mention that we were very excited to see the Aggies Beat The Hell Outta Texas Tech on Saturday, MacKenzie's birthday. We are convinced that such a strong showing from the Fightin' Texas Aggie Football team is a direct tribute to our little girl and that she brought them good luck from a far...

Here is an article about the win!

Home sweet home

Baby MacKenzie was ready to be released from the hospital much sooner than I was. We had to wait a good chunk of the day for mommy to take care of...we will call it business...before we could all go home. It was kind of nice being forced to sit around the hospital with no chance of visitors while the major storm passed through. Matt took a load of presents and bags to the house while I met with the lactation consultant to make sure Mommy and Baby were doing ok. It was indescribable to sit in the glider, feeding my baby girl, listening to the storm. I doubt there will be many moments in life that are as calming as that. Once mommy finally did were ready to go home. We got her dressed in the outfit that Auntie J and Grammy KiKi picked out for her. She loved the pink dress because it was not the typical pink dress that most babies go home in. She was all ready for her "Homecoming".

MacKenzie and Daddy yawning at each other

Her Homecoming dress...bright pink with a beautiful black sweater and matching pink bloomers! Look at how long she is!

The ride home was uneventful, Mattie went and got the truck since we were having such yucky weather. He wanted to make sure his girls were safe. We brought her into the house, very glad to be home.

Daddy carrying his baby girl inside

Baby MacKenzie has started to adjust to life at home pretty well. She is feeding pretty good, we are still working on getting more, longer feeds will help her gain her birth weight back. She has been so mellow and calm so far that we feel really blessed to have her and hope that she is pretty good like this all of the time. Friends from our neighborhood stopped by last night, but we waited to have any other visitors. Grammy KiKi and Poppy are supposed to come by later, we are looking forward to having people come over, we just don't want to be overwhelmed. Last night we ate pizza from Papa Johns and watched some t.v. while we settled in to just being at home. Matt took over baby holding duty (until she feel asleep) after one of the late night feedings so mommy actually got some decent rest. We are all doing so well together!

This morning we had our first Mommy and Daddy bath. MacKenzie did great and squabbed a bit, but enjoyed being nice, clean, and warm afterwards. We went to the pediatrician as well today to check on how she was doing. They are rechecking her jaundice levels, but other than that she is doing well. When they rechecked her jaundice level she did not cry at all...such a good girl!!!

We will continue to let everyone know how we are doing and are so grateful for the support and love we have received from our friends and family. We are so thankful for our little girl and feel blessed to have her in our life!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

We have a baby!

Friday night at 11:00 my water broke. There had been no previous signs of labor so we were really surprised by the occurance. We calmly got dressed (We had just gotten ready for bed) and tried to make sure we had everything we needed for the hospital. We arrived at the hospital with no incident, except we forgot to turn on the house is armed now for anyone wondering! It did not become real to me until we were able to see the hospital from the freeway. I realized why we were driving late at night and why I was sitting on a towel! We walked into the ER exit they immediately saw why we were there with my big belly and arms full of bags. I was sat into a wheel chair and they took me up to L & D for observation. Seeing as my water had broke, the kept me in observation for a short time before moving me to a room. I was not sure whether to feel superior to or sorry to the other two ladies who were sent home for false alarms. They were actually contracting whereas I only had a leaky faucet somewhere on my body...

When we got into the room I was still only feeling a few contractions that were very light. Eventually, my mom and Fred (step father) went out into the waiting room to get some rest and Mattie and I tried to do the same. They examined me around 4 a.m. and I was only 4 cm. From that point on things moved rather quicker than we anticipated and quicker than we had prepared my body for. Between 4 and 8 my contractions intensified quite a bit with very little rest between them. My original plan had been to try and have a drug free delivery, but after waking up at 6 am Friday, teaching all day, no nap, spending time with Matt and friends, and being in labor all night, I knew I was not going to be able to make it through more contractions like that and be able to push in the end. I was already exhausted. We went ahead and ordered the epidural and found out that we had just in time seeing as I was right about 7.5 to 8 cm. All of the reading I had done says this was the point that most women "broke down" and got medicine at, but I am glad for our decision now.

