Monday, August 20, 2012

Caroline's Announcement

Caroline's going to be a big sister!!!!! February 28th 2013. We're all so excited!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Gone but not forgotten

Tuesday, June 19th began like most other days. My brother and his kids were in town visiting. I realized my phone had a dead battery and needed to be plugged in. Not long after I plugged it in did it begin it's assault of beeps. I saw that I had two new voice messages and sat down at my kitchen table to listen to them. The next hour or so can only be compared to some sort of nightmare. I learned that my dear, sweet, best friend had taken her own life the day before. Today. Tuesday. Was her 27th birthday. I can't put into words the kind of despair I have been feeling. I attempted to channel my sadness into remembering her and thought a slide show commemorating her life would be a good place to start. Thank you to everyone who sent in photos. Life will never be the same without her.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


  Yeah, we did the pumpkin patch.  

Thursday, August 25, 2011

One year

One year ago today, in the wee hours of the morning little Caroline came into this world. To date I haven't documented her birth story, although I've told it many a time, I figured what better day than this to recount the miraculous wonder that is her very own story.

My due date was August 23, 2010. As many of you know that is also my husband and I's anniversary. Whenever the due date was brought up I'd make sure whomever I was talking to knew that most babies don't come on their due dates and I hoped she'd wait a few days after so we could have our special day, one last time, just us two. However, if the subject was brought up those last few weeks I'm sure I told you how immensely happy I would be if she'd come that very second. Well, much to my relief she waited. I remember early on in my pregnancy a friend of mine and I were looking at a calendar and it just so happened that a full moon was on the 24th. When I saw that I said "she'll probably be born the that day". The onslaught of "where's that baby" and "haven't you had that baby yet" just about made me lose that last shred of decency I had at nearly 10 months pregnant. Like I wanted to keep her in there till she was ready for kindergarten or something. Sheesh. Yes, being super pregnant is so much fun, I was just hoping to be the size of three people for as long as possible... yeah. Just a tip, if you know someone who is very pregnant, go ahead and do them a favor by NOT pestering them as to when that little person will be coming out. Instead, talk to them about normal things, see if she wants you to bring over a movie or some food, or if you can run an errand for her... something friendly like that. Back to the story.

On Tuesday, August 24 I was jolted from my nap around 4 pm by a very intense tightening in my abdomen. I gave it little thought and got up with the little energy I had left to see if I could get anything done. The tightening kept happening but wasn't very intense and was completely irregular. At 5 Chris asked me if I'd like to go with him to CD World across town. Of course I wanted to come as I had read that if you have false labor pains you should do something to get your mind off of it. I didn't want to say anything to him so as not to get his hopes up but spilled the beans on the way to the store. "I don't want to get your hopes up or anything, but I've been having contractions for the last hour or so". When we got to CD World I walked around and looked at the selection and stopped every 10-15 minutes or so to calmly breath through the "tightening". I watched the clock on the wall and realized that the contractions were about 45 sec long but had no regularity to them. As we left the store I became overwhelmed with the most intense hunger I had ever felt. The sickest part was that I was desperately craving Taco Bell... ugh. I think we ordered 6 bean burritos and 4 tacos to split between the two of us. I ate nearly my entire share before we made it back to the house all the while stopping to breath through contractions between bites. Again, I say ugh. I was still ravenously hungry when we got home and proceeded to eat half of Chris' food as well. Then it was time to watch The Bachelor Pad on Hulu (we got in the very horrible habit of watching all the despicable shows on Hulu while I was pregnant). Chris so nonchalantly commenting on the behavior of the characters on the show with me leaning against the table saying "DON'T TALK TO ME RIGHT NOW" (insert heavy breathing sounds). During the show I lost all ability to focus on much so I started writing down when my contractions started and stopped. The first recorded contraction began at 6:26 pm. I was told in birthing class that 511 is your ticket. Contractions 5 minutes apart, lasting for 1 minute, for one hour. Since my contractions weren't concurrently occurring I didn't think it was time to go in. My last recorded contraction was at 9:54pm and at this point they were getting pretty intense.
I call the hospital-
Me:"Hold on a second please" (Deep breathing sounds)
Me: "Hi, sorry, I was having a contraction. I was wondering when I should come in?"
Nurse: "You should go ahead and come in and get checked if you can't talk through a contraction."
I walked into the living area where Chris was playing a bowling game on the Wii
Me: "the nurse said we should come in"
Chris: "okay"- as he tosses the Wii mote for another bowl.
Me: "So we need to go NOW"
Apparently the urgency in my voice was enough because it was like the house was on fire... I realized we were going to forget something if we rushed out so I told him to slow down and let's try to make sure we remember everything we needed. Yeah, we still forgot some stuff.

We lived at 1st and A and the hospital was on 16th and G so the trip was short but you wouldn't have known it from my complaining. "We need to get a smoother riding car" I sputtered during my first contraction confined to the sitting position. "I WANT TO GET OUT" is all I could say for the last few blocks, all the while Chris reassuring me that we were almost there, this was also when he began making jokes. My brother has a cadillac and Chris mentioned that we should've borrowed it for a 'smoother' ride... my sense of humor was lacking at the time. Looking back it was hilarious.

