Friday, June 29, 2012


first, my baby is the sweetest baby in the world. hands down.

also, 5:30 am is my most favorite feeding time.
because, it is the only feeding I'm not already half asleep by the time I crawl back into bed.
and because it is the feeding that amelia will stay wide awake for an extra hour, which means a few extra minutes we get to feel each other breathe.
this is also her most smiley time of the day. which is perfect, because the sun is barely coming up with just enough extra light for us to stare at each other.
and she grins until she falls asleep.

and I crawl back into bed, thinking:
today is a new day.
and it is good.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

bragging rights:

super quick post:

Amelia had her 2 week appointment today
she is:
8 lbs 3 oz (38th percentile) -
they want babies at 2 weeks to be back to their birth weight (6 lbs 15 oz),
which she has obviously surpassed!!
and 21.5 inches (84th percentile) - got her daddy's genes!

we've been worrying about her eating and spitting up and eating habit,
but Dr. Blackburn says she could just be eating so so much
because she's trying to catch her weight up with her height!

lungs, heart, reflexes all functioning normally,
the doc cleaned off the rest of her umbilical cord for us,
and also told us Amelia has the neck strength of a 2 month old!
(that's why she's always throwing her head around!)

Amelia got her 2nd PKU screening,
and another bilirubin test. :(

no fun, but she got to meet Snow White
and kiss Dopey!

we're so proud of our little munchgut!

Monday, June 25, 2012

17 days

lately, I've had a lot of thoughts, and not a lot of time to organize them.

motherhood is incredible. like they always tell you. but not exactly how you expected.

My mother always told me about my huge, bright eyes when I was a newborn. how my grandma would always brag about them to company and visitors. and now my mom always talks about Amelia's eyes. they're giant, and oh so expressive. I look down at those eyes everytime I'm nursing, and something happens I can't really express. I'm crying as I'm writing this down. I watch those eyes grow heavy every couple of hours and I feel like she's growing immensely in my arms everyday.

In the middle of the night, when I can barely pull myself out of bed, I try to remember how this won't last. How fast she grows. How in a week and a half, we're going to introduce bottles, and millie won't be dependant on me for nourishment. I try to remember how she's already 17 days old. I try not to think about her driving, and going to college, and getting married. I try not to cry in the middle of the night, when I'm just looking down at those eyes, holding her, feeling her grow.

and then there are days, the kind of days that you tell stories about and laugh later down the road. days when I have to wash my bedsheets twice because of spitting up and accidents involving not putting a new diaper down fast enough. or when Amelia gets 3 new diapers in the matter of 15 minutes. or when I've done everything in my power, and Amelia is still crying crying crying. or when I realize my back feels like it's going to break because I'm trying to rock Amelia to sleep so often. or when I finally have to ask for help in the middle of the night, waking Jeremy up, because I can't take the crying anymore. or when nothing about my body feels the same- because there's so many changes from pregnancy, and pre-pregnancy that sometimes you feel so frustrated and helpless.

every decision we make around the house revolves around Amelia. when or if we leave for events, because she might get hungry on the drive, or during. How I plan my day with her sleep schedule (right now, I'm choosing blogging over laundry). When I can shower, do I have time to cook dinner, should we pick her up or let her fuss a little? Even such simple things like picking my outfit for the day, because is it convenient to nurse with it?

motherhood is oh so hard, demanding, exhausting. but it is incredible.

and to think, the only thing I knew about babies when Amelia was born was to support her head when I held her. It's amazing how natural motherhood is. 17 days. and it feels like I've never done anything except.

I just try to remember those eyes.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

our love garden, week 7

I haven't updated on our love garden in a while.
with good reason.
we've been busy, and the weeds kind of took over. :(

we let grandma bodtcher watch amelia
and these two, exhausted parents weeded.
Jer did our two rows of peppers,
and I did 2 pumpkins and 6 tomato plants.

Jer yells over, "babe, take a break if you need one."
I say back, "oh, you too! don't feel like you have to one-up me, just because I gave birth last week!"

