i can't believe someone just reached their half birthday!

we're home from india, and little miss jia is now 6 months old!

what amazing changes she's made over the past few weeks!

we were glad we came back from india when we did...jia has been becoming so interactive and alert that she would have been more and more difficult to keep happy on the plane! thankfully we took the trip at probably the perfect age for her, and she did amazingly!

these days she's into grabbing everything though...on purpose! before she would just kind of grapple in a general direction...but now her movements are becoming so precise and calculated!

she can also sit up on her own with out support now...but just for like a minute at a time before she gets tired and topples over. she hasn't caught onto crawling yet, but she's learned to skooch herself around on her belly for short distances! i'm not ready for all of this!

i think she's been ready for solids for awhile, so we finally let her try a couple things like sweet potato and bananas...and she loved it! she cries when we try to take food away from her!

a couple days before she turned 6 months she cut her first tooth! then on the morning of her 6 month bday she woke up with her first cold! poor baby. she's been such a trooper this week though...between teething, jet lag, a cold, and vaccinations, she's been surprisingly cheery!

her doctor says she's just perfect and extra alert for her age! she's still in the 90th percentile for weight at 18lbs 14oz, and she's at the 75th percentile for height at 26.5 inches!

she's very vocal these days as well, and is quite social...as long as she's in mama's arms! she loves people, but isn't as into being passed around anymore.

christmas is going to be so much fun with the munchkin this year...especially since her new found love is tearing paper! haha. the gift wrapping will be the main attraction!

time is just flying too fast!! do i already need to start thinking about a 1st birthday party?! ahh! crazy!

i'm writing now from goa. possibly my new favorite indian destination.

not to offend my husband, or any of the mumbaikers who are dear to my heart, but mumbai isn't necessarily my cup of tea. it's a little too crazy for this country girl.

but drinking masala chai as i watch waves crashing on the arabian sea?
that i can handle.

and being able to breathe in fresh air that doesn't turn your boogies black is a bonus.
even the street dogs are happier here.

we're in morjim, which is a somewhat secluded beach along the northern coast of goa. i wasn't really sure what to expect since i'd never been to goa before, and we booked things last minute online. thankfully it has not disappointed.

the resort is nothing fancy, but the people are incredibly friendly, and it's right on the water. plus we have a 2 bed/2 bath cottage at the sea for just about the equivalent of $30 a night. breakfast included.

you really can't beat that for a vacation. it's been nice relaxing here with my inlaws.

we have one more day here, and i'm not ready to leave.
partly just because of the awesomeness that is goa...and also in part due to the nauseating drive back that awaits us...someone should have warned me! it was a vomit comet of a 16 hour drive! if we ever come to goa from mumbai again, then we'll definitely be flying! sure, you miss the beautiful mountain views, but it's hard to enjoy them under the circumstance anyways. ;)

oh, and can i just say that jia is being such a trooper?

yes of course there have been baby meltdowns...but over all i've been so proud of the munchkin! and this little girl who loves the outdoors is definitely enjoying the sea!

today she started scooting...the predecessor to crawling. she somehow crossed the floor and turned herself 180 degrees....i'm not ready for this!

for me thus far i would say that my parenting style is "whatever works".

because seriously, all kids and their personalities are different. and often it seems that once i find something that really seems to be working, my munchkin changes on me!

so our trip to india is definitely changing up a few things for me on the parenting front as well...and probably pushing me more towards attachment parenting at the moment.

at home in the US, jia sleeps in a pack-n-play bassinet by our bed. so we actually packed it up and brought it over with us with the intention of keeping things the same here.

well, we turns out that we don't have space for anything of the sort here. so that was a big waste of luggage space! co-sleeping it is!

co-sleeping gets a super bad rap in the US due to SIDS. which is definitely scary. but some people say that if you're not a super hard sleeper or going to bed drunk or something, then sleeping with your baby is actually the safest option, since you can monitor them more closely, so i can totally see their point. i think a lot of the hard and fast rules are just made because of careless people...who are generally the exception.

so jia's been bunking with us here, and it seems to be working out! we're used to having our pups in bed with us, and jia's becoming much more mobile and interactive, so i'm not too worried about her at this point..plus she seems to enjoy it! hopefully it won't be a habit that's too hard to break later though! haha.

also, i've been baby wearing...a LOT!

i already enjoyed baby wearing quite a bit in the US, but here there isn't really a place for strollers at all, so baby wearing is much more full time!

before we left i bought a baby k'tan breeze off my friend, and it's been the best thing ever!!

we had a moby wrap and a more structured carrier, but both of those just seemed way too hot to use in india. jia doesn't like being strapped on if she's too warm.

not only is the k'tan much cooler and breezier, but it also is so much easier for travel, and so much more versatile! i can just wear it around my neck like a scarf when she's not in it, and i regularly carry her in about 3 different holds in it! she loves it!

at home i do cloth diapering, but with out our regular laundry system here, that just wasn't an option. so we're in disposables for this trip. and i gotta say, wow, i really miss cloth! the cloth diapers have already proven to be so much better at poo containment, if you know what i mean.

