Sunday, October 24, 2010

Maya is 3 months old

Just a quick update. Today Maya officially turned 3 months old. Since my last post a week ago, Maya has managed to roll from back to tummy in her crib, but only once (and I missed it). Also, for the last 3 months I've just been taking snapshots of her however she happens to be. Today we decided to go ahead and and try to take some nice posed photo portraits of her. We set up some blankets from when Christina was a baby and attempted to somewhat recreate photos of her when she was 3 months old. We didn't get quite the same poses we were trying for (Maya started getting cranky before too long...we should have started photographing earlier in the morning), but we got some good ones.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The first 3 months

Maya is almost 3 months old now (1 week from today). She's been doing really good. She's been gaining about a pound every 2 weeks and is up to 11 lbs, 11 oz in weight and 24.5 inches long. For her age, that puts her at about the 50th percentile for weight and the 95th percentile for length (meaning her weight is average but she's taller than 95% of babies her age).

Ever since we brought her home from the hospital she has been a really great sleeper. Every single night we would only have to get up one time between 3-4am. She would sleep in bed with us in the snuggle nest (a co-sleeper that makes it safe for a baby to sleep with the parents). However, around 1.5 months she started figuring out how to scoot her body down and out of it and then wiggle over (see the photos below). One morning I even woke up and found her snuggled up to me with her head on my shoulder and an arm across my chest. Obviously it wasn't safe for her to continue sleeping in there, so she started sleeping in her crib at night from then on. The day before she turned 2 months old she slept through the entire night (8 hours total) for the first time. Every night since then she's slept through the entire night. One night she even slept 11 hours in a row.

At about a 1.5 month old she started being able to hold onto her rattle if you wedged it into her clenched fist. She'd continue holding it and shaking it around for a little while. At a little over 2 months she started getting good at swinging her arms and hitting the toys on her gym and bouncy chair. At 2.5 months old, she picked up the rattle on her own for the first time (though we haven't been able to repeat it yet), and in the last couple days she's been grabbing onto and holding one of the rings on her gym.

She was able to hold her head up pretty good when she was only 2-3 weeks old. By 2 months old, she was able to lift and turn her head pretty good when lying on her tummy. At 2.5 months she started being able to scoot forward on her tummy (she went about 1 foot). When lying on her back, she's been able to scoot out of her sleep positioner since around 2 months (just shortly after she started sleeping in her crib). Once free, she can start spinning herself around. Sometimes we'll check on her and she'll be fine, then 30 minutes later she'll be laying in her crib sideways or even the opposite direction.

It was hard to tell when she first smiled. Like any other baby, she always made lots of faces and some of them would look like smiles by coincidence. However, at 1.5 months old we definitely started to notice repeated smiling, where we could do some particular action 4-5 times in a row and she'd make a smile every time. Laughing was the same situation...always hard to tell a genuine laugh from all the various baby noises she made. At 2.5 months we able to get a very definite, repeated laughter from her.

For several weeks now, she's been very close to rolling over but never quite made it. Three days ago she finally managed to roll from her tummy to her back (but I wasn't home them, so I didn't get to see it until today). She hasn't yet quite made it rolling from her back to her tummy, though. She's almost there, but her hand seems to keep getting in the way.

Maya loves to be held (in fact, she very often demands it), and she loves looking around. For the last few weeks we've started putting her in the stroller directly instead of in the car seat (which then snaps into the stroller). This way she can sit up and see around a lot better during stroller rides. She loves this. She used to fall asleep within 1-5 minutes of being in the stroller, but now she's so busy looking around at things, she often doesn't end up falling asleep for more than 20 minutes. Car rides is another thing she loves. It always puts her to sleep, though she sometimes wakes up as soon as you stop. One day she was particularly cranky, but when I drove to pick Christina up from the dentist, Maya went to sleep. However, as soon as I stopped in the parking lot, she started crying again within a minute, so I had to drive around the block over and over again until Christina got out just to keep Maya happy.