I definitely gave in first.
man, we definitely soaked in that sun!
hard to imagine our love ever growing cold in that weather. 
(been listening to "all I want is you" by coldplay on repeat lately)

oh, and speaking of weeds:

this little one has been growing like one!
check out her sweet rolls!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

birthing amelia

short version:
My water broke around 4 pm on June 7th. We got to the hospital around 10 pm, and I was still 3.5 cm dilated. By midnight June 8th, I was only 4 cm dilated. At 2 am, still 4 cm dilated, I was started on a pitocin drip. By 4 am, with multiple dosage increases on the pitocin, I was only dilated to a 4.5. Dr. Thackeray arrived around 9:30 am to "rebreak my water" (still 4.5 cm). I had the most painful contractions for the next hour and a half, only to be dilated to a 5. The painful contractions continued and I progressed, and within the next hour my cervix dilated to a 9. I gave birth to Amelia Ray within the next 20 minutes at 11:41 am. all without pain medication, mind you.

very long version:
June 7th. it was a beautiful, ordinary thursday. I had had my "today is the day" mantra for weeks, and was planning my schedules only to the next day, just in case. I walked my 2.5 miles for the day, showered, worked on Jeremy's halloween costume (we are going to be the flintstones this year!), drove to murray for a hairtrim with my sister in law, melissa jane.

I had to be at the U for a SAC meeting at 3:30 (I was really hoping that I would have had my baby before then). during the meeting, I felt something wet in my underwear, and I knew for sure I didn't pee myself. because I had been losing my mucous plug for days now, I wasn't too concerned. but, it kept coming, slowly. when I went into the bathroom after the meeting, I realized I had soaked through my dress! I called jeremy on the way home and we agreed that I should call the on-call doctor. when I called the number, and the after hours obgyn message told me to go to the hospital if I thought my water had broke.

We have had a couple of previous false alarms. and really didn't want to get our hopes up. I was stuck between insisting that it was my water, and just playing it off that it was just in my head, that maybe I just peed a little (grr but I didn't!) So jer and I decided that I would go to my ward baby shower, and then head to the hospital afterwards. before I left, jeremy stares me square in the eyes and says, "if your water really did break, she'll probably be born tomorrow, which is our one year sealing anniversary." I smiled. we had planned a temple day for the next day to celebrate. I secretly hoped that we wouldn't make it- I mean, what's more celestial than giving birth?

The shower was great! The food was delicious, the gifts were so useful and helpful, and the ladies were all up for offering mommy advice to this new mom. I had advice ranging from getting enough sleep, to the best kind of breast pump, to delivery methods. I got in my car thinking how sweet all these ladies were and how fun that I got to get to know them better! I checked my phone and Jeremy had texted me, freaking out style. it was 9 pm. whooops!

I got home, and collette (who was over working on the tree), informed me that jeremy had been freaking out. I guess he thought my "water breaking" was pretty legitimate. I was still in denial, but loved how concerned this sweet guy was. jeremy carried our hospital bag and carseat into the car and we sped to the hospital. jeremy had this determined, nervous look on his face. we held hands and pondered in silence if our lives were going to be forever changed tonight.

10 pm. we arrived at the hospital, and the triage nurse evaluated me and monitored the babe. my water was legit!!! ...but I hadn't progressed any further than my 3.5 cm and 80% effacement. The nurse told me that I needed to progress steadily or I would have to be started on a pitocin drip; she said I could walk around for the next hour, but "walking to help progression is just a myth" (what!? I had been forcing myself to walk at least 2.5 miles everyday!!!!!!!!!) still, we were estatic. it was finally happening! our baby girl was actually actually coming, after 8 long months of waiting! jeremy called his mom, julie, who screamed her head off (she had an educational trip to boston planned from the 10th to the 17th, and was so worried she was miss the birth of amelia). I called my mom, who worried about how bad my contractions were, because of my broken water (I told her I wasn't even feeling most of my contractions yet).