people say that with your first child you're much more paranoid about germs. and i'll admit it. even at home my radar goes off if i hear someone nearby coughing or something. but being with a baby in india has turned me a little bit germ-a-phobe i'm afraid...which is quite a challenge here! haha. i feel like mr. monk with a wipe on hand after every interaction...and it's funny to see my indian husband almost more paranoid than i am! haha.

i'm just thankful to be able to exclusively nurse her on this trip. it gives a lot of peace of mind to me, and comfort to her.

anyways, i'm hoping over all that this time will be good for teaching both us and jia some flexibility. it's definitely our first big adventure together!

jia just turned 5 months old...in india!

so she's already quite the world traveler for her age.

this month she's just been continuing to be adorably interactive.

she's very close to sitting up on her own, and she eyeballs everything we eat very closely!

she usually wakes up in the morning singing, which is pretty adorable.

she also loves the doggies now. she finds bindi especially to be hysterical.

oh, and the girl can't seem to help but to put everything in her mouth!

her and i have both started to lose a lot of hair this month! her newborn hair is wearing off in her sleep pattern of how she rubs her head! it looks though like the new hair growing in might end up being lighter in color than the dark brown hair she was born with.

i love this little one, and i can't believe how fast time is flying with her!

so life's been a bit crazy lately. i say that as i write this post from india.

we're here right now visiting shomik's family. they weren't able to get visas to come and meet jia, so we've made our way over to them. it's been quite a crazy time leading up to getting here though!

my husband had to have an emergency surgery just a few days before we were supposed to leave, but thankfully it all went better than expected and we were still able to make it...especially since our tickets weren't refundable! we weren't sure what was going to happen for a few days there though.

this is my 4th trip to india, but my first trip with a baby in tow, so i'm not going to lie... i've been a bit nervous about this one!

so far jia has been pretty great though. but having a baby along for the trip definitely changed the whole experience. i wonder if this is how shomik felt the first time he had to come to india with me in tow?

i was a bit nervous about 24 hours of air travel...because seriously, even the adults feel like crying by the end of that flight! but jia did amazingly well. i'm not going to say that there wasn't crying, but it definitely wasn't excessive. she actually seemed to enjoy the take off and landing, which were the parts people had warned me about. it was more the boring bits in between that bothered her.

we arrived in india during the middle of full out diwali. it's been cool to see things at such a festive time, though it's definitely limited our ability to go out as much. we're afraid of jia getting traumatized by the fire crackers going off everywhere.

so we're spending the first few days getting rested up, and we're actually in a hotel for a couple days until a construction project gets cleared up at shomik's house. with the munchkin, and a husband recovering from surgery, i think we needed the extra rest.

normally we would push through the jet lag to adjust to the time more quickly...but with a baby we're taking it a bit more easy and adjusting more gradually since she doesn't understand the concept of jet leg. :P taking an infant across 12 time zones sounds like a great idea, right? haha.

so far my experience though is that i still get stared at a lot as usual on my trips here...but now with the stares i might also get a smile since i'm toting a cute little tot...bonus! :) i'm also finding that people here love to pinch baby cheeks...and i can't deny that jia's cheeks are extra pinch-able.  this girl is gonna need cheek protection! haha.

i'm proud of how she's been such a trooper so far though...she really handled the journey better than i could have expected.

keep us in your prayers though, and i'll try to keep our experiences posted here! :)

wow, this month flew by!

guess who is in the 90th percentile for weight now?
yup, our chunky monkey. i can't believe she's 4 months already!

she celebrated her 4 month bday by getting poked with needles. :( though i must say she did much better than last time!

she weighed in at a whopping 16.5lbs, and was in the 70th percentile for height at 24.75 inches. the doctor said she's the picture of health!

at 4 months, jia is rolling like crazy...both front to back and back to front!

she also loves bouncing around in her jumper, and has just started developing somewhat of an interest in toys. she likes to smile and giggle and talk!

however, when it comes to sleeping through the night, she seems to have regressed a bit. before she was pulling 6 hour stretches at night, and now she's down to just 3-4 hours for her big sleep...so yeah, mama's a zombie! the pediatrician said maybe she's maxed my milk out and just needs it more often again because she's bigger and burns through it quicker. while introducing some other foods to her could buy me more sleep, i'm trying to hold off a couple more months because we're planning to take a trip to india during thanksgiving. she's at much less risk of getting sick if she's 100% nursing on the trip.

so yeah, traveling to india with an infant...we're wild and crazy!
you'll definitely be hearing more about that soon!

we have a 3 month old in the house!

some people call the first 3 months after birth the 4th trimester...because the baby does so much developing and growing during those months!

that's definitely true. jia's personality has really blossomed...and she's nearly doubled in weight!

these past few months of getting to know each other have been amazing. she really is a fun and good natured kid. i know better though than to wear her out too much or get her out of sync. she likes to have some routine and balance in her life. we're yet to get on a strict schedule though, but we definitely have a pattern.

