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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

First shots

Fay got her first immunization shots today. She is 8 weeks as of yesterday so she was scheduled for her 2 months shots. I wanted to schedule them a number of days ahead of our xmas trip so if there was a bad reaction, we would be in town to deal with it.

Fay has been a really good baby so far. Not much crying at all. Not much fussing either. She just squawks a little when she wakes up for food or when she wants to be held and is not getting enough mommy or daddy time. Today I got to hear her real cry. It took about 2 seconds for the prick of the needle to affect her. Then she let out a terrible cry. Of course it broke my heart. And she still had two shots to go. :(

After the shots I put her back in the Baby Bjorn and she crashed to sleep right away. All was well through another feeding and another brief nap until she awoke and started crying inconsolably. It didn't help that mommy was out of the house and therefore there was no consoling boob to be found. Daddy tried to console with the bottle which was a fairly good temporary solution. But once the boob found its way home, Fay finally settled down. I also gave her a little baby Tylenol as suggested by the doctor in case of fever.

She is now put to bed, and sleeping well. I was told she could be irritable after the shots, and clearly she was. Hopefully it will not be a long lasting irritability.

Friday, December 14, 2007

If you can't trust your doctor...

Well we had a little setback this week. I went in for my 6 week checkup last week and was given a prescription for birth control pills from my doctor. We discussed the fact that while breast feeding I have to use the "mini-pill" which does not contain estrogen. A pill with estrogen will reduce your milk supply and sometimes dry it up completely.

I took the pill for three days. After the 2nd day Fay had a particularly fussy day. She wouldn't sleep all day and she only slept 4.5 hours instead of her normal 6 hours at night. I tried to pump some milk and noticed that there was hardly any to pump. So I checked my birth control pill and looked online for information.

Sure enough, my doctor had prescribed the wrong birth control pill!!! He gave me the one with estrogen. Unbelievable. I confirmed it was not a pharmacy mistake and then I called my doctor to yell at him. I was pissed. He apologized but not with enough emotion for me. He said "I pressed the wrong button on the computer. It was a computer malfunction". Computer Malfunction?!!!

I told him that I thought he had been dismissive of some of my questions at the visits including asking about alternative birth control. And I told him I could no longer be his patient. His response? "You gotta do what you gotta do. I apologize profusely" (again, no emotion).

Now I'm waiting to my regular milk supply to return. I *think* it is building back up. But last night worried me because I nursed Fay to the point where there was no more milk and then Ryan got home and gave her a bottle of expressed milk (from before the incident) and she sucked down the whole 3 oz!

It seems every year I get new reasons to questions those around me. I hate to become cynical or mistrustful. But that seems to be the safer thing to do.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Andy's visit

I've been remiss in not posting about Uncle Andy's visit. Andy visited a week ago -- the weekend after thanksgiving. Even though we will be going to FL to celebrate xmas with Andy in a couple weeks he couldn't wait that long to see Fay. Awwww. Well, let me tell you, it was an exciting NYC weekend for Andy. He arrived on Friday and Ryan took him out for a late dinner. Saturday we hung around the house with Fay. And Saturday night we all went to a neighborhood pizza place for dinner. Fay got a snuggled up in her fleece footy outfit, slept for 1/2 the meal, nursed a little at the restaurant and then slept for 5 hours. That was the first of the previously mentioned sleep shift that I mentioned in the previous post. Andy left on Sunday morning. So it was a brief visit. But we will see him again and all the Janssens at xmas for 10 day! Fay and I are looking forward to that.

Here is a photo of Andy's visit:
who is this imposter? I want daddy

Monday, December 3, 2007

5 hour sleep = bliss

First off, Happy 6 week birthday to Fay. Today marks 6 weeks since she came into our world. I've been reading that 6 week marks the time when infants start to become more socially aware AND begin to sleep for longer periods during the night (5-6 hours). Well, like clockwork Fay has slept a 5 hour stint for the past 3 nights. And last night she slept 5 hours, was up for 1/2 hour and then slept another 4 hours!!. That equals about 8 hours combined sleep for mom! It actually means a lot more than than:

1. I only have to get up once in the night.
2. The night waking is brief so it is easier for me to return to sleep.
3. The "night" period lasts a shorter amount so my day can start earlier.

This last point is important but not necessarily obvious to those not living in my sleeping world. With the previous cycle of multiple wakings throughout the night and 2-3 hours sleep periods, it would be noon by the time I caught up on 7 hours of sleep because of the additional wakeful periods during the night. This makes it feel like you are much more of a slave to the wee one's schedule since you cannot hope to schedule anything for the morning -- not even a shower!

Lets hope Fay continues this trend. It makes mommy a well rested and less cranky person. :)

I also have to write about Uncle Andy's visit to town, but I haven't uploaded the photos yet. That will come next..

Thursday, November 29, 2007

My new favorite photo


This photo made me laugh out loud. Dad is looking all smiley -- which is NOT a common occurrence for photos of Ryan. And little Fay looks like she is giving major attitude to dad. No doubt an indication of times to come. (Click on the photo to get the full view, its a bit cropped here in the blog)

5 weeks big

And here is a close up of Fay looking quite alert. She is 5 1/2 weeks in this photo. Does she look long and chubby? Is she growing?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

One month check up

Fay had her one month check up yesterday. She is now 5 weeks old. I was very excited to see how much weight she'd gained. She's obviously filling out in the face and stomach. And she weighs more in my arms too. I can now see where the feeding pillow is more necessary so that I don't have to support her full weight the entire time.

The scale was a bit questionable. We weighed her once with all the clothes on and she came in at 9.6 lbs. Then we weighed her without her pants and saw 9.05 lbs. Then we changed her diaper and took off her shirt and got a reading of 9.95 lbs. ??? So the nurse went with the original reading of 9.6 lbs. Putting her at approximately 9 lbs 8 oz. Weird.

Length measurements were a little more straight forward. She is 23 inches. And that puts her in the 90th percentile. That is easy to believe since Ryan and I are both on the tall side.

Everything else checked out well. We go back in 2 weeks for her first shots. We want to get them in plenty of time before the xmas travel in case there is a negative reaction we have to deal with. And we will do one more wellness check before xmas as she will be 8 weeks!

I keep reading that "social awareness" starts around 6 weeks of age, so I'll be looking for some smiles next week and maybe some recognition in her face when mommy comes in the middle of the night for a feeding.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Friends' Thanksgiving 2007


Another Friends' Thanksgiving has come and gone. This year was noteably different. There were a lot more kids, a lot earlier wake up times and a lot earlier bedtimes for the adults. Not to mention not much alcohol consumption because of new parent exhaustion and some nursing and pregnant ladies. This one is sure to go down in the history books as perhaps the tamest Thanksgiving. But is was truely enjoyable nonetheless. (For those not in the know, some friends and I get each year on the weekend before Thanksgiving, rent a house and cook a proper turkey dinner. We like to call it "Friends' Thanksgiving").

I have to admit, my fears came true. It was pretty difficult for me to get any sleep while trying to nurse Fay while not at home. Normally at home I jump out of bed, grab Fay and head for the living room for late night feedings. This way I don't disturb Ryan and I have the comfort of a couch and TV to keep me awake. However, at Friends' Thanksgiving we were in a downstairs bedroom. So I didn't want to take Fay up the stairs in the middle of the night and I also didn't want to disturb Ryan too much. So I found myself in the bathroom connected to our bedroom, nursing while sitting on the floor. This was problematic for two reasons. One the bathroom floor is cold and hard. Two, the lights in the bathroom are SOOOO bright, that I think it prevented Fay from falling back to sleep easily. I've read that you should keep noise and lights to a minimum during late night feedings so that the Baby goes back to sleep readily. One of the weekend nights had Fay up for 2 1/2 hours as she refused to return to sleep.

beck bundled

There was another newborn attending the weekend getaway -- Beck Milacci is about 8 weeks old. He seemed to be a dream child. He slept on couches all day and Jen said he was just starting to sleep a 5 hour chunk at night! I can dream. Only 4 more weeks until Fay is 8 weeks old. Although, I've read that longer sleep periods can start at 6 weeks, so I'm optimistic that I've got 2 weeks left of Fay's 1 and 2 hours naps. We will see.

everyone swim!

The house came equipped with a heated swimming pool. And when I say heated -- it was WARM. Warm enough to get just about everyone in the pool on a brisk November afternoon. I think the kids especially liked it.

proud turkeys

On Saturday 1/2 the group stayed home with the kiddos, and cooked, while the other 1/2 visited wineries in the North Fork area. Needless to say Ryan was able to go the wineries since I am attached to Fay's favorite two boobs. But Fay rewarded me later by falling asleep just as dinner was starting. I didn't have to practice my one handed eating technique though two other mothers at the table were not as lucky.

All in all, it was a tiring weekend. Its really thrilling to see all the kids at this stage though, knowing that they may grow up together. Its fun to imagine what each coming year will hold as the kids get older and play together more. How many years until we will have a kids table!?

I have some great photos of the weekend. None of which I am in, but Fay and Ryan are in a couple, along with many other cute kids and babies.

Friday, November 16, 2007

neighborhood moms

Turns out my neighborhood is a fantastic place to meet other moms. Ryan and I have lived in our apt for 1 1/2 year now and as is typical of nyc, we haven't really met many people in the neighborhood. We are friendly with the people on our same floor, but thats about it. When I was pregnant, I was approached by a woman on the street who told me about a message board for Lower East Side parents which is a great resource for meeting people and for getting information about local amenities for parents/kids. I also met a fellow pregnant woman in the grocery store when I was pregnant. We exchanged numbers and said we would follow up after the babies were born. Through this woman, I have met about 10 other moms who gather togther twice a week to hang out with the babies and just chit chat. On Mondays we get together at a local community center which holds "new parenting" classes. Its really just a place to open up conversation about anything that is troubling you or bring up any questions you have. I would say its just a nice support group. On Wednesdays the same group of women gather at one of their homes for 2-3 hours and sometimes go for lunch. I've been doing these get togethers for 2 weeks now and it is just a great group of women. I feared possibly meeting other moms who were at worst judgemental, or at least women with whom I have nothing in common except for a now shrinking uterus. But NO! These women are all first time moms, struggling with learning how to take care of a new born. They are all planning on going back to work after 4-6 months so our babies are similar ages and we are all at similar stages of new motherhood. And they are all new yorkers who live on the lower east side. Maybe because of this they are like me, I don't know. But they are not judgemental -- just the opposite, everyone really respects differences in opinions. And, again, we are all new to this, so maybe its impossible to be a know it all at this point.

I'm really enjoying getting out of the house. Its hard to do at this point because Fay does not have any regularity to her eating schedule. Sometimes she sleeps for 3 hours, sometimes just one. So its a gamble if I want to go for a walk or run an errand. However, I can easily run across the street to another mom's home and immediately plug a boob in Fay's mouth if need be!

Tonight I am heading out to Long Island to spend the weekend with friends. It is our annual "Friends' Thankgsgiving" where 9 friends and their kids get together to cook a Thanksgiving meal the weekend before the actual holiday. We started this tradition years ago when no one had kids and no one was married! This year we will have 5 kids including Fay. I'm really looking forward to it, though I fear I will be more tired than ever wanting to participate in all the adult activities while still not sleeping at night due to feedings.

There are sure to be lots of photos after this weekend.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Fay and Nana meet

looking at Nana

Grandma Lowe or "Nana" came to town this past week to meet Fay for the first time and help me get some much needed sleep. Thats what it comes down to these days. I appreciate the laundry help and the cooking help, but I'll give it all up if I can swap if for a few hours of sleep.

Fay is just about 3 weeks old now. And boy is she filling out. You can see it in her cheeks especially. She is getting that round baby face. I didn't even realize how skinny her little head looked until she started packing on the milk pounds. She's eating a lot more frequently than her first couple weeks -- every 2 1/2 hours or so. But she is also eating in a shorter amount of time. It only takes her 45 min to eat 30 minutes worth of boob. That is nice for mom because it means the middle of the night feedings are a lot shorter, making it easier to fall back asleep.

chubby cheeks

I think its safe to say that Nana fell in love during her visit to NYC. It was really fun to see my mom as a grandma to my little girl. You can see the experience of having raised two babies herself. The skills seem to come back readily, with one exception: diapering. Nana had a little trouble on her first diapering attempt. Of course it wasn't really her fault. Apparently the diapers we use now are created in a backwards fashion to how they worked in her day. So the tape flaps go front to back now instead of back to front. :)

baby sling

Nana, Fay and I undertook a major outing on Friday afternoon. It seemed like an easy enough idea at first. We wanted to buy Fay some winter clothes. I've received A LOT of hand-me-down clothes from friends but the majority of the newborn sizes are for summer (Laurel was a summer baby!). So we just needed a few items to keep Fay warm. Things were going well until about 2-3 hours into the trip Fay got hungry. When she first started to squawk, we were in a casual restaurant and I attempted my first public breast feeding. This went well except for the fact that Fay only wanted to eat for 10 min or so. Thinking she was good to go, we finished up our meal and headed to Old Navy for one last clothing stop before going home. Five minutes into Old Navy it was evident that Fay was going to loose it if she didn't get some boob and NOW. So we quickly grabbed a handful of outfits from the racks, thinking we might be able to checkout quickly and escape. But Fay was in charge and that was not her plan. We had to make an emergency detour to the dressing rooms where I fed Fay for ONE HOUR! I have to give a big thank you to the staff at Old Navy who had no problem with me occupying a dressing room for an hour while clearly not trying on the miniature sleepers I brought in with me. In the future I think I will try to keep my outings to 3 hours or less. That shopping trip was exhausting.

Nana also gave Ryan and me an opportunity to go out on the town on Saturday night. I was a little less anxious this time than last week when I left Fay for the first time. However, we stayed away a bit longer -- going out to dinner AND a movie. And by the time I got home, my breasts were punishing me for it. I was in pain from the lack of breastfeeding and worse yet Fay was asleep when I got home, so I could not rely on her to relieve the pain! So we returned at 12:30 AM and instead of falling into bed I had to pump to relieve the pressure and to stop the milk from pouring out on its own. Another reminder of the fact that we are all just animals that can't control the nature of our bodies.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

sleep cycle -- or lack there of

Well, we definitely spoke too soon on the greatness of Fay's sleep habits. She lulled us into a false security the first week by frequently sleeping 4 hours at a time and at a minimum 3 hours at a time. Fay has now turned 2 weeks old and her sleep patterns are completely unpredictable. She'll sleep for 1.5 hours or 2.5 hours, 3 hours is now a rarity. And let me tell you it is a big difference between getting 2 hours of consecutive sleep versus 3 hours of consecutive sleep. Plus she seems to be awake the same amount of time between sleep sessions as before. So it seems she is getting less sleep and feeding more. I read that infants go through growth spurts at 7-10 days and at 2-3 weeks and so on. That seems a little random since all babies are different. But she has had a couple of marathon feeding sessions where she is awake fr 4-5 hours alternating between 15 min feedings and 10 minute rests the whole time.

Needless to say, I'm having a hard time getting enough rest. It seems I can get about 6 hours sleep between 10pm and 10am. If I don't nap more during the day, I am a very tired wife when Ryan gets home at night.

Oh, and let me just take this moment to say that Ryan is the best hubby ever! He's been super supportive in the evenings, taking Fay away from Mom, so I can get some time without her by my side or on my nipple. And when he's not relieving me he spends all his time in the kitchen fixing me dinner so I can continue to produce more milk!

My mom comes to town on Thursday and will stay through the weekend. It will be nice to have some help around the house and just to have my mom here to see what kind of advice she can offer. Should be fun to compare stories of when I was just a baby in her arms.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Janssen Grandparents come to town


Last week Grandma Janssen (Granny) was in town to help me adjust to motherhood. And while she could not take the burden of 2am feeding off my plate, she was an enormous help with dinner, laundry, and 2am conversation. Grandpa Janssen arrived on Thursday. Fay took an instant liking to his voice -- staring up at him as he greeted her for the first time. Ryan and I were able to get out for a much needed, yet anxious night on the town Friday night while Grandma and Grandpa Janssen babysat. It was really hard for me to leave Fay. And I might say that it was because it was so soon after her birth, but I have a feeling it will always be a little bit difficult to leave her.

During the visit, we passed through a couple of interesting dates. One being Fay's due date, which was Oct. 30, last Tuesday. And the day after that was Halloween! Grandma Janssen surprised us with Fay's first halloween costume. It was ADORABLE on Fay. I was a little concerned that she would get swallowed up inside the giant pumpkin, but no such tragedy occurred. Instead Fay was instantly content in her little warm coccoon. She fell asleep within minutes. (Not that sleep is unusual for her!).


We took the opportunity to show off Fay's first Halloween costume by visiting Daddy at work. Ryan's work gets into Halloween pretty seriously. Everyone dresses up. So Fay was dressed perfectly.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Happy 1 week Birthday Fay!

mama our little animal

Wow, its already been a week since Fay entered our little family. Sleep was touch and go for a while. I was anxious that if I slept at night I wouldn't hear Fay when she needed me. But Fay proved me wrong. She lets out the cutest little squawks when she needs something -- like boob time. How nice to only need one thing in life to make you happy.

This weekend was our first as parents. We are still adjusting to the fact that we are not going to be going out on the town on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights like we usually do. And mommy was extremely tired as Friday and Saturday nights came around. So even plans for an at home movie night were put on hold for some good sleep time.

Two highlights of the weekend were Fay's first bath and Fay's first outing. Fay's umbilical cord fell off on Friday which is a very good thing because it was beginning to stink and Daddy was a little disgusted by the smell. So much for unconditional love! That was our cue that we could give Fay her first sponge bath.

Daddy steamed up the bathroom to keep Fay warm while in her birthday suit. And he cleaned Fay head to foot. Now she is smelling great! Of course the "bath" ended with a surprise poop just as we were wrapping her up. She had to go back in for another minor bathing touch up. Guess we won't be carrying her around naked anytime soon.

All clean

On Sunday we took a family walk. We got to try out the new stroller, which is light as a feather while you push it (not so much if/when I attempt to carry it up subway stairs) and has amazing maneuverability. Daddy didn't want to let anyone else drive, he enjoyed it so much! Mommy felt the strain of the walk a little bit. After sitting on my tush at home for a week, not to mention giving birth under a week ago, the walk tired me out and reminded me to take it easy for a while. I hate it when your body gets the better of you.

Lowe East Side Daddy

Thursday, October 25, 2007

First days at home

daddy's view

Well we're having a great time getting to know Fay and figuring out parenthood. Fay is a great little feeder. I've heard lots of stories of new mom's struggling with breast feeding, so I didn't know what to expect, but luckily we are doing just great. And yesterday my milk came in. Ouch!

Fay is sleeping in pretty nice chunks of time -- an average of about 3 hours at a time. So I'm getting some decent sleep. Though I'm not getting my normal 8 hours of sleep, I figure I'm getting about 5 hours at night and then maybe an hour nap during the day.

Daddy has been working 1/2 days and spending the afternoons at home. Today he got some great tummy time with Fay sleeping on his chest while he lay on the green couch. We captured some great photos. Check them out on Flickr.

I added a "latest photos" header to the blog, so you can always see the most recent photos and click on them to get the full size photo.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Waking up is hard to do

Fay wakes up just like Daddy!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Birth of Fay

So this is the first (probably last) post by Daddy to East River Baby. Dad's posting because Mom's a mom now and too busy momming to blog.

Today is Tuesday 10/23/2007 and Fay was born on Monday (early at 2:16 am, so it FELT like Sunday night) on 10/22/2007. This is basically the story as I remember it.

The weekend was much like the rest of our weekends of late--taking it relatively easy and waiting for the baby to come. We went to a movie (My Kid Could Paint That) on Friday and played poker on Saturday (Jessi won big... Joe lost big... nothing new there). On Sunday, it was beautiful, nothing was happening, so, like many many a weekend day here in NYC, we decided to go for a walk.

Bored Picture taken before walk:

Forced Picture of Dad before walk:


We walked and walked and walked.

Down the East River Park to the South Street Seaport for ice cream:


Down to Battery Park for some lemonade:


Back around to South Street to Paris (a favorite bar of ours) for some wings (no picture available).

Now I'd like to take a moment to point out two unusual features of this stop: 1. We never eat out on Sunday (I had Tilapia and Squash to cook at home) and 2. Jess actually (kinda) ate a buffalo chicken wing. Now this second point may not seem like a big deal to an outsider, but that's because you don't know us. I LOVE chicken wings. I eat them regularly and consider them a great meal. Jessi finds them disgusting (something about some offensive vinegar odor). In fact, in the 8 years I've known her, and despite my constant coercion, she has never tasted a chicken wing. That night she did (sorta... she ate about a half of one), and there is little doubt that wing's spiciness played a contributing role to that evening's events (I hope the significance of wings is no longer questioned in our relationship from this point on!).

Regardless, we walked back to our apartment around 7:30. On the way home, Jess felt some wetness, but it was a small enough amount that we weren't sure it was her water breaking (the fact that she did NOT continue to leak fluid indicated that it was NOT her water breaking... subsequent events may indicate otherwise).

When we got home, we relaxed, and went to bed around 11pm. At 12:30am, Jess woke me and said she thought she was having some contractions. I (half asleep) suggested she time them (from beginning to beginning) to see if this was something we should be concerned about. She informed me that she wasn't capable of doing this and that I'd better get up and help. I got up, I timed, and the contractions were 2 and a half minutes apart. I called the doctor's answering service and called a car to go to the hospital.

I got a call back from the doctor (our backup was on duty) and she asked to talk to Jessi. She talked to Jessi for a bit, Jessi couldn't concentrate, so I took the phone. The doctor suggested Jessi relax and take a nice warm shower as it would be quite a while before the baby came. I countered that the contractions seemed pretty real. She said (condescendingly) that if Jess really couldn't handle them, we could go to the hospital, but she would probably be better at home.

This was a tough spot. Neither Jessi nor I wanted to be the "first time child" couple who shows up to the hospital and gets sent home because they came too soon. I told Jess what the doctor said, and she thought maybe she should just take a shower. She then proceeded to get down on all fours and have a contraction. I got my sweater, her bag, and her and proceeded down the elevator to the car that we had waiting for us.

I put Jessi in the back seat, explained things to the driver, and went to the deli to get her some water and Gatorade (we didn't want IV hydration). I got back and she was having pretty serious contractions in the car. I asked the driver to blow the red light we were waiting at (the whole street was empty), he declined, but we eventually proceeded to the FDR and to the hospital.

The whole time in the car, Jessi was having pretty major contractions. She was in the back, I was in the front (she wanted the WHOLE backseat), and I was holding her hand over the seat. She was pretty much like a caged animal at that point--writhing in the back, kneading the side door with her feet as she lay across the seat, and crushing my hand. I reassured her and continued to exaggerate how close to the hospital we were.

We arrived at Lenex Hill, but the main entrance where we were instructed to enter was closed. We walked to the emergency entrance, pausing for Jessi to have contractions. When we got there, I walked through the glass revolving doors to get the security guard while Jessi had a contraction just outside. When the guard saw me and then saw her, he came flying out with a wheel chair (Jess protested "I feel like I'm going to be sitting on her head"--not too far from the truth).

When we got up to the maternity ward, the staff (of about 5 or 6) were casually strewn around the nurses' station. I explained that my wife was in labor--uh-huh. She'd been having contractions for about an hour--uh-huh. We were first time parents --uh-huh. Then Jessi stood up out of the wheel chair and had one of her contractions--the entire staff fell off of their chairs simultaneously.

Jessi was rushed into the delivery room shouting her social security number (we never did fill out the card). She got stripped down, put on a hospital gown, and was assisted onto the table. The doctor on call (a very nice, very young woman named Claire) took one look at her, went bug-eyed, and started yelling, "Don't push! Don't push! I've got to get my gloves on!"

They got Jess in stirrups, the doctor got her gloves on, and with no less than 6 staffers and me standing around we began to cheer simultaneously "Push, push, push, push". Jess pushed--I saw hair. Jess pushed--I saw a head. Jess pushed--the baby was lying on the delivery table crying. I cut the umbilical cord, Fay opened her eyes, and that was about it.

We "checked in" at 2:08am. Fay was born at 2:16am. Total delivery time--8 minutes.

We were lucky Fay wasn't born in the shower or a cab. All's well that ends well though. Fay came out at 7 pounds, 11 ounces and 20 inches long. She's been nursing since she was about 5 minutes old, hardly cries, and coos when she sleeps. The only concern is that she presently looks like a little old man, but we're hoping that she outgrows this phase (or at least has a great personality to get her through high school!). The first of what will no doubt be MANY pictures are below.






Friday, October 19, 2007

38th week doc appointment

Ryan and I had another doctor visit this morning. We went over our "birth plan" with our doctor. And he was completely fine with what we'd decided. And he said if the hospital gives us any grief over not wanting an IV just for the sake of it, that we can have them call him to verify its ok. So that visit was a really nice confirmation that we have a great, understanding, sane doctor. Now I just hope we get him on the day and not the alternate doctor who seems a little more uptight.

Though it seems I'm roughly at the same station, effacement and dilation as before, the doctor did give me a "WHOA! SHE'S LOW" when he took his peek. He said he can't say when she'll come but when she does it is likely to be a quick delivery. So that is good news.

Sure would be nice if she'd come this weekend.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


Well of course we have the Fay countdown. Which is only 12 days till the due date. And now we have a new countdown to when I will officially stop working for Maternity Leave. I've decided to work through next Friday (week from tomorrow). So I have 7 days of work left including today. That feels pretty good. Its weird to wind down at work but not actually be leaving for good -- knowing that I will be back in 4 short months.

I'm really starting to feel Fay's weight increase this week. My pelvic muscles are really sore when I walk around. I feel like she has gained a little in the past two days. I'm actually sort of shuffling down the street instead of my normal slightly peppy gait. And there's no refusing me a seat on the subway. This morning I made a beeline for an empty seat and missed it by a second when a man sat down. So I just stood there looking at him. Staring actually. All that was going through my head was, you just took my seat. He seemed to agree and got right back up.

Emotionally I feel a little different. I feel like Fay could come ANY day and I am just waiting now. It makes me feel like I don't want to be doing anything else. I guess its SUPER anticipation. Its good that I am working as close to the due date as I am. Because if I were idle at home, I'd just be antsy.

Ryan and I drafted a Birth Plan last night so we can be clear to our doctor and nurses that we don't want any unnecessary medical intervention like epidural, IVs or pitocin. Of course if anything seems wrong or if anyone is in danger, we will take all medical support they offer. But we do want it to be as natural as possible in the best case scenario. This of course will take a little cooperation from Fay. 1) don't get too big! 2) don't sit in there for 10 days after the due date.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Can I still get bigger?

IMG_0554 38 weeks pregnant
Me at 38 weeks
OK, this post is all about the photos. Ignore the horrible hairstyle I was sporting for these photos. Its all about the belly anyway. At this point I prefer the bare belly photos because the covered ones just don't do justice to the GIGANTIC belly I have grown.

If this was a state fair tomato growing or largest sow competition, only for big round bellies, I think I'd win. (No sow jokes!)

Friday, October 12, 2007

No significant progress

Ryan and I had another doctor appointment this morning. There seems to be no progress since last Friday which is not really a big surprise. As I suspected, the doctor's comments last week were a tad optimistic. We are at the same station, dilation and I did find out the effacement, which the doc didn't mention last time. We are 80% effaced. Sounds pretty good! But the waiting game continues.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Maternity fashion police

Every day I am more and more eager for Fay to arrive. Though now that I have made it through another work week, I'm hoping she will wait a couple more days. Ryan and I have tickets to the symphony on Friday to which we have never been. So I have told Fay to hold off a couple days and am hoping she is an obedient little girl.

Work is a little weird. Being that I work for a consulting company and am not currently on a client project, there is obviously no hope for me to be put on one in the next couple weeks. So I am "on the bench". The bench can be fun in that I get to do internal projects as well as do some reading on the internet about whatever I'm interested in. I found this new site called yesterday and it makes for pretty entertaining reading. It is AMAZING how many new websites come out every day.

Feeling big now. Most of my maternity tops are getting too small. I caught my belly trying to peak out earlier this week when I walked by a reflective surface. While this may work in Hollywood, its not a good look for work. So I'm trying to keep my bare belly under wraps. Unfortunately, its not something I can really see easily, so I have to keep tugging down my shirt to reassure myself.

I've also found that I can't wear skirts anymore. This is a bummer because skirts are REALLY comfortable. They don't really have a waistband the way pants do, so they are typically much looser. However, most of my skirts are knee length and require me to keep my knees closed when I am in the sitting position. This isn't really happening anymore. Its fairly uncomfortable for me to try to squeeze my hips shut for the benefit of my fellow subway riders or co-workers. Also, with as far down as Fay's head is, I refuse to squish it just for the sake of modesty. Thus, I am a pants girl from here on out. Today I am 37 weeks and 2 days.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Friday, October 5, 2007

1 1/2 and 0 !!

Ryan and I went to a doctor appointment today. They surprised us and switched in the alternative Dr. for our regular Dr. I've seen her 3x now. And while I think she is perfectly competent, I don't think her bedside manner is quite as nice as our regular Dr. So I do hope he is around and available on the delivery day.

The FUN news is that Fay is getting ready to come out! The doctor started by saying "whoa, the baby is really low". So I asked her what station the baby is at and she said 0 station, but that to be conservative she is going to write down -1, so we have something to progress towards. And I am already 1 1/2 centimeters dilated. Woo hoo! She said we should look for a mid-October delivery rather than an end of October delivery.

So that got me really excited. Can't think of much else these days besides becoming a mom. :) And of course, I'm starting to get more and more uncomfortable. I've been having these intermittent sharp stab pains in my groin. Which I've read could be due to the pelvis loosening up. But it could also be because the baby's head is so low, and she's bumping around down there.

We're all ready at home. I've even got a starter set of diapers ready to go. And I've started a bag for the hospital. Though from what I've heard, early labor gives you plenty of time to get things in order.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

fatty (no not me!)

Pregnant at 35 1/2 weeks
me at 35 1/2 weeks

Yesterday I had another sonagram. This one was not as visually exciting as the others because the baby is so big now that you only see parts at a time. But I did get a good view of the 4 valves of her heart which was really neat to see. The technician did a lot of measuring and declared that the baby is doing fine. Everything looks healthy. However, maybe Fay is a little TOO healthy. The technician also told me that she currently weighs 6 lbs, 3 oz. WHOA. When I was born I weighed 6lbs 5oz, so to me Fay seems like a big girl. If she gains the estimated 1/2 lb a week until the 40th week she will be pushing 9 lbs. And I will be pushing out a big baby.

Ryan and I also went for our hospital visit last Saturday. This I really enjoyed. It was super informative and confirmed that we are going to be delivering in a good hospital. They are liberal enough to have all types of birthing equipment ( they said you can use a birthing ball or birthing bar ) if one should want it. And the Labor & Delivery rooms looked great. A little comfortable looking, a little hospital looking. They described the security at the hospital for the newborn area and it is like a prison lock down. Babies are given a little ankle bracelet when they are born with a security device in it, so if anyone leaves the area an alarm goes off. The nurse said they go into "Code Pink" (which still makes me smile now). And she said that new Daddies are usually the culprits getting caught because they get so excited to show off the new baby to someone outside the ward. hah. Ryan will have to be careful.

Also, only Daddy or someone designated by Mommy can take the baby from the nursery. And they say if an unfamiliar nurse comes in and asks to take your baby from you, you can refuse. If I was paranoid, I'd say this hospital has had a lot of baby theft. Maybe the Upper East Side produces desirable babies....more ransom money to be had?

Friday, September 21, 2007

New Doc Visit

Today's doctor visit lasted all of 5 minutes. I guess I should be happy -- this is due to me having a relatively easy pregnancy. Dr. Rafalin asked if I had any questions, checked the heart beat and uterus length and sent me on my way. Oh and I was weighed at 154 lbs I think. I also asked him if I was too small. I keep thinking I'm going to get this gigantic belly that practically topples me over. But its still completely manageable and only slightly heavy. He said I'm fine. Hopefully that means I'll have a little 6lb baby! Either that or Fay is really good at using her space. Her new favorite thing to do is kick out one of her legs over to the side of my rib cage. So while the bump resides totally in front of my body, I get a stray foot every now and then poking out the side. Kinda funny. Of course nothing really looks like a foot. It'd be really facinating if I could make out a heal or something like that.

Tomorrow, Ryan and I plan to visit our hospital. They have general tours at noon on Saturdays of the maternity area. Not sure if this is a sales pitch (we're already sold! since that is where our doctor delivers) or just an informative visit. Hopefully the latter.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

DVD class

Ryan and I watched the first segment of our DVD childbirth class this weekend. The DVD shows an instructor and about 5 couples in a class setting, learning about childbirth. I was really happily surprised at how good the video is. The instructor tells a few too many corny jokes at times and can go off on tangents or personal stories to make a point. But overall it was informative and I think even Ryan enjoyed it. The number one thing I learned in this segment that I had never heard of before was "station". This is the measurement of how far the baby's head has descended into the pelvic region. She also discussed 6 signs your body gives of getting ready for labor (in the weeks leading up to labor). One of them was weight stabilization. She said that about 2 weeks before your due date you can eat anything you want and not gain any weight. Hah! I'd never heard this before. V. interesting. Not something I'm necessarily going to push the limits of to find out. I want a nice small baby to deliver. :) I have another doctor appointment coming up this Friday. I wonder when he will start checking my delivery stats. I'm at 34 weeks. Its still pretty early I think. We will see.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


They say that at this part of your pregnancy, you may have the nesting instinct. This entails trying to get everything organized, bought, cleaned etc. Well, last weekend I embarked on a major organization task, but alas I don't think Fay will really benefit. I ordered a closet from and installed it last weekend. I think I could definitely recommend this site. All I had to do was measure the closet (and measure again to be sure!) and choose the configuration on line. They delivered the pre-cut wood and supports in 2 days time. The only difficult part of installation was securing a metal bar to the back wall of the closet. Everything else just laid, screwed, or clicked into place.

Now I want to do this for Fay's closet as well. The thought was that I would do mine to see how we like it and then do Fay's. But of course I don't have the energy to do it right now again. So Fay may have to wait a while for hers. And as I get bigger, I will have less and less motivation to assemble closets!

I went to the doctor last Friday. I saw my alternate doctor again. This time I liked her better than the 1st impressions several months ago. So that is promising. She said the baby is head down already and she may just stay that way. This was interesting news because I just could not tell if they mystery bump on my stomach was a head or butt. Now we have a confirmed butt sighting. And boy does it seem big. Hmmm, wonder if that doesn't bode well for delivery.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Let the aches and pains begin

32 weeks pregger 32 weeks bare belly

Well, I may have to change my tune soon. Every time someone asks me how my pregnancy is going or how am I feeling I've been able to respond "really well". But I'm starting to feel the effects of carrying around a small child in my belly. My feet are starting to hurt. Either I have to wear more supporting shoes (sneakers!) or I have to walk for less distance at a time. Being that I'm pretty used to walking A LOT in ny, I don't even notice that I may have overdone it until my feet begin to ache. Also, my hips ache at night. I'm so tired of sleeping on my side. Its just not comfortable. I thought I had figured out the perfect pillow positions last week. I put one behind my back and one under my tummy and between my legs. That worked really well all last week. But last night I was aching and waking up every couple hours. Strangely enough, these new pains coincided with the return of Ryan from his surfing vacation. Maybe I was unknowingly taking up the entire bed while he was away and blissfully sleeping through he night. :) Or maybe this is just the beginning of what is going to be a long couple of months. I have exactly 8 weeks left, or two months. That makes it seem close! And I can't wait.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Alls well with the beach ball tummy (31 weeks)

I don't think I have much to report. But its been a while since I've written, so here I am to update. I had another Dr appointment last Friday. He checked the baby's heartbeat and checked my stats and thats about it. All seems fine, and I do NOT have Gestational Diabetes (not that I was worried). I've only gained 1 pound since my last visit so I'm up to 151 pounds.

I finally had to give up running. I was maintaining my usual routine of running about 2 days a week up until 2 weeks ago. I just started to feel a little to heavy to be bouncing around. The Dr had said that I can continue to run as long as I don't feel a lack of balance as my center of gravity shifts. I feel fine balance-wise actually. So in lieu of running, I've joined the gym at my coop. Its got a ton of machines to try out. I've never really belonged to a gym so this is all new to me. I tried the stationary bike last night. And guess what? I couldn't figure out how to turn it on. I kept pushing button after button. Finally a nice man told me I had to actually start peddling before the buttons would work. Thats intuitive?? Maybe it is. Maybe now I've broken through the newbie-gym barrier and I will be able to run all machines. We'll see. The workout was not nearly as satisfying as a good run, so I think I will try the elliptical next time.

My belly is getting quite large and its time for another picture, but alas my globe trotting husband has the camera with him on vacation. He decided last minute to take an AWESOME vacation to Costa Rica to a surf camp. I am just a little jealous as I can't fly at this point, let alone surf. :) But I'm happy he's able to get away one last time before the big CHANGE! So, I promise to post a new pic next week when he brings the camera home.

Oh, and I should mention that Fay is a kicking machine. She wakes me up a night sometimes with her kicks. And she gets herself into some odd positions. She loves to make my tummy all lopsided by pushing her butt or head waaaay out on my right side. Its cute in a deformed belly kind of way.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Officially the Baby Room

We received the crib this week. The delivery was a fiasco in itself. Our maintenance office is kind enough to receive UPS and FedEx packages for us when we are not home. So I had the crib delivered to the maintenance office. However, once it arrived they wouldn't take it -- claiming it was too large. It was a little heavy, but it wasn't that large. It was in pieces and still had to be put together. I rushed home from work to make sure we could receive it and then set about putting it together. As I later told Ryan...."I fought the crib and the crib won". I felt like such a stereotype. I simply could not figure out why the very first bolt was not going in as it should. So, after about an hour of trying, I gave up, hoping that Ryan would be smarter or at least more crib mechanically inclined than me. I knew I was risking ridicule and a glowing smug expression on my loving husband's face. But what could I do.

Luckily Ryan figured out the problem. To my defense, the instructions didn't even mention a part that I needed to use WITH the bolt in order to get it to lock into place. It wasn't on the part list and it wasn't mentioned in the step by step instructions. Thank goodness Ryan knows when to not pay attention to instructions. ;)

Finally, it took some furniture juggling, but we got the crib into its new home! I'd say there is no doubt upon entering our 2nd bedrroom that it is now officially the baby room.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

28 weeks later

Today I turn 28 weeks pregnant. I'm officially in the third trimester ( I think that started at week 27) and I am finally getting consistent offers for seats on the subway. I'd say thats a milestone. I thought it was time to update the blog with a belly shot, so in another couple months I can remember how "small" I was. Speaking of large bellies, I went for another doctor appointment last Friday and got weighted. I am now 150 lbs! Ryan came along for the visit and stepped on the scale after me to see who weighed more. Safe to say I am still 5 pounds lighter than Ryan. But I am quickly closing. Seems I'm averaging about 6 pounds a month gain. Doc said that sounds fine, and we are now waiting to hear back from the Gestational Diabetes testing. This last visit I was required to drink a sugar solution one hour before giving blood for the GD testing. The drink tasted like sugary flat orange soda. Apparently if you normally do not eat a lot of sweets it can make you nauseated. I had no problem with it and I don't consider myself to have a sweet tooth. That is until I got pregnant. :)

The other milestone is the doc visits are starting to become more frequent now. My next appointment is in 3 weeks instead of 4, and after that they will go down to every 2 weeks! I must be on the downward slope.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

MN Baby Shower

(Refresh the page to see new photos!)

Well I had another great baby shower this past weekend. This time it was in Minneapolis. Penny and Jeanne Boyle hosted the shower and all I can say is that I am so lucky to these two wonderful women in my life. The shower was warm and fun and over before I wanted it to be. Jeanne snapped individual photos of me and each person at the shower. She then combined these photos with "love notes to Fay" that each woman wrote and presented me with a scrapbook of the shower the very next day. I was a little speechless. I had so much fun with my high school friends, my family, Ryan's family and many more friends I've known for years.

One special treat was to see my aunt Signe and cousin Jackie whom I don't think I've seen in 10 years time. We didn't have nearly enough time to catch up, but it was wonderful to see them at last.

Instead of the dreaded baby showers games involving dress up or messy crafts, Jeanne gave everyone an opportunity to show off their baby knowledge. I now know who I should turn to when I have new mother questions. Karin was able to name 52 baby items, some I'm sure I've never heard of.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Kearney Baby Shower

On the weekend of July 13th Ryan and I visited Kearney, NE for a family weekend and a baby shower. My Mom and Ron were also there, so we had both sides of the family! Sandy's good friends threw me a wonderful shower and as expected I received lots and lots of cute items for Fay. Granny Sandy gave a glimpse of things to come when she gave me a little onesie saying "What goes on at Grandma's stays at Grandmas's" And both Grandma Lowe and Janssen took me on a post shower shopping trip to buy a little Cornhusker dress for Fay's first football game. I guess we'll have to make a return trip to NE next fall! We had such a good time and here is the picture to prove it. We called this our "before Fay" picture as things are sure to get hectic and change dramatically in just a few months time!

Sunday, July 8, 2007


Ryan and I have decided on a name for baby Janssen, aka: East River Baby. Of course we still have 4 months left so we reserve the right to change our minds. :) But this one might just be a keeper.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Kicks and more Kicks

Well, little baby girl Janssen has gotten to be more of a kicker over the past couple weeks. Yesterday I was at work and I had a midmorning snack of some yogurt. As soon as that yogurt hit my stomach she was kicking all over the place. Of course the kicks are still really small and are more like flutters. But its so fun to feel her in there. I was so excited that I had yogurt again today. But alas, no pattern. She stayed motionless all morning. The only consistent time it seems she kicks is when I get off work and am at home relaxing on the couch.

Tomorrow is the 4th of July and Ryan and I will have our annual party. It seems we will have a good turnout this year. Over 20 people have answered 'yes' to our evite invitation. And there may be a bit of rain, so maybe we'll get a few more running for cover that would have normally celebrated outside. Hopefully the rain will not obscure the fireworks.

We've got the next doctor appt on Friday. This one will be with our backup doctor. My primary OB wants us to meet with one of his colleagues who would serve as a backup should he not be available when I go into labor. Hope I like her!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Pregger on the Beach

This summer Ryan and I have a share in a house on Fire Island. It is a quarter share which means we get to go up every 4 weeks and have a bedroom to ourselves. There are 6 other people in the house on these weekends -- always the same 6. This past weekend was one of our weekends, so we took the opportunity to take some pregger on the beach photots. We took some pictures of Ryan too, but he doesn't seem to reflect 5 months of pregnancy with his poses. I am currently at the end of my 21st week.

Here is a Jessi's eye view of the tummy:

Thursday, June 14, 2007

20th week anatomy scan

Yesterday I went for my 20th week ultrasound which is an "anatomy scan". In this visit they want to check to make sure everything is ok from the brain to the liver to the toes. It was quite a long scan -- the technician had the ultrasound on me for 30 minutes. It was pretty interesting though. Its amazing how much they can see in an ultrasound. Everything checked out ok. She checked the brain, measured some bones and looked at the blood flow to some internal organs (wow)!! While she was looking for the ears to check she had a hard time because she said my little girl kept covering her ears with her hands. Poor thing -- probably too loud in there with the ultrasound going. I read somewhere that the sound should be comparable to a helicoptor. Funny.

The only anomaly she found was actually on the mother and not the baby. She said I have two fibroids on my uterus. Which she described as masses of muscle. She said its nothing for concern. When I asked what problems they could cause she said that sometimes they make it hard to conceive and if they are positioned over the cervix it may make vaginal birth difficult. But thats not the case with me and she said they are pretty small. She also said it runs in the family and that my mother probably has them. Interesting.

I have some more ultrasound pics from this visit which I'll post. They aren't that much different from the previous ones but there is a particularly cute one of her feet. :)

I'm halfway at 20 weeks wow! And I feel like I'm growing faster now. The fit of my clothing seems to change each week. The technician said I can expect to gain about 1 pound a week here on out.

I'm already having some difficulty getting and staying comfortable while seated at work -- not to mention while sleeping. So I'm not looking forward to getting bigger and more uncomfortable!


Friday, June 8, 2007

new doc appt and kicks

Today I had another Doc. Appointment. They are all rather routine. I guess this would be my 4th. The first two appointments he used an ultrasound to detect the baby and measure the growth. The last time and this time he used a fetal heartbeat monitor so we could hear the baby's heartbeat. Its a nice validation that the baby is still healthy in there since there isn't terribly much movement at this stage.

I'm at 19 weeks (next tues will be 20 weeks, 1/2 way!). And I've just started to feel little kicks now and again. To me they feel like a little version of riding on a roller coaster -- when you just come over the edge of the top of a hill and you start to decend, you feel your stomach drop a little. Thats what it feels like, but on a much smaller scale.

We found out last week that the baby will be a girl. This was seen on an ultrasound (the technicion pointed out the labia!) and then verified by the amnio results. Of course the amnio results also told us that we have a healthy baby, which I was much relieved to hear.

Next week I will have a anatomy scan which is another ultrasound that essentially checks that the anatomy is all well and good. It is supposed to get done at 20 weeks.

Ryan I have just started to fill out our registry for the baby showers. I will have one in Kearney and one in Mpls, just two weeks apart in July. Ryan has been very diligent in researching the very best baby stuff we need from strollers to cribs. Its fun to see him getting into it, since up until now the baby's existence has seemed a little surreal.

Now its becoming more real because I'm showing enough to be identified as a noticibly pregnant woman. Last week I was offered a seat on the subway for the first time. That and the kicks make me feel officially pregnant. I also told work last week which is a relief because I can now wear anything I want and not try to hide the growing bulge.

out for now

Sunday, June 3, 2007

The Ultrasounds

We also have a couple close ups of our new e.r.b., originally and affectionately known as the blob:

This first ultrasound was at 8 weeks.

With the second ultrasound we were relieved to see we were actually carrying a more human shaped baby:

This ultrasound was at 17 weeks.

Introducing our East River Baby

We've decided to start a blog to share news and photos with our friends/families regarding our upcoming addition. And since our baby will be growing up on the Lower East Side, close to the ever-changing east river waterway, it is thus named eastriverbaby. We hope you will enjoy. Our first entry should include a current photo of the baby, who is currently just 18 weeks old in utero.