Love, Your Neurotic Mother

September 8, 2010 § 1 Comment

Dear Miss Ainsley,

You have PERFECTED a new skill over the past week and half…

rolling over.

My littly roly poly, you are all over the place. I can scarecely put you down anywhere before you make your move.  Back to stomach. Stomach to back. You can do both of these, yet when you roll from your back to your stomach, you get so mad about being on your stomach you somehow forget that you can – on your own – flip back over to the side you like better. You usually end up frustrated and fussy at that point.

Exhibit A of the fussy…

There is, however, one instance where you throughly enjoy your stomach. And that would be bedtime. And that would be the reason your mama is a crazy person, lacking the good sleep she was getting just a few short days ago.

I’m a mad woman. I’m so paranoid about you sleeping on your stomach. There’s something called SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) that can happen to babies, usually in their cribs. Mama has made the mistake of googling (you’ll learn about Google soon enough) way too much information about it and that’s why I am so worried about you. No matter how much I turn you on your back, you immediately flip yourself right back over.

Your Grammy tells me I need to chill out. She says that I slept on my stomach the whole time I was a baby and it didn’t hurt me and I turned out just fine.  (Well, that last part is somewhat debatable)

Thank God for our little video monitor. I can just glance over to my nightstand in the middle of the night and take a look at what you’re doing. However, I still get up to check and make sure you are breathing periodically. I can’t imagine how crazy I’d be if I didn’t have that monitor.

My reason for telling you all this is that I’ve decided this is going to be my first lesson in letting go. You are happy sleeping on your stomach. Even though you are a great sleeper regardless, you sleep even better on your stomach. You can lift your head up and like I said you are able to flip both directions. I need to worry less about your ability to take care of yourself in this instance. You’re getting to be a big girl as you start tackling all these milestones and I know there will be much tougher tests for your mama along the way.

I know every night God is watching over you as you sleep and that is where I will find my comfort in all this.

One thing I’m not letting go of….I’ll still put you to bed on your back each and every night.

Hey, you can’t blame a gal for trying.


Your crazy, neurotic mama


My First Big Round of Mommy Guilt

September 1, 2010 § 3 Comments

So, in my last post I raved about breastfeeding. I talked about how much I love it as a bonding experience with Ainsley and that I was surprised at how much I enjoy it. I talked about how proud I was that with my pumping each day at work she had not had a drop of formula yet.

Well, just a short week and a half after my post….FAIL in the exclusive breastfeeding department. My supply took a little bit of a nose-dive and her little appetite went on the rise (to a not-so-little appetite).

I was sick to my stomach last Monday when I picked my sweet girl up from daycare and they told me that the daily supply I was providing just wasn’t cutting it.  She acted hungry after each bottle and went through my small frozen supply (Because my company paid for my breast pump I had to wait for them to order it and received it only shortly before I went back to work – thus my back-up supply was minimal).

I immediately felt like a failure.  We were doing so good. Why had things all of sudden changed? Why couldn’t I keep up my end of the bargain? Every day last week, each of my three daily treks up to the 5th floor lactation room I held my own private pity party thinking about what a failure I was…how I was failing my child.

Yeah, I know, I’m an idiot.

This week I snapped back to reality.

Each afternoon, daycare hands over an infant “daily sheet” is what they call them. Josh and I call them “progress reports.” 🙂 Basically it gives me the run down of when and how much she ate, her naps and her diaper changes. They also include any important notes or comments. A recent one included the comment, “Ainsley is doing GREAT with the formula.”

Of course she is. She happy, satisfied and nourished. And what else is there to be concerned with?

Absolutely nothing. Certainly not my self-involved thoughts of the past couple weeks.

First bout of mommy-guilt…..conquered.

Sweet words for my Girl

August 17, 2010 § 3 Comments

My sweetest Ainsley,

I have been terrible about keeping up with this blog. My excuse is that I spend every moment I can soaking up your sweet coos and smiles and writing has become an afterthought. I’m going to be better about it though.

Holy cow, you will be 12 weeks tomorrow. It is crazy how quickly 12 weeks has passed, but at the same time it’s hard to remember my life without you.

