Stefani's most-fantastical-reads book montage

Crooked Kingdom
Six of Crows
Yellow Brick War
The Wicked Will Rise
Charm & Strange
Their Fractured Light
These Broken Stars
Big Little Lies
I'll Be There
Red Queen

Stefani's favorite books »

Sunday, April 29, 2012

My kids could be twins... born two years apart.

Am I wrong?

Becoming a family of four...

The arrival of Cohen has been the most talked about and most anticipated event in our house for the past nine months. We have anxiously awaited the moment where Addison would become a big sister and we would be able to share our new son with the world.

Addison's first moments with Cohen were while we were in the hospital and it's one of the moments that I regret the most from this whole experience. I was stranded in the bathroom for the first thirty minutes of Addison's time with Cohen. Then I had to spend the next 30 minutes with three nurses and a catheter while my new little family waited in the hall. I missed Addison's first reaction and first moments with Cohen. I wasn't present when my family of three officially became a family of four and that breaks my heart. I didn't get to see the look on Addison's face when she saw her brother for the first time and I didn't get to watch as she took in his tiny features for the first time.

I really didn't get to see any interaction between my two babies until after we got home from the hospital. I've wondered all along how Addison would handle all of the change that goes along with a new sibling and despite the fact that my 'spirited' child is still just as spirited - I feel like she's handling it really well. She's constantly concerned about 'baby Cohen' and what we are doing with him. She asks where he is and what he's doing, she asks to see Cohen first thing in the morning after waking up, and wants to make sure that he is in his swing and content before we eat dinner. She wants to hold him and give him kisses and she would give ANYTHING to put him in with her babies and push him in one of her strollers. She loves showing off her baby brother to new visitors and peeking in on him when he's nursing or sleeping or being changed... or just hanging out. Addison wants to be a good big sister and she is trying so hard. We still have to work on how to handle baby - I was putting him in her lap yesterday and she grabbed him in a bear hug to hold him. She wants to give him all her toys - even the ones that are bigger than he is. She would love to feed him [crackers, juice, grapes... anything] and doesn't really understand why or how mom's boob is the one place where this baby gets his meals. Sometimes, especially when she's extra excited, she bounces around and the potential for wonking her brother on the head increases exponentially - these are the moments when we have to redirect her or help her find a way to show her energy without pouncing on anybody.

Becoming a family of four didn't go exactly how I planned it in my mind. I visualized holding Cohen and having Addison crawl up into the hospital bed with me where we quietly marveled at the tiny man who just entered our lives. We would hold him and talk about how small he was and she would get to give him a kiss for the first time. I visualized all this happening in a quiet moment which would be captured on film and memorialized forever on our fridge. Instead I was crying on the toilet and trying to listen to what was happening in the other room. Instead of a warm fuzzy family moment, Addison was wound up and getting in trouble for running/climbing/crawling/toddlering, I was in agonizing pain and couldn't focus on anything but getting relief, and most of the interactions between my children took place in the hallway of the hospital. It wasn't what I had planned and I was disappointed when the moment had passed and I realized that we didn't get a do-over. But, despite all that, we did become a family of four that day. It may not have gone the way I had planned [I don't even have a picture of us from that day] but we made it, and that is what counts in the end.

Addison holding baby Cohen's hand...
My babies <3
Addison couldn't WAIT to put Cohen in his baby swing. She helped mommy and daddy put it together last week!
My big girl <3

Cohen's Birth Story

Well, I have to give it to my children... they certainly do know how to make an entrance.