After an hour of walking around the l&d wing, my night nurse came to recheck me. 4 cm. not much, but enough to avoid the pitocin for now. by the way, I so despise "getting checked." It's not just uncomfortable, it is so painful that it requires a good 10 minutes for me to recover. and I felt like I had to pretend I was fine, because if I complained about getting checked, boy was I in for a long night for my preferred unmedicated birth plan.

It was a little after midnight. june 8th had began. I decided I was too tired to continue walking, and I wanted to save my energy for active labor and the actual delivery. I was only having irregular contractions here and there. jeremy watched tv and I dosed off. my nurse came to check me again around 2 am. still 4. it was time to start the pitocin.

the dosage was started at 4 mL/hr. it was my first iv, ever. and it burned like hell. (see, with my wimpyness? I just thought for sure I was crazy for having an unmed preference). my nurse increased the dosage every half hour by another 4 mL/hr. by my second increase, I could feel regular contractions every 3 minutes. I told my nurse that they were about a 6 on a 1-10 pain scale. This was going off of my previous very super painful mentral cramps. at 4 am, I was rechecked again- 4.5 cm. the nursed increased my dosage again.

I had my first panic attack right about here. 6 hours at the hospital and I had only progressed 1 cm. plus I was on pitocin, which scared me. first, because I have pretty much avoided meds my whole life, and second, because everyone tells you horror labor contraction stories about it! my contractions were already pretty regular, and increasing in pain every time my dosage was increased. I was starving, and I really had hoped to labor mostly at home, be at the hospital for 3 hours tops before giving birth. Jeremy calmed me down pretty quick by saying the perfect things, and we tried taking another walk around the l&d wing. unfortunately, you have to have continous baby monitoring with the pitocin drip.

after that, I decided I just wanted to sleep. I remember briefly meeting my morning nurse around 7 am, and telling her my pain level was still a 6, maybe 7, before going back to sleep. between my night and morning nurse, my dosage was up to 16 mL/hr between 9 and 9:30 am.

and that's when dr. thackeray came in. he asked me how my contractions were. "painful, at like a 6" jer thinks he was pretty skeptical, since I was sleeping through all of them. he checked me again. and I was still at 4.5 cm. since I was only partly awake, I didn't understand this next procedure as well as I needed to, but essentially he had to "rebreak" or finish breaking my water. most girls describe having their water broken as a slight, painless pressure. NO. this was the most awful, painful, sharp thing I had experienced up to then. I almost cried, really. with tears in my eyes, I asked him what the plan was now. dr. thackeray is a such a calm, good-natured doctor, and he explained to me that my contractions would probably be coming a lot quicker and a lot more painful, and hopefully push me into active labor. and then, he left.

and my contractions started. most painful things I had ever experienced. no seriously. at one point I told my nurse "scratch my previous contractions being at a 6-7, they were only a 1. and these contractions are a 9!" I was trying my hardest to keep calm, to stay relaxed. jeremy was telling me to breathe, and massaging me in all the right places, just like we learned in lamaze. I can't believe I agreed to get up to walk through these contractions. when I sat down to urinate, I literally thought I was going to die from the pain in my crotch. I was shaking uncontrollably, and jeremy was on his knees reminding me to breathe. I started not being able to "just breathe" through my contractions, I had to moan. my morning nurse came in and asked me if I would like an epidural. I pretty much didn't look at her and said "please don't offer me that!" and then she kind of laughed and said "oh right, it says on your board- preference: unmed!" oh, I was so annoyed.

jeremy spent the next little bit, soothing me, massaging me, and telling me how strong I was, to just breathe, to focus on the orange dvd light, to progressively relax, etc. etc. etc. I spent the next little bit trying not to clench every muscle in my body, and to not cry. these minutes passed by soooo slowly. each contraction started with a lighter pressure at the top of my tummy and undulated painfully down to my crotch. my morning nurse came in at about 10 am, and told me that the anesthesiologist at a c-section at 10:30, so if I wanted an epidural this was the time to get it. I was too exhausted to be furious. all I said was "alright." she returned around 10:15, and told me that her other patient was dilated to a 10, and she had to be there for her delivery, so another nurse would be filling in for a little while.

at this point, I was having a few meltdowns, mostly from this mortifyingly unbearable pain. jeremy told me if I could just make it 15 more minutes, I was safe from the epidural, for at least another hour. my new nurse, heidi, came in and nicely asked if she could check me. I, of course, agreed.

