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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