Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Fast Forward to Present

Where has the time gone? I can hardly believe that my sweet Ollie is eight months old. I simply must get better at this record keeping thing (thankfully I've written every milestone and fun fact about O in my calendar/journal making recall a cinch). It seems like only yesterday we were getting acquainted with one another and yet I feel as though he's always been a part of my life.

A little recap...

leaving the hospital

Settling In:

Brining Oliver home from the hospital was a great day. It was just Brent and I coming home to Anders with our new addition in tow. Such a quiet, peaceful and sweet day for us. The first few weeks were spent getting the hang of breastfeeding, recovering from a C-Section and entertaining the revolving door of visitors. I am thankful that Oliver began sleeping through the night on day one which made getting use to the aforementioned things much easier. Oliver met his pediatrician for the first time and we were excited to learn that in his first month of life he had gained just over a pound and grown an inch making him 10.5 pounds and 22 inches long. Ollie's first visitors at home were Auntie S, Nana, Papa, Aunt Heather, Aunt Lori and Aunt Jami. During his first few weeks home, Oliver attended his first Georgia Tech football game against Duke. I was a beautiful 75 degree fall day and we figured we might as well get him started early. He enjoyed the festivities immensely but the highlight was getting to meet the sweet Jordan family for the very first time.

snuggies with daddy

One Month: Ah the month of December and all the craziness it brings! Brent was back to work and all of my family help was as well. It was just Ollie, Anders and I making a go of it. It was AWESOME! I managed to shower most days and cook dinner most nights. Those two things made me feel successful as a new stay-at-home mom. Sure the laundry suffered (except when my sweet husband picked up the slack - which he did a lot of) and the bathrooms were less than pristine but the important things like feeding, cuddling and interacting with Oliver were accomplished. Oliver's first Christmas was wonderful. He was lucky to have almost all of his family here with him. He received some very nice and useful gifts. We began making our very own traditions and we look forward to doing them again each year. Oliver also experienced his very first snow on Christmas morning, a complete rarity! At just shy of two months old, Ollie had his first fine dining experience at Restaurant Eugene for his Homer's birthday. He was a complete angel baby, sitting in my lap the entire time, never making a fuss. Another first for O was attending lots of Georgia Tech basketball games. I considered it great eye tracking practice as he watched the players run up and down the court. I surely hope this kid loves the Jackets as much as we do. ;Oliver weighed 13.9 pounds and was 24 inches long at two months. Clearly breastmilk is the meal of champions!

NYE 2010

Two Months:
Time to ring in the new year. We spent our first New Years Day as a family of three. Oliver tried to stay up to watch the big shiny ball drop but the milk was just too intoxicating. Oliver met Aunt Jen, Uncle Ethan, Cousins Alanah, Olivia, Megan and Samantha this month. They were so sweet to bring him welcome gifts (and if we fast forward to the present, his VERY favorite toy is the activity table they gave him).

Oliver weighed 14.4 lbs at his two month appointment.

Oh those cheeks!

Three Months
: Before having Oliver, everyone else with babies told me to give it to the third month and it will get easier. I counted my blessings that month one was just as easy as month three. At three months Ollie's personality really began to shine. He started loudly squealing with delight and exploring his world by placing everything in his mouth. At 3 months, Oliver began Gymboree classes. So stinkin' cute! Oliver enjoys singing, tummy time, working on rhythm, eye-tracking, etc. Major milestone this month, O rolled from his tummy to his back. Clearly it was in effort to get off his tummy.

Oliver weighed 15.6 pounds (per the home scale) at three months. O is also all done with the infant "bucket" car seat. We've moved him into his Britax convertible (made for infant to toddler) and he is much happier!

Mesmerized at the aquarium

Four Months:
Happy Birthday to Daddy and an early surprise 40th Birthday for Aunt Apee. Those are the things that kept us busy this month. We had a home birthday dinner to celebrate Brent (complete with a handprint card made by Oliver himself) followed by an adult dinner out to Bachannalia (thanks Homer and Grammy for the gift card). Oliver got to hang out with his Nana, Papa and Auntie S while we enjoyed the delicious fare. Month four also brought about Oliver's second round of immunizations. Oliver gets one vaccine per trip instead of the ridiculous 6-in-1 they normally give babies. Six viruses injected at once is ridiculous in our opinion but more on that later. Highlights this month: Oliver's first trip to the aquarium (totally mesmerized by the fish) and our first trip to Piedmont Park for some much needed fresh air.