Looking back at pictures of your first couple of weeks, I cannot believe how tiny you were. It has been such a joy to watch your little milestones along the way.

Each of your check-ups at the doctor has proven you are perfect in every way and you are progessing just as you should be.

At about 8 weeks, your little personality really began to shine through. You started doling out smiles and giggles by the dozen. And stealing my heart more and more with each one.

At 12 weeks you are soooo close to holding your head up without a problem. You’re still a little wobbly but doing great.

I’m still exclusively breastfeeding you. You haven’t had a drop of formula yet.  It was definitely a challenge to get accustomed pumping 3 times a day at work but I’ve got the routine down pat and am providing plenty for you at daycare each day while we are away from each other.

I absolutely love breastfeeding and never would have imagined that would be the case. It is pretty incredible to know that I am able to provide all the nutrition in the world that you need to grow and thrive. Not to mention the connection I have with you in the process…your little hand rubbing my side as you eat….making the sweetest eye contact with you….it all takes my breath away. You take my breath away.

No only do you amaze me every day, but I am continuously in awe at what a wonderful daddy you have. He loves you more than you will ever know. You’ve already got him wrapped around your finger and in your back pocket. You’ll want to take note of that for the future when you start to have an interest in things like make-up and boys.

There are not enough fluffy adjectives in the world to describe the pure joy you’ve brought to my life.  That hair. Those eyes. That dimple. You are the best thing I’ve ever done.

I love you to the moon and back, sweet girl.

Your Mama

The Story of Ainsley’s Arrival

June 22, 2010 § 4 Comments

Yes! Our sweetest little miracle finally made her appearance and she’s much more than our hearts even dared dream.

On Monday, May 24, I was 39 weeks and 2 days and we headed to the doctor for our weekly appointment. Once I started getting closer to my due date I made a conscious decision not to get my hopes up about this little girl coming early or even on time, so I wasn’t expecting too much at our check-up.

My doctor checked and I was still only 1 cm which I had been for two weeks. Our sweet angel was definitely going to take her time it seemed. As we discussed everything my doctor noticed that my BP was somewhat elevated. I have chronic hypertension and was on medication throughout the pregnancy but my BP had been pretty much perfect at each and every doctor appointment. She was a little concerned that it was above what had been normal for me. She stepped out of the room for a moment and consulted with one the high-risk OBs and she agreed….simply as a precaution and to avoid any complications, it would be best to go ahead and induce me.

So, before we left the doctor that Monday they did a non stress test to make sure everything was okay with the baby and things looked perfect. They instructed us to check in to Vanderbilt at 8:30 that night.

Josh and I experienced just about every emotion possible at that point. We were excited, nervous, shocked, over-the-moon happy. All these months of preparation and the time had finally come. It would not be long before we got to meet our baby girl!!

We left the doctor’s office and headed home to get all of our stuff together. We already had our bags pretty much packed, but it was nice to have to time to think clearly about adding anything we were missing. We even vacuumed and did a quick cleaning before we left too!

So, once we had everything ready we said goodbye to the dog and cat and headed out. Since I was allowed to have a meal before checking in to the hospital we ate dinner at Panera Bread. Yummm. And conveniently located next door to Panera….Ben and Jerry’s!! So, of course we made a pit stop there too. 🙂

After that, it was off to Vanderbilt to check in. Once they got me settled in a room, they hooked me up to the monitors to track my contractions and the baby’s heartbeat and got my IV going. Throughout the night they gave me doses of a medicine to get my cervix ready for the induction. And I tried to get some good rest, but it was hard. I was so excited to meet my baby girl.

So, the next morning at about 10:30 the doctors decided I was ready to go and they started me on the pitocin to induce labor. By about noon, I was having regular contractions. They weren’t too bad and I was able to stand them for a few hours. By about 3pm I was between 4 and 5 cm dialated and the contractions were starting to come stronger. I asked for the epidural at this point. Unfortunately, every room in labor and delivery was full and lots of women were having babies, which meant lots of women wanting epidurals. Anesthesiology was backed up and they didn’t make it to my room until about 4:30 and by that point my contractions were kicking my butt.

