Thursday, April 30, 2009

Lucy's Story

I've been meaning to sit down and write Lucy's birth story for days now before all the little details escape me but it seems life with two is just a tad more demanding of my time. I made it through the whole day yesterday all by myself and nobody died. I did forget about Lucy's diaper for five hours and William did spend quite a bit of time crying and on the stairs for being naughty and it may have taken me an hour and half to clean the bathroom but we got through it.

Today I'm fortunate to have hubby at home all day. Tomorrow too! What a treat!

The baby's fed and sleeping and William is being entertained by daddy so here I am in front of my computer screen with a steaming cup of coffee. Here we go.

Remember Brian's cousin Karen? The one with the same due date as me? The one I've been texting for the past three weeks swimming in our own self pity of the last uncomfortable weeks of pregnancy? On my eighteenth trip to the bathroom early Friday morning I heard my cell phone ding with an incoming text downstairs.

"I have me when ur up."

Karen went into labor in the middle of the night and delivered a beautiful little girl around 2 a.m.

In the midst of our phone conversation I started glancing at the clock because a funny thing began to happen. I was having contractions. Very regular contractions. About four minutes apart. But nothing painful. And after three previous episodes of false labor I didn't think too much of it.

The day continued as normal and the contractions remained. Sometimes three minutes apart. Sometimes five. But never more than seven. It was enough of a pattern that Brian decided it best to work from home. But still...I had been through labor once before and I knew these contractions were not nearly as intense as they needed to be.

I slept. I ate a little. I played outside. I took a bath. I chatted on the phone. I packed a bag. I slept some more. But still the contractions remained light.

At 3:30 I called my midwife to get her thoughts. Looking at my chart she agreed that I was very dilated but that the baby was still very high (negative 2 station, if you know that lingo) and my cervix wasn't very thin (only 50% effaced). She concluded that I probably was in true labor and that my body was slowly trying to get the baby to drop and thin out my cervix.

If I was still comfortable at home, which I was, she didn't see any reason to come to the hospital yet. I was instructed to call back if my water broke or if my contractions became so intense that I couldn't speak through them.

The day continued. I began to get more tired but was still relatively comfortable. Just before 9 o'clock I was lying in my bed when I heard Brian begin William's bedtime books. I went into William's bedroom and the three of us read books. I got a little emotional because I knew this was probably the last time William would have our undivided attention.

Once William was snug as a bug Brian suggested we watch the recorded episode of Grey's from the night before. We started the show but I soon needed to pause it every couple of minutes to breathe through a contraction.

"Alright, it's time to go," Brian said.

I was happy he made the decision for me because there's this weird part of my personality where I'm just never 100% certain if I'm in true labor.

Brian ran our baby monitor over to our neighbors because we realized we didn't have the 20 minutes it would take for my sister to arrive. In the meantime I called my sister and asked her to come as soon as she could. Brian then called our midwife and said we were on our way in.

The hospital is only about a mile away from our house and I was never more thankful for that then during that drive. I had two contractions in the car and let me tell you, it was not fun. Sitting down during contractions just feels like torture.

We arrived at the ER entrance and I had one more contraction outside before I arrived on the maternity floor. A doctor just arriving at the hospital to start his shift asked if I needed a wheelchair.

"Nooooo," I panted. No more sitting down.

Once we were on the maternity floor all was calm and peaceful. I had a contraction in the hallway and a nurse approached me and softly coached me through it. When it was over I asked to get in the bath.

"Absolutely," she said.

Before I got in she checked me and said I was at 7 cm with a bulging bag of waters. I got in the tub and my midwife arrived shortly thereafter.

In between a contraction I remember glancing at a clock across the room and giggling. It was just after 10 o'clock.

"What are the chances we get this baby out before midnight?" I asked, knowing that then my baby and Karen's would have the same birthday.

Just as with William's birth I labored for the entire time in the bath. But unlike William's birth I had a midwife instead of a doctor. The difference was like night and day. She was amazing. She taught Brian how to apply counter pressure to my back. She pressed my hipbones together which reduced the pain intensity dramatically. She massaged my lower back with the warm water from the shower head. And most importantly she was quiet and calm. And because it's in our nature to feed off the energy in the room, this in turn made Brian calm and attentive as well.

Around 11:20 my midwife told me that she could tell by the sounds I was making and how close together my contractions were that at anytime I could choose to have her break my water and I could immediately start pushing.