she does love people. we may have an entertainer on our hands. when there are people around it's hard to make her focus on anything else...like taking a nap or eating!

and she's a chatter box already! maybe she doesn't know words yet, but that doesn't stop her! when she coos and talks and grins, it just melts my heart!

i'm just loving this little girl more and more every day. what a blessing.

so if you remember, when jia was born we decided we'd wait to find out her gender at the birth.

however, we had a cheating back up plan just in case we couldn't handle the suspense. the ultrasound tech had sealed the gender in an envelope for us...and we had amazing self control! no one peeked in that envelope at all...except for my grandma! ;) but thankfully she was able to keep the secret.

my husband hid the envelope away, but when he did he forgot where he had hidden it himself. so it was just a few weeks ago that we found it again with the jia bootie shot! kind of fun.

i don't have a strong opinion on what anyone else should do...i actually prefer to know what other people are having. haha. but i would totally go the surprise route again for me i think. i know that learning the gender earlier helps people bond with their baby....but in some ways i wonder if knowing the gender might put false ideas in your head about who the little person is you're carrying and what they will look like and their personality will be. it was kind of nice just having no expectations of how things would be, and just getting to know my little munchkin for who she was.

it's still kind of strange though.

i must admit that there's still a bit of a disconnect for me between this...

and this.

sometimes i just think, "who gave us this baby?!" :)

thanks God.

before jia was born i made a somewhat radical decision to cloth diaper.

i say radical, because people look at me a little like i'm crazy when i tell them, and imagine leaky nappies with safety pins sticking out everywhere.

i do care about the planet. and i like trying to do my part.
but the reality is that i'm usually lazy enough just do things as long as they're convenient. cloth diapers are definitely more eco friendly, since diapers just clog up landfills. but i doubt i could have even considered them if they hadn't massively upgraded in the past 20 years.

there are so many cloth diapering options now days that it's almost overwhelming! my friend was using the flip system though and loved it, so i decided to give those a try.

these days cloth diapers are more like undies with snaps or velcro. some are all in ones, where you just throw the whole thing in the wash each time it gets wet or soiled. i liked the flip diapers though because they have an insert, and when the baby just wets, you can usually just change the insert instead of using a new cover each time. the inserts are much cheaper than a whole all in one diaper, and if you get more of them then you don't need to wash nearly as often!

jia didn't fit into them properly until she was about a month old. thankfully enough people had given us disposables to get us through most of the first month. i was kind of starting to get used to them though, and getting a bit nervous about switching to cloth.

but we've been in the cloth ones for a little over a month now, and are loving it!

sure, they may be a bit more work, but honestly not much! if it passes the husband test then you know it's not that bad! my grandma babysat for me one day, and i had a supply of back up disposables on hand just in case she didn't want to mess with cloth, but she caught on to the cloth system quickly and loved them as well!

another perk about the cloth diapers is that they look super cute! the covers come in all kinds of colors, and so i tend to just match them with jia's outfits since they look kind of like bloomers!

when i took her to the pediatrician for her two month check up, he commented on how much he loved these new cloth diapers, and how they keep the baby's skin in so much better condition than disposables.

i have to admit though that what ultimately sealed the decision for me was all the money that we'd save! they say that using cloth diapers saves you about $3000...per child! yes, you can use the same diapers from kid to kid, and they adjust in size from newborn to toddler! i even have heard of a lot of people selling their cloth diapers once their kids are done with them and getting even more of their money's worth out of them! it seems like they hold up to all the abuse and the test of time. with the flips it costs about $200-300 to get fully set up with all you need, but that quickly pays for itself within the first few months of use!

there aren't many things i love more than saving a big chunk of change!
and with cloth diapers, i actually feel like i'm paying way less money, to put something of much higher quality on my cutie's bum! oh, and plus it's good for the planet! ;)

jia definitely approves!

i can't believe we have a 2 month old!
in some ways it feels like jia just came along yesterday, and then in other ways it seems like she's always been a part of our family.

in keeping with my monthly tradition, i took another pic of her on her blanket. i had a hard time getting a non-blurry one this month. maybe i need to adjust some camera settings. so pardon my lack of photography skills!

unfortunately turning 2 months old = lots of shots!
so we just got back from the doctor. the visit kind of started off on a bad foot, because jia was just about to fall asleep for a nap when we had to go for our appointment. so she was fussy from the start and crying even while they just weighed and measured her.

when they gave her the shots they did like 4 at once with two nurses, each going for one chubby leg. she was so upset that she did one of those silent cries for about 30 seconds, and then cried for a minute...and then totally passed out fast asleep! she was so completely exhausted at that point that she was done for the day.

the good news though is that she had a great check up! she weighs 12.4lbs now, and is in the 75 percentile for height and weight! also the doctor said she's ahead of the curve right now developmentally...with the skills of a 4 month old! so i'm definitely proud of our little girl, and thankfully that she's so healthy and happy. she really is happy most of the time...just not when she misses a nap or a meal! :)

at two months old she's smiling and laughing and cooing all the time! i think she's really going to be a talker. she even coos and tries to talk in her sleep!