After they put in my epidural, I had instant relief simply because of the pain medicine they put in my IV. However, we did have a scare right after that. Ainsley’s heart rate dropped really quickly. It was an intense and very scary moment. All sorts of doctors and nurses rushed in the room and they gave me oxygen, had me move positions and worked to get her heart rate back up. Luckily everything went smoothly and returned to normal, but it was one of the scariest experiences I’ve had.

I was great for about an hour and a half after the epidural was administered and couldn’t really feel the contractions. But after that initial dose of medicine wore off it seemed that my epidural was not taking and I was starting to really feel the pain of my contractions again. Pushing that little button they give you to administer extra doses was not helping either. So, at one point I had three different anesthesiologists in my room trying to figure out why things weren’t working right. And finally into the evening they decided that it just wasn’t inserted correctly. They would need to take it out and re-do it. WHAT? Are you kidding me?

So, as my contractions raged on, they made the second attempt at my epidural. And guess what? I still got hardly any relief! Ahhhh why was this not working? I was in some serious pain and was not sure I was going to make it. As we got later into the evening, I was dialated almost 9 cm and there wasn’t much more the anesthesiologists could do for me. Sad face. 😦

I was sort of freaking out. I could not get control. And then this WONDERFUL nurse snapped me back to reality. She asked me if I wanted to end up having a C-section. Of course my answer was NO. She said if that was that case that I needed to focus. Focus on my breathing and focus on getting my little girl here. And to NOT focus so much on the pain. It really hit home with me and I was able to get my bearings again.

By 1 am, now May 26, I felt like I was ready to push and lo’ and behold my epidural had finally kicked in and I was not feeling the contractions as badly. Thank GOD! Because pushing was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I pushed for almost 2 hours and FINALLY at 2:56 am Ainsley Reese McCormack arrived in this world.

Daddy cutting the cord

We had another scare as Miss Ainsley arrived. She ingested meconium (her first bowel movement) into her lungs during labor. So, right after delivery she was a little shell-shocked and had some breathing problems. It’s one of those things you don’t envision for your delivery. While we got to hold her for a moment, they had to work to clear her airway and make sure she was 100% okay. So, it wasn’t long after these pics that she was whisked away to the NICU to be taken care of.

Before we were moved to a postpartum room, Josh and I got to stop by the NICU and hold our sweet baby again.

Once we got settled in our new room, Josh and I tried to get some rest. It was hard with all the nurses coming in and out. By about 9 am, we were ready to go see our baby girl again since she was still in the NICU. I got to breast feed her while we were there too. And talk about amazing. Watching this little tiny human know exactly what to do sent chills through me.

Unfortunately, we had to leave her in the NICU a bit longer. When checking her out, they discovered a heart murmur and had to do an EKG to check out what was going on. Turns out it was a VSD (ventricular septal defect), which is a defect (or small hole) in the septum. After Ainsley’s tests were run, the cardiologist informed us that the hole was a very small one and would most likely heal on its own.

Finally by about 5 pm, our sweet angel was cleared from the NICU and brought to us in our room! It was such a relief to finally have her with us.

There are no words for the joy that this tiny little human being has brought to our lives. It is truly amazing how in one instant all your priorities can shift to something completely different. It’s already hard to remember our life before Ainsley Reese blessed us with her presence.

So many times throughout the day I’ll look at her and think about all those kicks and turns and movements she made while inside my belly and it takes my breath away to think that here she is now – so perfect and beautiful. An incredible mix of me and my best friend in the whole world.

May 26, 2010 — definitely the best day ever.

Oh so close

May 22, 2010 § Leave a comment

Exactly one week to go until my due date. It is so crazy to think that our little girl could make an appearance at any moment! Yesterday, I mentioned to Josh that this could be the last weekend we have where it is just the two of us. Whoa.

I’m honestly surprised I haven’t started freaking out yet, but I’m really just ready to hold her in my arms and kiss all over her sweet, soft baby skin.

I dont’t really have much to report. We’re just kind of waiting. So are our parents who on full-time “baby alert” and have their own bags packed to drive up from Mississippi the minute they know their granddaughter is on the way.

Let’s hope it’s sooner rather than later!!