After what seemed like eternity we FINALLY arrived at the hospital and they checked me and I was at 6 cm. Since my mind had gone out the window when I couldn't think through a contraction I said "so do I go home?" I had no idea at what cm they decided to keep you. "Yeah you go home" the nurse states with some sort of sarcasm that was lost on me. I started to grab my stuff "no way! You're staying" she laughs... After they checked on the baby they let me go on a wireless monitor and in to the tub I went!!!! There are lots of exclamations there because I went my whole pregnancy with out one. The bath was very comforting and apparently I was in there for a few hours (didn't seem that long to me then or in hindsight) until my water broke. During contractions I would grab the side of the tub with my right hand and the 'help' bar with the left and writhe back and forth... I know that doesn't sound relaxing but it actually made the contractions less intense. For me contractions were like super outer space pressure on the inside of my tummy and the energy had to be moved. So I did this by moving my body. During one of these twisting moves my water broke. It felt like a rip and then a gush of water. It broke at the end of my contraction and I immediately stood up declaring that my water broke. The nurse came in and I was a little confused at what to do next. I asked her if I could get out and she said of course "but I'll leak all over the floor" I tell her. She assured me it would be fine and when I asked "well what about my bath" she told me I could get back in later. She might as well have told me I could drink from the toilet later too. I let her know I didn't want to sit in whatever had just spewed out of me and she said they could run me another one later if I'd like... that was nice.  I got out of the tub and stood in my delivery room. Now that I was without things to grab and twist I started some stompy form of African dancing. African dancing with lots of deep breathing that looked something more like heavy blowing (Chris was nice enough to reenact a bit of it a few days later). Again, this movement made the contractions less intense. There were some other jokes made at this time (thank God nothing to do with my moving around) at which I let Chris know that it was time for 'no more jokes'. I also told everyone in the room that I needed them to sit down as it was very distracting for people to be walking around and talking while I was having a contraction. They kindly obliged. Then began transition... O... M... G... they tell you all about transition in birthing class but there is no way they could have EVER prepared me for that. Up until that point I had time to rest between contractions so it felt really manageable. Well, that went out the door. They got right on top of each other and now I was on my knees with my upper body draped over an exercise ball. At one point I remember looking at Chris (who was kneeling on the floor next to me) and telling him how hard it was with what I figure was the most pitiful and vulnerable face that man, or any human for that matter, has ever seen me make. It was around 2 am at this point and I was on the brink of exhaustion. I kept saying I didn't think I could do "this" for another hour. My OB checked me and I was still at 8. Finally I said "okay, I need a brake, I'm ready to have something". They called the anesthesiologist and then I had another big contraction... then another... and another... and after one more I started grunting. My OB says "Caitlin, what's going on here, what's with the grunting?" "I don't know" I grunted "It just feels good". So she checked me again and glory be she uttered what I had been waiting to here for 10 months "you're at 10, it's time to push". Yay for the anesthesiologist sleeping through his pager or whatever he did that made him unavailable to  give me the drugs that I had firmly said so many times I didn't want. Okay, so at this point Yay doesn't even begin to cover it. I pushed for about an hour. When I got up on the bed from the floor I told my OB that after all the work I'd done she better not tell me she 's going to cut this thing out of me. She kindly assured me that would not be happening. Now that my contractions slowed to a snail pace I had time to talk. Go figure. I told everyone in the room that it was very important that they get the birth time, as my friend was an astrologer and needed that information. I had been really super nice through the whole experience saying 'thank you so much' when someone did something for me or told me I was doing a good job (never in my life have words of encouragement gone so far) as I started to get ready to push my doctor told me that I could boss them around and get mad (kind of wierd now that I think about it, maybe motivation to push?) so I demanded a fan... like this 'Can someone get me a fan?" in a louder voice than I had used all day. I was a sweaty mess. I also let them know that I understood why women got epidurals now. When they asked me if I would like a mirror I scoffed and said "the good Lord put me eyes on this end and that on the other so I wouldn't have to see this". They asked if I wanted to feel the hair which repulsed me just as much. For me, I just wanted to see her and hold her when she was completely out of my body. Bleh, they also did me the wondrous favor of asking Chris if HE would like to look. THANKS doc. At 3:06 am she was out. It was such a relief. All I could hear, all that mattered in the world from that second on, was that beautiful cry.

I can't even begin to write this with out huge tears welling in my eyes. I'm still coming to grips with the fact that you are 1 year old... I have a 1 year old daughter. I've never loved anything so selflessly and so wholly in my entire life. You were the missing piece to my soul and I will never be able to convey how deep, true and fierce my love for you will always be. You are perfect in every sense of the word. You're extremely intelligent even at your age, as strong willed as they come and you light up anyone's day who is fortunate enough to come into contact with you. Thank you for choosing me for your mom. Thank you for sharing your beautiful life with me and making my existence make sense. I love you.
Happy 1st Birthday.

3 days before she came.

Sweet Caroline

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

30 Days...

Notice that is. Today, along with our rent check we included our 30 day notice. We moved to this live/work loft in May of 09' and have since out grown it's amenities with the addition of our little Miss Caroline. We are ready for a home with a yard, a bathtub and rooms that have doors you can close. It's a bitter sweet time as we are also giving our 30 day notice to the Eugene/Springfield area. April 1st we will officially be residents of Portland. I'm not sure that it has sunk in yet but already I am feeling the pangs of sadness as I leave the convenience of seeing my friends and family. Luckily this move is only a few hours away and not thousands of miles. Portland will open many new avenues for Chris as an artist and for me as a burgeoning mother. This move is much different from the previous few that Chris and I have made with each other, as this time we have a 6 month old and a very large shop to move along with the house. I guess what I'm saying here is... we need help. Lots of it. So to all our wonderful friends whatever support you can offer will be appreciated beyond expression.