she loves to see everything, so we had to get a front facing carrier to tote her around the house in. she loves to be carried in it while i vacuum. she also can hold her head up well enough now to sit in her bumbo chair and she loves it!

she's getting pretty interactive now, and we're having a ton of fun together!

this past weekend my aunt was visiting from arizona, so we had a little family gathering. jia got to meet some of her relatives for the first time, and also took her first dip in a pool!

i was a little nervous that 6 weeks would be too young, but at the same time really want to get her used to water early!

anyways, i'm glad we went for it, because she loved it!

maybe we have a little future olympic swimmer on our hands? hehe. sorry, i think i just have olympics on the brain with it on tv constantly the past couple of weeks!

now at 7 weeks, she's also become a champ at holding her head up!

she's definitely already becoming more interactive! love this kid!

i would have to say that probably one of the biggest surprises of motherhood so far for me has been breastfeeding.

i think i went into things as prepared as i probably could have been. i mean, i took the hospital class and all...and read a bit about it in books. but still it wasn't quite what i expected. so for all you mommies-to-be, or whoever is interested, i thought i'd write a bit about my experiences so far.

i knew it was definitely something i wanted to do if i could from the start. i mean, there's too many benefits to list...it's great for your baby, it helps you heal, it's FREE, etc! and it's the most natural thing in the world, right?

i think that's where i may have been a little idealistic. at about 6 weeks in, we've definitely got things down now. but there was definitely a learning curve involved. for both me and the bambino.

i had heard some horror stories about pain in breastfeeding. i mean, definitely there was some from the start, but after giving birth it kind of put that pain in perspective. though no doubt, it isn't fun having scabs on your nipples, and for them to still need to function every 1-2 hours. not comfy. just give yourself a big titty twister and hold it for about half an hour to imagine the feeling.

but this part i was still kind of braced for. i'd heard about it. and once we got a proper latch down and i toughened up, things started to improve tremendously. if i was way too sore, i'd pump an occasional feeding into a bottle to give myself a slightly less painful break. it also gave my husband a chance to join in the feeding fun. the hospital lactation consultant also gave me a nipple shield to help my little one latch on better, and give me a little pain relief till i got used to things. that pretty much worked like training wheels for both of us, and once jia learned that she could get at the milk even faster without it, she pretty much weaned herself off of it.

during the postpartum phase, you are really getting used to so many new changes in your body...changes that happen really quickly!

at first i was afraid somehow that i wouldn't be able to produce milk. when you've never produced milk in 30+ years, it's kind of hard to imagine! so it's kind of amazing how your boobs step up to the plate and fulfill what their actual function is...and boy do they!! my doubts about even being able to lactate somehow blocked me from the reality that my boobs would pretty much be leaking milk at all times!

breastfeeding is a commitment. not only is a newborn frequently hungry...but you also frequently have to get the milk out...or else it's going to come out on it's own terms...in probably an embarrassing way. so the art of boob maintenance becomes pretty much a full time job. if you change things up, miss feedings, etc...it will not only equal discomfort, but you also need to stick with a routine to keep your milk supply strong enough to nourish your little one.

perhaps the psychological aspects of it are what have been the most challenging to me though. even though i believe strongly that it's something i need to do, and that this is a healthy and normal function of the breast, and that i need to feed my baby when she's hungry...it's still hard for me to nurse in public. even with a cover. it's crazy how our culture has distorted the function of breasts. should i feel shame for feeding my child? i have to admit that deep down it's hard for me not to.

it's really opened my eyes up to how skewed our culture can be. i'm getting over it. but it's been a challenge for me. i realize that i avoid now going out sometimes because i don't want to have to nurse in public. which is kind of wrong.

anyways, over all though breastfeeding has been a sweet and bonding experience...i just don't know why people don't talk about it more. the physical, the emotional, the psychological, etc...

it's amazing the way God makes our bodies to work though. when you've been carrying a child inside you for months, it's such a blessing to be able to continue that connection by continuing to provide for that little one with your own body.

 jia is usually in a super sweet mood first thing in the morning.

shomik likes to spend a few minutes outside on the deck in the mornings, and so he usually takes jia out there with him and lets her enjoy the warm day...before it gets crazy texas hot out.

so here's a little video shomik took of their hang out time last week.

it's sweet how jia has become so expressive lately...i love all her smiles and giggles!

the world can change so fast.
i can't believe jia is a month old today! time is seriously flying too quickly already.

i'm going to try to take pics of her every month in the same basic set up for her first year. we'll see how i do...i also meant to take daily pics of my prego belly, but that didn't happen. :P

anyways, here's a pic of jia about a month ago when she first came home...

and now one month later...

at one month she's very curious about the world! she looks around a lot, and the pediatrician said she holds her head up like a 2 month old!

she's in the 75 percentile for height and weight. at the moment she's sleeping 3-5 hour stretches at night, though she likes to eat constantly during the day.

