June 26, 2011

2 Weeks

TWO WEEKS! I can't believe how fast the past 14 days have flown. Having Chris home the past two weeks has been such a treat. He really is such a wonderful, hands-on dad and amazing husband. I feel so incredibly lucky to be able to share my life, and our children, with such an incredible person.
Needless to say, I am totally bummed that he's back to work tomorrow. It will certainly be an adjustment for all of us! Luckily this time around we have family that lives super close, so my mom will be able to come help out if and when I need her to.

So far Callen is still a laid back baby. He definitely has his fussy periods, as all newborns do, but something as simple as his being able to sleep in his carseat is such a huge relief for us. I don't think we took Audia on a shopping trip for the first 6 months of her life because she would scream the entire time she was in her carseat. We only went someplace that required driving when we absolutely had to. If we needed to go shopping, only one of us would go. At the time, it was life as we knew it. This time around, it's not really an option to not take Callen anywhere, so his being "carseat friendly" (for lack of a better term) is beyond exciting. We've been able to get out to do things practically every day without any issue and he has slept through every single trip we've taken him on. I still brace myself for screaming every time we put him in the carseat, but hopefully that reflex will diminish with time. ;-)

We were lucky enough to be able to book a quick family portrait session with my friend, Megan, of Megan Norman Photography. As you can see, she is incredibly talented. I highly recommend her to anyone in MN looking for a portrait or event photographer!

Callen's been spending more and more time alert every day. I had forgotten how much newborns sleep!! It is so fun to see him trying to figure out the world around him. He loves to look at his sister, and watches her with the type of wonderment that can only be attributed to babies.

Audia still seems to be handling the whole thing pretty well. She definitely has had some struggles with adjusting to not having 100% of our attention on her 100% of the time, but thankfully she directs her frustrations at us (mainly by taking on the attitude of a disgruntled 13 year old) and not at her brother. She still is so sweet with Callen, giving him kisses and hugs and snuggles, and singing to him whenever he's fussing. She absolutely adores her brother. Check out the candid shots Chris got of her and him yesterday.

Overall, I would definitely say the vividity of the discomfort I was feeling the past 3 months of my pregnancy is already fading. It's certainly true that the mind...well, at least my mind....has a way of painting over the ugly parts of experiences and focusing on the good. I already am thinking I'd be willing to go through it all again. How could you not, when you get to snuggle and love on these two precious kiddos every single day??

June 14, 2011

He's Here!

After nine months of waiting and wondering and worrying and hoping, our little squeaker, Callen James, was born on June 11th, 2011 at 5:19 PM, weighing 9lbs, 8oz and measuring 21.5 inches long.

I woke up around 5 am on Saturday and was unable to fall back asleep (not an anomally at this point in my pregnancy.) so I got up and putzed around online for a while. Around 5:15 I started having contractions that were significantly different from the Braxton Hicks that I had been having for week (it is definitely true, at least for me, that you just know when you're in labor.), so I started timing them and they were 5 minutes apart off the bat. After about 45 minutes, I called the doc on call and was told to go to the hospital. We dropped Audia off at my parents house and made our way to the hospital, where they monitored me for about an hour and a half before admitting me. While my progression was very slow, my contractions were regular and with VBACs they don't take any chances.
To say that this labor and delivery were different from my first would be an enormous understatement. It was night and day! With Audia, things progressed slowly, then extremely quickly, and then stalled for 6 hours before ending in a cesarean. They had to break my water, the epidural only worked on half of my body, and Audia got stuck in a "sunny side-up" position, which caused me to get stuck at 9.5 cm and hyper-contract for 6 hours. With Callen, things progressed slowly but steadily. My water broke on it's own, the epidural worked the way it is supposed to, and I labored for a total of 11 hours and pushed for 40 minutes. While I would never describe labor and delivery over all as being an easy thing to do or go through, comparitively, this time around it was a piece of cake. I would go as far as to say that I actually enjoyed it. I was actually able to enjoy my time in the hospital, to nap, to watch tv, to laugh and joke around with my husband.....all things that after about hour 2 with Audia's labor, were completely out of the question. And the recovery, of course, has been a dream comparitively. Of course I am stiff and sore, but I was able to get up out of bed on my own without assistance a mere couple of hours after delivering! Compare that to about 2 and a half days with the cesarean. Not to mention there are no restrictions on how much I can lift, or on driving, or pain when I laugh, cough, or sneeze.....If you can't tell, I am thrilled-beyond thrilled-that I was able to have a successful VBAC (and that, as a result, I can definitely deliver vaginally in the future!)

As for Callen, he is absolutely perfect! He is just a perfect little peanut, and we are all (Audia included) completely in love with him. He's been a champion eater and pooper from the get go, and so far is a very relaxed baby. Audia came to see us at the hospital on Sunday morning, and from the get go has been an absolutely amazing sister to him. She is so gentle, and interested, and in adoration of her baby brother! She calles him "my baby Callen" and she gives him her toys, talks to him, snuggles him, and gives him hugs and kisses. She loves to help us with him, and to hold him in her lap. I was really worried that once we got him home, she would quickly tire of, and become jealous of the attention we are giving him. Thankfully, so far she's seeming to take everything in stride, and while of course there are moments that she wants us to put him down to pick her up or to drop what we are doing to play with her, she has overall been very understanding and patient. An ideal big sister to say the least!

