Saturday, April 30, 2011

What's in a name?

Several people have asked how Elizabeth got her name.  Well, I'll tell you.

Pretty much as soon as Abby was born, I decided that if we ever had another girl I wanted to name her Elizabeth.  After my grandmother.  Abigail could have very easily been an Elizabeth as well - but I fell in love with the name Abigail and wanted to save Elizabeth to use as a first name.  So, we put it in our back pocket.

Since we didn't find out the gender of what we were having, it was easier to put off the naming game.  Around 5 or 6 months pregnant I told Kyle we should discuss names.  He agreed, and - we kept putting it off.  One day, we were walking home from dinner and I said "we should talk baby names, if it's a girl I really like Elizabeth - just sayin'"  He said he liked the name and asked how long I'd been thinking about it.  I told him "pretty much since Abby was born"  And - that was that.  If it was a girl, we would name her Elizabeth.

Elizabeth is my grandmother.  It is also my aunt's name and my middle name.  So, it's been in the family for a while - but my little Elizabeth is named after my grandmother.  Grandma is an amazing amazing woman. Anybody who knows her will attest to that.  She is, among other things, the perfect grandma.  My earliest memories of being at her house involve making cookies with her, smelling bread baking (there's always bread baking), and listening to her play the piano.  Classical music was always playing from the little radio in the kitchen.  She used to keep those little crystal lite plastic cups and I would use those to play tea party, I remember listening to her and my grandpa talk on the ham radio - the sounds of various people chiming in was usually in the background.

These are all just little memories, but the point is - I don't have any bad memories of being at Grandma's.

Even today, Grandma leads a busy life.  She's been battling some knee problems most of this year - but she is pushing through her therapy and being so strong about it all.  The worst thing I can say about my grandma is that she lives too far away.  And by that, of course, I mean *I* live too far away.  She hasn't gone anywhere.  ;)

If my little Elizabeth grows up to have an ounce of the class, kindness, poise (or cooking ability) that my grandma does - I'll be thrilled.  I've very proud of my grandma and am very lucky to have someone like her in my life.

So what about Mae?  Mae is a name that was found on both sides of the family, so it was a relatively easy compromise in that respect.  By relatively easy, I mean Kyle and I didn't decide for sure about the middle name until I was 2 or 3 days overdue.  We had a lot of good options that we both liked a lot.  But, we'll keep those in our back pocket for any potential future use.  We were both happy with Mae.  I have a Mae on my side of the family, but Elizabeth was more directly named in honor of Kyle's mother, whose middle name used to be Mavis.  She changed her middle name when she got married, but we very much liked the idea of honoring her with the name as well.

So it worked.

And, of course, we think the world of Kyle's mom - everyone who knows her does.  I hope that little Elizabeth grows up to have a strong conviction in her own Faith, a heart half as big, and the super human inner strength that Kyle's mom possesses with so much grace.

Kyle and I - and Abby and Elizabeth - are so lucky to be surrounded by such strong women and namesakes.  We know we are blessed in this regard.

As for nicknames?  I absolutely think Elizabeth will have several.  It may be the most nickname-able name ever used.   We have not yet decided how we'd prefer to spell Lizzy/Lizzie or what other nicknames we may go with.  For now, we are calling her Elizabeth (or more often- baby Elizabeth) for Abby's sake.  We're trying to establish her as Elizabeth first and we will see what nicknames emerge with her personality.

I'll probably stay away from Lizardbreath as my sister used to fondly call as she chased me around the house.  ;)

So, that's the short(ish) version of how Elizabeth Mae was named.  And if you're wondering what our boy options were?  You'll just have to wait and see if we ever have one.  ;)  Kyle says to not hold your breath for that - he's pretty sure he's destined to be surrounded by girls his whole life.  The good thing is - he seems to be loving it so far.

coming home from the hospital

High Tea

In honor of the royal festivities across the pond today...

at 4pm, sharp

it was time for High Tea

So, we put on our best hats

pulled out our very best biscuits

learned how to properly prepare our drinks

and raised a toast to the newlyweds and the Queen.

even wee lady wrinkle enjoyed the festivities. :)

Friday, April 29, 2011

part 3

The next two days were spent in my recovery room.  There was somebody in the room approximately every 7.5 seconds.  I've never had my blood pressure taken so often.  The various nurses were all helpful and kind, the doctors were nice, the staff and all the other people who needed to see us about something or another were fine - it was just a revolving door.  C'est la vie.