she loves being held at all times, and has started to coo and smile. she loves her bath time...she just hates before and after when she's all naked and out of the water. she likes to sit in her bouncer on the back porch with her papa first thing in the morning, and she enjoys our little family strolls in the evening.

our lives have totally changed in this one month, and we're feeling so blessed by this little girl!

well i'm already letting my resolution to blog more slide!

not without good reason though. despite the fact that i'm mostly at home these days, little jia has kept me busy! i swear, it feels like i'm nursing about 90% of my waking moments! i'm hoping she's just in a growth spurt or something, because it's turning into a huge time suck! (no pun intended! hehe.)

all well worth it though for a happy and healthy baby. :)

my friend came over the other day and took some pics...and i can't help myself but to share some!

baby bliss!


here she's laying on my childhood blanket!

first family photo!

oh, and just for fun, here's our little one on her first 4th of July...it was fun to celebrate our new American! looks like the celebrations wore her out...

actually...our family had two new Americans this year. :) *hint-not me!*

we're still in the learning curve, but definitely having fun and loving our little girl. i wasn't sure how i'd be at this whole motherhood gig, but the instincts seem to be kicking in, and i'm loving it more than i could have imagined!

so a lot of people have been asking...what about the doggies?

i'm glad to say that they're adjusting very well to the new person in our lives. better than i'd expected actually.

before we brought jia home from the hospital, my husband brought a little blanket and hat home that she'd been using for them to smell.

our little dog numa looked slightly horrified when she first met jia...like she knew that she had been dethroned. numa has kind of been the queen of our house.

our bigger dog, bindi, became jia's personal body guard from the start. i think she might have known something was going on even when i was pregnant. we'd go on lots of walks together, and she started becoming extra protective of me.

now she treats jia like she's her own baby...she's constantly checking on her to make sure she's ok, and she cries if she's separated from her! if jia cries, then bindi comes running!

so all in all i'd say the transition is going well...actually much better than i'd imagined. i'd heard the first six weeks with dog and baby can be tough...so i'm very thankful!

and jia doesn't even flinch at the sound of barking now...i guess it's true that babies get accustomed to sounds they're used to hearing in the womb...thank God! :)

jia is two weeks old today...so hard to believe!!
it's been so fun these past couple weeks getting to know her.

i'm glad to say that i am loving being a mom to jia.

once we got through the first few challenging days of exhaustion and figuring out feedings, etc... we've really started to see her true personality bloom. she's such a cheery peaceful baby, and the perfect addition to our little family.

it may sound crazy, but i was really nervous about motherhood. not so much in regards to whether or not i could do it, but more as to rather or not i'd enjoy it. i guess i never felt like i had the "mother gene" as strong as some other people. in general i don't always enjoy being around kids. and of course there are kids i like, it's not that i don't like kids...but i'm usually not sad to see them go home to their own parents at the end of the day. :)

but i do feel differently about this little one. i guess what everyone says is true...it's different with your own. even if she's been asleep awhile i kind of start to miss her.

i can't believe that today she is already a week old. time has flown, and yet it's also hard to imagine now the time before she was a part of our family.

this has been a fun week of firsts. first kiss. first bath. first poo. i guess this list could go on awhile.

(btw, she LOVES this blooming bath tub...now she cries when we take her out of the bath!)

her first walk around the neighborhood was fun. we're enjoying strolling her around with the doggies by our side as well.

her first real outing (besides the pediatrician) i guess was us strolling over to our neighborhood ice cream shop for a couple scoops.

i can't wait for all the other "firsts" we have in store, and i'm going to do my best to savor all these memories, and try to make as many new happy memories for her that we can.

thanks to God who knew exactly who we needed.

so, i think i should share about the first couple days of motherhood, because they were an experience!

i never imagined that so much of my sanity could be dependent on my breasts! :P i guess that's what happens when you suddenly become a 24/7 restaurant.

just after jia was born, and before we had even left the delivery room, they wiped her off and handed her to me to breast feed.

my mom laughed because she said you could hear sucking all the way across the room! the girl knew exactly what to do, and she was doing it vigorously!

however, the cruel joke of mother nature that they don't tell you is that you don't actually get breast milk for 3-5 days after giving birth! in the mean time, you have something called colostrum, and it is there in much smaller quantity...though they said  just a few drops of it in each feeding is all the nutrition a newborn needs in the first few days.

well, not my newborn apparently.

on our first night, she wanted to feed constantly. i would give her a feeding, and then two seconds later she'd be asking for more. now remember that this is after i've already been in 36 hours of labor and still haven't slept.

the hospital lactation consultants made their rounds the next day, and she told me my colostrum was plentiful and i shouldn't worry.

but then little jia started to get angry! i had predicted she might have inherited the "hangry" (hungry +angry) quality from my family before she was even born. while most preggo moms say that their baby is extra still if they haven't eaten, when i was preggo if i went to long without eating little jia would be thrashing about everywhere.

on our first night home, the little girl who had always so vigorously and eagerly taken to the breast now started refusing it and throwing tantrums any time i tried to put her near it! she was just absolutely frustrated that she had to put in so much effort, for so little reward!