Milestones: O began drinking out of a regular adult cup this month. Being a bf baby he couldn't care less for a bottle or sippy. One night while hanging out on the sofa, he grabbed my turvis tumbler full of water, turned it up and drank right from the open top. He's now a pro where cups are concerned. O also began sitting unsupported for 30 second intervals.

Oliver weighed 17.3 pounds and was 25 inches long at his 4 month appointment.

Family photo in Charleston

Five Months:
Spring time is here! We loved being able to spend most of our day (whether napping or playing) outside. At five months, Oliver took his first trip to Charleston to visit with Grammy, Homer, Aunt Jami, Uncle Sean and the Keeters. He handled the 8 hour trip well. Oliver had his second fine dining experience this month at Tristan's. We got the dreaded look from fellow diners at the sight of a baby in an upscale restaurant but all fears were put to rest when Oliver played quietly the entire 3 hours. We had several people come up to us to tell us how "well behaved" he was and that he could dine with them anytime! The car trip home was not near as fun as going. Oliver was way over his car seat which meant frequent stops and an 11 hour travel time. Our family had fun celebrating Easter this year. Having a child makes holidays that much more fun! The festivities included dying eggs with Auntie S, Nana and Papa, an egg hunt at Nana and Papa's church and tiny boy receiving more Easter goodies than he could have dreamed up.

Milestones: Oliver weighed 18.3 pounds on the home scale. O is officially sitting up at 5 months and is loving his new vantage point.

First Easter @ Church at Chapel Hill

Six Months:

How are we half way to a year? Someone please stop this fast moving train for just a bit! Month six of O's life was mainly spent in Germany or preparing to go there. I'll record the trip details separately. Oliver began eating solid foods while away. We took the baby led weaning approach, meaning he doesn't eat baby food or purees unless its something like soup or yogurt. We simply let him take the lead and eat whatever he wants of what we are eating. So far there isn't a food he won't eat. He loves all things edible, especially mushrooms, asparagus, and schnitzel. Who wouldn't?

Milestones - besides solid food, Oliver begin affectionately referring to me as "meh-meh" and he got his very first tooth! He also found his inner fish on his first trip to the pool while in Koln. Such a busy month for our sweet little bug! He weighed 19.4 pounds this month.

Side bar - we received the devastating news while in Germany that my father had cancer. The last few days were spent just wishing we were home by his side and with our family.

Father's Day Photo-shoot

Seven Months:
The month of June brought about much change in our lives. Oliver visited the aquarium again with daddy's coworkers, he began standing on his on as well as pulling up! The child has zero interest in crawling but he is gung-ho about moving on two feet. We celebrated Father's Day with my dad and Brent's very first Father's Day! I took my camera and little O out for a photo shoot to upload images on daddy's new digital picture frame for the office. The majority of this month was spent at Duke Medical Center in North Carolina at my father's bedside. He was recovering from cancer surgery and didn't make it. Another post will follow later when I feel like sharing my heart on this tragedy.

Milestones: Standing alone and pulling up. Oliver weighed 19 pounds at his six month appointment and was 27.5 inches long.

As you can see, we've been extremely busy. Thankfully most of it has been all fun. I'm loving my new life as a stay-at-home mom and wouldn't trade this time for anything. I am thankful we made sacrifices early on in our relationship to allow me to do this and am equally grateful for the blessings we've received along the way. I greatly appreciate how very hard Brent works to provide for us and do my best to make sure he knows it! I'm looking forward to the many months ahead. We have football season, Oliver's first Halloween, first birthday, Thanksgiving and Christmas to anticipate. Now if someone could just his s-l-o-w I'd greatly appreciate it.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Happy BIRTHday Oliver

Looking back to February 2010, I thought the big day would never arrive. I had prayed, begged, hoped, pleaded and dreamed of being a mother for most of my life. As it goes with everything, God's timing was perfect (a point I'd argued with Him a few times).