From that point on, I was able to sleep for 2 hours while my body continued to contract. We began pushing at about 10:15. I was not in any pain and was able to push well. In between pushes we were all able to laugh and joke together. When the doctor (and not my wonderful doctor, she was out of town) came in we only had to push a bit before MacKenzie Grace was born at 11:15.

We realize it is our obligation to say this as parents, but she really is beautiful. She was 21.5 inches long, 8 pounds, 5.3 ounces. She had to go pretty much immediately to an Intensive care nursery because she had swallowed too much amniotic fluid in the birthing process and was having difficulty breathing. Mattie spent most of his time there with her. I was very upset that they had to take my daughter away from me so soon, but glad that she was being taken care of.

She is good now and we are trying to figure her out as well as doing our best on feeding. We will continue to write about her wonderful entrance into the world as we can.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Answered Prayers!!!

Today we went in for our 38 week checkup! At the VERY most we will only have two more of our checkups...hard to think that this phase has gone by so fast. All in all, I couldn't be more pleased with how the doctor's visit went. We had our ultrasound to check the baby and while the baby had grown since our last visit (probably 8 and a half pounds) the tech and doctor assured us there is a very large margin of error in weight calculations this late in pregnancy. The length was still almost off the charts so we are excited for our future little basketball player! We got a cute picture up the baby's nose (T-Rex snout?) and got to see some "practice" breathing. The heart rate was 137 and if you are keeping track that has slowed considerably. I think it is a sign of things to come.

The doctor looked over everything and after examining me let me know I was now 2 cm dilated and 50% effaced. So while that is not a lot, it is progress from last week. She felt comfortable waiting until next week to discuss induction. She would really like to avoid inducing and does not feel that it is medically necessary at this point in time. We are so thankful we have a doctor who truly wants what is best for the baby and myself. So we were encouraged to walk a lot and see if we cannot move things along a little on our own. Any suggestions out there?

We go back to the doctor on Thursday if not before!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

3 weeks to go or so

I went to the doctor today to be released from sitting rest...which I have been! The strep B test came back negative which is good (they won't have to administer extra anti biotics), my blood pressure looks good, and the baby's heart rate looks good. I went in for a surprise ultrasound (picture is not that great) to check on how things are measuring. The fluid levels are a bit on the "high" side of normal, but they aren't too concerned about it. The doctor has told me to resume all normal activity and I think she would actually encourage walking to get things moving around. I was still only 1 cm dilated, but things were thinning out and the nurse practitioner who examined me said she could feel the head (wierd!). I will go back next Wednesday for another ultrasound and appointment. Depending on the results of this ultrasound we will be discussing inducing. I am a little torn about what to do if she wants to recommend inducing. Part of me says we want to let nature take it's course, so no inducing and whatever happens, happens. Another part of me is concerned that this baby really would be difficult to deliver and I definitely do not want a c-section. Surely inducing would be better than a c-section...but there is the unknown of if we would actually need a c-section. Any advice?!?!?Also, if we had an induction date, then I would know for sure that the baby was going to be in our arms by a specific point in time. I think what I will do is to get up and moving around and do whatever is in my power to encourage this little one to decide it's own due date. Then we can evaluate the situation whenever Wednesday comes. I would really like to make it to that appointment on Wednesday because the students have a test on Wednesday and closing out the unit would be great! We will see what T-Rex wants though.

Don't forget to vote on when Baby T-Rex is going on the side bar poll!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Student Reflection

At the end of the six weeks (a week and a half ago) I had my students reflect on what they liked, didn't like, thought they could do better, what I could do better ect. I have been reading and writing comments on those to hand back tomorrow to help encourage the students to keep doing their best (or to start doing their best depending on the student). I had to share one reflection from one of my advanced students:

"The only thing I disliked was when I first walked in and saw your were pregnant. I thought you were going to be another grumpy pregnant woman, but you're not because you're the awesomest, coolest World History teacher I ever had."