I spent Tuesday morning doing housework and weeding the vegetable garden in hopes that I would somehow jump-start labor. After my shower and lunch I started having contractions and by 2pm they were painful enough and close enough that I started thinking about calling Derek. At 3pm I gave in and called him and told him that he needed to come home so we could head to the hospital. His dad came over to watch Addison and we left for the hospital. We checked in to L&D at 4pm and the nurses hooked me up to the monitors to check my contractions and see how baby was handling everything. My contractions slowed down a bit once we got there [go figure, my uterus NEVER wants to behave] and Derek and I started talking about how we most certainly about to get sent home. I was dilated to 1cm and 60% effaced which wasn't much of a change from my appointment last week. After a while the nurse came in and looked over the print-out from the monitor. She wasn't impressed with the contractions [and neither were we] but she was concerned about Cohen's fetal monitor strip. Each time I had a contraction, Cohen's heart rate would drop significantly. It wasn't the fact that it dropped that was concerning but WHEN it dropped [after the contraction instead of during it]. There is certain criteria that the fetal print-out has to meet in order for patients to be sent home and our information didn't meet the criteria to go home. The nurse said that the strip was 'concerning' but not 'worrysome' which, of course, left me worrying like crazy. They called Dr. H to see what he thought about the situation and he came over to the hospital to talk with us and do an ultrasound to see if he could figure out what was going on. The ultrasound didn't help us much - we couldn't see where the cord was [and the suspicion was that it was pinned between his skull and my pelvis] but we did see that Cohen was not nearly as active as he normally was and seemed to be staying in a 'sleep cycle' despite being poke, prodded, and having loud noises played up against my tummy. Dr. H explained that while he didn't feel like we needed to deliver right that moment but that baby was definitely sending the message that he wanted out sooner rather than later and that meant inducing my labor right away.
Hospital bling...
The infamous 'strip' that started it all...
At 7pm we were admitted to the hospital and moved into room 428, two door down from where I delivered Addison. Once we got settled the nurse came in and started my IV and started my Pitocin drip. I started having more regular, stronger contractions around 10pm but Cohen's heart rate dropped several times and set off all the alarms on the monitors so they backed off the Pitocin drip for several hours. Derek and I tried to get some sleep over night but with the nurse checking my vitals every 30 minutes and being hooked up to an IV and having to pee every hour or so, sleep was kind of a joke. As the night progressed, the nurse continued to increase my Pitocin dose because my contractions kept petering off and stalling out. At 5am the contractions started to get a lot more intense - enough that I couldn't play Scramble with Friends during one [that's how we measure contractions around here...] They were really strong but not unbearable and I wanted to go as long as I could before getting my epidural because when I had Addison the epidural caused my labor to stall out. Dr. H came in at 7am to check me - I was dilated to a whopping 2 cm and 80% effaced. He opted to break my water to get things rolling. My water broke on it's own with Addison so I didn't realize what I was in for during that procedure. I think I about crawled out the top of the bed while breaking Derek's hands - it was horrifically painful. After that, the contractions started coming A LOT stronger, longer, and closer together and I was left crying and hanging on to the bed rail begging for the epidural. My heroics of waiting for labor to progress further went right out the window and thankfully we didn't have to wait too long for the anesthesiologist to get there and get started. At 8am they started the epidural and I finally got some relief from the pain. I was way more comfortable afterward and was able to play on Facebook, play Words, and text friends while we were waiting and chatting with our nurses. At 10:30 I told the nurse that I was feeling some pressure with each contraction and she decided to check me - I was dilated to 8 cm and almost completely effaced. I was surprised that things went so fast after breaking my water and finally had hope that we were going to have a normal delivery and not a c-section. We thought it'd be another hour or so before it was time to push but 20 minutes later I was feeling more pressure and when the nurse checked me she said it was time to go. They broke down the room and got ready and some time around 11am Dr. H arrived and I started to push. It took 6 or 7 contractions worth of pushing to deliver Cohen - almost twice as long as it took with Addison and by the time he was born at 11:20am, I was EXHAUSTED. I don't know how women push for hours on end - I would most certainly die or pass out if that was the case!

Cohen Jeffrey Tweedy was born at 11:20am on Wednesday, April 25th 2012. He weighed 6 lbs. 14 oz [EXACTLY the same weight as his sister] and was 20 inches long.
Our first seconds as new parents...
He's giving the nurse the side-eye for taking his vitals...
All bundled up...
Proud Papa...
My new little man...

Sleeping like a baby...
He looks too little to be in this giant car seat!!
Getting ready to head home...

Recovery and Postpartum...

Delivery is hard... I don't think that is any big surprise. However, delivering Cohen was significantly more difficult that delivering Addison, despite them being the same size. It took me almost twice as long to push him out and I feel like the aftermath of his birth was harder on my body this time around. I'm almost 100% convinced that my tailbone is severely bruised and I wouldn't be surprised at all if someone told me it was actually broken - the pain that I feel every time I sit down or bend over is excruciating. Add to that the joy of an episiotomy and you can imagine that my girl parts have seen better days. One thing that was much different with Cohen is that after delivery I was totally unable to pee due to the massive swelling. When Dr came to check on me I was sitting on the potty crying because I was in such pain from trying to pee. He sent for a nurse to re-insert a catheter and drain my bladder. Placing the catheter was almost as painful as the contractions I was feeling after Dr broke my water - it was horrible. Once they got it in, they drained 1600 ml of pee out of my bladder (FYI - that's almost a 2 liter)... the nurse said that with that amount of fluid my bladder had been the size of a newborn. No wonder it hurt like hell! The catheter was left in overnight and ended up being a lifesaver. When they removed it the next morning I was able to pee without any pain (hallelujah!).

The only thing that we left behind at the hospital that made me sad was the nurses. We were blessed (again) to have some of the most wonderful nurses that I've ever met. Some were new to us - Christa, Becky, Jamie, and Pat... and one was dear to our hearts from when we had Addison - Carla. They made the difference in everything - from finding out that things weren't ideal with Cohen's vitals and the stress and tears that followed that, to the painful contractions, and right on through delivery.