Our first couple of days getting to know our little squishy squeaker have been wonderful. So far, Callen is an extremely easy-going baby. He rarely wakes, let alone fusses, when we put him in his basinette, and he was perfectly content in his car seat the entire ride home from the hospital (much unlike his sister, who hated being restrained in any way, shape, or form pretty much from the day she was born.) He, of course, still has his days and his nights mixed up, and Chris and I are trying to remember how to work shifts with breastfeeding, but the truth is I'd much rather be snuggling with my little man than sleeping anyhow. I had forgotton how insanely soft and squishy newborns are! Audia still has super soft skin, but newborn skin takes soft to a whole new level. And then those are those short, fleeting periods of 5-10 minutes when he is awake and alert and obviously trying to figure out where the heck he is and what is going on....those melt-your-heart moments where he meets your gaze and holds it. Not to mention watching him sleep and seeing all the funny faces he makes when he's dreaming. Needless to say, we are definitely in a state of euphorically sleepless new-baby bliss. Welcome, baby Callen! We are so happy that you are finally here!!

June 10, 2011

The week of big decisions

So, in my last post I referred to another big decision that we were making this week, but didn't include any details. Finally I can talk about the craziness that's been going on for the past month! Woohoo!

About a month ago, Chris got a call from a headhunter who had gotten his contact info from a guy that Chris met at a networking luncheon over a year ago. This headhunter was looking for someone to fill an IT project manager position for a small IT firm downtown. Let me be sure to preface this by saying that Chris was in no way looking for another job; he is very happy where he is, has great relationships with everyone that he works with and for, and genuinely likes his job. Plus, he's only been there a year and got a great annual review and impressive increase already. That said, the headhunter proposed an informational phone interview - nothing too serious - and he figured it couldn't hurt just to find out about the job and company to see if it was something he'd be interested in. Well, that informational interview turned into three more interviews over the span of three weeks, each making the position sound more and more like not only something that Chris would be great at and enjoy, but also making the company and the people he would be working with and for look more and more like they would be a great fit as well. In the midst of these three weeks, the company that Chris currently works for posted two internal lead positions in his department, one of which he also applied and interviewed for. And all of this less than a month before Callen's due. Talk about crazy timing.

Long story short, Chris got an amazing offer from the company downtown. The type of offer that you simply can't turn down because it is that good. The type of offer that surprised both of us because while we had talked about the possibility that it could be that much, we never expected it to actually be that much. So Chris told his boss about it, and that we couldn't turn it down, especially with a second child on the way. Chris' boss told him that Chris had gotten the lead position he applied for internally and that he would do everything in his power to provide a counter-offer that would convince him to stay. Now, I've always known that my hubby is an amazing, wonderful, talented, dependable human being, but to have that reiterated by two companies pulling out all the stops to get him makes my heart sing because I really don't think that he realizes how amazing, wonderful, talented, and dependable he is.
His current employer provided a counter offer that, while not quite as amazing as the offer from the company downtown, is certainly enough to get him to stay. We spent forever going over numbers and then trying to put a price on things that can't be bought, such as the stability and relationships and rapport that he already has at his current company. The icing on the cake is how gracious the other company was in hearing that he was turning down their offer. Certainly no burned bridges, and if anything some great people in the industry to keep in touch with. And to think that just over a year ago, Chris had been out of work and searching for a year!

June 7, 2011

39 Weeks

39 weeks yesterday. And what a week it's been! Lots of changes and big decisions being made at our house, though some will need to be kept under wraps for another day or two. But, still no Callen. I had my 39 week appointment today and have had no progress since Thursday. Plenty of braxton hicks contractions, but apparently they are not doing much of anything, which is frustrating to say the least. Chris and I spent a while after my appointment deliberating over whether or not we want to wait another week or keep our scheduled C-section for tomorrow. Ultimately, we decided to wait another week. I really, really, really do not want to have surgery if we can avoid it, and both my pubic symphysis and SI pain has been managable for the past week, so I would rather wait it out and hope he comes on his own than have surgery and the 6 week recovery that goes along with it. That said, June 15th is the ultimate deadline for his arrival at this point. Hopefully he'll come before then.
This waiting and wondering and hoping surrounding not only the when but the how of Callen's arrival combined with the waiting and hoping and weighing of options surrounding this other potential big change in our lives has me more exhausted emotionally than I can even begin to say. Ultimately, everything is for the best, and I am very grateful that everything on both fronts is going as well as it is, but that doesn't change the fact that my patience is being tested to the most extreme extent it probably ever has before. Too bad I can't go to sleep and wake up when it's all over!