Halloween Sunday 2010

The day before the big day. As stated in my previous thread, I was feeling less than optimal. I woke up feeling excited and nervous for what was to come. Brent and I had to be at Cobb Hospital that afternoon for paper work and pre-op blood work. Brent's parents arrived that afternoon as well. We met up with my parents for dinner. I spent the entire day trying to wrap my head around what tomorrow would hold but all attempts failed. Nothing could have prepared me. Surprisingly I slept really well.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Brent and I were to report to the labor & delivery floor at 8 a.m. for my 10 a.m. scheduled C-Section. Upon arrival I changed into my lovely nursing gown (read: UGLY). My chiropractor's wife ended up being my C-Section nurse and took great care of us! I wasn't allowed food after midnight the night before and being a gestational diabetic without food for 9+ hours is less than pleasant. Ms. Nurse decided I needed some sugar water in my IV and I soon felt great. My team of doctors came in to speak with us before the procedure. Brent was then handed his change of scrubs and we were off.

I walked from the prep room to the operating room. Brent had to wait outside until the spinal was in place and the doctors were ready to start. I walked in the OR and had the pleasure of surveying all the scalpels, scissors and various surgical instruments lying about. I climbed up on the table, sat on the edge and waited for Dr. DeMarino to do his magic. Nothing like feeling your body one minute and having no control or feeling the next. They laid me down on an airplane looking board and called Brent in. He sat at the right side of my head with his camera in hand. Dr. Thompson came in and we began the procedure at 10:05 a.m.

Oh the odd things surgeons, doctors, nursers and anesthesiologists discuss in the OR. The nurse anesthesiologist was interested in Brent's camera and they carried on about that whilst I was under the knife. I didn't mind, anything to take my mind off the surgery.

I remember my nose itching madly and the most awful burning smell. I realized in recovery that was the smell of flesh burning away in order to keep the bleeding under control. Yack. Other than those two things I didn't feel anything. Praise God! Before I knew it, the nurse was telling me that I might feel some tugging and pulling. Tugging and pulling? Oh yea, I'M HAVING A BABY any minute. I didn't feel that tugging and pulling but I did hear Dr. Thompson say the shoulders were hard to get out. The next thing I hear is lots of awing as I held my breath waiting for that first cry.

Just a few seconds after he was delivered, I heard the most precious sound I've ever heard. I've never been more appreciative of being blessed with the ability to hear and see as I was at that moment. I offered a momentary prayer of thanks to God as I waited for Oliver to be lifted over the curtain.

As I saw my son that I had carried within for the first time I was overwhelmed, at a loss for words and completely in love. Oliver Edmunds Holloway was born at 10:21 a.m., weighing 9.1 pounds and measuring 21 inches long. Perfection.

Seeing Mommy for the first time

Proud Daddy in recovery


Friday, December 10, 2010

The Final Weeks

Last Prego Picture

An update for my own records, just a little behind.

Remember reading the posts where I said I loved being pregnant? Unfortunately I loved it up until week 39. Pregnancy was relatively easy for me until I reached the last week.

It all started with an earache. While at my weekly OB appointment I had the Dr. Thompson check my ear for what I assumed was an ear infection. She found nothing. I went home that Tuesday and along with the earache my right eye began pouring water. Then I noticed I didn't have as much muscle control on that side of my face. While at the high risk pregnancy doctor on Thursday, I was diagnosed with Bells Palsy. Bells Palsy is a temporary paralysis caused by pressure on one of the cranial nerves. Dr. B prescribed steroids to reduce inflammation and hopefully prevent the bells from sticking around after Oliver's birth. So five days before my scheduled C-Section I began taking the medication. As it turns out the medication made me vomit for 2 days and did nothing for the Bells. I stop taking the steroids and spend the remaining three days in the bed eating and drinking very little. Did I mention I could only smile with the left side of my face? It was less than pretty.

I did manage to enjoy a last pregnancy meal at Longhorn with the family Sunday (Halloween) night.