My OB doctor came to visit us.  We found out that she was due to be on call 2 hours after Elizabeth was born.  It would have been awesome had she been able to deliver both my girls, but I didn't have two hours to wait.  She's a really great doctor and it was kind of her to stop by.

As we got settled, Kyle went home to get Abby.  He was very much looking forward to introducing her to Elizabeth.  Kyle took the train home and got Abs ready and brought her back.  It was raining and pretty gross outside, and the train trip to the hospital is not the most convenient and due to some weird circumstances, poor Kyle ended up taking 3 different trains and a bus, and then walking up the road and climbing the big hill to this hospital - with Abs - in the rain.  Such a trooper.

Abby was a bit weary at first.  She didn't know what to make of me in the bed - but I reassured her I was ok and she was soon making short work of exploring the room.  We showed her Elizabeth and she paused, looked at her and told us "her brain is inside her head.  smart girl"  Then she ran off to explore the room some more.  Once she was acclimated, we told her she could hold baby Elizabeth.

 first time holding her

this look is perfect, no? :)


thanks to Kyle for insisting I take a picture with the girls.

Kyle was so great, he even packed Abby a picnic dinner.  We all ate in my room together and then they headed home.

On Tuesday, Kyra flew into town.  Kyle brought Abs back to the hospital and we met Kyra there when she got in.  We all just hung out a little bit - took some more pictures and such.  Then, we had this moment.  A moment that was so classically stressful that we were all laughing at it.

Kyle was packing things up to get ready to leave with Kyra and Abby.  Elizabeth was just waking up and was hungry.  Abby was walking on the second bed in the room.  Abby fell - on the bed - and we instantly knew something was wrong.  She was crying - a real cry - and holding her wrist saying "it hurts!"  She went from scared to inconsolable.  She wouldn't use her hand at all.  As she was crying, Elizabeth wanted to remind us that she was 1) hungry and 2) really hungry!  So, she was screaming.

Because I still possess magic mom powers - Abby wanted me to hold her.  Kyra grabbed Elizabeth in an attempt to bounce her a bit and Kyle gave me Abby.  Abby laid on my chest and fell asleep instantly.  Did I mention she hadn't had a nap that day?  I held her, rubbed her back, and tried to see if her wrist was swelling.  Abby woke up a minute or two later and I tried to give her my iphone to play with - she wouldn't hold it - so we knew something was really wrong.  She started crying again.  Elizabeth was still screaming.

Kyle, in an attempt to keep them from feeding off each other, took Elizabeth into the hallway to walk her up and down the hallway. Kyra went to get Abby an ice pack.  They were both gone for a while.  I soon found out that while Kyle was walking Elizabeth - he got too close to the front doors and set off the baby alarm.  Ha.  He had nurses yelling at him that he couldn't have the baby in the hall unless she was in her crib and to step away from the door.  Luckily, some of the nurses knew him by now and just told him to go back to my room.

So.  There we are.  Two kids who need our immediate attention.  Both screaming.  Kyle's sweating.  And we decide to set off the baby alarms like a sweet cherry on top.  Kyle came back into the room, he's holding Elizabeth - I'm holding Abby.  We just stop and look at each other and start laughing!  Welcome to parenting 202.  It was really, pretty funny.

