The Waiting Game: Days Two and (Part of Day) Three

I woke up from a deep sleep and no contractions.
When I woke up. I excitedly went down to breakfast and texted my friends: "My water broke! He'll be here soon!" And then I waited. 

The contractions at this point were sporadic and sparse. Maybe I'd have one in twenty minutes and then five but maybe not again for an hour or maybe two. I was still in contact with my midwife who was monitoring me and came up with a plan. Walk, stay hydrated and call her when it gets more intense and she will come over.
So all day Saturday more of the same. Sporadic contractions and no baby. 
We walked outside, I walked inside. 
We went to Whole Foods again. 
Do not pass go do not collect your baby. 
Marve said "Nope, not real labor yet!" I was thinking, "Well, what is real labor and when am I going to have it?!!"
Naomi, Marve's apprentice came over late Saturday night to check on me and the baby and our progress. While she was here I only had contractions while I was up and moving around. She said that it indicated to her that my body was still not quite ready. So go back to bed. Yes, I had to go to bed again!
Sunday came and so did Marve finally to my house. She brought all of her equipment to help deliver the baby safely along with a liquid herb to help make the contractions more consistent. She also advised us to keep walking and to preform nipple and clitoral stimulation (blushes) in order to stimulate uterine contractions. (Sorry if that was too much information!) "Have fun with it!" She said. I can tell you that while it did work to stimulate contractions it was not fun nor enjoyable.
I needed to walk but we live in the middle of the dessert and it was a billion degrees outside. Marc decided to take me to Fashion Show Mall. Do you know where that is? It’s on the Strip... in Las Vegas, across from my favorite most classy hotel/casino The Wynn. So, there I was in the mall having contractions. I'll just let you think about that for a second... 
This was the height of my embarrassment. We walked around for maybe a half an hour and I would stop every 5-10 minutes and have a contraction in the middle of the mall. People were looking at me like I was crazy to 1) Be on vacation on the strip when it was apparent I was having a baby soon and 2) Is she that committed to shopping that she's about to have a baby in the busiest mall in Las Vegas and did I mention it's on the strip?! So I told Marc to get me out of there because I hated that mall and everyone in it! I would walk at home in the 100-plus degree weather, at this point I hated everyone's face. 

We went home and I walked our stairs.


Frederick’s Birth Story: Day One

Dear Frederick,
This is the story of how you came into the world or as your father’s godmother likes to say: “How God stopped the world for you to enter.”
Your first birthday was absolutely thrilling. I felt like it was my day too! (And it really was... I was the one who after three days of laboring brought you into the world!) Your Grandmother reminded me that on my birthday she would say it was her birthday too. I don’t remember that... I’m sure I ignored her thinking “Whatever Mom! It’s my day!” which I’m sure you’ll do to me as well, feel free. It really is about you.
It was so fun thinking about the day that changed my life forever and brought me you. 
For the first-time mother, labor really is a thing of mystery. You really have no idea what is going on, and what is going to happen next. It’s really like riding a roller coaster blindfolded. Each step is different than the next and you have no idea what is happening. You’re just hoping that maybe? you’re pretty sure? there is a baby but it’s still a surprise that yes this is really happening and you will be holding your baby soon. (Don’t ask me, I know it doesn’t make sense. Because obviously you get bigger every month and you’re body doesn’t feel like yours anymore. But the surprise is so profound like oh my gosh a BABY!!) 
 I started having contractions on Friday, July 9th... we waited and waited and waited for you to get here. You arrived on the 12th.
All day Friday my contractions were about 10-12 minutes apart. It wasn't bad, I could hardly feel them. My mom (your Grandmother) was with me and every once in a while she would say "Mary Lou? Are you having a contraction now?" I waited to see if I was and sure enough my stomach would squeeze and become as hard as a basketball. You could actually watch it get hard and then soft again. 
All day Friday we just continued about our day thinking any minute it would start to get more intense and we would soon be welcoming you into the world!  But did I tell you I was wrong? And you didn't come for another 3 DAYS?! 
We went grocery shopping to pick up food for us and our lovely midwife Marve. So there I was in the middle of Whole Foods stopping by the milk, by the deli, by the organic doughnuts having contractions. But, little did I know that this would be the least of my embarrassment.
Later, your Dad and I went to a party and everyone was amazed that I was there and in the beginning of labor. Gramps (whom you are lovingly named after) called your Grandmother and asked how everyone was. She said, "Oh, Marc and Mary Lou are at a party!" Gramps said "What! I thought you said she is having contractions?!” My mom replied "Well, she says they don't hurt yet and you know how social her and Marc are!"
After the party we came home and played Wii with your Aunt Brooke and Uncle Sterling, then we went to bed. (We played a game of our own, you see I was hoping to push things along.)
Then at around 11:45 that night my water broke.
"Marc! My water just broke!!”
"Are you sure?"
"Yes! I felt a tiny pop and a bit more wetness!" I hopped off the bed in a bit of panic and just stood there frozen. Then we watched as liquid started to trickle out.
"Get my mom and a towel!"
Marc ran off and soon both of us were looking (yes we were a little panicked) at my mom. What should we do? So, we called Marve.
Marve said that we were just in the beginning stages and not yet in active labor so go to bed. "What? Go to bed?" "Yes," she said "We have a lot of work ahead of us and it's best you stay rested. Try to relax and call me in the morning." So I went to bed. I tried to sleep but with my now leaking amniotic fluid I had lost some of my cushion around the baby and started to feel the contractions a bit more. "Ooh. Ohh...." I breathed.  Marc “tried” to “encourage” me. "Mary Lou try to relax! Marve said you should go to sleep!" "I'm trying to relax! But it's not as easy anymore, but I'll try harder!" Rolls eyes.
So I tried to sleep and sleep I did. 