I am so thankful that I am not just another grumpy pregnant woman!!!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

36 weeks down, unknown amount of time to go...

The house is slowly getting back in order and we finally feel ok that at any moment we will be bringing our first born home to a half way decent house. We had so many delays in the home renovation process that we will probably avoid big projects like that for quite a long time. We still have cleaning and straightening up to do, and I am not sure if the dust will ever go away, but we feel like (if I am released from sitting orders) we could even have people over again. This is something that we love to do, and have had to apologize to a number of friends who we "owe" hosting duties to.

Mattie has been amazing in the whole bed rest process even if he does get a little ambitious with some of his projects. He recently changed out all of the plugs and switches to white to compliment our fancy new paint better. This is a picture of him putting together parts for the pack and play that will be our baby's main residence for the first bit of his or her life.

We are at 36 weeks which means we have (by now) 3.5 weeks or so to go. It is getting really hard to grasp that this baby is about done cooking and could come out at any time. Work last week was hard to go back to and I spent a lot of the afternoon napping. I am glad that I went back to work to get a few things in order before my long term leave. I am very organized and wanted to make sure that my other team teachers were aware of the resources they might need.

As you can see in the picture below, our growth has been substantial in the past month. People in the hall way take one look at me and shake their heads as if in disbelief that T-Rex is going to stay put a bit longer and that I am trucking through work as long as I can. T-Rex has had more of a predictable movement pattern over the past week with definite sleeping and awake time periods. T-Rex has decided that one of those awake and playing times should be at about 3:30 or 4 in the morning. I am hoping this is not a pattern that we will fall into once outside of the womb.

I have off work tomorrow, so no blah case of the Mondays on my part. I will spend the day grading and supervising electricians that are coming by to see why we have no lights in our master bath. Mommy is coming over as well to help get the last few things organized (both my mom and Matt's parents have been wonderful during this time). I go back to the doctor Wednesday afternoon, so we will see how things are the day before we reach full term!!!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Urge to Bake

I have recently had a strong urge to bake. I, however, have been unable to do so because of doctor's orders to stay off my feet for another few days to avoid pre-term labor. So I decided to post a few of the wedding cake pictures from the past to hold my urge over.

This was actually for a wedding is not the prettiest picture, but it is a brownie cut into a circle, topped with chocolate mousse, and surrounded by strawberries...delicious!

This cake was not the prettiest, but easily the heaviest. The bride requested a cheesecake grooms cake. I made half the cheesecake regular and half chocolate. We then doused the entire thing in raspberry sauce, covered it in chocolate ganache, added chocolate shavings, and covered in chocolate covered strawberries. I like the bride and groom strawberries in the middle! This cake was large, rich, and GONE in about 5 minutes once they began to cut the cakes!

This cake was for our friends Crystal and Darren when they got married almost exactly two years ago. They met and fell in love while studying abroad in Italy, so they found it fitting to get married at a vineyard in Austin. They gave me a color sample and asked me to match the icing to the cake and cover it in fruit. The flavor was a hybrid of a spice cake and a red velvet cake with a fruit filling.

This was the first stacked cake I made for my mom when she married my step father. It is a plain white cake with raspberry filling. The sides are made from sheets of white chocolate.

This cake was for my sister--in-law's shower. We actually used the shower to test out the flavors of filling she liked best. We ended up with three different kinds of cakes...raspberry and pineapple filled and Italian cream cake. Her husband came up with the idea for the grooms cake which I agreed to do (and also made my original idea for his cake as well). I made the chocolate raspberry truffle cake for me and for him I made a cake consisting of a layer of brownie, layer of fudge icing, layer of chocolate chip cookie, layer of fudge icing, layer of brownie, all covered in fudge icing. It was also a rich cake that disappeared quite quickly. All in all, because they love desserts and wanted a multitude of them they had 9 brides cakes (normal size round cakes), the chocolate raspberry truffle cake, brownie/cookie/brownie cake, two plates of chocolate chip cookies, and two plates of brownies. It was a tiring, but rewarding affair to remember!