the next day we had an appointment with her pediatrician. at this point i was so exhausted after another sleepless night, and probably emotional from hormones on top of that that i was desperate to figure out what the deal was.

the doctor checked her out and weighed her, and she had indeed lost about 9oz since leaving the hospital the day before. he said that while colostrum would nutritionally be enough for her for a couple more days, she seemed to have a much bigger appetite than most newborns, so he recommended that we supplement with formula until my milk came in.

i had initially been hesitant about introducing her to the bottle very early. i heard it makes babies not want to drink from the boob after that since it's more work. but at that point, i knew we needed to give her what she needed for our own sanity. plus, it was absolutely heart breaking to watch her frantic, and to feel helpless to do anything! :(

right there in the doctors office she downed a bunch of formula in a matter of seconds. newborn tummies are very small, so the doc was surprised at how much she ate. it looks like we may have a chunk on our hands though. :)

since we started supplementing, it's like we have a whole new baby! those first couple days i was thinking in the back of my mind that my husband and i would both need to quit working or something to raise this kid, because it was seeming like a 2 person job...at least! haha. now she is so chilled out and happy though...a pretty mellow kid. :)

my milk thankfully let down the next day as well, which also made things easier, and she's been able to make the adjust back and forth now pretty well. it certainly doesn't make sense to me though that milk takes a few days to arrive! someday i might have to ask God what that was about. maybe not all newbies are little porkers like ours. :)

it's a girl!

jia eden tara entered the world on june 17 at 10:38am...father's day! she was 8lb 13oz, and 21.5 inches long! the day she decided to arrive made things extra special...father's day hasn't been the happiest for me since losing my dad a few years ago. so it was redeeming to remember my my dad, who would have become a grandpa, and to make my husband a papa on her special birth day.

everyone seemed to be guessing that this little one was going to be a boy, so jia was a fun surprise!

i can't promise with any certainty that i'll stick to this, but i'm hoping to keep up with the blog a little more over the next few months so that i can write down and remember all the little things that happened during jia's early days.

so i guess i should begin with her birth story...

she was running a bit late, and i'd put off induction as a last resort, so on friday, june 15, when i started having contractions on my own it was quite a relief.

they started around 10pm, and were about 10 minutes apart at that point. i drank a bunch of water, took a hot shower, moved around, etc... everything i could think of to make sure it was the real deal and not false labor. by 2:30am they were 5 minutes apart, so i called the hospital. the doctor said by the time they're 3 minutes apart i should come on in to labor an delivery. so at around 6am we loaded up the car and headed over.

we checked in at the hospital, where they hooked me up to all kinds of monitors to see if it was true labor. apparently it was, so we got all set to have a baby.

at that point i was more than 80% effaced, and the baby was really low in the pelvis and i was anterior. which all basically means that everything was pretty set for the baby to go ahead and pop out...except for my cervix. it was only dilated to 1.5!

however, with everything else ready to go, and contractions coming strong, the doctor didn't seem to think it would be long, and that i should just hang out a bit and give it time.

by noon things were still pretty much the same!! contractions, baby super low, but not more dilation! it was basically like this kiddo was just hanging out in the bottom of my pelvis waiting for the hatch to open!

however, since i hadn't made significant progress in several hours, the doctor decided then to send me home for a while. my own doctor wasn't there, so i was having to use the on call weekend doctor. she said that they couldn't really interfere with another doctor's patient unless they had significant reason. so since she couldn't do anything to help my cervix along she said i should go home, eat something (you can't when you're checked into the hospital for labor), and her guess was that they'd end up seeing me again in a few hours. so basically they told me just come back once your water breaks, or when your contractions get even stronger.

by about 8pm, shomik made us go back to the hospital. he could tell i was really in intense pain, but i was trying to hold out as long as i could to ensure that i wouldn't be sent home again! haha.

my mom was with us too, so between the two of them they convinced me that it was time.

so we got back to the hospital, where i was bummed to find that i was only dilated to a 2! however, i was also pretty much 100% effaced by then, so the doctor said it was enough progress that we should stay because it was time to have a baby!

my birth plan was to go natural....if it made sense and i could handle it. however, if i felt the need for the epidural then i would take it. so at about 1am i decided it was time. after more than 24 hours of labor, and no sleep, i couldn't imagine having enough energy to finish this delivery without a little rest.

so thank God for that! as a result i got a couple hours of sleep before it was time for the big pushing! in the mean time the doctor gave me meds to open my cervix more quickly while i was all numbed up.

that quickly got things going to a 5, and by the time i woke from my little nap i was at more than a 9! almost baby time!

so not too long later it was time to push. the OB on call was named dr newton, and she was a cute little lady probably just about my age who reminded me of my sister in law. when it was pushing time she said "let me go get on my party clothes...we're about to have a birthday!" and she came back all hair netted and super scrubbed out.

after a few pushes you could just barely see the top of her head...and after about an hour jia fully landed in the world!

