Friday, July 27, 2012

Being grateful

I spend a lot of time thinking about all of the blessings that I have in my life.

I wake up each day with my best friend, this man that will do anything with in his control to ease any pain that I am feeling. He settles my nerves as I mature as a mother, he advises me as a mentor as I scale the ladder of my career, he calms my heart as I worry about one thing or the other, and he spoils me endlessly and with out apology.

I safely and healthily brought a beautiful boy in to this world. A boy that melts my heart with his giggles, his babble, his crys, and his sly sly smiles. I get to be the one that cuddles with him at the end of every day, kisses his boo boos, sings him our song, and I have that special nook where he burrows his head when sleepiness is taking over. I get to nourish him, and nurture him , and guide him on his way. I will mother him relentlessly and always be thankful for that opportunity.

Today is my first full day of my 31st year and my wish this year is that I can keep this warm, fuzzy, overjoyed feeling that I feel right now with me all year...

Thursday, July 26, 2012

52 : 20

Today Ewan is 20 weeks old, and I am 31, that is 1,612 weeks if you were wondering. Now that I have had a baby I understand the importance of a birthday and this year my own seems a little less important. But one thing I can say is I am covered on gifts this year... Ewan took me on the best birthday breakfast date ever today, he knew a latte from Blue Bottle would be just what the mama needed.

Monday, July 23, 2012

19.5 weeks (inside/out)

Today Ewan has been with us for 19.5 weeks. When I was 19.5 weeks pregnant we had what was intended to be our last ultrasound (we had unanticipated others later on as Ewan was measuring big so we were just seeing how big) and we found out he was a boy!

19.5 weeks pregnant

The picture we used to tell our friends!

During the first portion of the scan with the technician the baby was shy and would not show the goods. Before the radiologist came in I did a little dance in hopes of a shift. When she came in she said she would give it a try, put the wand to my belly, and there it was, the "money shot" we proclaimed to her amusement. There was no doubting it, we were having a boy.

Ewan's profile at 19.5 weeks

The prevailing guess amongst friends was girl, except one who called boy and got a special prize for her prediction. K's family all guessed boy as the men in their family seem to have strong male swimmers. Before the ultrasound we did the math and in 3 generations on Kevin's dad's side (since his grandfather) of the family McDonald men have had 20 boys, and 7 girls, meaning we had a 74% chance of having a boy --- maybe not the most scientific study but the numbers didn't lie to us!

We covered both bases just in case!

Up until that ultrasound we had discussed names, we had four girl names and zero boy names. We knew we wanted a Scottish name, but what?! For some reason we just couldn't settle on a first name, which we probably should have taken as a clue, but on the way to FedEx from the hospital (we were mailing gender specific care packages to the grandparents, pictured above) Kevin said, "what about Ewan Porter" and we never looked back!

Ewan Porter - 19.5 weeks today!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

52 : 19

One of the first questions people asked when they found out that I was pregnant was, "are you going to go back to work?" My answer was always a solid yes. I wonder if this is a normal question that ALL pregnant professionals get or something about me that made me more of a target for it?!

Before I was even contemplating having a baby I knew I would always work outside of the home. I have all the respect in the world for stay at home moms/dads, but that choice just was not in the cards for me. My work is part of who I am, my career is a passion of mine, and I will always need to be able to achieve goals that are mine and mine alone. This is not to say that Ewan is not part of me, or a passion of mine, or an accomplishment, but me as a career woman is the me I want him to know. I want my son to know the power of women in the office, the glue that women are in the home, and to be a part of the generation that I dream will shatter the glass ceiling and finally see pay equality between men and women. I want him to see a world where it is not assumed that the CEO is a man and where it is not assumed that the primary caregiver of children is always a woman, but possibly a man, or a healthy split between two parents --- what we strive for and call co-parenting in our house. I want him to find a partner that he will encourage to accomplish all that they dream of, and I do not want the first question he asks a pregnant woman to be about her professional plans post baby. I wear my hat as wife and my hat as mother, but I also wear my hat as Peri - one day Ewan will recognize that and hopefully be proud of his mama.

All of this to say that Ewan started "school" last week. That first day, and each since, we got him up at 6:00am, fed him, dressed him, and were out the door. I will not lie and say that first morning I did not shed a tear or two, but I will promise that I am 100% confident in Ewan's care and did A TON of work to make sure of it. When I picked him up that first day and he was giggling with his ladies (the little girls in his class), and when I got an email on the second day with pictures of him finger painting, and on the third day when I left my office to walk to his school and had him in my arms in less than ten minutes I knew we were happily settling in to the next phase of our family. And since this has been a couple of big weeks for Ewan I could not stick to one photo this post - the last is him today, day 9 of school and 133 of life.

Ewan's first day of school on 7/9/12

Ewan finger painting on 7/10/12

Ewan's masterpiece

Ewan in his dragons on 7/12/12 (aka PJ day)

On the wall in the classroom

Waiting for his ladies to arrive on 7/19/12

Thursday, July 12, 2012

52 : 18

This has been an interesting week, Ewan turned 4 months on Sunday and started "school" on Monday (more on that next week).

In his fourth month of life EP continued to amaze us with his rolling over, his one successful tripod sit, his first tastes of rice cereal and pears, his love of his sisters, his nerdy laugh, and his general mellow demeanor. We took our first mini-break as a family, went to Sonoma and Livermore for wine tasting, enjoyed cousin Declyn's 2nd birthday party, and just continued to settle ourselves into this amazing groove.