The good news is despite my feeling like total rubbish, little Oliver was thriving perfectly well. The monitoring was going perfectly and the final ultrasound showed what Dr. B estimated would be a 9 pound baby. Only time would tell.

Up next, the big day!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

33 week update...

Every week I get these baby status updates by email and every week I just laugh. This week's notification said:

This week your baby weighs a little over 4 pounds (heft a pineapple) and has passed the 17-inch mark. He's rapidly losing that wrinkled, alien look and his skeleton is hardening. The bones in his skull aren't fused together, which allows them to move and slightly overlap, thus making it easier for him to fit through the birth canal. (The pressure on the head during birth is so intense that many babies are born with a conehead-like appearance.) These bones don't entirely fuse until early adulthood, so they can grow as his brain and other tissue expands during infancy and childhood.

I've been seeing a maternal and fetal specialists for the last two months for gestational diabetes. Dr. B has recently decided that my sugar is completely in control and I can thank genetics for this large baby growing within and not the GD. As of last Friday, Oliver, at 33 weeks, was weighing in at 6 pounds and measuring about 20 inches long. I have these measurements taken weekly and every week, he's well ahead of an average size baby. Now you see why I laugh. Oliver has also decided that he prefers to hang out in the womb breech-style. If he doesn't rotate into proper position in the next two weeks, we'll be scheduling a C-Section for week 39. For the last few weeks, Dr. B seemed hopeful that Ollie would turn in time for a vaginal birth. However, the closer we get and the larger Oliver gets, the hope wanes.

I was looking forward to a natural birth but am now preparing myself mentally for a C-Section. While I would prefer not to undergo major surgery, I am a fan of doing whatever it takes to get both Oliver and I on the other side of delivery day safely. Dr. B estimates Oliver could weigh 10 pounds by birth, so when I look at it that way, may the C-Section won't be so bad.

Here's an update for record-keeping sake:

How far along
: 33 weeks and 4 days.

Symptoms: Heartburn, heartburn, heartburn! Toss in some hip pain and sleep issues and that pretty much sums up the last few weeks. I recently started experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions a few times per day. I record all of that to say that I honestly have loved being pregnant and I'm thankful that I still have a few weeks to enjoy it!

Total Weight Gain: 18 pounds.

Maternity Clothes: The clothes are fine. However, I'm over the shoes. Apparently pregnancy can make your feet go all Fred Flintstone and you're forced to wear flats every day of your life. Can anyone say boring?

Stretch Marks: Evil.

Sleep: I can get to sleep, its the turning over and getting out of bed part that's becoming painful.

Best Moment This Week: Brent and I (along with Anders) took our last childless vacation for the near future. We spent the weekend in Elijay in a cabin we rented. We checked in on Friday night and didn't leave until Sunday. It was 2 glorious days of being alone and relaxing!

Movement: His most active times are 4 am, 6 am, 9:30 am, 12:30 pm, 4 pm, 9 pm and midnight. He prefers to do most of his sleeping during the NST sessions.

Food Cravings: Nothing in particular anymore.

Belly Button: Still an innie.

What I miss: Looking down and seeing my feet.

What I am looking forward to: Completely finishing the nursery! All we need to do is hang the shelf over the changing table. I can't believe that's all that's left to do!

Milestones: I've made it to the part in pregnancy where I see a doctor two times per week.

How is Daddy?: Daddy is a travelling fool right now. He's only got about 2 weeks left before the travel will cease until Oliver arrives. I'm ready for it! :) Daddy is excited about Oliver's arrival as much as I am. He thoroughly enjoyed the breastfeeding class we attended and I am sure he's looking forward to our upcoming birthing classes. He's going to a be a great father!

How are the Grandparents? Spoiling him with cute clothes every chance they get.

Stranger Encounters: I was walking into my building and held the door for a lady with a baby and stroller. She stopped and told me that I looked great and shared her birth story with me. She told me how wonderful it was and that not all stories are horror stories. You rarely have anyone go out of their way to tell you how positive an experience can be. I'll always remember her.

For you I wish...