Frederick’s Birth Story: Preamble

Before I get into Frederick’s birth story I wanted to give a little background and explain some of my thoughts about the decisions we made. When Marc and I decided to allow God to have control of our family planning (read: no contraceptives) I was both nervous and excited. One month later I was very surprised to have a positive pregnancy test. It is a total blessing that we were able to have children and so quickly. I really thought it would take at least six months to get pregnant. And technically we were not even trying! Like I said, it’s a total blessing from God and we were so thankful. 

I knew I wanted to have a home birth. The first thing I did was look up midwives in my area and educate myself on what to look for in a midwife. I interviewed a few midwives and looked at a numerous websites. We choose Marvelys Lopez, CPM for many reasons. The way she treats her clients is great, each person gets about an hour every prenatal visit and she takes her time explaining and talking about everything from what is going on with development at each stage to nutrition. She is also a doctor who became a midwife, not to mention she is a mother as well.  We absolutely adore her!  Her website is: www.sweetmidwiferycare.com  

One of the reasons why I knew I wanted to have a home birth is: I really hate hospitals. I have too much baggage with them and physicians, who in my experience, never take the time to step out of protocol and treat each patient as a person and not just another number. I also think that the way birth is handled here in the US is mismanaged and antiquated. Not to mention run by men who have never and will never have personal experience in giving birth. If you want to learn more about how birth is handled here in our country, a good resource is the documentary by Ricky Lake and Abby Epstein “The Business of Being Born” and their follow up book Your Best Birth. Granted the documentary is biased on the side of natural child birth, but they do a good job in their book of just explaining how things are run and giving you choices. Especially after seeing the documentary and reading the book both Marc and I were set on the path to have a natural home birth with a midwife. 

Overall, I had a great pregnancy (with great care), hardly any sickness, (just about 5 days when brushing my teeth made me throw up) and before I knew it it was July and my due date was rapidly approaching. 


Celebrating Baby ZJ!

Saturday I had a great time hosting my dear friend Dedra's baby shower! We can't wait to see and love sweet baby ZJ!


Renouncing Our Road Trip Crowns

So, I should have written about this a while ago. What can I say? Life just keeps going and new days keep dawning. Although, I am very grateful for each day presented to me that I can praise our Creator!

Back to road trips...

Marc and I became the road trip King and Queen while dating. As we started to seriously date he had just graduated from the Air Force Academy and spent an extra year in Colorado Springs, so his time was up and it was time to move. Thankfully he moved not too far away to Alamogordo, NM. A very small city probably most famous for White Sands National Park. (Transformers was even filmed there!) It was about 8 hours away and about every 6 weeks Marc would drive to visit me back in Colorado Springs.
(This is at White Sands taken when we were dating. The sunsets were always so beautiful!)

I'm sure you're wondering why I didn't just move there. (Are you?) Why all the driving? Well 1) we weren't married or engaged yet, and 2) I was still in college! I had about two more years to complete. So, thus began our road trips.

Since then we got married and continued to drive and drive and drive.

When we lived in Alamogordo we drove to:
Colorado Springs (missed my mom and a city with decent food and shopping!)
Our longest road trip ever to Pensacola, FL (I had never really been to the south before so we took about 2-3 days each way and had what I like to call a "Southern Experience" trip)
Lots of others (I won't bore you)

I'm telling you we were the King and Queen!

Now that we live in Henderson we drive to California often enough. L.A. is about 4-6 hours away (4 pre-Frederick and at most 6 with Frederick) and that is about as far as I will go happily.

The trip that did us in?

A 17 hour road trip to Colorado Springs for Christmas. Granted we did it over two days, but it's supposed to take about 12-13 hours driving. We drove because we like the time that it gives us to talk and laugh and think and be together. Also, we can bring our dog Sugar. My family loves Sugar and Sugar really loves them. We were going to be gone a long time so it was cheaper and less burdensome on our friends to take her. But no LONGER! I'm sorry Sugar you will no longer be coming with us unless it's a trip that is shorter than 4 hours and you are welcome to a house that loves dogs too. (OK enough about Sugar, but you just needed to know that she was a part of the reasonings behind the crazy.)