Below are a few more batches of photos from the first 3 months. In addition, I thought I'd try something new and post some videos of her from over the past 3 months. This way those of you who don't get to see her often (or at all) can catch up on what you've missed and get to see a little more of her personality than you see in photos.

She likes to arch her back like a baby pole vaulter

Maya's always happy after bath time

Escaping from her snuggle nest

Holding her rattle for the first time

More Photos Available
More photos are available in these 2 galleries:

Here are some videos of her first 3 months

Maya with hiccups (1 day old)

Maya crying (1 day old)

Maya's goat cry (3.5 weeks old)

Maya's tummy time (1 month old)

Maya holding her rattle (1.5 months old)

Maya making faces(1.5 months old)

Maya smiling and cooing(2 months old)

Maya trying to walk(2 months old)

Maya laughing(2.5 months old)

Maya rolling over (2.5 months old)

Friday, July 30, 2010

More photos of Maya

Here are some additional photos from our stay at the hospital, as well as our first day and a half at home.

Maya Abigail - the story of her birth

On Friday, July 23rd, I went home for lunch as usual and then headed back to work. I got to work about 2:30, sat down at my desk, and then about 15 seconds later my phone rang. It was Christina, and she thought her water might have broke, but she wasn't quite sure. I'll spare you the details, but the hospital nurses have told us sometimes women show up mistakenly thinking their water broke. We debated about what to do, so I asked her to call the maternity ward to get their advice. However, while waiting on the phone, she had some more water leak out, so that was enough to convince her. She called me back and I headed home.

We were well prepared, so by the time I got home Christina had already loaded the luggage, laptop, and car seat into the car. We knew what to expect and knew that we had plenty of time, so we took our time, making sure not to forget anything. We recalled that the hospital would only give you liquid foods to eat, so we took the advice of our birthing class instructor and made sure to eat a decent snack before we left the house.

We got to the hospital, they checked us in, hooked her up to the monitors, and did an exam. She was now 3cm dilated (she had been 2cm two days earlier and for the previous 3 weeks). Her contractions were about 5 minutes apart, though she could barely feel them at this point. The staff made a call to our OB and got us into a room.

From there things progressed slowly. We had hoped to be walking around, changing positions, and using the birthing ball to try and help things along. However, our OB had confined her to the bed since the water had already broke. That meant there could be a possibility of the umbilical cord getting pinch if the baby was up high. The hospital OB said the baby was already descended and engaged and tried to convince him we were alright, but he wouldn't budge. That made us all very mad (just one of a number of things we were becoming unhappy with him about).

By about 8 PM (less than 6 hours after her water broke) she was still only 3cm dilated, so our OB tried pushing us to use pitocin to speed things up. That was another idea we were unhappy about, but luckily this was a decision we could refuse. We said no, and instead Christina tried lying in bed in different positions to help things along. That must have been the trick, because within about 15 minutes she start to feel stronger contractions. By 8:30 PM, they checked again and she was now up to 4cm. By 11:10 PM she had went up to 6cm.

Up to this point, my wife had done everything without pain medication, but it was becoming too much for her, so they gave her a shot of Nubain. That did very little to help, so about an hour later she decided to go for an epidural. It was more important that she not exhaust herself before she even got to the delivery.

After the epidural she was much more comfortable. By 1:30 AM she had reached 8cm dilation, and by 2:45 AM she was 10cm. At 3 AM she began trying to push. She tried and tried for an hour, using every possible position, but nothing she could do could make any progress. By 4 AM, Christina was exhausted, so we decided we'd take a 1 hour break for her to rest and for her body to work on its own. At 5 AM she started pushing again, but within 20 minutes she had still made no progress. The OB said that the baby's head was coning, which indicated she was not going to easily fit through the birth canal. Since the head wasn't even starting to emerge, he couldn't use forceps yet, and he was afraid that with such a tight fit, there may be danger of the baby getting stuck partway out or that the cord may get pinched at some point. We all decided it was in everyone's best interest to go to a c-section.