As a follow up- Abby is ok. She continued to refuse to use her arm all night and poor Kyle had the task of trying to soothe her to sleep despite her pleas for  "daddy, pwease kiss my hand, make it better?"  He took her to the pediatrician the next morning and Abby got her first set of x-rays!  Kyle said that she was a super champ about it (probably because she was scared)  But she sat still and got lots of stickers and a new book out of the deal.  Her wrist wasn't broken, so they wrapped it and told us  to use ice and pain meds.   She favored the arm most of the day, but by that evening when we were all home she announced "My arm is all better now!"  And it's been fine since.

Anyway.  That was quite the tangent, I know.

On Wednesday afternoon, I went home.  I feel pretty good - recovery wise, I'm much better off than I was after I had Abby.  My back is what hurts the most.  I imagine it is a combination of my body realigning, shifting, and using muscles in a new way that perhaps haven't been used in a while.  As long as I take my pain meds and don't spend too long lifting or in one position, it's fine.

Nursing is going ok.  Elizabeth is nursing like a champ.  I spent 3 straight hours yesterday afternoon feeding the little monster.  Unfortunately, it is much harder on me.  I'll probably seek some more help from the lactation consultant at the hospital to help us fix some latching issues so that I can prevent any further damage.  Until then - we power through.  Wish us luck - this nursing stuff ain't easy.  I'm baffled how our species has survived thus far.

Ok.  I'm sure there's more to document, but I will do that as things come to mind.  We are doing well. Learning our new routine minute by minute.  Today is E's first checkup, so I will document those stats later I'm sure.

Much love to all.

daddy and his girls

best dad ever

a little school psych humor...

open eyes

"Ewizabeff, wanna brush teef?"

Still here

Bear with me while I try to figure out our new normal. I'll blog soon, promise. :)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

part two

So, let's see, where did I leave off?  

We decided to go to the hospital.  My good friend Kelly came over to man the fort for us while we were gone and as soon as she got in, we headed out.  Kyle was a little concerned about me driving while having contractions.  I knew I would be ok and we didn't have too far to drive.  As I was backing out of the driveway, one started coming, so I just stopped and waited.  During the peak of the contraction, the radio stopped playing music and I looked at it to see that the XM screen read "NeedToBreathe"  It was reflecting the song that was playing on the radio - but oh my goodness was that funny.  I was laughing at the peak of my contraction...which is kinda impossible.  We got quite the kick out of it.  

Anyway, off we went.  As we drove, Kyle timed.  Contraction were now 5 mins apart.  We got to the hospital around 10:15pm, did registration, and were sent up to labor and delivery to get checked.  

I changed into a gown and got hooked up to the monitors.  We had some very sweet nurses.  They told me that if I wasn't very far along that there was a chance I'd be able to stay anyway because things were slow that night and they thought the doctor might agree to it.  I think their exact words were "you're not really presenting that you're in labor, but we'll see"  I wasn't really sure how to take that - but I took it as a compliment.

As they hooked me up, another contraction came and I breathed through it.  Both nurses seemed surprised that it was "such a strong one"  The doc came in and told me I was at 4cm, 80% effaced, and was officially staying the night.  I was relieved and nervous all at the same time.  You mean, this pregnancy thing is real?

I worked through contractions while everyone got all the paperwork done, hooked me up to the things I needed, and asked questions.  Things were getting painful and I knew I'd want an epidural.  A hero, I am not.  So, they went ahead and sent for the epi man.

I got the Epidural in around 1am.  It went well and was an easy procedure.  The epi man was very personable and helpful.  Everyone was so nice and put me at ease.  I was very happy for the relief.  Around 2am, I was finally warm and numb and every one was settled.  Kyle had a cot and I decided to take a nap.  

An hour later I woke up to a small, but familiar feeling.  A little pressure.  My water had broken as well.  They called the doc in to check me out.  I was at 9.5 cm.  As I heard the nurse say "Ok, let's get the birth kit ready"  I was shocked.  Already?  But, of course, I knew it was coming.  

