Sunday, November 30, 2008

Ivy: The Details

It's almost been a week since Ivy was born, and I'm beginning to see how having more than one child affects the frequency of blog posts . . . and I haven't even been left alone with them yet. OK, here's what happened last week:

My water broke on Sunday at the church when I stood up to go home after ward choir. No one there noticed, and luckily it wasn't a complete gush. We hurried home, called the doctor, finished packing my bag (which I'd only started to pack the night before), packed an overnight bag for Sophie, who we left with a friend, and made it to the hospital in about an hour and a half. I'd had contractions at home 5 minutes apart and was getting somewhat uncomfortable, but when we got to the hospital, they slowed to about 8-10 minutes apart, and then almost stopped completely.

Here I am in the triage, which was this weird place they put you right when you get to the hospital. It was basically a bunch of beds separated by a bunch of curtains with a bunch of nurses sitting right outside. I thought I'd have to deliver the baby here, but luckily I didn't. Oh, and I was showing off a pathetic little contraction I'd just had, hoping for more.

This was kind of a repeat of the beginning of Sophie's birth with my water breaking and then not going into labor. In Provo, they only let me wait three hours before inducing me. Here they were a lot more liberal. (We were in Berkeley, what do you expect? :)) I was grateful because I really wanted my body to do this on its own. Unfortunately it didn't. After 14 hours of little or no progress, we started a Pitocin drip at about 7 AM the next morning.

All week I've been comparing Ivy's birth with Sophie's (as well as the recovery) and although my epidural was extremely spotty and almost non-existent toward the end (Gee, I'm glad my leg was numb when she came out. That helped a lot.), this time around has been easier by far. I feel really good. Not exactly ready for a walk around the mall -- or even the grocery store -- yet, but I feel fine doing simple things around the house and taking care of the girls. Nursing has been a breeze, and I don't know if it's because I just weaned Sophie six months ago or that I know what I'm doing this time around, but the girls don't hurt that much. And boy, am I glad to have them back. Seriously.

Having lots of help this week has also made things lots easier. Steve's mom, Judi, drove over from Sacramento the night Ivy was born and stayed until Wednesday. My parents, who had originally planned to fly out Dec 18th, jumped in their car and drove 14 hours to be here on Thanksgiving. It had been a long time since I'd had a T-day dinner cooked by my mom -- complete with mashed potatoes made from real, still caked with Idaho dirt, potatoes that they brought with them. Judi made a couple of pumpkin pies while she was here, and my mom made a pineapple pie -- a favorite of mine that my grandma makes. (And mom, I had a piece for breakfast and it tastes just like Grandma's.) We've got leftovers and pie coming out of our ears, but what's not to love about that?

Sophie on the left & Ivy on the right.

Enough about pie, I'm supposed to be telling you about Ivy. My not-quite-six-pound bundle is probably the smallest baby I've ever held. We've had to get her preemie diapers and clothes and most of those still fall off of her. The first night she was home, she screamed most of the night and having previously been spoiled by Sophie's calm nature, Steve and I wondered, "Is this what it's like to have a normal baby?" Luckily her nights have gone more smoothly and everyone is getting more sleep. I think her temperament is like Sophie's after all. Whew. She's adorable, too, and we think she looks more like Steve then Sophie did. She managed to get my crooked pinky fingers and weird toes, though. Looking back at Sophie's newborn pictures, you can definitely tell they're sisters. We decided, about a day after she was born (and about 15 minutes before the birth certificate office closed), to name her Ivy Lena. Lena, after Steve's paternal grandmother. We like it, and we think it fits her.

I love the newborn "o" face.

Speaking of Sophie, I think she likes having Ivy around. She was pretty moody the first couple of days after we came home, but she's fine now. She likes to point out Ivy's facial features and body parts (which includes sticking her finger in her eye, but that was no surprise to me), and loves to bring her a binky or a diaper. She can even say her name, "AH-vee".

Sophie and Ivy meet at the hospital.