At about 5:30 am we started making preparations for that. They entered the surgery room without me. I had to wait in the recovery room all by myself while they got things prepared. The waiting felt like it took forever, and I was starting to wondering if they were going to forget to bring me in. After what seemed like an eternity (but was probably about 10 minutes), they brought me in and sat me by Christina's head. There was a big curtain hanging down over her chest so we could not see anything they were doing. I just held her hand and talked to her, trying to comfort her.

Shortly after they made the incision. We could hear the doctor trying to push her back out of the birth canal so we could deliver her through the incision. I heard the doctor say something like "we just can't get a break today", which I thought was really bad, but about a minute later the nurse told me I could stand up and see. When I looked, there was a pool of blood on Christina's abdomen, but it didn't look very gross at all. With all of the surgical coverings, the yellow iodine, and the wrinkled clear tape-like covering, it didn't look gross because nothing I saw resembled any part of the body...

...well, nothing except for the little head that was sticking out of the incision. When the head first came out it was facing away from me. The top back of the head was indeed quite cone shaped. Just a second later, the doctor turned her body completely around and the head was now pointing at me. For the first time, I could see my daughter's face.

Now, I normally keep my emotions well under control. I didn't cry when I got married, I didn't cry when I finally found out Christina was finally pregnant, and all through the labor process I was calm and in control. I expected that when I saw my baby, I would be happy beyond belief, but I honestly did not believe I would cry. That's just not the type of person I am. So imagine my shock when the instant I saw that face, I started crying.

Just a second or two later, they pulled the rest of her body through the incision. They clamped off the cord and cut it (unfortunately I wasn't allowed to do that), then took the baby to the table to be cleaned and examined. This whole time Christina could not see the baby, so I described to her everything they were doing. Finally, after several minutes, they placed a scale where my wife could see it, and they brought the baby over for the official weighing. She got to see the baby finally. They weighed her and measured her, and then wrote on a whiteboard. That's where we saw her stats:
Delivered: 6:05 AM
Weight: 7 pounds, 5.8 ounces
Length: 19.5 inches

They took the baby back to the warmer and called me over to be with the baby. I touched her hands and feet, and then they told me I could take her over to my wife. I picked her up and carried her and placed her right next to Christina's face. She couldn't move one arm because of an IV, and her other arm was really shaking. She was able to use her free hand to touch the baby, but unfortunately there was no way she could hold her. The nurse that had been by my Christina's head the entire time asked if we had a name for her, and she said Maya Abigail.

We were able to stay there for a couple of minutes but then I had to take her back to the infant warmer. Then we left the room to go to the recovery room while they finished the surgery. As I was leaving I saw the doctor removing the placenta. In the other room, I spent a few minutes with Maya and then went to get Christina's mother, who was the only person still there. We stayed with the baby for about 30 minutes before they wheeled Christina into the recovery room. Then her mom visited her for a minute before leaving (only the spouse is allowed in the recovery room).

We spent the next couple of hours in the recovery room. Christina was still shaking terribly from the process (partly due to hormone levels and partly due to a reaction to them stopping the epidural) and wasn't able to hold the baby yet. I carried Maya over several times so Christina could see her. However, Christina was in a lot of pain. They had taken her off the epidural and gave her a 1 dose shot that was supposed to help her and last 24 hours, but it wasn't doing anything. The nurses were surprised she was in so much pain. They restarted the epidural, but that didn't help, so they gave her a shot of Nubain. That made her a little loopy but didn't remove the pain, so they gave her an extra dose of the epidural and then increased the flow rate. That still did nothing. Finally, the nurse convinced the doctors to allow her to use Toradol, and that was the magic dose that made everything better.