With a baby and a dog we were filled to the brim of our rented Jeep! 

Our last trip was fun though! It was beautiful driving through all of the mountain passes and seeing all of the fabulous resorts. Frederick's first Christmas was magical and I can't remember the last time I had so much fun at Christmas. I've now discovered that holiday's are so much more fun with children!

 Marc and I played a ton of Wii with my brother and sister. I was able to share some sweet memories with Cameo and Gramps. (One of them was Frederick's bath time, he is very serious about kicking his feet!)

Overall it was very lovely trip (I'm just flying next time) and a great one to hang up our crowns!


Mary Lou



Last night while Marc and I were trying to recover from colds we watched Inception. It was such a great movie! Although, I think both of us had a hard time sleeping later... I vaguely remember trying to save Marc from his "kick" last night. The movie reminded me of all of my thoughts about dreams.

Do you ever see people so clearly in your dreams and yet you know that you have never seen them before?  Who are these people? I often wonder if I'll one day see the person in real life. If so would I recognize them from my dream or just feel like I couldn't place where I know them from? As I consider this now I'm trying to think and recall a face so clear to me in a dream and I just can't grasp one. So, I maybe I wouldn't recognize them. Or maybe not, maybe if I saw someone it might suddenly all come back at once. But wouldn't that be weird? I'm imagining myself now yelling "Oh my gosh! You were totally in my dream last night!" to a total stranger. How awkward would that be? Then again, you know that you would have to talk to that person and find out who they were and why they were in your dream.

I have a few reoccurring dreams that I should really start writing down. I'm sure it would be helpful if I can figure out why I keep having the dreams. One of the dreams I'm always driving to Aspen and the road is always so terrifyingly tight. Sometimes it's different seasons so I never know if it will be snowing. The road is sometimes different too and I'll be struggling to drive and will be getting increasingly frustrated and think "Why is this so hard! Oh I must be driving to Aspen!" Maybe I dream about this because have you ever driven to Aspen? The road IS actually terrifying.  I drove there once when I was 17 and I guess my sub-conscience has never forgotten.

It's OK sub-conscience! I made it to Aspen just fine you can stop warning me!

I'll leave you with two pictures of my favorite little dreamer:

He was 5 days old here!


I think we'd be friends! (You know if I had tons of wealth and power.)

I am so exited about the Royal Wedding I am wating in anticipation! I'm thinking I'll have a wedding vewing party. I was so intrigued and watched with delight as Prince William announced his engagement to Kate Middleton. I just loved her dress that she wore to announce their engagement. Did you notice that she chose a dress to match her ring? How endearing that Prince William gave her his mother's ring.

I just love sapphires. I think it's because it's my birthstone, but it helps that the stone is so beautiful. I'm fortunate to have been born two weeks early in September and not in October and be bestowed with the not so pretty opal. But I digress... back to Kate and her choice to match her ring to her very lovely dress. It reminded me of my first anniversary of marriage to Marc in 2007. He supprised me with a very lovely saphire and diamond ring. Well it was supposed to be a surprise, but I accidently opened it with my friend Sarah. What can I say, I can not resist opening packagages upon arrival! He chose a saphire for me because 1) as stated before it's my birthstone, 2) we also were married in Setember and 3) before we were engaged I saw the prettiest saphire engagement ring and I thought I really wanted it for my ring. I talked about it a lot and went back and forth with the pros and cons of having a saphire ring instead of a traditional diamond ring (one of the pro's being that Princess Diana's engagement ring was a saphire. Didn't we just love her?). I guess I talked about it so much that he remembered that I loved the stone and already had a setting that would be perfect to suprise me with. It turned out to be the completion of a set that he already gave me. A diamond band as a one year seriously dating ring (wow now that I think about it Marc gives me a lot of jewelry).

So when I saw Kate and her ring I was so thrilled! ring_2_1763579a.jpg

Don't they look so happy! I pray that the Lord will bless their marriage and that they will be truly happy indeed.

I just love her dress and the color! Navy blue and grey are my two favorite colors to wear. She looks so chic in her navy blue Isabel Issa dress. Also, when I saw them I said "Oh! They are just like Marc and I!" (You know except royal and a little older.)

Exhibit A:

This was taken on our first anniversary at the Air Force 60th anniversary ball. Here Marc is wearing his dress blues Air Force uniform, which I'm sure Prince William will wear for the wedding as well as he is in the Royal Air Force. My dress is also more royal blue than navy but the point is that it matched my ring which I fondly call the puddle versus Kate's/ Diana's lake. 
Since we clearly have the same taste in men and clothes. I have a suggestion for her wedding dress. She looked so lovely with the v-neck dress, I think the same silhouette would suite her. 

Exhibit B: 

And of course her train will be much longer than my cathedral length veil and train! 
I can hardly stand it! So, who wants to come to the Watch the Royal Wedding Party?!