"You just say the word," she said.

"Yes!" I exclaimed.

So out of the bath I went and into the awaiting warm blankets the nurse draped around me. My midwife broke my water and I immediately began pushing with the next contraction. About fifteen minutes later she was halfway out with the cord wrapped around her neck. The midwife asked me to stop pushing briefly so she could unwrap it.

"What is it?! What is it?!" I was shouting at Brian.

"I can't see yet!" He said.

"One more push and you can see for yourself," my midwife said.

So I pushed once more and she flopped on my belly. A girl! I had a hunch but still couldn't believe it until I saw her with my own eyes.

This moment of elation was followed by an extreme sense of self accomplishment. I did it! I birthed my baby without any intervention. No pitocin. No epidural. No episiotomy. Not even an IV. It felt so gratifying.

There was pain. A lot of it. But as soon as she was out it was all gone. And the minute it was over, I still would have done it all over again the exact same way.

"What was the time?" I asked the nurse.

11:43 p.m.

Seventeen minutes before midnight.

After I took a bath with my new baby girl and we settled into bed for the night I grabbed my cell phone and sent a text to Karen.

"Two baby girls in one day! Lucy Nash arrived at 11:43 p.m."

Karen called me the next morning bawling with excitement.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Evolution of a Big Brother Photo Shoot

I'm still trying to remember how to put two words together to form sentences. So in the meantime I'll just post some more pictures.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

I ♥ Lucy!

Lucy Jean Nash
April 24, 2009
11:43 p.m.
7 lbs, 9 oz

More details to come but please excuse me for a moment while I take in the fact that I now have two children!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Zodiac

Brian's cousin Karen is pregnant and has the exact same due date as me. As of yet neither of us has had our baby. We send daily supportive text messages to each. I think she's the only one who truly understands what it's like on the days I'm frustrated and the days I'm crabby and the days I just feel fat. It's nice to have that kind of a person on your side. I only hope we have our babies on the same day so we don't turn bitter toward the other person who got to deliver first.

Today she sent me the following text:

"I realized today that our babies will officially be Tauruses instead of Aries."

First I must say that I never pay attention to astrological signs nor what my or anyone else's fortune says in the daily newspaper. But I did find this description quite comical given the current situation of trying to convince this baby to come out NOW!

Some claim that trying to get your point across to a Taurean, should they not want to hear you, is rather similar to talking to the trees – they simply won't budge.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


For the past two weeks I've been this close [hold up finger and thumb a mere millimeter a part] to having this baby.

Contractions. Dilated to a 3. Nothing. Contractions. More contractions. Dilated to a 5. Nothing.

It's a mean trick. Especially when your husband commutes 30 minutes to work each day and you have an idea of who will be able to provide childcare but nothing is certain.

It's all become a grand game for Brian and me. You know it. It's the jinx game.

Should Brian go to work today?

Yes means I'll have the baby an hour after he leaves. No means I'll have zero labor signs all day.

Should we call my sister to keep her on call to watch William?

Yes means my contractions will subside. No means William might be tagging along into the delivery room.

Should I schedule a 41-week clinic appointment?

Yes means I'll have the baby this week. No means I'll probably deliver past 42 weeks.

Should I buy this cute baby girl Easter dress that's 50% off for that wedding we have this summer?

Yes means it's sure to be a boy. No means it's a girl and the dress will be long gone by the time she comes.

Should I wear the exact outfit I wore when my water broke with William and then try lying on the couch in the exact same position at the exact same time of day?

Yes means my water will never break on its own. No means my water will break in my designer maternity jeans at Target in aisle E11.

You see how fun this game can be? Yeah, me neither. We know it holds no weight on the end result but still we play because what else is there to do but sit and wait and wait and wait and...

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Babysitter Dilemma

There are a lot of ways I would argue that our generation has it a bit easier when it comes to rearing small children. Diapers are more absorbent. Strollers are more versatile. Baby monitors are more reliable. Daddies are more involved. And let's not forget the modern invention that's the extension of every toddler's arm: the no-drip sippy cup. How did they do it?

But one thing that seems to have gotten tougher as time has passed is finding a responsible and engaging teenage babysitter.

When I was growing up it seemed my mom had a least four different teens in the neighborhood to choose from if her and my dad had an evening out. Even more surprising is that my siblings and I loved all of them and actually got excited for babysitter nights.