Christina slept for at least the next hour. Meanwhile, I spent time with Maya, watched as the nurse gave Maya her first bath and shortened the umbilical cord to a more manageable length (it was originally about 4 inches long), and took a few pictures. By now, I had been up for over 24 hours, and with the room so quiet (Christina and Maya were both sleeping) and nothing going on, being idle was starting to wear on me, so I decided to rest. The nurse told me to go to another room and sleep on the bed and she would come and get me if anything happened. However, I didn't want to be out of the room if my wife needed something or if anything happened (if there was a problem, surely getting me wouldn't be her first priority). So, instead, I took a few pillows and a blanket and made a bed on the floor in the corner of the room.

Sometime between 8:00 and 8:30, Christina woke up. The nurse assessed her pain level and she said she was feeling pretty good, so they moved us back to a normal room. I wheeled Maya there in her crib, while the nurses took Christina in her bed. At 8:41am, Christina finally got to hold Maya for the first time. A short while later I got to change her first diaper. Around 11 AM the lactation consultant showed up and helped Christina with her first breastfeeding. Meanwhile our first visitors were just arriving.

Throughout the rest of Saturday, we got a bunch more visitors, they removed most of Christina's pain medicine (except the Toradol, which they continued through the next day), and she got up out of bed for a short walk around the room. Maya slept pretty well most of the day. She wasn't really getting the hang of breastfeeding, so the nurses had us feed her a small amount from a bottle a couple times. At night, we tried doing the same but it wasn't keeping her satisfied more than an hour. The new nurse suggested we feed her from the bottle as much as she'd take, to keep her content at night. That worked like a charm and she slept pretty well from 1 AM until morning, sleeping for 2-3 hours at a time.

On Sunday morning, they removed Christina's IV. Then I made a brief trip back home. I had forgot to bring my bathroom supplies with me, so I went home to shower, shave, etc. I also took Maya's first cap home so that the cats could get familiar with her smell before she came home. When I returned to the hospital, they told Christina she could take a shower, so I helped her with that. We did a little walking around her room, but not much (it was still very difficult for her). We had some more visitors, and Maya was pretty good throughout the day. We laid out some baby blankets and took some nice baby photos.

Sunday night, we had a lot of problems keeping Maya quiet. Every time I'd lay her down, within 15 minutes she'd be crying again. We tried everything we could think of but had no luck. By 5 AM, the nurse practically insisted on taking Maya to the nursery for a few hours while we caught some sleep. We always knew we could do so at any time we wanted, but were reluctant to hand her off to someone else. This time, we agreed. While we slept, they took care of Maya, gave her the Hepatitis B vaccination, and did a hearing test on her and brought her back sleeping a little before 7 AM.

On Monday, Christina was discharged by the OB, Maya got discharged by the pediatrician, and by 11:30 AM we were on our way out of the hospital to begin our life at home.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Maya Abigail is born

This morning, Maya Abigail was born at 6:05 AM. She weighed 7 lbs 6 oz and measured 19.5 inches. Due to lack of sleep, I'll leave it at that and provide more details later. For now, here are a few photos.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Baby Shower

Last Saturday we had a baby shower for Christina and baby Maya. It was quite a fun event. We held it in our home instead of renting someplace. That was nice because we had a much more comfortable environment, had plenty of time to setup and prepare, and I think it ended up being a much more personal experience. It was also an advantage not to have to lug all the gifts home.


First thing to do was make out invitations. We looked at buying invitations from the store, but they were all just too generic and not very exciting. Instead, we decided to make our own invitations. That allowed us to customize them to the theme of our shower (which was actually the theme of Maya's room): butterflies and dragonflies.

For each of the guests we wanted to have some party favors. We bought some little scented hand lotions for everyone and then we decided to give out something handmade, too. To go with the theme of the shower, we made little butterfly candy bags. They were made with clothespins, paint, glitter glue, googly eyes, pipe cleaners, and snack size zip-storage bags. Each one was done with a unique combination of colors.

We put some balloons out in the yard

and Bob drew some artwork on the whiteboard (with little time to do so)


There were just over 20 people there (including the 3 kids, myself, Bob, and Christina's dad and grandpa).