when she crowned the doctor felt inside to check and make sure the umbilical cord was clear of the neck. it was...but then she mentioned, "wow, this baby has a really big head and shoulders...it will be very difficult to push out." at that point in labor i was sooooo exhausted that it was the last thing i wanted to hear, but i was so ready to be done so i just pushed like crazy! labor is truly exhausting, and the epidural had worn off enough for me to feel most of what was going on through that part too. also when she said that it had me thinking "ok, everyone is probably right...broad shoulders...guess it's a boy!"

but then a few pushes later our little girl popped out! it was the strangest feeling. about half way through the pushing they had me start wearing an oxygen mask to keep jia's heart rate up, and with all the deep breathing into the mask i was feeling pretty light headed and out of it by the end! haha. everything was kind of a blur. i'm sure the physical exhaustion of it all played a role as well. but i just remember that the first thing i was looking for was genitals...i think i might have been the first one to say "it's a girl!"  :)

shomik cut the cord while i held her for the first time, and then they took her off to get wiped down while i got stitched up...

if you don't know what a perineal tear is, you probably don't want to! the result of having a big headed baby was some massive ripping...3 different tears, one of them a level 3 on a scale of 4. not too fun. i'll be feeling that for awhile.

but totally worth it. i'm not going to lie...36 hours of labor was rough... even though i had pain relief some of the way. but i'd do it again for such a sweet blessing.

i was very very nervous about becoming a mom. well, of course excited at the same time. but on the day of delivery it felt like i was building up to an arranged marriage or something. i kept thinking that i was about to meet someone for the first time who would be a part of my life forever. so thankfully it wasn't hard at all to love her from the start. i never imagined i'd be this way, but i feel a bit obsessed with my little girl...so be warned that you'll likely be hearing about her a lot! :)

when the little one arrives i've been planning to use cloth diapers (they've evolved A LOT in the past few years), so a system for that is something we've been getting set up around our house.

this past weekend my husband installed a diaper toilet sprayer...and it is by far his favorite thing that ended up in our house as a result of the incoming baby.

he's even talking about getting one for our master bathroom now too...but for his own personal use.

you see, in india, water is generally preferred over toilet paper.

i know, this may be TMI, but it's true. my husband and i have had extensive debates on the matter over the years.

while i still can't endorse the traditional indian ways of washing by hand with water, i do understand how one would appreciate a little mini bidet. it probably actually does get you cleaner.
just as long as there isn't water all over my bathroom.

so i'm glad the hubby is enjoying his new found luxury. it will definitely be nice for whenever his family gets to visit as well. and i guess if for some reason the whole cloth diapering thing doesn't pan out, it at least won't be money down the toilet. :P (bad joke. i know.)

in other improvements, the baby is officially on indian standard time (aka. late!), but has definitely dropped down looooow.

walking around kind of feels like that game you play in elementary school where you have to run with a soccer ball between your knees. and the other night i actually dreamed that the baby kept dropping and dropping till it was like a bowling ball in a sack dragging the ground with my skin stretched like a sock. i blame hormones.

i've avoided exposing people to my bare belly shots up to this point since i feel like folks have mixed feelings on the issue...but i have a broad ribcage, so with the way clothes hang on me, i don't feel like it captures the full extend of the droppage without a bare belly shot. i've been carrying pretty high most of the pregnancy.

the doctor has me scheduled for induction tomorrow if i want it, but i'm leaning towards post phoning it as long as i can at this point, unless there's a good medical reason he feels like the baby needs to come out now.

not that i don't want the baby out now. i desperately do. pray for deliverance!
but i've been weighing the pros and cons, and i just don't know if i can justify it for my own comfort and sanity as long as the baby is still thriving in there. when the risks of overcooking get to the point where they outweigh the risks of induction though, then i'd pull the trigger. it just seems like induction too greatly increases the risk of complications for me to choose it quite yet though.

hopefully it won't come to that. i've definitely been feeling some crazy sensations in my body the past couple days. but at this point i'm not sure if i'm just over analyzing every thing, or if it actually means something.

i guess when it urgently means something...i'll know. ;)

at more than 39 weeks pregnant, it definitely feels like a waiting game now.

people look at me walking around like i'm carrying a bomb or something. haha.
it's a different look than i got a few months ago. i've even had total strangers come up to me lately and say things like "next time you need to plan things better so that you're not pregnant during the texas summer." thanks people.

most everyone else who was due around the same time as me seems to have already popped. most of them a couple weeks ago. i'm afraid someone will have to be the late one to balance the averages, and i have to remember that this kiddo is half indian after all. i guess we'll start learning right now if he/she is more like mama or papa. ;) will indian standard time prevail?

the baby is in position, and my cervix is soft apparently (sorry if that's TMI), but i haven't really dilated at all yet. while this info is interesting to know (for me at least), it's not really super helpful. apparently it still means anything can happen at any time. i could go into labor right now, or in 3 weeks. even if you're dilated, you can be several centimeters for a few weeks before labor. there's no sure sign to gauge the timing. my nurse yesterday at my weekly check in terrified me by telling me her baby was 3 weeks late! haha.