I went ahead and gave myself another shot of the epidural - as I had a little button to manage the pain as needed.  Soon, I wasn't able to feel the pushing pressure.  At this point, of course, Kyle had woken up from his nap.  I think something about the words "9.5 cm" and "get the doctor" made his nap end rather abruptly. ;)  As everyone got things ready, I entered the transition phase and started shaking - as if I were cold. And I thought I was cold.  I could not stop shaking and chattering.  I knew it was normal and I knew what was happening, but it was still strange.  As the shaking wore off, the nurses told me I was ready to push.  I was nervous.  I jokingly told them, "Ok, let's do this in 3"

Because I couldn't feel anything, the nurses told me when to push.  I could feel pressure now, but not pain.  I know everyone is different - but let me tell you, I was pretty ok with this arrangement.  I was even able to crack jokes between pushes...I needed to lighten the mood a bit.  

Imagine my surprise when, on push 3, the head was out.  What?  Are you kidding me?  It's only been 5 minutes!  With Abs I pushed for 45 and was prepared to do the same.  2 more pushes and we had a brand new baby girl.  Kyle got to cut the cord - which was pretty cool.

I have always considered my labor experience with Abby to have been a relatively easy one.  My water broke and I was eventually induced - but I got through it with only a few very very painful segments.  But, I was mistaken.  In hindsight, Abby's labor was much harder.  A lot of that has to do with being induced.  My body was forced to get ready to deliver a baby in 10 hours whereas with Elizabeth, it had been getting ready for days (at least) and the difference between the two was amazing.  

As soon as she was born, I felt like I could have just packed up and headed back home.  I was in nowhere near the pain I was after Abby.  My recovery has already been so so so much easier this time, and I'm thankful for that.  The whole experience was just night and day from Abby's birth.  Oh, and did I mention that she was 9 lbs???  I mean, ok, 8lbs 15.8 oz -but my friend Kathy said I could count that as 9lbs, so I'm gonna. ;)  It was very counterintuitive that such a big baby would be a much easier delivery.

the first picture

a new mom, again. 

big baby girl

As the nurses cleaned Elizabeth up, Kyle took pictures and I marveled that, just like that, it was over.  They gave her to me to nurse and then took her off to the nursery.  At that point, Kyle and I rested.  It took a while before I was able to feel my legs and such, so we kept waiting and waiting for the epi to wear off.  when I thought I could walk again, I tried and nearly passed out.  So, the nurses wheeled me around.

We got set up in our recovery room in time for breakfast.  We took some pictures and started sharing her with the world.

I know a lot of this post may be disjointed - at least it seems that way to me.  It's taken me a few hours to write from my hospital bed here due to the constant stream of doctors, nurses, aides, and other people coming in and out.  I apologize for the lack of organization.  I have more to write, so part three will follow soonish.

At the moment - I need to go get ready to take my new bundle o' joy home. :)

You Capture - Pink!!!

Last week, I saw that the theme for this week's You Capture was "Pink" and I wondered if it would be the perfect theme.

Well, it is.  Our brand new bouncing baby GIRL was born on Monday morning.  In fact, I'm still in the hospital as I write this (hardcore, right? ;)

There will be no shortage of pictures around here, but I will keep today brief.  I am happy to introduce my little Elizabeth Mae to all of my You Capture friends.


pink toes

Yes, that would be a 9lb baby.


my girls

Now go over and see the other pink entries today at Beth's site I should be folding laundry.  :)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Part one - Easter

I believe it is an understatement to say that a lot has happened since Easter morning.  I'm certain that there is no way to document everything I would like to remember, but in the midst of  everything exciting and new happening right now - I don't want to forget about what happened leading up to it all.

There's probably no way to keep this short - and I know it will be picture heavy....but so will every other post I ever write again, so you'd best just get used to it. ;)

But first - Easter. :)

We'll start with Saturday night.  I spent the evening getting things ready for Abby's Easter morning.  I was having sporadic contractions and a back ache that I'd had for weeks, but nothing too bad.  Kyle and I headed to bed around 11pm, and by 11:20 I snuck back downstairs because I thought my contractions were- possilbly - coming regularly.  I started timing and they started at around 8 mins apart, got down to 6.5 minutes, back up to 7, and so forth.

