Archive for the 'On the fun parts' Category

On labor and delivery

We are so blessed. Wally V is 4 days old, and is our fabulous little ball of love, just as we’d hoped for. We’ve been extremely busy these past few days learning more about each other and how to take care of him (docs forgot to include the instruction manual when they sent us packing, just like everyone warned us they might).

Yesterday Wally V’s Poop-Poop (a name were considering for Wally V to call Walter III) asked what the next blog post might be, and I had no idea how to answer. Our lives have changed so much in just a few short days that possible topics are endless! Since I can’t possibly explain the biggest change, which is the impossibly overwhelming love that both Wally IV and I feel— it makes me cry just to think about trying to put it into words—I decided the next best thing would be to describe the first moment I felt that feeling. I’ll start by saying it was love at first sight.

So let’s go back to that moment. Wally IV and I had had a long day. From noon on in the delivery room we had been going back and forth from the possibility of a C-section and holding out to see if natural delivery was a possiblity. (Wally V’s heart rate would drop with every contraction, so they feared a cord around the neck and didn’t want to stress him out by speeding up contractions. Because of that, they weren’t sure if he would take too long to deliver naturally and had the C-section cart ready to go.) It was worrisome for Wally and I, but we knew we had tons of prayers behind us. Around 6 they said we would do a C section if the next check showed he wasn’t ready. We prayed while we waited, and God answered by giving Wally V the push he needed! He would be ready within a few hours to meet us!

I had watched my fair share of “The Baby Story” on TLC while pregnant, and so I knew the process. If the baby is born naturally, and everything is fine with him, the doctor sets him on the mommy’s belly while the rest of the process is taken care of. If something is wrong with the baby, they take him across the room to check him out and fix him up. My biggest fear was that something would be wrong with him, especially with the possibility of his cord around his neck.

The fear was not realized. As soon as he was out, the doctor tossed him up my way. Really. Tossed. Like he kind of flailed through the air toward me. Wally V does an excellent impression of Wally IV flopping through the air, so funny that when he did it yesterday for the first time I peed my pants. (Give me a break, please—you lose all control of things down there. Plus, it was really funny! Poor Wally IV has to deal with two people in need of diapers in the house.)

Anyhow, I screamed as he was tossed up my way. I remember this mainly because the doctor laughed at my reaction. It was a scream of relief,  joy, and startle at a little floppy baby heading up my way. And then I checked him out.

It was so odd to see my little man the first time. It was like meeting a stranger that you’ve known forever. He was so different from what I’d pictured—or perhaps I realized in that moment I never had pictured him because I felt who he was so clearly that I’d never even given his features a thought. And even though he looked so different from what I expected, everything in me screamed with recognition, “There you are.”

Wally V told me I just kept repeating, “I love him so much,” the whole time I was holding him. And I do. I really do. There was nothing else worth saying.

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This post is also at MeetTheOtts.com, our new blog, where we will continue to chronicle this adventure!

A prayer for Wally V

Lord, thank you so much for the miracle that is this little guy. I can’t believe that the little sick-mama-making chicken nugget we saw in our first ultrasound has now become a 5+ pound squirming, hiccuping, playful little cutie that is crammed inside my belly. Honestly! 10 months ago, he was just an idea. 8.5 months ago he wasn’t even an inch long, and he had a little beating heart. And a little at a time he grew arms, legs, a face formed, internal organs grew and started functioning. The past few months I’ve forgotten about how far he’s come, since he’s been moving around, making himself known as a little being, and even playing with us when we give him a little nudge. And now he’s hanging out, putting on fat, and ready to be born (full-term!). Really, Lord, thank you for this miracle.

Please make Wally V healthy, handsome, smart, silly, strong, brave, and fun. But if you can only make him one of these things, make him healthy, because we will still love his ugly, dim, boring, wimpy little self, and we just want him to be okay, and have a good chance at life.

Lord, help Small Wal to know always how much he is loved. Already he has family and friends around him, showering him with gifts to give him a great start on life. I look at his room, which is nearly together, and I can’t wait to have this crying, squirming, pooping little ball of love in that room that was put together by all the people in his life that he has yet to meet. I can’t wait to try out all of his clothes galore that were picked out by loved ones to make him cute and cuddly or look like a stylish mini version of his dad.

He is so blessed to have five great-grandparents who can’t wait to meet him, four grandparents who can’t wait to hold him, 6 aunts or uncles to snuggle him and make him laugh, 1 cousin to get into trouble with, and 2 dogs to slobber him with kisses. Help him always to feel the love that is so strong for him before he’s even entered the world.