Extra little tidbits that didn't fit into the rest:
  • I only gained 35 lbs this time instead of 60. And my weight right now is where I was three months after Sophie was born. I may actually put on a swimsuit next summer.
  • Ivy's initals are ILP. A few of you may find that amusing. (ILP is the program that took me to Russia, where I ended up meeting Steve.) It didn't happen on purpose.
  • If you by chance have a giant sack of potatoes in your car when you come into California, don't be scared when they ask you at the state line if you have produce. Potatoes are OK to bring in.
  • Steve probably isn't going to Utah, so if I can just get through the next two weeks until finals are over, we'll have three weeks at home together to adjust. (BIG WHEW)
  • Some of you commented about me blogging while I was in labor. Ya, that does seems weird, but it's not like I was doing lamaze breathing, trying not to scream while I was typing. The contractions I was having weren't any stronger than the ones I'd been having all week. And during the half hour that the epidural was working, I didn't feel anything at all. Plus I'd just gotten lots of sleep (that's how weak the contractions were). I'd also gotten lots of texts asking how things were going. For the most part, I hate texting. I am the slowest texter ever. I'd rather just post it to my blog or send out an email, that way everyone knows the same stuff.
Major snaps go to Ivy for coming last week. Most of my pregnancy dreams came true, too. How many women get to sneak out of the last two, painfully uncomfortable weeks of pregnancy with an early baby? And not only an early baby, but right before a major holiday that enabled extra help of family members. I'm grateful that it was Thanksgiving so Steve wouldn't have to miss as much school. I'm grateful for all of the wonderful friends and family who have stopped by or helped out, too. I'm really glad we live here with such great, supportive friends. I'm grateful for the Spirit that accompanies a newborn into the world. Once again, we're reminded of the love our Heavenly Father has for us.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Name Pending

About two hours after I posted last, the little stinker finally decided she wanted out of the empty pool. She weighed 5 lbs 13 oz and was 19 1/2 inches long. A few of you asked about my due date, which was December 10th. Two weeks early made me a little nervous, but she's perfectly healthy. Both of us are doing great. I'll give you the play-by-play later.

She looks a lot like Sophie did as a newborn in this picture, but we think this one looks more like Steve. I think her eyes and mouth are going to take up most of her face.

Name? Um. We'll get back to you on that, too.

Monday, November 24, 2008


So . . .

My water broke yesterday.

I've been in the hospital for 19 hours.

I still don't have a baby.

I'm sorta bored.

And yes, I got an epidural about 90 minutes ago which is why I'm blogging.

Hospitals with wi-fi rock.

Did I mention that I was bored?

I think we'll watch more Scrubs, now.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Definitely Female

Sophie has always been fascinated by make-up. A couple of months ago we had a routine where I would grab my make-up bag and walk into my bedroom. If Sophie saw me, she would sit by my mirror and wait for me to sit down in front of it. There we sat for 5-10 minutes -- me putting my face on and Sophie playing beside me, scattering compacts, tubes, and bottles all over the floor.

This was two weeks ago -- around the time she started opening all those. Luckily I caught her with a giant mascara smudge on her chin and not in her mouth. Ugh.

A couple of weeks ago she started opening eyeshadow compacts and mascara tubes, so I've had to do my make-up in the bathroom with all the goodies out of reach. Sophie hates it. As a consolation, I give her the lid to my powder case with a little powder inside and hand her a brush. She walks happily out of the bathroom, sits down in front of the mirror in my bedroom and primps away.

I don't know why she thinks she needs make-up anyway. She's got perfect skin. :)

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Dear Sam & Patti,

I hope Chicago is treating you well. I just wanted to tell you that I didn't realize what great neighbors you were until you left this summer. You were both so friendly and, well, quiet. That's what I miss the most. The hourly chiming clock didn't even bother me that much. I'd take that any day over giggly girls who have no other volume to their voices other than shouting, elephants running up and down the stairs, and blaring mariachi music. I guess living away from home for the first time means you can be loud ALL THE TIME. Instead of waking mom up, they wake up the cranky pregnant lady instead.

I loved the comment Patti made about how you loved hearing Sophie through the walls -- even the crying. While I tried to console her quicker as to not disturb you two, now I find myself inching her closer to the upstairs heater when she's upset. Remember how that thing is like an intercom between our units? And after an exceptionally loud evening, I sometimes run the vacuum at 8 AM and make sure every speck of dust is sucked up near the wall that we share. That's not very neighborly of me, I know. I can't help being facetious sometimes.

The only consolation I have is that the guy next door is a plumber. I guess the pipes in our building were a little backed up last night, and he got right in there and cleaned them out. Actually it's not really the guy that bugs me. He's nice. It's his fiance and sister, who are 19 and 21, and the guys that come visit them that get on my nerves. They should be in school. Or have jobs. Or something.