At Ewan's 4 month well baby visit his doctor described him as a very strong boy with a great disposition. We discussed his feats of strength, his constant babble, how he watches his sisters and just laughs at them, and his two true loves - sleep and milk! Measuring in at 27.25 inches Ewan is taller than some 1 year olds, he has grown over 5 inches in his short life, putting him above 99%tile in height! His weight is 16.5 pounds, an increase in almost 7 pounds since birth. His doctor said, "I would have been happy with two pounds since I last saw you, but three is great!" I told Ewan to savor that compliment because there are few times in one's life when weight gain is celebrated in such a way.

We constantly look at this boy and just marvel because we made him!

EP's official 4 month photo - taken July 8th, 2012

Thursday, July 5, 2012

52 : 17

It is such fun to watch EP hit his milestones. Last Wednesday (6/27/12) Ewan rolled over! He waited until K got home and just looked so proud! We saw the first roll first hand, taped the second and third and fourth on our video camera, and then got the fifth on the iPhone for texting. At that point he was over the excitement and gave us a very sweet look that seemed to say, "I am not a puppy doing tricks here folks."

Each day we place Ewan on his belly for tummy time and he rolls almost instantly on to his back, he will get their via a roll left or right! The next step would be rolling from his back to his belly, but not loving his tummy time we figure this is awhile off. Each day the roll becomes a bit more quick and forceful - the roll pictured took less than 10 seconds.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July!

This morning we took out our flag, snapped a few pictures, and took EP out to hang it. We chatted with him about the meaning of the day, the beauty of our flag, being thankful for our freedoms, and what it is to be a proud American. He responded with some squeals and squawks, but we will make sure to remind him each year!

Our proud American!

Monday, July 2, 2012

The day we met our son...

I have hesitated to write any level of birth story because that day is so immensely sacred to Kevin and I. Recently I have been haunted by the thought that I will forget the details, so here is a short and sweet highlight for the sake of Ewan's history.

The hardest part about the end of my pregnancy was the constant calls and texts questioning his arrival. I reassured everyone I would not keep it a secret, but they still asked daily (or more), this boy has been so loved since before he even arrived. Once the due date (March 1st) came and went these questions only multiplied. The funny thing was that I wasn't even anxious for Ewan to come, I knew he would when he was ready and all the nonstress tests were perfect so I just wanted my boy to choose his time. I was very lucky to be comfortable for the duration of my pregnancy, my doctor credits my height for this, the worst part was trying to roll from one side to the other in my sleep with my hips settled and a nearly 10 pound baby resting in my pelvis.

The morning of March 7th I woke up to go to the bathroom and had a very weird feeling in my stomach, it went away and I was quickly back to sleep. The next morning (March 8th, 41 weeks pregnant) I woke up at the exact same time, 5:05am, with the same pain. Sure it would go away I got back in bed and waited through 3 similar pains before waking Kevin. He immediately asked me how far apart the pains were and of course I had no clue so we whipped out the trusty contraction app to realize they were about a minute long every 5 minutes, exactly the threshold our doctor told us to come in at. We wondered what happened to all that prelabor at home stuff we had been told about. By this time it was about 6:00am, and being the ever calm man Kevin sent an email to work saying he wouldn't be in, called the doctor to give her a heads up, took a shower, and packed the rest of my things - all while I laid in bed denying the reality that this would be the day (or the day before depending on how labor went) that I would meet my son. I then mustered up the energy to take a shower, to shave my legs, and to take one last belly shot.

Barefoot and 41 weeks pregnant in our not
quite complete nursery!

By the time we left the house it was a quarter after 7:00am, not the perfect time to be headed southbound on the 101, but oh well this would be our last car ride as a couple so that time in the car was pretty special, we were headed to meet our boy.

My calm cool collected man.

When we arrived at the hospital it was just about 8:00am and the contractions were a solid minute plus and 4 minutes apart. We didn't want to do the valet so we parked our car and headed in. I refused the wheel chair and walked up to labor and delivery, a bit overwhelmed I waited patiently as they checked us in and headed to the monitoring room to check progress. Baby was perfect and I was told I had been working hard and was already 4 centimeters. I was offered the ability to officially be admitted or wander around for awhile, at first I thought I would wander, but didn't want to be exhausted so opted to check-in, so to labor and delivery room 1 we went.

When I couldn't remember to push start I
figured we were good on stats.

The next 4.5 hours are a bit of a blur: we texted a few folks to let them know the status, chatted a lot, the epidural was administered, we watched movies (the dilemma and grown ups) on the entertainment station in our room, surfed the Internet a bit, and played Scrabble on our iPhones while things progressed and contractions continued.

My doctor came in at 1:40pm, when I was supposed to have my next checkup at her office, and I was 8.5 centimeters, so she broke my water. She let me know she would come back at the end of her day to check on us or they would call her based on progress, but that if I delivered after 5:00pm it would be her partner with me, I didn't want that but knew I couldn't control it. Kevin went to get a quick bite per the nurses suggestion and within minutes I was texting him to come back and calling my nurse. When my water broke the flood gates literally opened and this boy was coming. My nurse called the doctor back, she hadn't even made it out of the hospital compound yet, but had to go all the way around due to construction. She came back, took a look, and quickly jogged for scrubs.

Once the pushing began I literally couldn't stop it. Minimal rests were taken between contractions and a little over 10 hours from my first contraction, less than 2 hours after my water was broken, and less than an hour after the pushing started in earnest, Ewan Porter McDonald was born, at 3:33pm to be exact. He measured 22 inches, weighed 9 pounds 13 ounces, and it became obvious very quickly that this world would never be the same.

Ewan after a quick weigh, measure, and clean.

We scheduled visitors for the next day so that after Ewan was all cleaned up we could spend our first evening as a family of three quietly nestled in our hospital room soaking each other in and celebrating together with hugs and kisses and quiet acknowledgement of our miracle.

Our family!

Ewan's first shampoo - lather, rinse, repeat. 

All tucked in for his first night of sleep.

And on Saturday, March 10th we headed home!