I remember being so excited when I turned 12 because that meant I was old enough to take the local babysitting course. I started babysitting that summer and didn't stop until after I graduated from college.

Times have changed and it seems girls (and boys) no longer have that right-of-passage of turning that magical ready-to-babysit age. Their time is consumed with a demanding homework load and a massive schedule of extracurricular activities. Or so it is here in the 'burbs.

It also seems as if that maternal seed is never planted within those teens. Not only do they not have time to babysit, they don't desire it either.

Now more than ever parents are relying on relatives and other parents for babysitting duties because they just can't find a young person trustworthy enough.

When William was a newborn Brian and I volunteered as confirmation teachers for a group of ten 15-year-old girls. There wasn't one girl in the group that I would have trusted enough to leave with my son even for a few moments. How sad is that?

For William's entire life we have used family and friends to help with our babysitting needs. Because this service is free it leads to a lot of guilt and a lot of restricted nights out.

Then we got smart and decided to tackle the issue in another direction. Find parents of teens first.

Within a group at our church Brian befriended a woman who had a similar parenting philosophy as ours. Lo and behold we soon found out she had three, count 'em, three teens at home who all had extensive babysitting experience.

On Thursday night my wonderful husband took it up himself to contact one of those teens and set up a date night for the two of us.

The sitter was awesome. As soon as he (yes, he, it was a boy!) walked in the house he immediately got on the floor and started playing trucks and airplanes with William. William thought he'd died and gone to heaven.

It felt good to leave the house knowing not only was my son in good hands but that he was actually having the time of his life with a new friend.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A Boy and His Backyard

A boy, a ball, a backyard and a little sunshine equals at least two hours of entertainment.

What we've been waiting for all winter.

"No, this way!"

"This my red chair, Mommy."

"Like Daddy does."

"I just taking a resty, Mommy."

Season Opener

The Patiently Waiting Game

Dilated. Effacement. Contractions. Mucous. Braxton Hicks. Station. Pressure. Dropped.

All these words can be commonly heard around our house these days. We're not ashamed. We talk about childbirth in all it's true messy details.

We put all the numbers together to try to figure out when this baby's a comin'. But it seems no matter how far progressed I am (very progressed, so says midwife), we get nothing.

So we're still waiting. Some more patiently than others.

In the meantime I'll see if a little sunshine can knock this kiddo out. It's a gorgeous upper 60s and lower 70s all week. Such beautiful weather to birth a new baby, don't ya think?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Sunday

Yesterday was such a perfect day to celebrate the Lord. We had beautiful weather in Minnesota. Although I was quite uncomfortable at nine months pregnant I created some shortcuts for myself and the end of the day left me with a feeling of great satisfaction on what a blessed Easter we were given.

Shortcut #1: I wore jeans to church.

Remember those awesome designer jeans I bought on sale a while back? Turns out they were a pretty good investment because they are the nicest pair of pants I own that still fit me. Most days I'm in my yoga gear but I thought that might be just a tad too casual for Easter Sunday mass.

As Brian was fixing his tie he glanced over at me and said surprisingly, "You're wearing jeans?"

"It's all I have left that fits!" I snapped back.

There may have been a few hormones involved in that tone of voice. Sorry, Brian.

Shortcut #2: We went out to a restaurant for Easter brunch.

This may have been the best decision I've ever made. It meant (1) we didn't have to travel anywhere to go to someone else's house and (2) I didn't have to cook a whole big fancy meal myself. There were even bonus points when we found out there would be an "Easter Bunny" at the country club where we dined.

After brunch we came home and sat outside in the April sunshine. I even earned my first sunburned nose of the season. I tried to take a few pictures of the Easter outfit but two-year-olds are fast when the temperatures are nice enough to go outside!

Holy swollen face mama! Hoping that goes down sooner than later.

"Catch me if you can!"

"Enough of that sweater vest, mom!"

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Solemn Waiting

Mama Nash will be offline in observance of the Holy Triduum until Easter Sunday (or the day after if things are a bit crazy that day). Of course, if baby decides to make its appearance (keeping with the tradition of trying to birth all my babies right around a holiday) I will break my silence.

God bless your family as we come to the end this Lenten Season.

Small Successes

I haven't done this in a while but I think I need the reminder this week. I've been feeling a bit sluggish. Here are the three things I'm proud to say I've conquered this week. Click the Small Successes button at the bottom to see more accomplishments from moms around the country.