I'm just thankful that, despite all the challenges of this pregnancy and birth, this little man is healthy, happy, and sweeter than we ever could have hoped for... Now my new challenge will be to learn how to be a parent of two little munchkins =] I'm sure there will never be a dull moment...

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

In my arms...

 This has always been my song for Addison... 

Your baby blues
So full of wonder
Your curly cues
Your contagious smile
And as I watch
You start to grow up
All I can do is hold you tight

Knowing clouds will raise up
Storms will race in
But you will be safe in my arms
Rains will pour down
Waves will crash all around
But you will be safe in my arms

Story books full of fairy tales
Kings and queens and the bluest skies
My heart is torn just in knowing
You'll someday see the truth from lies

Knowing clouds will raise up
Storms will race in
But you will be safe in my arms
Rains will pour down
Waves will crash all around
But you will be safe in my arms

Castles they might crumble
Dreams may not come true
But you are never all alone
Because I will always
Always love you

Clouds will raise up
Storms will race in
But you will be safe in my arms
Rains will pour down
Waves will crash all around
But you will be safe in my arms


Today I had a moment... I'm not sure if it was a result of pregnancy hormones or just the sheer realization of how drastically our lives are about to change but it hit me like a ton of bricks.

In the face.


In a very short while, Addison will no longer be my only baby. She will always be my baby girl, my first love... but she won't be my only love anymore. Very soon there will be another little love in our lives, with his own charm and personality and Addison will no longer be the sole focus of my motherly affection. I feel like somehow, I'm about to 'cheat' on my baby girl.

I'm not sure why that realization brought tears to my eyes today [and again as I'm writing this] - I am thrilled that we are having Cohen and knowing that Addison will have a sibling by her side no matter what life throws at her is the best gift I can give her as a parent. But just as I had to mourn the life we had before we became parents and put the fancy dinners and shopping sprees and vacations aside for mac-n-cheese and Gymboree and trips to the park, I have to mourn the fact that I will never again be 'just Addison's mommy'.

We went to the park after daycare to play for a bit while the carpets were drying and I watched her run and climb and slide and play and it really sunk in. I will be a mommy of two very soon - two sets of needs to balance, two opinions to weigh, two tiny people will be vying for my attention - and I will have to share it. Cohen will never know what it's like to be the 'only one' - he will always have had to share us with his sister. But Addison will know, and once Cohen arrives her life is going to be thrown into upheaval - a different schedule, shared attention... things that I never dealt with as an only child and have no way of preparing her for. I realize that in the long run, she won't remember this time before Cohen - when she looks back at her life it will seem like he has always been there. Maybe that is the part that I'm mourning - that she won't remember this special time, these past two years where it's just been the three of us even though the memories we have from the last two years are some of the most special and dear to my heart. Maybe it's the fact that she will no longer be the baby - that Cohen will take that role and that somehow we're 'replacing' her. I don't know...

As I'm writing this, I'm frustrated because I can't put words together to explain how or why this hurts my heart so much - part of me feels like a terrible parent for being sad at a time when I should be nothing but excited and anxious, part of me feels like admitting this makes me a bad mother and that people are going to read this post and think less of me, and part of me just feels heartbroken and lost for words.  But most of me - all of me - wishes I could freeze time for just a few moments and memorize these last few days... just like I did when she was a newborn and I swore I'd never forget how tiny she felt in my arms or how her little foot fit just along the inside of my thumb... but I can't remember how tiny she felt. And I'm scared that I will lose this special bond that we have and the thought of losing that terrifies me more than anything on this planet.

My big girl can climb like a pro...

She was taking my order at the drive up window...

One of our last days as the dynamic duo... <3

Friday, April 13, 2012

They're back...


And not just your 'run-of-the-mill pregnancy hormones'... nope, these are nine months pregnant crazy hormones. They're the ones that bring on the nesting that leaves you scrubbing the tracks in the shower door, that has you crawling around dusting the molding around the house... and the ones that make you bat-shit crazy over NOTHING. Yup, those ones.

I had a really good day - I got my hair cut and colored, got my eyebrows waxed, my toes are all beautiful and polished, I registered for baby stuff at Target, had lunch somewhere other than my kitchen counter, and even managed to get my car reasonably clean. My house is clean, my laundry is done, I'm off my icky meds, my kid gave me good lovies before bed... I *should* be flying high. But, alas, I am not.

I'm sad. I'm lonely. I'm uncomfortable. I'm anxious.

