Saturday, August 30, 2008

Picure comparisons

Here are a couple picture comparisons with Cienna. It's fun to see who she looks like. I think she looks most like Tim but with a feminine flare. :) First comparison is of Cedric and Cienna and the second shows what I think is a resemblence to Tim's mom whose middle name is also "Yvonne". Check it out:
Cedric - 4 days old

Cienna - 3 days old


Cienna - 18 hours old

Diane - Tim's Mom

Friday, August 29, 2008

Cienna Yvonne Vassar's Birth Story

August 24, 2008 Sunday

Around 1:20am on Sunday morning I woke up with stong contractions that kept coming every 5 minutes or so and lasting 45 to 50 seconds each despite a shower, drinking lots of water, and pacing around the house. Earlier that evening I had thought there was a possibility that my water had broken, but it turned out later not to be so. After an hour, I decided to call Tim home from work. He was so excited! He had guessed that I was going to have the little one on Sunday. A little later I went ahead and called Mom and Dad as well, and they headed down the hill.

The contractions continued and by the time Mom and Dad got there around 4am, I had been having 45-50 second contractions about every 3 minutes for over an hour. They continued that way until 5am when I went to bed to lie down for a while. At that point they slowed down to one contractions every 15 to 20 minutes. I slept until 7am while everyone else snoozed on the couches or worked on the computer. After getting up the contractions continued to stall so Mom, Tim and I went for an energetic walk while Dad stayed with Cedric. That 20+ minute walk didn’t do much at all for the contractions so we decided to go out to breakfast at Whistlers. I ate light and the contractions continued to come only every 15 or 20 minutes.

After coming home we decided to go ahead and call our doctor to let her know what had been going on. She was doing rounds at the hospital so she had us come in to get checked. So while Dad watched Cedric again, Mom, Tim and I went to the hospital. She confirmed that my water had in fact not broken yet but that I was dilated to 3 cm. She really did not expect the contractions to continue to stall much longer and sent us home with orders to call her on her cell phone if we wanted her to come by our house to check me or when we were heading to the hospital. Since things had slowed down so much, Mom and Dad went home to get some things done. We were to call them if anything changed.

The contractions began to pick up a bit around noon and were stronger. Cedric, Tim and I took a nap, and around 1:30pm or so the contractions started waking me up and sped up to about every 10 minutes and were definitely more intense. That carried on for a while before I called Mom and Dad again. They arrived around 4pm. They all sat outside and watched me pace. The contractions were pretty reactive to rest. Every time I sat down on the birth ball they would slow way down, so I did a lot of walking. We timed contractions between 4:30 and 5:30 and they averaged between 2 to 3 minutes apart, lasing for 50+ seconds, and were strong enough to need to lean on something and stop talking through them. Somewhere in that length of time I lost my mucus plug. About 5:30am I had several contractions only a minute apart so we finally decided to go to the hospital.

We met Dr. Bolz there, and after I changed she checked dilation and I was only at a 6. At that point I really started considering having her break my water since I was already getting tired. After she returned after a half hour (6:30pm) I had jumped up to 8 cm. We went ahead and had her break the water anyway with the hope it would get things really rolling, but it didn’t work out that way. The contractions definitely became more intense at that point, but we still had a couple hours to go.

The best position for me was sitting on the ball with Tim holding my head against his stomach while I rocked my hips. I had more back labor this time than with Cedric, and I had to work harder with breathing through each contraction. Around 8:30 we moved up onto the bed, but I still wasn’t fully dilated. That was so dissapointing! I stayed on the bed at that point. There may have been a better position but I really didn’t want to move to find out. It wasn’t particularly obvious, but I believe I hit transition while on the bed.

Finally around 9pm I had the urge to push. It’s amazing how out-of-the-blue it comes. Tim and the nurse were the only ones there, and the nurse was very calm and encouraging, but Tim let her know that last time I only pushed for 10 minutes. Hearing that, she went for the doctor right away. After she returned, Tim went to get Mom and Grammy. Dad sat with Cedric right outside the curtain. Mom and Tim held my legs.

I didn’t get much break between pushing contractions. They were long and hard. I spent most of the time with my eyes closed. I even declined feeling the head as it crowned which I was able to do with Cedric.