5. 5 cm dilated after the most painful hour and a half of my life. I knew first time labors were long. this was when I couldn't stop sobbing. this was when I realized I couldn't go through with my birth plan unmedicated. there was no way I could survive this much pain and only dilate a half cm every hour and a half. no way. I started screaming that I needed my epidural, "I need it! I need it! I can't do this anymore!" jeremy's face turned pale, and I turned to look at the clock. 10:25 am. I had to go at least another hour, the anesthesiologist was in his c-section.

the next hour I went back and forth between screaming "I can't do this, I need my epidural" and "I can do this! I don't want an epidural!!! I don't want my legs to be numb! I don't want a cathether or an UTI! I don't want my baby to have a lower heartrate when she comes out!" and then I was just screaming. screaming bloody murder and crying my eyes out. I could NOT believe the pain!! heidi came in and told me to try moaning (not screaming) to help me breathe better. I tried it. pretty much I just ended up holding my breath to keep from screaming. jeremy suggested that I turn to a side-lying position to help with labor progression. the contractions worsen- I didn't know that was even possible! jeremy just kept talking to me, whispering sweet nothings like, "we'll get to take her on walks around the temple" and adding in the word "flaccid" whenever he could (what would I do without this guy?) I kept checking the clock to see how much time I had before the anesthesiologist would be done with his c-section.

around 11:15, I told jeremy "I think I need to push." out of nowhere. I'm pretty sure I said that before it registered in my brain that there was a burning down low, and my contractions were coming on top of each other so I never had a break from the pain. jeremy obviously wanted to call heidi to check me again. to which I irrationally sobbed, "nooooooooooooooooooooooooo!! don't call her!! I don't want her to check me!!!!!!" I just couldn't take another 15 minutes without the epidural, and knowing I was only somewhere around 5.5. lucky for jer, heidi walked in right then. he automatically said "uhh, she says she feels like she has to push." I shot him a half-dirty, half-desperate look, and before heidi could say anything, I begged through my crying, "I don't want to be checked. please don't check me!!! please don't!!" together, heidi and jeremy calmed me through my distraught, delirious wailing. heidi suggested that I turn to my other side. I have no idea what her logical excuse was, because I knew turning was going to be the most painful thing to do right then.

I slowly inched to my back, and BAM! Heidi reaches her fingers up and checks me. before I could object or get furious, I realized I didn't feel any pain. heidi announced that I was dilated to a 9. A NINE!!!!! jeremy was in my face again, "A NINE, BABE!!!!!! YOU. ARE. THERE. YOU CAN DO THIS!!!" the contractions were coming worse than ever and I was still doubtful, still considering that epidural. (ha! there was no way I would have gotten it then with all my squirming!)

this is where things started becoming hazy. the lights were dimming, and it felt like I was going in and out of a brown haze. At some point, I was given an oxygen mask, because the baby's heartrate was too low. and then heidi was making me drink apple juice to increase the baby's blood sugar. and then an aide was in the room holding my left leg for me, and heidi was holding my right leg, and she gave me the O-K to hold my breath, chin down, and push as hard as I could for 10 seconds. and then, somewhere it was announced that I was a full 10 cm dilated. and then, heidi was telling me she can see my baby's head. she called for a mirror to be brought in, and paged over her walkie, "we need dr. thackeray in room 1, she is crowning, and we can see hair!" from this point on, all I can remember is pushing for 10 seconds at a time, 3 times per contraction. It felt SOOO good to push- I was finally doing something about these painful contractions, instead of just enduring through them.

(present tense) dr. thackeray enters, just as calm as ever (how I love this guy!), and instructs me when to push. at some point I give up on looking at the mirror because the lack of progression was so discouraging. at some point, I start feeling the burn. I knew this was it. this is where I knew I would be able to give birth how I wanted to. I was pushing as hard as I could. full 10 seconds, full 3 sets. heidi and my aide and jeremy were counting the seconds for me.

all of a sudden, dr. thackeray says, "liana, I need you to really push. that baby's heartrate is really low." jeremy tells me later that they have also paged the NICU nurses to standby. and then I'm pushing, as hard as I can. I am completely breathless. and finally, her head came out, wrapped around was the umbilical cord once. I did not feel the instant relief I was promised after the head was out. the baby's hand was coming out before her shoulders. this is when dr. thackeray tells me to give him a medium push (whatever that means!?) I think I just pushed for 5 seconds. and he gets her whole arm out, before okaying me to resume pushing. I swear all of this happened so fast.

the next thing I know, it is 11:41, and she is on my chest, purple, with her eyes open, not crying. everything was so surreal. jeremy couldn't stop saying, "you did it, babe!" and  I couldn't stop saying, "she's perfect! she's perfect! she's perfect!" Amelia Ray was finally here. in the flesh, in my arms. and of course, I am forever changed. and I feel infinite.

jeremy cuts the cord, and they take her, and instantly I feel a longing for her.

while they weigh her, dr. thackeray helps me deliver the placenta and sews up my 1st degree laceration. I ask where my belly went. and everyone laughs.

somehow, everyone slowly clears out. it's just Jeremy, Amelia, and I.

and the three of us share the most.perfect.moment of my life.

jeremy, the most perfect dad ever, starts crying.
it is a silent, beautiful, peaceful, sacred, indescribable moment.
we are family.

and that hour passes by too quickly. heidi helps me up to the bathroom, and assists me with the transfer to the maternity wing. I thank her for being the best nurse a girl could ask her. she is such a sweetheart!

I still look at Amelia and can't imagine that my body grew her. She is the most beautiful baby, and sometimes I cry, just staring at her. I am so thankful for an amazing life partner in jeremy, and I am so thankful for our little family. I wrote down everything I could remember about June 8th, but I will never be able to describe to you how I felt. I will never be able to express in words the moments I first became a mother.

she has her daddy's hair, receding hairline and all.

and our first family pictures.

Monday, June 4, 2012


my dearest,

we are caught in the moment between
where i am yours and you are mine and
where part of our hearts will be ripped and divided and shared with another.

any moment can push us to where we're no longer in between.

we will make many,
and grow many,
with our love.
you and i, together.

you will keep soothing my fears away,
and i will keep helping you speak,
and together, we'll keep planning our future,
day by day,
til we're old and grey.

every moment with you, i will cherish
i believe in forevers
every moment with you,
just you and i.

i vow to this life to you
no matter how long and how hard and how scary.
i promise to trust you
if you promise to forgive me
through all the changings of life.

caught in this terrifying tmoment,
right before the next,
there's no one i'd rather have,
holding my hand.

i love you eternally,
your mrs. bodtcher

Saturday, June 2, 2012


didn't think we'd make it,
but I guess we did.

I've been spending my days in lounge wear,
and wondering what I'm forgetting.
(I must be forgetting something if she's not here yet).
all the while, still walking and walking.

we had an intense night on memorial day.
2 hours of contractions:
3 minutes apart, lasting for an average of a minute each.
almost went into the hospital,
but decided to take a bath first.
BAM. contractions just stopped.

haven't had anything patterned since then.
my wednesday checkup confirmed that I'm still making progress,
but my hopes of her coming this weekend are definitely diminishing.

in the meantime,
my legs and hands are still swelling,
my stretchmarks are growing,
my patience wears thinner and thinner as it grows hotter and hotter,
and I've been filling my time with idle crafts around the house.

one of these days we'll get to meet miss amelia.
one of these days, I will be a mommy.