Danielle & Tanya

Aunt Cindi & Jenny


Beve, my Mom, & Sandy

Aunt Jo & David

Christina's Grandma

Amanda, Clara, & Christina's Mom

and, of course....the guest of honor


There were 5 games at the party. The first game was to guess the belly size. Every guest makes a guess at how big Christina's waist and belly measure and cuts a string to that length. Then an official measurement string is cut and everybody's string is compared to this. The closest guess wins. Amanda won that prize, guessing only about 2 inches too big. Danielle was the only person to guess too small. Everybody else went too big....way to big, in fact.

The second game was to name as many baby items as possible in 5 minutes. Danielle won this game with 46 items.

The third game was my own personal favorite. As guests arrived, we gave them a tour of baby Maya's nursery so they could get a good look at the decoration. Little did they know, about an hour later we'd be testing them to see how much they saw.

click the photo to see all photos of the room.

While everyone was finishing up eating, we hit them with the surprise, handing them the following 10 question/28 answer game card.

(note, the photos of the room linked above are from a few weeks prior to the shower, so a few questions concern things that are not visible or had changed in that time). The winner of the game was Amanda, with 20 correct answers. Second place was a tie between Danielle and Debbie, with 15 correct answers each. Third place went to my mom, with 14 correct.

The fourth game was the Baby Egg Game, and it was also quite interesting. At the beginning of the shower, each guest received one sealed, plastic easter egg. The rule was that they had to protect their egg for the entire shower, but they could not stuff it in a purse, pocket, bag, etc. They had to keep it out in the open. If you found an egg that wasn't being watched, you could steal the egg. Whoever had the most eggs at the end wins a prize. The game almost ended up as a 3 way tie (if I recall correct, Aunt Cindi stole Jenny's egg, Danielle stole Tanya's egg, and Sandy stole somebody else's egg). However, Danielle left her 2 eggs unwatched and Sandy got both of them, giving her the win with 4 eggs. Then each person opened their eggs, and one egg contained an INSTANT WINNER ticket. Sandy also had that egg, giving her 2 prizes for this game.

The last game was Baby Shower Bingo. You fill in a bingo card with the names of items you think Christina would receive as gifts. As each gift was opened, you marked off that item on your card. When you got a Bingo, you win a prize.

Finally, in addition to the 5 games, we had a diaper raffle, where each guest receives raffle tickets for the diapers they bring as gifts.

The winner was Debbie, and she received a gift pack full of sweet pea scented beauty items (shampoo, body wash, bath salts, etc) and related items.


We had a nice, filling lunch (more like dinner) with fried chicken, mostaccioli, meatballs, taco salad, salad, bread, fruits & vegetables, etc. And for dessert we had a mousse-filled cake.


Everyone was quite generous, and we had a ton of gifts to go through. We got an incredible assortment of clothing. We also got a bunch of diapers and number of other baby items (bouncer, rocker, sleep positioner, co-sleeper, diaper bags, toys, etc), along with some cash/gift cards, and a bunch of books. We also received two incredible hand made gifts. The first was a toy box from Bob and Amanda, and it had been decorated with hand painted butterflies and dragonflies. The second item was a cross-stitched quilt from Sandy, decorated with animals, a train, and baby carriages and toys. Both gifts must have taken an incredible amount of time and effort, and both will be treasured.

Below are some photos to give you an overview of what we got. There are photos of the clothes (but not all the other non-clothing gifts) that each person gave (except somehow I'm missing a photo of what Amanada gave), and then all the toys and all the books. I don't have summary photos of all the other items we got (they're packed in the closet for the moment, to keep the nursery in order until we get a chance to go through everything). However, just about everything should be in the complete set of photos from the shower (the link is down further). If I'm missing photos of anything...blame Bob, because he had the camera.


A big thanks to everyone who came, gave us wonderful gifts, helped organize, brought food, etc. It was all very much appreciated, and I can think of no better way to have thrown a more memorable shower for us.

Here is the complete set of photos from the shower: