Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Trial and Error

Some people have said that mothering is a trial. I'm sure it is at times, but for me, it's more trial and error.

Sometimes it's successful- like finding a nightlight and solving all sleeping problems (I've gotten a full night's sleep every night since then- not uninterrupted by hungry baby, mind you, but a solid 8 hours each night).

Sometimes it's less successful- like responding to "I'm hungry" cries but not succeeding. It took a while, but I've learned that "I'm hungry" also means "I need burping." Sure, you can lump those two messages into one, "My tummy is upset and needs fixing" except that "I'm hot and uncomfortable- take a layer of clothing off me" sounds a lot like "I'm hungry" in baby cries. But I will tell you, there's no way I can mix "I'm hungry" with "I'm hurting hurting hurting." That one's blatantly obvious.

One of my biggest fears with Margaret early on was if she was hydrated enough. Those first 2 days were sleeping fests instead of eating fests like I expected. A local LLL leader reassured me about her eating habits- sleeping a lot is typical those first 2 days and babies are born with extra fat for that reason, but if it continues after 48 hours, then you need to worry about waking them often to keep them hydrated. Well, it didn't continue after 48 hours- she ate great after that. But maybe a little "fear of dehydration" is still lingering in my mind...

The issue: I don't wear my baby around the house, so I don't get stuff done.
Reasonings behind this:

  1. The first week or so when I tried to carry her, I was still in early healing stages and couldn't carry her in the sling for longer than 15 minutes because my legs and hips would be tired. Because of this, the wrap was a "going out of the house"-only item. However, I've healed much since then.
  2. She sleeps so well. The wrap = instant nap about 90% of the time and won't wake up. That's where the fear of dehydration still lingers. But she's an 11 pound, 23 inch baby, growing very well, and she doesn't need to eat every 2 hours anymore like a newborn.
So today's experiment. I'm going to wear her all the time and I'm going to get stuff done (or so I say). I'll at least wear her all the time and think about getting stuff done.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Check your birth certificate

Chances are, you weren't named "Anonymous."

"If you aren’t going to say something directly to someone’s face, then don’t use online as an opportunity to say it. It is this sense of bravery that people get when they are anonymous that gives the blogosphere a bad reputation."
Mena Trott, Times Online, 12-06-06

I agree. And due to recent happenings, I'm not allowing anonymous comments anymore. This was a hard choice to make because I do believe there is a place for anonymity, but because I don't like threats and I don't want my blog to turn into a mudslinging forum, I'm done with it.

One Month

Today is Margaret's one month anniversary of her birth, so we're having a mommy-baby day. This means I won't be online today once I spend 5 more minutes checking my email.

But so far, it's been great- I even made her breakfast in bed. And today, we're going to playgroup at the park, so we'll see our friends.

We do really need a day for ourselves- we're recovering from last week. It was a busy week with her grandparents coming out and her dad graduating. It'll be good to slow down. I got a little stressed by the weekend from other various things going on, and unfortunately I didn't give her the attention she got in previous weeks. Plus I kind of got a tickle in my throat and I wonder if she's caught it because she doesn't really want to nurse much or sleep much- even when she is giving me hungry and sleepy signals. (But don't worry- shes got enough dirty diapers that I know she's hydrated.)

So a day to ourselves is exactly what we need. We'll be back tomorrow.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

In passing

On Thursday I happened to pass Sister Beck at graduation. A very short exchange occurred.

"That's cute," she said motioning to the wrap I was wearing.

"Thanks."

So either she likes light blue or she like wraps. Either way it was cool.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Friday

So McKay has graduated! We'll have pictures on our blog later. I'm so proud of him. He starts an internship Monday and will go to grad school in the fall!

We've had my parents-in-law here for graduation and that's been fun (and very busy). This is the busiest I've been since Margaret showed up.

They've seen Margaret at her worst and best. Actually, they've only really seen her asleep. Sure, she's been awake a little bit, but it's so rare. She's either asleep or eating. She'll wake up to eat and then fall to sleep nursing.

And other exciting news: my sister gave us a couple of little outfits. The one Margaret's in today is blue with fish on it. I don't think I've ever seen (non-swimming-related) baby clothes with fish on them! It's so cute! Fishes!

Plus, Margaret will be 4 weeks tomorrow! Yay for her!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Songs in my Head- Wednesday

and Thursday morning


So I woke up with In the Leafy Tree Tops in my head yesterday.
I also had lots of other songs in my head, but I've forgotten which ones they were- I think the Oompa Loompa song was one of them.

So I'm going to record the ones I've had this morning now and then the rest of today's later (that way I don't forget).
When I woke up: I'm so Glad when Daddy Comes Home

The Diva song (again), from the Fifth Element
Too Much Time On My Hands- Styx


So yesterday I did get some dishes done. A friend came over and held Margaret while I tidied up the house a little. Margaret is getting so big! She no longer sleeps in the newborn position with her arms up close and her legs curled up like a frog's. She spreads out and enjoys all the space around her.
I also went to LLL last night. It was a pretty good day over all. In fact, we actually went to bed before midnight! I got sleep last night!
Meanwhile, McKay graduates today and tomorrow, so I won't be posting much else until the weekend. I have lots to blog about, though. It' nice that the semester is over. Even though I'm not in school any more, I can still feel the "summer's here!" vibe.

I feel like going to play kickball.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Working Wednesday

On Monday, I made up 4 ToDo lists. They were titled Basic Goals, Goals, Lofty Goals, Uber Lofty Goals.

Basic Goals involved eating breakfast, getting dressed- those kinds of things
Uber Lofty Goals involved doing all the dishes and rearranging the pictures in the house.

I've been able to finish the basic goals every day- which can be difficult with a little baby around. I've even finished some goals and lofty goals.

Today I'm going to try to finish up the lists. My in-laws are going to show up sometime tomorrow for McKay's graduation. It'll be fun to see them and I'm excited to go to graduation. Elder Bednar's going to speak at commencement- and it'll be the first time I've worn non-maternity church clothes in months!

So that's where I'll be. Working and wrapping up my goals before people come in town.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Songs in my Head- Tuesday

What I woke up with: Chorus of Come on Over by Christina Aguilera.

Other songs in my head today:
Diva Song from the Fifth Element
Clocktown song from Majora's Mask

I think the first one was in my head because the first thing I do in the mornings is scoot Margaret over to me so she can eat.
That last one is a sign that I've been watching McKay play too many video games. :)

Monday, April 21, 2008

Songs in my head: Monday

When I woke up, my head was singing American Pie. "Drove the Chevy to the levee..."

Other songs in my head on Monday:
Happy Song
Somewhere Over the Rainbow
My Dad

Nursing in Public

A couple of posts back someone asked in a comment about nursing in public. They didn't leave a name, maybe because their comment was a little, well, distasteful, but I'll address it anyway.

Comment: "how do you go about nursing in public (do you have a cover or do you just whip it out of your shirt?)?"

Well, first, I don't bother with a cover, nor do I "whip it out." What is "it" anyway? The baby? She's a girl, you can say "her."

Ah, I'll assume you meant "your breast" when you said "it." Don't worry. I understand that the word "breast" is a hard one to type out when you can so easily type "it" and sound more disrespectful.

Breastfeeding in public is closer to this (from http://www.breastfeeding-art.com/):
Calm, cool, not a big deal.

Why I don't bother with a cover:

First-
It brings more attention to yourself. Nothing says, "Hey everyone! Guess what I'm doing over
here: Breastfeeding!" like a large, hot blanket that you get to struggle with!


Second-
I'll start with an Anna Quindlen quote, "When an actress takes off her clothes onscreen but a nursing mother is told to leave, what message do we send about the roles of women? In some ways we're as committed to the old madonna-whore dichotomy as ever. And the madonna stays home, feeding the baby behind the blinds, a vestige of those days when for a lady to venture out was a flagrant act of public exposure."

What message are we sending about women when breasts are only presented as sexually explicit, pornographic, and arousing?

How can change the sex-only mantra surrounding breasts? How can we encourage our children to have a healthy perspective of the female body? By depicting them in non-sexual ways in society- such as nursing in public.

But a breast is a breast- or is it? We can't deny that breasts are sexual. Take petting for example- a prime example of a sexual activity involving breasts. But because breasts are used sexually, they can't be shown being used non-sexually?
Let's look at mouths. They can be used sexually- for example, necking. But because a mouth can be used sexually, should we cover up whenever we use it non-sexually? When we eat? When we talk? When we breathe?

No. That's crazy. The same goes for breasts. Go ahead and keep the sex behind closed doors, but I'm not going to cover up when I'm not doing anything inappropriate.

So yes. I can keep on going, but I'll stop there.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

New Journalling Idea

This morning I woke up with this song in my head.



Logically, there is only one thing I can do about this.

"Song stuck in your head" journaling!

This week, I'll keep track of all the songs that get stuck in my head and log them here. Maybe it'll tell you all a little about me or confuse you even more.

Today's list (so far):
Love You Tender (see above)
We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet (verse 2)
Cat's in the Cradle

Official

Yesterday, Margaret got a very official-looking envelope in the mail.

Social Security card!

So now not only does the state know about Margaret (birth certificate), but so does the federal government.

Birth certificate highlights:

  • Place of birth: (our address)
  • Birth attendant: McKay Farley: other
Ok, well, technically McKay just caught Margaret and passed her off to me within seconds. Utah code for unattended births uses this hierarchy for registering the birth certificate: father, mother, owner of property birth took place (aka landlord). Because of that, McKay is listed as the attendant. Actually, my favorite part is the word "other." Yes, I would probably categorize McKay as "other," too. :)

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Show and Tell

This is my favorite picture so far.


Just wanted to share that. :)

Friday, April 18, 2008

Packaging Girlhood

That's the title of the book for this month's Book Club in our AP playgroup. Book Club was a couple of nights ago. I'm not done with the book yet, but I'll give you my thoughts:

It basically tells me things I already know. Marketers are trying to sell girls an image and they have limited the images to 4 or 5 main ideas. You get boxed in and you've got to figure out how to break those images and the stereotypes around them. The book tries to give you solutions to this dilemma, but I didn't think they were very effective.

The book did, however, make me think about how I think about my little girl. When she kicks me in bed at night (and does she kick!) am I thinking, "She'll make a great soccer player," "She's going to be a figure skater," or "Someone's going to be a long jumper!" Of course, am I boxing her in by thinking these things?

It also made me think about what we bought for her the other day. We came home with 2 dresses, overalls, and a onesie to wear under the overalls. Admittedly, the dresses are pink. Many of you know I'm not a very pink girl myself. I have some pink, but only 2 shirts. Why did I buy the pink dresses? Well, they were the only dresses with sleeves and didn't give the illusion of breasts. All the other dresses were tank tops or emphasized chest. Gosh. My girl isn't even 3 weeks old! Can you give her some time to hit puberty?

The overalls were acquired in the boy's section. Overalls are just cute on small kids. Somewhere they become less cute- I think that's around the age of 12. No frills on the overalls, just plain jeans. The onesie for underneath the overalls is white with some flowers at the top. McKay did point out to me, "It (the overalls) will hide some of the flowers." I didn't care.

Things I wanted to buy: I saw this orange dress. It was lovely. I thought the orange was a great color. Then I turned the dress around and saw the hearts, flowers, and butterflies. Yeah. I left that dress on the rack. I also liked this green shirt, but it had trucks on it and McKay didn't really want our girl looking like a boy. I argued that I always wanted a shirt that color (I have, but I only buy clearance and I've not found one on the clearance rack yet) and that it wasn't a boy color.

Things I didn't buy: Headbands. When we looked at the headbands, I had specific qualities in mind: I wanted a light blue one and a bright yellow one. The set we found were all pastel. This worked for the blue, but I really wanted BRIGHT yellow, not pastel. So we left it. And the pink and purple headbands in the set had butterflies on them... yeah. And the butterflies were kind of ugly, too.

Other things I've been thinking:
I've been thinking a lot about the kind of girl I was when I was little: what shows I watched, what magazines I read, what clothes I wore. I'd like to think I was a pretty well-rounded child. When I look at Margaret, I hope she can be well-rounded too and not depend on others to decide her interests and hobbies. By "others" I do include us as parents. If she doesn't really want to take lessons for XYZ, then I hope I don't force her to. Similarly, I hope I don't discourage her from doing hobby RST. Of course, this is within limits. If hobby RST is detrimental (such as drugs), then I am definitely discouraging it.

Really, I hope she knows that she's strong and that she'll find glory in womanhood.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Wait for it...

So I'm taking a minor break from the computer today. I've decided to restrict my computer usage to the evenings when McKay is home- that way Margaret gets lots of attention. And computer time is interfering with my ECing concentration. I know I need to respond to some of your comments- I hope you can wait until tonight.

Although really quickly, my shirt on Monday said "Never underestimate the power of sweet little girls with big metal sticks." I was in color guard for 3 years in high school and 2 years in college- it's a color guard shirt.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Ups, Downs, and All Arounds

Yesterday was quite an event in parenting.

We'll start with the Downs:

Margaret has 4 main noises: happy noises, uncomfortable-trying-to-go-potty noises, hungry yelps (that's the only way I can describe them), and screaming in pain noises. Yesterday we added a new item to the "what causes screaming in pain" list.

  • Getting fingers clipped instead of fingernails
  • Getting our legs pinched by the carseat buckle
  • (new item!) Getting our head bumped on the bathroom floor
We were playing the ECing game and I tried to set her down to re-diaper her on the mat. She flung her head back quickly and hit it on the bathroom floor instead of the mat. Ouch. Pain. Screaming. So we stopped the ECing game for the moment to play the comfort Margaret game. I felt awful for her, though. I should have had a better handle on her poor head.

Ups:
Besides the fact that she's adorable, we're learning how to solve our parenting issues. Yesterday we solved another. Margaret has this fear of the dark or something. I know newborns have poor eyesight and it's probably even worse in the dark. It makes nighttime interesting. I'll feed her to sleep, lay her on the bed next to me, I'll turn off the light, and she'll wake up, notice it's dark and panic. Her breathing goes through the roof. A couple of nights ago, I learned that letting her sleep in my belly helps, but only so much. We've been leaving the light on, but the light by the bed is the hottest lamp in the house and I don't feel comfortable going to sleep with it on.

Our solution: night lights! I got the best sleep last night! She wasn't panicky because she could still kind of see me and I was able to get her to latch on lying down, which is difficult when I can't get my breast to her mouth because I can't see. The night light fixed both the latching on in the dark problem and her fear of the dark! It was wonderful. I must have gotten like 8-9 hours of sleep.


All Arounds:
We went out last night for errands! I was so happy to get out of the house! Woohoo!

Target: We had some gift card money and we were going to spend it on a jogging stroller, except Target didn't have any. So we spent $70 on clothes for the future (we pretty much only have 0-3 month clothes and nothing after that), lanolin for soakers, the night light, and a movie.

Burger King: We had to eat. Great nursing in public action.

Babies R Us: We had $7 of store credit from returns, so we thought we'd buy some hair bows so she looks like a girl occasionally. They didn't have a very good selection, so we bought a nice church dress for the future when I feel like going back to church (aka when I can sit on hard wooden pews comfortably). More nursing in public action here- she had like the grip of death on my breast, which was great because we left the sling in the car because it was going to be a quick trip.

Best Buy: Hey, let's spend our tax refund on a new camera! Well, we spent some of it on a new camera. Ours old one doesn't take good pictures, as you all know, and we have a little girl who needs nice pictures of her, so we bought a camera. More nursing in public. I really needed to sit down by this point and she really needed a diaper change and I just wanted to get home. I was very impatient with the wait for the sales person.

Being home was the best thing ever after that. We watched our new movie and adored our little baby, who was now changed and feeding nicely on the couch.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Reflections

I've had a little over 2 weeks to think about and analyze my birth, so here's some of my analysis.

Things I'll do differently during my next pregnancy:

  • I'll do yoga, for two reasons. First, I had a hard time moving around the first few days postpartum due to the fact that I pulled a few ligaments/tendons/muscles in labor. I'm not a very flexible person. Yoga could probably help me stay flexible. Second, yoga helps you focus on your breathing- something I think will be beneficial for next time. There was a point on the 28th when I had a lot of control over the contractions due to a lot of breathing concentration. I don't have the patience to concentrate on breathing for long periods of time, though, so it didn't last long. Yoga might help me with that.
  • RRL tea. I'll drink more of it. To be honest, it's gross. Well, I tried to sweeten it with some organic maple syrup but what it really needed was lemon juice. Next pregnancy, I'm going to figure out how to make RRL taste good.
  • Kegels. I'll do more of them.
  • Possibly perineal massage. I didn't bother with it this pregnancy because I figured my body can figure it out on its own- a really bad tear would be unlikely because I wasn't going to get an episiotomy and I wouldn't be lying down, so I didn't bother. I did tear a bit, and I know scar tissue is less stretchy- maybe I'll do some perineal massage just for the scar tissue for next time. Maybe.
  • Learn patience. Maybe you can tell, but I don't have a lot of patience (hence my lack of perineal massage and relaxation techniques this pregnancy). Well, I guess I have some patience- I did have a 44 hour labor after being 42/43 weeks and didn't go to the hospital because of worry of it being so long. You've got to be somewhat patient for that, I guess.

Things I'll do differently next time I'm in labor:
  • Push less- or at least wait for a contraction to push. At the end of Margaret's birth, I was just pushing whenever I felt like it instead of waiting for my body to have a contraction. Although, it may have been better for her to have been pushed out quickly. We'll never know.
  • Drink more. I did drink a lot, but labor is sweaty. I don't think I was drinking enough to make up for the sweaty factor.
Things I'll do again next labor:
  • Birth pool. It really was the best thing ever. By the end of my labor, being outside the water was just too miserable.
  • Try different positions. I'm actually pretty proud of how many positions I tried and that I kept moving most of my labor.
Of course, all labors are different so we'll see what works for next time when next time happens.

Unexpected Success

So today I decided that I wanted to start ECing. I've been keeping track of when Margaret poops and her signals. They're actually pretty clear, especially in the morning. She'll get very squirmy and stop nursing when she needs to poo. Of course, I have no clue what sort of signals she gives for peeing because, well, it's a quieter, less explosive form of elimination.

After my shower today, I found Margaret squirming. A lot. And I knew it was about that time for a poo (she has times during the day that she is more likely to poo). I take her out of her diaper, bring her to the toilet and learn something: it's really hard to hold a newborn over a toilet- especially a squirmy one who's trying to get comfortable enough to poo. It'll probably get easier as she learns to sit up on her own, but that's not going to be for a while.

So there I am, struggling with Margaret. I can tell she's not comfortable in the hold I've got her in and so she's not going to relax enough to poo. I'm about to give up when she pees! Woohoo! I caught a pee on my first try (I remembered to make the "ssssss" sound too)! I didn't think I'd ever catch a pee. I figured I'd be good if I caught most of her poos.

It may have just been beginner's luck.

Other things in the diaper arena: I lanolized the newborn soaker I knit! Now it just needs to dry and it's all ready for diapering.

Monday, April 14, 2008

An outing

Today, we went for a walk.

All ready:


Mom cam:
She fell asleep in the wrap almost immediately.


The sun was a little bright for her. I made that hat for her after the last time we went out. She needed a sun hat. It's way cute if you can't tell; I know the pictures don't show much.

Plus, I wore capris today! It's that nice out, really.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Cabin Fever

So on Monday, I learned how quickly I can undo days of healing- so I've been lounging around the past few days. It's making me stir crazy, though. I want to go out and do things, but I know my body isn't ready quite yet.

I have been knitting and watching DVD audio commentaries. I'm running out of DVDs to watch.

Breastfeeding is going well. Now I'm only engorged at night. I feed her enough during the day that it's not a problem. She eats less often at night (every 3 hours instead of 1.5-2 like during the day) so I get some engorgement. She seems to have grown a lot, but we haven't weighed her again. I don't really want to get caught up in a numbers game.

McKay has less than a week of school left before finals. He's been doing lots of homework in the evenings.

Oh, and not to brag too much, but I'm currently wearing a pair of pre-maternity jeans. :) I've probably been able to wear them since last weekend, but I didn't want to try it yet and be disappointed, so I've been wearing pre-maternity stretchy yoga pants all week. I've run out of stretchy pants, so I thought I'd try some jeans. They're the jeans that always had the most room in them, but they are pre-maternity none the less. :)

Monday, April 07, 2008

I'm back

So Friday night our internet went down- pretty ideal since General Conference was the next two days. So we listened to Conference on the AM radio. AM radio gets great reception; we should use it more often.

I've been knitting and keeping the house in fairly decent shape. I've been trying to rest- I definitely know the difference between a restful day and one where I've overdone it. Today is an overdone it day. Don't go driving post partum. It's too much of a pain to get a baby in a carseat with a two door car and then have to climb up to drive. I think I've set myself back a few days of healing...

Nursing is going well. I can't believe how much milk I can produce. I'm like this mother goddess gushing out milk. Poor Margaret can't handle it all. Well, I can't either. Is it even possible to NOT wake up in a puddle of milk in the morning while breastfeeding? Is that something that's going to happen every morning for the next few years? It's really tempting to never wear clothes again because they get so soaked.

Well, I have to tidy the house before dinner comes by. It's so nice to not have to cook. We're out of ward dinners, but we do have a few frozen ones I prepared a month ago.

FHE tonight is laundry. McKay convinced me that carrying a week's worth of laundry on my back to the laundromat was a bad idea and so we're doing it together tonight. Aww...

In the baby realm, Margaret is no longer jaundiced and is very cute. We have a really crappy camera, so we don't get very good pictures. She's way cute today- I put pants on her for the first time. They're a little big, but it was snowing out this morning and I needed to run a quick errand, so I had to actually dress her.

Friday, April 04, 2008

A Blurb

Margaret's napping right now.

I'll admit that this week had its ups and downs, but mostly ups. My downs only happened when McKay was here (not because of him, mind you), so they were easily fixed. In fact, he went out to the store and got me some of my favorite chewable antidepressants:


Yummy.

Nursing was a little bit of a struggle at first: all Margaret wanted to do was sleep. I'd have to wake her up to feed her otherwise she'd go 4 hours without anything, which is bad when your tummy is so small. Once my milk came in and I learned to control the engorgement it was much better. It's easier to nurse on demand now because I can actually tell when she wants to eat now.

Yesterday I took her outside for the first time. It was the first time since she was born that the sun was out and it wasn't overcast. We sat in the sun for about 20 minutes- then I brought her in because I didn't want her to sun burn. I need to get her a little sun hat so her head will be protected.

That little outing was my first nurse in public time. Well, it was in the parking lot of our apartment complex, so not entirely "public." I have discovered though, that when I nurse her, everyone gets to see my stretch-marked tummy. Maybe I should do something about that.

Things I've done today so far:
Taken out the trash
Cleaned the bathroom sink and toilet
Put dishes away

Wow. I'm productive. Well, Margaret's asleep.

But I feel like I need to be doing stuff- it's Conference Weekend. This happens twice a year: every spring and fall. This means it's time to change seasons in the house! Put away sweaters, bring out shorts, change the bedsheets to the cooler satin summer ones. We'll see how much of that actually gets done. I also want to re-arrange the pictures in the house. I got some pretty frames from a baby shower that I want to put up, so we're going to have to make space.

And for those of you who are interested in listening to Conference, I've put a little link here just for you.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

One of my favorite parts

I don't know why I forgot this part of the birth story. I find it hilarious.

About 6:59 Saturday night, a knock was at the door. I think J answered it.

It was one of my visiting teachers (K) with strawberries wondering how everyone was doing.

This really amused me. When they (our visiting teachers) had learned our birthing plans a couple of months ago, K was definitely uneasy with it.

And here she was outside our apartment 15 minutes after I had given birth.

At some point I shouted towards the door, "I had the baby 15 minutes ago- I'm still naked!" almost as if I was going to put on clothes. I wasn't, but we could have made me presentable enough with some blankets if she wanted to come in.

I guess she just wasn't prepared to walk into my birthing environment since she just left us with the strawberries and well wishes. The strawberries were huge, though and I ate them right away.

K thought I had the baby the day before, I guess. She had called our phone on Friday, but I was in labor and figured I'd call her back after I had the baby. She may have figured I was birthing Friday.


I really wish I could have seen her face when I told her the baby was 15 minutes old. I wish I could see ANYONE'S face when they hear news like that. It's too bad I was on the couch and not answering the door.


It makes me giggle.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Update

This is just a little message to let you know I added pictures of the labor and birth to the birth story and there are baby pictures here.