Thursday, August 28, 2008

The 28th lives on

Today, while thinking "someone's birthday should have been today," I realized that we haven't broken our 28th streak after all.

We were married on Feb 28th
Taya was born April 28th
Levi was born Sep 28th
Liv was born July 28th

and then little Julia came along, born on time just to be difficult when it was the only time in history any mother WANTED be 8 days overdue, and "broke" our streak by being born on June 20th! We lamented she was SO CLOSE, if we say it fast enough the twentieth SOUNDS close enough to twenty-eighth. Or add just a little o on top of the zero to make an 8, so close!

But then arrives Zoey and saves Julia by being born on the 8th, so we could just split the difference between the two and keep our tradition alive. What a way to make her cool 08/08/08 birthday even cooler and redeem her sister in the process. My sister Jennifer asked me, "How do you keep doing this?!" I wish we believed in numerology, because then we'd be the luckiest people I know.

Because such things in life are of the utmost importance. Forget mortgages, world hunger, psychologically traumatizing our children with our poor parenting techniques. As long as our lucky number run of 28 stays alive, all is well in the world.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Photoshop is lonely

I've been working on the laptop for over a week now, which means all my photos and Photoshop are on my desktop and haven't been touched during that entire time! Wow, it's been really wonderful. I'm not working this month, so no student feedback to give, no photo shoots to proof (well, they are just waiting patiently for me), and no new photos to post on my blog!!! That's the only downside. I have TAKEN a LOT of photos, those are time sensitive with a newborn, but Photoshop will be there anytime. Hopefully it doesn't contact a divorce attorney during our separation as we hope to work things out and get back together someday.

Surely I will miss my little PS soon enough. For now, I just read a lot of interesting web sites, watched a LOT of Olympics on my DVR, and held the baby. A LOT.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Kanga, meet cuckoo Roo!

Tonight I got a call from my sister. Several of the girls were visiting my dad, and he mentioned he's going to call our baby, "Kanga."

Confused, they asked, "Kanga, like kangaroo? Why?"

His reply, "Because they named their baby Joey."

"JOEY?! It's Zoey! With a Z!"

He said on the birth announcement that cursive Z looks just like a J, it was an honest mistake, and that he didn't read the rest of the post to learn our fascinating reasoning behind the name, our spelling explanation, nor any other information relevant to a doting grandfather.

She told me, "He's sitting there in the chair with his arms crossed just beet red he's so embarrassed!" Well, he should be. For TWO WEEKS he thought his new granddaugther's name was Joey. Not that it's not a nice name, even for a girl, it's just that it's the WRONG name!

Mom was such a fun target to tease (I wonder where I get it from...), so it's so wonderful of Dad to fill in that role now. I just hope he can take it as well as he has always dished it out! Go, Dad: we love you and hope you continue to keep us entertained!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Friday, August 15, 2008

Top 5 Reasons pregnancy is easier than a newborn

5. I'm uncomfortable
- Uncomfortable? Try afterpains. For a 5th child. Now tell me how uncomfortable you are!

4. I can't sleep
- This one blows me away. How about 2 am feedings? 4am feedings. 5am feedings.

3. I want my body back
- Newsflash: now the parasite is just on the outside, still literally sucking away at you. And you may as well cut off your left arm for all the use you'll get out of it once you're hauling around the baby for the next, oh, six or twelve months.

2. I'm getting anxious
- I hate to break it to you. Nevermind, I love breaking it to you! If your pregnancy stress level isn't high enough, your newborn stress level will be an improvement, for sure.

1. I want to meet my baby
- I didn't get pregnant to stay pregnant forever: I got pregnant to have a baby! I didn't have a baby to complain about waking up in the middle of the night or comforting a crying infant. I had a baby to love and provide for. And while pregnancy is definitely a lot easier than being a parent, especially a parent to a newborn, nothing can replace those newborn snuggly days, that rewarding responsibility of caring for someone else's every need, that exultant feeling of accomplishment, or that first moment meeting the precious child with whom you'll share the rest of your lives. Somehow it doesn't feel like a chore, it's a joy. I love this little person more than seems possible. I love my baby!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Photographing newborns is really hard

They wriggle around and squirm and make noises and sometimes even messes, and just when you think you've gotten dad to cooperate, the baby starts doing the same thing! And then when I've caught all that tiny newborn goodness, I get of photo of an "unrolled" baby that looks MONTHS old rather than 5 days. At which point I start wondering how that enormous thing ever fit inside me, much less made it out somehow!

Try some sleeping shots, maybe they'll cooperate better? Until they wake up and start screaming and squirming!
Troy and Zoey 5 days old. Well, Zoey is 5 days. Troy is 34, I think. Years, that is, not days.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

names and more names

Naming a baby is so hard for me. It's not just that it's difficult for Troy and I to agree on anything even remotely similar, but it's such a step of turning this perfect miracle in a real-life, normal, ordinary person. This is the fastest we've ever named a baby, mostly because I named our last baby, so Troy just picked out any name he liked for this one!

She was born on the opening day of the Beijing Olympics: 08.08.08, which is a very lucky day in China because the word for 8, ba, sounds so close to the word for wealth that many people believe the number 8 is linked to prosperity.