Lord, we cannot wait to meet our little guy, and we can’t thank you enough for bringing him into our lives. You are truly awesome. You rock our faces off. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Interview with the Expectant Father

Well, the grandparent’s post will be a great memory for Wally V in the future, and so I also thought the little guy might wonder what his dad was thinking during the exciting time of waiting for him to arrive. Without further ado, an interview with Wally IV (Tall Wal?):

Baby practiceHow does it feel to know there will be a Wally V…that the name lives on?
I’ve said the whole time there was never any pressure from me about the name—I think I’m way more excited he’s a boy! It’s going to be fun.

What is one big question you still have about baby care?
How will I know when Wally V is sick. I know the obvious answer is crying, but it seems like that isn’t always going to be the case.

What are you looking forward to most about with Wally V?
Playing games and having fun with him.

What are you most afraid of or dreading?
I most want to be sure he’s a healthy little boy. And that I can still help him with his math homework.

What character and physical qualities do you expect he’ll have? What from mom and what from you?
Chubby cheeks like his mom, big calves like his dad. Blonde curly hair—the blonde from Mollie, the curly from me.

How do you think you’ll handle labor and delivery? How do you think Mollie will?
I think I’ll be good—I’m observant so I hope that will help me see exactly what Mollie will need through the labor. I think Mollie will be great!

Really poopy diaper duty/late-night feedings: what do you think the workload split should be?
Well…the political answer would be 50/50. But you know how light of a sleeper I am…so I’m thinking I may be up quite a bit. 😉

Say Mollie says tomorrow, the baby’s coming! Are you ready?
I am now after Childbirth Express. What time was your first contraction? And the next? 5 minute contractions for 2 hours, we’re ready to go!

An interview with the grandparents

Wally V is blessed with a Fab 4 of grandparents, and both Wally and I are so glad for the support we know we’ll have from them. I asked them a few questions for the record, and below you’ll see their responses! Below I’ll be referring to my parents as Mom and Dad, and Wally’s parents as MomOtt and Coach, as that’s what I call them. Without further ado:

It’s weird to me that at some point you all had your first baby on the way and didn’t know what to expect. What do you remember most as your biggest fears and hopes of that time?

MomOtt: Because Wally was not a planned pregnancy, one of my biggest fears was that I would not be a good or ready mother. I think that is why God gave me a baby that followed all the rules down to sleeping through the night at 1 month, to nursing exactly as the books said he should. I hoped he would “feel the love” of his big family  around him and pass that on to others. I prayed he would know how much Jesus loved him.

Mom: When we found out I was pregnant with Joe, we had just moved into our new house and taken on a huge mortgage payment ($482.78).  We were so worried about our finances since I was going to stay at home.  We were excited about the baby, but worried about money!

Coach: I was afraid I’d have a little boy that would pee on the side of the house with the neighbor girl watching his antics and I was afraid I’d have a little girl that would cry for 6 months straight. I hoped (and prayed) they would be filled with God’s spirit and bloom like two of God’s perfect flowers. (Still blooming but they are beautiful.)

Continue reading ‘An interview with the grandparents’

One last baby-free getaway

Call it what you will–a babymoon, staycation, foodcation (something Wally and I invented where you eat whatever you want from wherever you want)–last weekend, Wally and I took one last baby-free weekend away from home in Chicago. It was a blast, and in many ways not unlike other trips we’ve taken there. We saw the sites, ate a ton of good food, and did some shopping.
But a lot was different also. We took the bus a few places to keep the dogs from barking. Wally shopped for himself and I couldn’t do the same, considering I’ve outgrown even maternity clothes (seriously, Small Wal keeps trying to peek out at the world by pushing my shirt out), so I shopped for Small Wal. I bought him an unbelievably cute “I love Daddy” onesie. Random passers by congratulated us (that’s the thing about this baby–he makes his own good news announcement).
Like Wally and I have found ourselves doing often, we kept thinking of how different this trip would be next year. Either we’d have a sitter, or we’d have a lot more gear and a schedule run by a crawling, babbling, diaper-wearing little dude. Oh, man, our lives are really about to change.
It was a great weekend. It reminded me of our most recent Chicago weekend, where we did one of those photo booth mashups. The booth took a picture of Wally and then of me, and then it mashed our faces together to show us what our future son would look like. Usually they turn out ugly, with buggy eyes or bushy eyebrows. But our little 8 year old Wally V is a stud! (Okay, the jean jacket’s a little nerdy, but he’s a doll!) Then again, this is coming from his mom, so I may be biased. Here’s our little dude, 8 years from now, according to the great Dave and Busters:

2.5 month countdown! Wally V is getting big.

For the past month, when people have asked how much longer I’ve got left, I’ve been saying 3 months. Because 3 months sounds a heck of a lot better than less than three months. 2.5 months sounds just around the corner. 2.5 months sounds like Danny and Sandy’s summer fling. A So You Think You Can Dance season (love that show!). The amount of time you have to wait to bring a puppy home. 2.5 months are here and gone in a flash. 3 months is long. A quarter of a year. Less than 3 months is, well, not.

Wally V, though, has been constantly reminding me how soon he’s coming. A few weeks ago, he started to do more than kick. He suddenly got big enough that he can push on my sides. He stretches, presses on my stomach, and runs his hand or foot up, down and around. At night, I lay on my side, and you can see this little alien-looking bump moving around.

He likes to play. I’ll feel a part of him poking out, and I’ll press on it. He’ll press back. Just a minute ago, I had my hand on my stomach, and he must have felt it, because suddenly an appendage pressed up on my hand. Then he pushed up at my hand 4 times in rhythm.

With his new big size, the only discomfort I’m feeling so far is that he likes to hang out on my right side, and he’s gotten so big that he’ll press up on my ribs. He has all this room on my left side, but for some reason chooses to lean right and stretch up. It makes something pinch against my ribs! I try to gently suggest that he move down, but he fights me! And here I thought I had until the teen years to deal with talking back. Move over Wally V!

Until last week, I felt very unprepared for a baby to join our household. That’s why I was sticking with “3 months” as my answer. But I’m now ready to say 2.5, because Wally IV put together our baby’s crib and bookshelf (the dresser is on backorder). So the room is looking more like a room! No more 3 months for me. 10 more weeks it is! Check it out:

CribBookshelf

Lessons from a 2-month-old

Wally and I were just lucky enough to spend a week with the cutest little 2-month-old I know, our nephew Grady (aka GradyBird). For at least a few hours every day in Silver Lake, Michigan with Wally’s extended family, we spent time with the little cutie, who had a lot to teach me. Here’s the wisdom of GradyBird, boiled down to a few points from the many I learned:

  • At 2 months, babies aren’t so much lumps of things anymore. Evidenced by one main fact: 2-month-olds can smile! You’d bop his nose; he’d smile. You’d poke his belly; he’d smile. You’d talk to him in a goofy voice; he’d smile. He’d toot; he’d smile. You’d toot; he wouldn’t so much notice. But when he’s older he might get that joke.
  • No one holds a baby quite as well as mommy. There were quite a few experienced baby people present, and many who could keep Grady comfortable for a while. But when Jane, my sista [in law] would pick up Grady, he fit perfectly in the crook of her arm. When she’d burp him, he’d look comfortable, even through his unhappiness and cries about spit up. And when she’d say, “Hey man,” to her little guy, you just knew that they had the strongest bond two people can have.
  • Babies make the best little sounds imaginable. Grady hums when he sleeps. Like it doesn’t show enough peacefulness to have his eyes closed and be taking deep breaths—he’s got to sing about it to tell you how great it is. He also closed his eyes, drank, and mmm-mmmed his way through every bottle. And the best was when you’d talk to him, and he’d stick his tongue out, open his mouth, and coo, like he had something to say, but couldn’t quite put it into words.

Grady was magic. The first chance I had to bond with him was when he let me change his diaper for my first time. I was very diaper-focused at the time, and not so much Grady-focused. I wanted to be sure I got it right, so no one was leaked on later. At the end, I was double checking that all was well, when I remembered there was a baby attached to that diaper. I looked at him, and he was concentrating on my face, just checking me out. And I saw that he had decided, sometime during that experience, that he liked me. He looked at my face, and my hair, and he just smiled and smiled.

All week, the fam noticed he particularly liked my voice. When I’d talk, I’d get a lot of talking back. I attributed it to my cartoon-sounding, childlike voice, but it could have been something else. It could have been that GradyBird, in his two-month-old wisdom, knew that I was going to be a mom in 3 months, and that I was scared to death. And so he decided to show me that I might not know much about babies, but that I can figure it out. My baby will love me—I actually can make him happy. It won’t even take a lot of trying or effort, and certainly not perfection, to get that happiness and love. And so because of baby Grady, my handsome little nephew, more than ever I can’t wait to meet my little guy.


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