The reason these hormones are so stupid is that they screw up your brain so much that you don't even know what's wrong or you're mad about things that haven't even happened [that could also be part of the definition of crazy... but we won't go there right now.] I'm sad. Why? Hell if I know. I want a hug... and not just any hug but a good, long husband hug. I know I'm shaped disproportionately right now and giving me a hug is probably not the easiest thing but I miss hugs. I think I've had two in recent memory =[ I'm lonely... which makes me sad. Double whammy. I've been alone in this house for two months. Even when people were here, I was pretty much quarantined off to the back of the house. So even though the introvert in me liked doing all my errands alone today, it also pointed out that I was doing all of my errands... alone. Then I came home and, after a quick dinner and episode of Tosh.0, I was in the bathtub - alone. Not that I wanted company IN the tub but it was just something else to do alone. But you have to understand where the 'crazy hormone' part comes in... after I was out of the tub and laying in bed, Derek asked me if I wanted to sit in the TV room and watch a show or if I wanted him to watch the M's in the bedroom while I played on the computer - and because I'm [crazy, stubborn, pregnant... who knows] I tried to pretend that I was okay sitting in here alone. I guess it's not just being in the same room but I want to DO something - hang up Cohen's name letters or the curtain rod, go on a date [I would kill for a real, dress up, reservations-required pre-baby date], anything but sitting in front of this stupid TV or this stupid computer for another night. I tried to hint that we should go out but so far I think it's fallen on deaf ears...

Uncomfortable? Anxious? I'm sure that neither of these two feelings are surprising. I have a human living in my stomach. A human that is now capable of living outside, on his own. That means he's big, he moves A LOT, and he has incredibly boney knees. If it's not a butt shoved up into my rib cage it's a knee or foot or elbow [literally] sticking out of my side. And if it's not him, it's contractions. I'm thrilled to be off my medicine but let me tell you, these suckers are just getting started and I am visualizing two [or more] weeks of feeling like an iron band is clamping around my torso and sucking the life out of me. Anxious? I want to have a baby. NOW. I'm done being pregnant. I HATE being pregnant... I'm not one of those happy, warm-fuzzy women who knits blankets and sings lullabies during her pregnancy. I suffer through this because the end result is a tiny person that I love more than I could have ever imagined. But if a real, live stork could have dropped these munchkins off on the porch, I wouldn't have complained a bit. I keep willing my contractions to be strong or praying for my water to break so we can just be done with this part... but I know that I have weeks of this ahead of me, not hours or days.

I don't have a point to this post... aside from whining about my incredibly difficult life [sarcasm] and documenting exactly how crazy I get after nine months of pregnancy... =[ Can we please be done now??

Thursday, April 12, 2012


I should take this as a sign of good faith that we don't have much longer to wait... but I miss my boney little ankles. ::sigh::

Sunday, April 8, 2012

36 Weeks...

Go figure... for our last picture she was in a bad mood and wouldn't hold the sign... ::sigh:: toddlers...

How far along? 36 weeks

Total weight gain/loss: Pre-pregnancy I was 117... today I'm 155. That was my goal to not go over... but it looks like that's out the window. I'm retaining so much freaking water now that I think I could probably ring out my feet and lose ten pounds.

Maternity clothes? Yes, but I live in sweats now so it's more of comfy/cozy than maternity.

Stretch marks? All my old friends are back... I'm ready for their going away party already.

Sleep: What is sleep? Ugh. I can't get comfortable, I have to pee ten times a night, I wake up with contractions, back pain, and tummy pain all throughout the night, and I don't get tired until after midnight. But, our schedule is about to get even more wonky once baby gets here so I guess I shouldn't complain. 

Best moment this month: Two things - seeing the nursery really start coming together and having my best friend here for a couple of days during the week to keep me company. This last week has actually gone by pretty quickly and [thankfully] it's my last week in bed. 

Movement: Not the same acrobatics that we've been seeing in previous months because now he's stuck in head-down position but when  he moves his legs I can see feet or knees moving across my tummy. He's big enough now that movement is really uncomfortable and sometimes even hurts... and he's become fond of headbutting my cervix which is horrifically painful!

Gender: BOY!!!

Labor Signs: Nothing that we haven't been dealing with for the past few months - frequent contractions despite the medication. I've pretty much come to the conclusion that unless my water breaks or I start having hard labor contractions, we won't know if we're looking at 'labor signs'.

Belly Button in or out? Flat... it's starting to look a little stressed out...

What I miss: Everything... clothes, feeling like I look okay, wine, cleaning, work, being able to play with Addison, sleeping through the night, yard work... really, truly, everything...

What I am looking forward to: Well, obviously I'm looking forward to meeting this little guy... but I'm also excited to have my big day out on the 17th - eyebrow wax, hair appointment, pedicure...

Monthly Wisdom: The last month feels like it lasts FOREVER... but there is an end in sight...  

Milestones: NO MORE BED REST!!!!!

Easter Sunday

Addison was a little bit grumpy upon waking up from her nap... and informed me that she doesn't like 'straps' on her dresses. Oi.
She was showing off her haul...
On the hunt...
Yes... that's an Easter egg in my shirt... no, it didn't hatch today.

Total Pageviews