Dr. Bolz came in and checked me and announced that I was indeed fully dilated and gave me the go ahead to push. So I did. She turned around to get set up and when she turned back around Cienna was crowning. She was like “Whoa!” and Tim said her apron was only half on and she whipped her gloves on superhero-fast. Not much else was set up. Cienna was born after only 3 pushes. I believe it was around 7 minutes or so from the first urge to push. It was such a relief when she finally slipped out, and it was so sweet to hear the words “It’s a girl!”. She was 7 pounds 12 ounces and 20 inches long, born at 9:06pm.

As Dr. Bolz checked her breathing, I slipped off my shirt so that I could really hold and feel my little girl when she was soon handed up to me. I cannot say how sweet it was to finally hold her and see her. We couldn’t believe all that dark hair! She didn’t cry at all at the beginning. Tim and I were concerned that she wasn’t crying or visibly breathing while we held her, but she was turning pink so all was well. She finally cried when they suctioned her nose again. She has been a pretty laid back baby, never getting all worked up over the normal things baby’s do, like diaper or clothes changes.

After a little while we had Dad come in with Cedric. Cedric watched Cienna from his grammy’s arms as Dad cut the cord. Mom cutting Cedric’s cord and Dad cutting Cienna’s cord has had such special symbolism of their support and the role they play in our children’s lives. Cedric soon needed to take a closer look, so he cuddled in on my left side. He was so affectionate to Cienna, repeatedly asking to give hugs and kisses. He had a good time listening to her heartbeat with a stethoscope that Dr. Bolz gave him. The first time he said her name he called her “Ceena”. It was so special to have Grammy there last minute and being able to join us in the delivery room.

We left the hospital at 4am and were home when Cedric woke up. Mom had stayed with him at our place. Recovery has gone really well. I thought for sure I had ripped but it turned out I hadn’t at all. Nursing contractions have been worse this time around, several rivaling transition contractions, but they are nearly gone now by day 4. Cienna is a great nurser and has been sleeping well.

This birth went so differently than I was expecting. And very different from Cedric’s. But it was as good and precious and will always be one of my most treasured memories. There may be only one or two other experiences in life where the outcome is as significant as giving birth to a new life. And even fewer are as difficult. To me, that combo makes giving birth possibly the most valuable experience a woman could have.

Monday, August 25, 2008

A few pictures

I'll write the birth story later and there's more pictures to go through as well. I'll send them out as I can!

Cienna Yvonne at 18 hours old.
Born at 9:06pm on August 24, 2008
20" long, 7.12 pounds

Look at all that dark hair! So different from the nearly bald, blonde Cedric.

Kisses for "Ceena"

Listening to Cienna's heart.

A family of four.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Cian's arrival and other things...

It was so wonderful being there when Cian Timothy Nelson was born. I will treasure that experience always. Cian is such a handsome, healthy boy! I think he has Holly's eyes and Tim's nose and mouth, and it's great to finally have a dark-haired baby among the "Hollenbeck" cousins. Four boys (so far)... what adventures they (and we) will have! :)

I loved watching a midwife at work. She was so calm, respectful, confident, and encouraging, and you could tell that her heart is in what she does. It was empowering to watch Holly successfully fulfill her dream of laboring and birthing peacefully and naturally.

My favorite moment after Cian was born was when, as Holly held him, Cian looked up and stared wide-eyed and intently at Holly's face for a good long minute, just absorbing his mama, this woman who's voice he knows so well. It was beautiful.

Of course, I am now more anxious than ever to have this baby. I feel so much bigger and heavier with this one than I did with Cedric. Everything is a big effort. There are so many things that I want to get cleaned or accomplished before this little one arrives, but my belly and swelling ankles won't allow it. I guess it's just time to take it easy and wait. Probably just another week or two.

Tim finished another refinishing project. Here is the "before" picture (without the drawers):

And here are the "after" pictures. Light green is the main color for our nursery:

Isn't that a great paint job, especially for a child's room??? I love it. Tim plans to eventually refinish that little 3-drawer dresser next to the big one. He'll stain it the same shade as the first dresser and use the same hardware. We'll eventually have a whole set of matching furniture for the kids' room!