1. I was completely exhausted yesterday morning and though it would have been much easier to hire the babysitter named Television for an hour, I convinced the two-year-old to play quietly in his room for almost 40 minutes while I took a semi-snooze.

2. On Sunday I watched Ina make a delectable lemon mousse on Barefoot Contessa. On Tuesday I purchased all the ingredients I needed and made the dessert following her directions precisely. (There's a lot of steps to make homemade mousse!) The dish turned out perfectly and even when husband said he didn't really like lemon desserts he started humming a different tune when he went back for his third helping.

3. I went to my 37-week prenatal appointment on Tuesday and found out I'm dilated to a three! Now that I think about it, this one should be listed under Huge Successes.


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

My New Baby

My new baby arrived today. No, not the one that currently resides in my belly. It's my new double stroller!

After much research I decided on the Phil & Teds Sport Buggy. It's the most I've ever spent on a single baby item. But I think it's worth it. I walk almost every day in the summer so I need something that keeps my kids comfy but also is easy to maneuver. I can even jog with this stroller.

I also liked the fact that it changes as my kids grow. I can lay the newborn flat and William can still sit up and as the newborn grows into a toddler I can sit both kids upright. This stroller has stadium seating as opposed to side-by-side. This will make it super slick to get in and out of doorways at the mall or wherever life takes us.

Here's my happy camper but click here to see all the possibilities. Now all I need is that second child...

Sunday, April 5, 2009

William's First Hickey

You know you have quite the special son when you turn your back for a few seconds in the bathroom during bathtime and he manages to get the rinse cup suctioned around his mouth long enough to create a purple ring around his lips.

At first I was confused. I scrubbed it with the washcloth to try to get it off. I thought maybe daddy had given him some sort of fruit during dinner that I wasn't aware of. Or a glass of red wine perhaps? But when he began saying, "This is my cup mommy!" and started sucking on it I quickly figured out what had happened.

I know the picture doesn't do it justice, but trust me. You'd do a double take if you saw this kid out in public.

Now what the heck am I going to say when I drop him off at the kids club tomorrow at the gym?

Friday, April 3, 2009

2 Cripples, 1 Clean House and 0 Babies (...Yet)

Brian went to the chiropractor for the first time in his life in hopes of curing an ailing back.

I cleaned the house from top to bottom in two days including changing over the bedding from winter to summer and flipping the mattress.

What does all this mean? It means William has two cripples for parents this week.

Turns out the first chiropractor appointment to cure is bad back actually makes the pain worse. They tell us this is temporary and Brian need only consistently return to get the desired results. Sounds a bit scheme-like to me. Was it just me or did you just hear a duck quack?

As for the house cleaning? I panicked. Or nested. Whatever. It suddenly dawned on me that I may not get a three hour window of time (naptime) to get on my hands and knees and scrub the kitchen floor in the near future.

But it turns out all that hands and knees and up and down and shake-out-the-rugs action with an extra 30 pounds out in front of you can really push a sciatic nerve to the brink.

My mother-in-law asked me if I've ever heard of a mop?

I told her she clearly couldn't see how much cleaner my floors were by getting right down there and scrubbing all the toddler out of it.

So now we're a bunch of worthless parents this week due to the unfavorable timing of our decisions.

We wince when it's bathtime. We play paper-rock-scissors when it's time to lift William into the car. Our cold packs and heating pads are getting quite the workout. And there's huge dents forming in the sofa and inside the ibuprofen bottle. (Not from me, of course.)

At least I can use the 9 months pregnant excuse. I just can't milk it for all it's worth anymore.


Does anyone want to play my surrogate husband and fetch me dish of ice cream?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

How to Solve Conficker

Sidenote: Brian used to sell software for a computer patch management company. While he by no means worked in the IT department, most of his family now considers him the expert on all things computers.

From: Maura Nash
To: Brian Nash
Sent: Wednesday, April 01, 2009 2:04 PM
Subject: computer worm

Hey Brian,
Do I have to worry about this virus if I have anti virus software on my computer? Let me know, Dad is all over this!
love, mom

From: Brian Nash
To: Maura Nash
Date: Wed, 1 Apr 2009 14:27:30 -0500
Subject: RE: computer worm

Try to go to or If you can get there, you aren't infected. If those sites are blocked....pick up your computer and throw it out the window before it blows.
love, Brian

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