somehow since my original due date was actually in may, i never really imagined actually making it all the way to the new june date they adjusted it to...plus i arrived around 37 weeks...but we'll see what happens.

my doctor has me scheduled for induction on the 12th...however i'm going back and forth about whether i want to take him up on it or not. he seems to think my body is ready, and would respond favorably if he just "knocks over the first domino", and that the baby is done and cooked...it's just hanging out in there cuz it's comfy. both my weight and the baby's seem to have plateaued here at the end. the doctor told me that's really normal apparently, though i was a bit surprised. but i guess at this point this kiddo looks like it's about a 7 pounder.

i'm still not sure what i'll do though if i have to decide about induction. i feel a little cruel about kicking the baby out before it decides to come out on it's own...even if it's fully cooked. plus, while i'm open to having an epidural if i need it, i really would like to try and see how far i can get without one instead of just planning on it. i've heard though that with induction you pretty much have to go ahead though and get an epidural at the same time since the labor comes on a lot faster and harder.

it's getting hard now to wait. i'm anxious to meet this little person at last. i'm anxious for the suspense to be over! haha. i'm feeling a little grounded these days since my husband is nervous about me driving too far at this point in case i go into labor an have an accident or something.
i'm anxious to know finally...little boy, or little girl?

so say a little prayer for us. for healthy baby. healthy mama. oh, and if it's not to much to ask, pray that this kiddo will come soon so that i don't have to decide whether to kick it out or not! ;)

ok, so the baby is about to run out of space in my uterus, so we've been trying to get a new space ready for it.

it's still a work in progress when it comes to decor and all, but let's face it...the baby isn't going to care. and they probably won't even been sleeping much in there for awhile anyways. :)

but still, it's been fun though to throw together a gender neutral nursery. it's a little added challenge. and i enjoy the challenge of decorating on a budget anyhow.

be warned though, i'm really horrible at photographing rooms...i need lessons or something. i do feel like the room actually looks better in real life though than these pics show.

this is what you see when you walk in. this paint color is supposed to be gray, but it can read sometimes in the bluish or greenish spectrums depending on the light. kinda weird. looks very blue in this pic though.

this served as a guest room before, so that twin bed is a remnant from those days. we figure it might still be really practical to have it in there. i removed the frame, so it works as a low sofa too. :)

oh, and don't get me started on how in love i am with that elephant hamper.

my little corner gallery is just a bunch goodwill frames i actually had on hand from another project in the house...

for now they're full of random stuff i found for free. a narnia map i printed online, some cool wrapping paper clippings, and the front of an old torn pillow cushion i had with an elephant on it.

the room is pretty small, so the mirror reflects a lot of light and really makes it feel bigger. i found the mirror at goodwill for like $5, and just got a $2 no VOC paint sample (safe for preggos) from home depot to paint it.

kermie was my favorite childhood toy, so i'm sure he's going to be happy to be played with again.

oh, and yes, that's an indian door tassle hanging off the mirror...because i can't control myself from throwing in random indian stuff all over my house.

the changing table is an old desk that was at my parent's house. all the pillows and stuff i already had around the house...so of course they have a bit of an indian flair too. ;)

oh, and just in case you were curious...

here's a close up shot of what was hanging in the window. just a plant. it was around in the pre-nursery days as well, but it got to stay. i figure babies can't get enough things to look up at.

this old rocker was from my own baby days. my mom sewed some new cushions for it.
the cushions were actually made from a bed spread we got as a gift for our wedding...unfortunately though, our dog chewed up the edge of it during her puppy days, so i was glad to see it get a new purpose! you might notice several other cushions around the room with the same material...

the boppy is there ready to go, and the pouf is a transplant from another room...but originally from my favorite store. world market. as is the lamp...which i got for a steal because i had a coupon, and it was a slightly damaged floor model!

here's a fuller shot of that side of the room. the crib was given to us by some friends moving to germany...so we have some germany art they also gave us up in their honor. ;)

don't worry...i won't keep all the pillows and stuff in the crib once the baby is there. it's just there now for my own personal satisfaction.

the random white things on the wall? well. i still am not sure what's going on with that.
i was inspired by this image i found on pinterest...

but then i got nervous that it might make things a little too girlified if this turns out to be a boy that i'm toting around. it's basically just cupcake holders and thumb tacks. of course the tacks are in the back of my mind as well...but i think it will be well out of reach. by the time baby is able to pull up, the crib will be much lower. so what do you think...shall i commence work on that bit, or take it down? :/

that thing hanging above the crib? you guessed it. it's from india. just a cloth lantern...but it's something a little different, and it will hopefully be fun for the baby to look at.

oh, and notice the sweet elephant blanket my friend made? we definitely have a little theme going on! :)

so that's what's going on with the nursery for now. we have plans for my husband to make some cute little book ledges, and i still have the closet to get organized and some random little things to fill in, but i think the biggest thing for now is just to add the baby! :)

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