I hope to get a chance to bake some goodies again soon!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Off of Bed rest

I have been released from house arrest! I can go back to work tomorrow as long as I sit and if we are still good next week (Wednesday) then I will be allowed to walk and stand and do whatever I want! Thanks for all of the support from friends and family. We are so happy to be bringing a new life into the world when we are surrounded by such love and fellowship! I am now going to enjoy my last day at home!

Cuban/ Puerto Rican Stir Fry

A few years ago Mattie and I enjoyed a trip to Puerto Vallarta. Much to the surprise of the people at the resort we were staying at we took public transportation to actually go visit the town of Puerto Vallarta. It was a grand little adventure and along the way we found the most amazing Cuban restaurant. This is the us at our table:

So while we enjoyed the balmy breeze and beautiful view, we had some wonderful food. We enjoyed ropa vieja, black beans and rice, delicious crusty bread, and killer mojitos. I really enjoy mojitos in general, but nothing can beat the one I enjoyed along the beach here (until I get to go to Cuba as an educator).

Recently I decided to try my own version of a Cuban/ Puerto Rican concoction by taking leftovers we had and throwing them together into a Caribbean influenced stir fry.

Saffron/ Yellow rice
Spiced Pork chopped or sliced
Sauteed Onions
Sauteed Bell Peppers
Green Olives (a must)
Black beans
There is not much spice involved...a bit of salt, pepper, and garlic powder, but one of the great things about Cuban and Puerto Rican food is that it allows for depth of flavor to come from the ingredients of the dish itself.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Good things!

Here are some good things that go along with the bed rest:

1. Mattie has been doing an amazing job getting the house ready and cooking meals. He even made our dinner last night a double batch so that we have three extra meals in the freezer! He might take over my job as cook...not likely as I cannot wait to get back in my kitchen.

2. Matt's parents came yesterday to get everything in working order in the house. They did an amazing job and I am less overwhelmed about the house and have transfered all of my overwhelmed feelings to them and how much they worked to serve us yesterday. The nursery is actually about ready to function and the rest of the house is becoming livable!

3. I have been able to start catching up on reading and girly movie watching. I also have plans to do several computer projects (labeling all of our pictures, typing some stuff for HMH) and to write some good emails and letters.

4. My ankles are back!!! They look so delicate and feminine compared to how they looked just days ago. I never thought I would see them looking so good again, but they are here!

We have almost made it through the weekend on bed rest. Tomorrow my mom is coming over to help out and then I get to leave the house to go to the doctor's office Tuesday morning. Mattie and I reflected that it feels weird that for so long we were counting down the days until the baby comes, but now we want to count up as many days as possible. Each day this T-Rex stays inside is another good day of growth and development. So we are thinking thoughts like velcro and will keep everyone updated when possible.

Just for kicks, here are a couple of pictures of the bed frame that Mattie (with the help of our neighbor) built! It is solid and stable and has amazing storage underneath!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Bed Rest

We went in today for our appointment and to check the baby t-rex's growth. Apparently my food changes have been beneficial because the doctor is really pleased with where we measured at today. I did tell her that I had been experiencing a lot of pressure down low, so she decided to check me. With that she discovered I was 1 centimeter dilated, which isn't a big deal, but not exactly where they want me for having 5 weeks to go and this being my first baby. They then put me on the monitor to measure contractions and I had 2 in the 30 minutes I was on the monitor. So the doctor decided while they wouldn't stop the baby from coming, they sure would like to do everything to coax the baby to stay inside. So she ordered me home immediately and put me on lockdown and bed rest. No leaving the house or even my bed except to use the bathroom or get something to eat out of the fridge. She did say I could probably go up the stairs to watch t.v., but I needed to chill out with my feet up as much as possible. I go back on Tuesday to be checked again so we will see how things look then.