And it just so happens both of her names also have Greek origins.
Zoey: life
Nicole: victorious people (or victory for Nike, another Olympic reference?)

Troy wanted her middle name to be something like "fifth born" because Julia's middle name Tess is Greek for "fourth born." But Penta or Quinta were the only (awful) options we found. He said how about, "Nickel?" So we take a normal name, Nicole, and turn it into our own private source of humor. I think for Zoe, he just likes that name, and it meets all my criteria: something everyone has heard of, but don't really know many or any. Short, or has a good short nickname. Ends in a vowel like all of our other names do. And Most of us have 4 letters in our name, and we both like the spelling of Zoey better than Zoe. My "rule" is to spell things normally, the way they're supposed to be pronounced, nothing fancy or freaky. So in this case it's just easier to pronounce with the y on the end! Like our first child: Taya isn't spelled Téa because it was too hard to pronounce when spelled the "real" way.

When I made the birth announcement a couple of weeks ago (with blanks waiting to be filled in), Troy requested her Chinese zodiac animal be on there somewhere (year of the rat). At that time we weren't thinking anything about any Chinese traditions or Olympics, we didn't even suspect I'd go that overdue! So she gets a number 5 for 5th born and a little mouse hiding in there.

So there we have it! A named baby, it took less than 2 weeks (WOW for us!), and the little history behind it.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Baby Girl Powell is HERE!

Our new baby arrived this morning, 08/08/08 at 9:33am, 20", 7lbs 13 oz (Levi was bigger, but she is the biggest girl), at exactly one week overdue. Labor was about 11 hours, from 10:30pm-9:30am. The midwife showed up at 9am, and I was dilated to an 8. That was so frustrating because 8-10cm is the hardest part of labor. I was already exhausted and really getting discouraged. This was my first labor where I had more pain relief in a seated position than walking, so I sat in the tub for about 20 minutes. Suddenly, she just descended, and I had to push her out! I hadn't planned to deliver in the water, but at a certain point there's no turning back. She was incredibly purple and didn't cry much, but nursed really well and had a great heart rate and breathing.
We got to sleep a little, but now she is awake and just gazing around. Troy is enjoying his turn to hold her after all these months. Last night we went out for a walk (it's wonderful our oldest can now stay home with the other kids, so we put them all in bed and headed out). After coming home and going to bed, Troy rubbed my belly and kept telling her, "Come out, sweetie." Not long after I started having "real" contractions. I told him to go to sleep, and about 3am left our room to listen to an audio book, snooze a bit on the sofa, and walk around. The kids woke up to mommy in labor, and were excited to go play at their friends' houses and see their new sister when they come back home.
I'm so glad labor is over, and so glad to meet my new daughter, yet a bit sad that it's over. Giving birth is such a unique and amazing experience!

I'm in labor

I am such a slow poke! It's 3:20am, and I've been in labor since about 10:30pm. It's gotten to the point where I'm more comfortable walking around than lying down, so here I am trying to find something to do in the dark. Half of me keeps wanting to stall so I can get some sleep. The other half just wants to push the baby out and lie down and snuggle with her while we sleep! That moment is the best part of a home birth: crawling into my own bed with my tiny newborn, perfectly comfortable, and snoozing for a few hours.
But hopefully I don't stall, as I can hardly stand doing this again. Delivering a baby isn't painful, but labor is terrible. Not knowing how many more hours I have to endure is extremely difficult, mentally, and given my anxiety level going into it already, I need to be done! Maybe it'll be fast, maybe she'll be born on 08/08/08 and I can just go back to sleep!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Still pregnant

Now I'm overdue, which is fine by me, but I start to worry the more days go by as overdue babies start to develop health concerns as conditions inside their warm little home start to deteriorate. I have started poking at her regularly to make sure she's still moving around: a very quiet, still little one! If anything, I look slightly smaller now, tighter, as it's like there's less fluid in there now.
I had myself resting a lot the past 2 weeks, but now I'm up and around more, working out, cleaning, walking. My feet are killing me! I've never been one to believe one can affect starting labor, but bed rest must be effective if so many women have to do that to prevent pre-term labor! The opposite must also hold true, right?
It makes me so sad, trying to get her to come out. Reluctantly trying.

Friday, August 01, 2008

It's my DUE DATE!

It's my due date today: and as usual I waited until the last minute to get maternity photos taken! I set up my studio lights, and my friend and neighbor who has a camera similar to mine came over and took these using my camera. We got a few that turned out nicely! The family photos need some serious head swapping in Photoshop, as usual, but mission accomplished!

I'm not in a hurry for this baby to arrive, I am happy that I am still pregnant. There's nothing like it, and I want to stretch out every moment. I have the rest of her life to not be pregnant with her, so she can be patient if I can be patient.

On the other hand, I have never had this much anxiety before a birth. Knowing I'll deliver at home again, knowing there's no pain killer at the ready, and just having had a natural birth at home 2 years ago that is still so fresh in my brain means that I know exactly what I'm getting myself into! Every time I think labor MIGHT be starting, I get started freaking out! We are excited and nervous and all of those other emotions that go along with such a momentous event.