Is there any way we can convince you to come back? The weather is nice right now and supposed to be 80 degrees tomorrow. I'm sure you miss that. And Sam, I'd make you sweets all the time if you decided to move back in. You name it, and I'd have it on your doorstep in no time.

Lots of love,
The Perrys

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Veterans Day

If you think that this picture has nothing to do with Veterans Day, squint a little.

Still don't know? Here's a hint:

Happy Veterans Day!

Sidenote: The bread didn't turn out like that on purpose. I let it rise for too long, then when it baked it sorta slumped over to one side. I took one look at it and though, "Ahhh . . . the National Guard beret."

Monday, November 10, 2008

Some Whining & A Couple of Needles

I moved my baby ticker back to the top of the page. I'd like to point out that the "month 9" graphic is enlarged, and as of today I have 30 days left. Hopefully it's a little less than that, though. I'm due in the middle of Steve's finals week, plus he has to leave the week afterward to work in Utah. I'm hoping for a punctual, if not an early, child and a superhuman recovery.

One of my friends left a comment a few minutes ago about how she was not jealous of my physical situation right now. Honey, I wouldn't be, either. Feeling like you've been run over by a bus when you scootch out of bed in the morning, and then feeling like a 90-year-old the rest of the day isn't something to be jealous of. Luckily I haven't been run over by a bus. And I'm not 90, either, and in a couple of months I'll be feeling more like myself. A tired version of myself, but I'd take tired over the bus any day.

On a lighter note, I took Sophie in for her 18-month check up. Like the last three appointments, she's average height and between the 5th and 10th percentile for weight. She's growing at a normal rate, though, so no one's worried that she's so little.

They wanted me to have her blood checked again for iron and lead. When I took her in 9 months ago for the same blood draw, she was amazingly calm. She didn't make a peep and just watched the needle go in and out. I, on the other hand, couldn't watch. I was worried that because she was older this time, she'd cry, but she didn't. Even though her arm got bumped (ahem, by me . . . I feel awful) , the needle slid out of the vein, and they had to poke her in the other arm to finish. Still no crying, whimpering, or even a quivering lip.

Sophie demonstrating her lizard tongue, which goes in and out of her mouth kinda fast.

She did fuss a little when I put her in the car and she realized she couldn't bend her arms all the way because of the tape wrapped around her elbows. She's such a trooper. I couldn't believe it. I was proud of her, so we shared a piece of cheesecake after lunch.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Someone's Been Sleeping in My Bed

And she's still there!

Ok, not really. Sophie has never slept in our bed. (Except for a handful of times when she was a newborn and I was too lazy to put her back in her bed after nursing in the wee hours of the morning.) In fact, she won't even go to sleep if someone else is in the same room. Works fantastic at home, but a little troublesome if we're traveling.

Usually I get up when she gets up (and Steve has already left), but on the weekends when neither of us want to get up, we go get her and then the three of us chill in our bed until she gets antsy and climbs off (she can do it by herself now).

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Relief and Gratitude

It was such a relief this morning when Steve (Who got up at six because "my body told me to." Gee, I wish mine would do that.) told me that Proposition 8 had passed. Despite all the efforts we as members of the Church, as well as many other supporters of traditional marriage, made to educate people about this and warn them of the repercussions of it not passing, I was still surprised that we won. Barely. I think it passed by 52%, with a large number of absentee ballots yet to be counted. I think because of our proximity to San Francisco, I was a bit pessimistic about the likelihood of success, but our efforts weren't in vain.

I was thinking about this as I was reading a conference talk this afternoon. I'd been reading them in order the last couple of weeks, and I got to M. Russell Ballard's talk today about the work of the Lord moving forth. He talked a lot about the early development of the Church, how it overcame struggle after struggle and how its members sacrificed for their faith. He compared they're trials to ours and he made a comment that I thought was appropriate for today.

"Of course, our challenges are different today, but they are no less demanding. . . . Instead of families being uprooted and torn from their homes, we see the institution of the family, including the divine institution of marriage, under attach as groups and individuals seek to define away the prominent and divine role of the family in society."

I'm just really grateful right now.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

My Little Foodie

In the afternoons I sometimes watch a little Food Network to relax before Steve gets home and I have to start dinner. Television has never been able to catch Sophie's attention for more than 5 minutes (probably because I rarely turn it on before 4PM), but she likes FN. Particularly Giada de Laurentiis (Everyday Italian), Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa) and Paula Deen. Atta girl.