I couldn't sleep.  I stayed up all night - timing.  I was worried that I was going to have to leave in the middle of the night.  I prayed that things would slow down or stop so that I could see Abby in the morning, and watch her open her Easter basket.  I didn't want to miss that.  Luckily, the contractions slowed and I slept for an hour before Abs was up.

And so we started our day.

her loot

I love the festivities that go along with holidays.  It's just plain fun.  I very much enjoyed watching Abby walk out and see her surprise.  I enjoyed watching her look at everything and explore and ask "what's this name?" for things like peeps and nail polish and other things she's not met before.  Abby must have been nice to the Easter Bunny as she scored fun stuff like books, jewelry, nail polish, bubbles, toys, and of course candy.

 checking out her goodies

After basket time, I decided that I was ok to go to mass.  I didn't want to miss Easter mass for sure.  My contractions were still about  7 minutes apart, and I could talk through them, although they were getting more painful.   On the way to church, we downloaded a handy little timer.

It really was pretty useful

Of course mass was standing room only by the time we got there.  Luckily - a lady we knew offered me a seat and we managed to squeeze Kyle and Abby in as well.  So that was nice.  I timed my contractions all through mass and dealt with them as best I could.  During the sign of peace, a lady Kyle works with came up and asked him "So, your wife is about to have a baby, huh?"  Kyle said yes and she continued with "no, I mean like now.  I see her checking her watch - this is happening soon."  It was kinda funny.

After mass, we took a few pics outside.  We scored a gorgeous Easter day.  The temps were in the high 60s and it was just so nice out.

Abby was excited to see the holy water was back this week.


our last picture as a family of 3

sweet girl

daddy-daughter blues

and accidental shot that I actually like

After pictures, we decided to go out to Cheesecake Factory for lunch.  Contractions were still around 7 mins...and I was starving.  We had an excellent meal.  Abby was on the best behavior we've ever seen from her.  Kyle and I were seriously just dumbstruck.  She sat in her chair, put her napkin in her lap right away.  She was well behaved and when her food came, she asked for help to put her napkin up like a bib so her dress wouldn't get dirty.  She used her fork to eat her salad and was just such a little lady about it all.  I couldn't help but take a picture.

After lunch (which included an amazing peanut butter chocolate cheesecake) we headed home.  I took a nap for an hour.  My contractions, upon waking, were about 6.5 minutes apart - but sometimes would be 10 mins apart, or 8.  They were sporadic.  Yet, they were getting more intense and some lasted up to 2 minutes.  No fun.

I didn't want to ignore Abby.  I think part of me knew that this baby was coming sooner rather than later (or maybe that's just because I was 5 days overdue and having contractions?? ;)  Abby decided she wanted to try out her new fingernail polish.  We've never done her nails before - and she's never seen mine done (sad, I know).  I explained what the polish was and off we went.

painting her nails for the first time.

This is going to sound corny.  But, as I was painting her nails - I kept thinking that this was one of the last times that it would just be me and Abby.  It was sad in that way, and yet, it made me that much more thankful for the moment.  I was really happy to be making one last memory with her - just us. Simple as it was.

We put Abs to bed that night - my contractions were getting more intense and I tried not to let it show.  Once she was down, I decided I would try to rest.  But, unlike earlier in the day, laying down didn't help.  I think it made things worse.  Things were sill about 6-7 minutes apart.

While getting ready to put Abs to bed - my friend Jess texted me and told me that I should be able to talk through my contractions and if I couldn't, I needed to go to the hospital.  Kyle took this advice seriously and told me to do it.  Jess suggested trying to recite a poem, so when the next contraction came, I started reciting the first thing that came to mind...The Raven

"Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
`'Tis some visitor,' I muttered, `tapping at my chamber door -
Only this, and nothing more.'

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor...."

And then - I couldn't remember the next line.  But, it was also the peak of the contraction and as I tried to tell Kyle I couldn't remember the rest, he was concerned that I couldn't talk and was telling me to say anything.  So, I quickly switched to the only other poem I could think of..