Photo from SarahJaneStudios @ Etsy.com

Dear Oliver,

As I'm closing in on finally meeting the little person growing inside of me, I decided I would record some of my recent thoughts. I've been thinking about how a mother goes about instilling the best in her children, especially when the mother isn't perfect herself. These are the things that keep me up at night.

I promise to teach you the best life lessons I know. I will teach you the importance of service, strength of character, self-discipline, abiding compassion, deep faith, intentional action, personal responsibility, purity, beauty of spirit and love. I want you to learn that things, titles, numbers and social status are irrelevant. What truly matters is that when you leave this world, you must have made a difference. I want you to be kind to those you meet, always offering a smile.

I will give you a beautiful home filled with things money could never buy. A foundation of security enclosed in walls of acceptance for who you were created to be. A place that fosters creativity, imagination and growth. A place where I will take time to turn off the T.V./shut down the computer to spend time laughing and creating memories with you. We will sing silly songs (off key of course), dance because we feel like it, plan great adventures and take amazing journeys (even if it means never leaving our living room).

I promise to do my best at being patient, understanding, kind, respectful and firm. I will guide you to the best of my ability, always providing an ear to listen, a soft place to fall and a place to get up and try again.

Most importantly, I will love you no matter what.

Counting down the days until we meet,

Friday, July 30, 2010

Becoming a Mother

Lately, I have been wondering about the new identity I will soon assume. How will I feel when a person I do not know addresses me as Oliver’s mom instead of asking my name? What will I think when I've wiped a runny nose for the 100th time and there is screaming and crying and I’ve just stepped on every single Lego we own? When I’m cleaning up after the tenth blowout diaper in an hour, when a child is vomiting, when I am physically incapable of consoling my sleepy baby, when the thought of spending one more minute in THIS HOUSE makes me want to cry…what then? Who will I be at that moment?

I know the answer is that I will be Mom, with all of the highs and lows that being Mom brings. I will kiss scraped knees and spread frosting on birthday cupcakes. I will give out countless hugs and sing silly songs to hear a single giggle. I will enforce discipline, carry my baby in a sling and read a million bedtime stories. I will finger paint, help with homework and watch my husband throw our baby in the air. I will guide this child through rises and falls, through good choices and bad, through monsters in the closet or under the bed and friends who aren't the best influences. I will love beyond my understanding and worry beyond my current capacity and, and, and, AND! But still, of course, I wonder…


Time Flies When Incubating - 30 weeks!

Third trimester? Really? I can't help but feel like it was just yesterday that I told Brent he was going to be a father. What a great time its been preparing for Oliver to arrive. In only a few weeks my entire world will be turned upside down. I'll be resigning from my job to a full-time mom in addition to birthing a baby. I don't know what this new life will be like, but I already love it!

How far along: 30 weeks today!

Symptoms: Tired! Heartburn is almost daily.

Total Weight Gain: 13 pounds!

Maternity Clothes: I added a few new ones to the rotation.

Stretch Marks: Remember those static plasma balls? Just sayin…

Sleep: It’s better than it has been. Part of that may be due to kicking the 160 pound dog out of the bed.

Best Moment This Week: Having Oliver respond to certain things I do.

Movement: His most active time is around 9:30 p.m.

Food Cravings: Orange juice.

Belly Button: Still an innie.

What I miss: Having a closet full of clothes that fit!

What I am looking forward to: I have my first baby shower this weekend. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone and seeing all the cute baby stuff! I’m also looking forward to seeing the Parinatologist again to see if Oliver is still measuring off the charts in weight and length. At 28 weeks he was measuring 31 weeks and about 3 to 3.5 pounds!

Milestones: 3rd Trimester and 30 weeks! I also found out at my 28 week appointment that Oliver is no longer breech and has moved into birthing position. Here's hoping he stays put!

How is Daddy?: Ready! He talks to Oliver at night which generally results in a kick-a-thon!

How are the Grandparents?: Supportive! Brent and I (and Oliver) are truly blessed in this department!

Stranger Encounters: The man that runs the Moe’s in my office building asked me when I was due. I told him Nov. 5 and he said, “Ohhhhhh!”

Here's to the home stretch!