"Little Bo Peep has lost her sheep..."

Kyle wasn't convinced. ;)

With the encouragement of my online december mama friends...and the nervousness of my sweet husband, we called a friend to come stay with Abs and I was convinced to go to the hospital to just get checked.  I was embarrassed to leave, I knew they would send me home for being a wimp.  But, a few things I couldn't ignore.  The first being, I was 5 days overdue to have this baby.  The second, I needed to be able to drive myself to the hospital and my contractions, although not 4 mins apart, were increasingly painful.  The third, I knew Kyle was on pins and needles, and the peace of mind of knowing how things were going was worth the risk of embarrassment of being sent home.

Of course, that was 2 days ago, and I'm still here. ;)

more later - time for me to rest.

Monday, April 25, 2011

She's here!

Elizabeth Mae Shachmut was born at 3:27 on April 25th, 2011.

She weighed in at 8lbs 15.8 oz!  And she's 21.25 inches long.

Labor went very well and we are all doing great.  I will update more soon when I have a bit more time (and a bit more battery life on the computer).

I want to thank everyone who sent texts, calls, and comments - It means so much to us to be connected to so many.

Love to all.

Elizabeth Mae

Saturday, April 23, 2011

egg hunt rescue

I saw the other day that a mall not far from our house was hosting their first Easter egg hunt this year.  It was supposed to be more of a scavenger hunt.  You go and register and you get a list of clues that lead you to the various participating retail stores.  You show the store people that you have a registration sticker and they give you an egg.  Seemed like a good idea and so we told Abs we were going to find Easter eggs and we all packed up.

I should preface this with saying that Abby was really excited.  Mickey Mouse Clubhouse has been airing their Easter Egg hunt episode lately and Abs loves it.  As soon as I told her we were going to go find Easter eggs, she said "and hop like a bunny? And do the hot dog dance?"  Both references to that particular cartoon.

Well, the mall opened at 10 and we got there about 5 till.  I don't know how many people were in line ahead of us, but we couldn't even see the registration desk and there were at least as many people behind us.  After waiting in line for about 20 minutes, the mall security guards came around telling everyone that they were out of packets and the eggs and candy were gone - we should all just go home.


we were glad the hunt was inside today

Abby knew something was up.  She could see all the other kids with their baskets and eggs and she wanted in on that action.  When we started to leave the line, she asked "we find Easter eggs now??"  I was sad.

So, here's what we did.

Kyle walked around with Abs for a bit and I went to the dollar store and bought some plastic eggs and some smarties.  Kyle then took Abs to ride the little merry-go-round, and while she did that - I found a relatively low-traffic corner of the mall and hid the eggs myself.  When I opened the eggs, I discovered that they were actually an egg garland - so I ripped the strings apart so that I could hide them individual.  I use the term "hide" lightly.  I scattered them on benches and on the floor and in the coke machines.  I scattered the candy around too.

waiting on the merry-go-round

cute, right? ;)

When they were done with the ride, Abby came around the corner and saw the eggs.  She just lit up.  She ran around collecting the eggs and the candy.  It didn't take very long - but she was excited.  She showed me her bag when she was done and kept saying "Look! We DID find Easter Eggs! That was fun!"
stuffing her bag


"look mommy!"

getting a closer look

So, maybe we didn't get a bag and sticker and eggs filled with candy - but we made it work and Abby had a good time - which was the whole point.  :)

She fell asleep on the way home - which is RARE.  Especially as it was still an hour before nap time.  We decided to go ahead and put her down for nap when we got home.  I sat in the room with her for a little bit (I've been doing that occasionally to make sure she stays in bed - I usually stay for 5-10 mins and sneak out)  After about 15 minutes and right when I was sure she was asleep, Abby rolls over and looks at me and says again, "Mommy, we DID find Easter eggs, and the candy too, we did find them."

Totally worth it.

Shhh....don't tell him I posted it.  
I just wanted to prove to the world that I married really really well.