Oh and just to be sure and include a picture in this post, here’s our cat testing out the Pack ‘N Play we got from my sister and aunt. It is kittah-approved. 🙂

21 days until my due date

May 8, 2010 § 1 Comment

Holy cow! Yep, only 3 weeks left. I really can’t believe it, but I’m really oh-so-ready at this point. We’ve got everything: car seat, stroller, crib, clothes, diapers, Boppy, Pack ‘N Play, and so much more. The only thing we’re missing is one sweet baby girl to use it all.

It’s been a crazy week here in Nashville as I’m sure everyone is aware. The rains that came through our area were nothing short of astounding. Between last Saturday and Sunday we had over 14 inches of rain. The previous two-day record was 6.5 inches. And some areas had up to 20 inches.

The devastation here is hard to wrap your head around. I’ve been lifting up prayers of thanks all week that all we had to deal with were a couple of leaks. So many people and businesses here lost everything — and most of those people did not have any kind of flood insurance. Places around town that no one ever imagined would flood had 10 feet of water.

The images are unbelievable…

Inside Opryland Hotel

I’m actually still displaced from my office in Metro Center. I wasn’t able to go to work Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday, but went in to our office downtown on Thursday and Friday. The Metro Center area is right by a levee and emergency management had everything shut down all week. Hopefully, we’ll make it back over there mid-week sometime. So, yes, it has definitely been crazy.

Luckily, everything else has been pretty calm. Everything is still moving along smoothly with my pregnancy. I have my weekly appointment Monday so I will know even more about how things are progressing. My feet are still swollen (I just have one pair of flip flops that fit right now. Ha!) and my back is still hurting and I’m just generally uncomfortable, but it’s not anything I can’t handle. My hands started swelling a bit this week too and now I can’t wear my wedding rings. My left hand feels naked. 😦

My blood pressure is still great and I’ve gained less than 30 pounds which I’m really proud of. I’ve really focused on eating well and I know it’s made a huge difference.

Little Miss Ainsley is officially full-term today and could really come at any point. We’ve got our bags for the hospital pretty much packed. Like I said before, we are ready. It feels incredible to say that and I can’t imagine how incredible it will feel once we hold our little one for the first time.

39 days

April 20, 2010 § 1 Comment

Sweetest Ainsley,

39 days until your due date! We will be seeing your sweet face for the first time so soon. I’m finally feeling prepared and ready and I know just a couple of weeks from now I will be even more ready to meet you.

Right now, as I type, I’ve got all sorts of your clothes and blankets and “stuff” in the washing machine getting them ready for you. With each little onesie or outfit I fold  for you, I constantly think about how amazing it will see you in each of them. The thought simply blows my mind at this point.

A couple of weeks ago, your dad and I made the six hour drive back to Jackson, Miss. for the weekend. Your grandma Lolly, Aunt Amy and Aunt Jan threw me a little shower. We got all sorts of fun gifts for you and it was really nice to see everyone too. We had not been home since Christmas and you have grown quite a bit since then (which means I’ve grown quite a bit in the belly area!).

Exhibit A taken tonight…

We started birthing classes at the hospital where you are going to be born last week. I’m really glad we decided to take them too. There’s so much to know and remember about your arrival and I feel so much better having someone who truly knows what they are talking about giving me the details. Last night we watched a video of a baby being born. I was worried about your dad and wasn’t sure he was going to make it through it. I looked over at him during the middle of it and he was fanning himself; I thought he might pass out. But don’t worry, he’ll be so excited the day you are coming none of that stuff will even phase him!

This past weekend we also got your stroller and car seat! (Thanks, Poppy and Lolly)

You are constantly moving these days. You’ve gotten so big too that some of those kicks can hurt! It doesn’t bother me at all though and I’m enjoying every second of it because I know right now that means you’re healthy and happy. And that’s all that matters to your mama.

I do have a new pregnancy ailment that popped up a couple weeks ago. Swollen feet and ankles. And not just any swelling but so massively big and ugly my feet look like that might explode at any moment (your daddy thinks it’s funny that I use the work explode to describe it). I’ve started drinking almost 80 ounces of water a day, I’m trying to keep my feet up as much as possible and am cutting back on my salt. All that has helped a little bit but it’s still hard to fit in all of my shoes. I’ve had it pretty good this whole time I’ve been carrying you though so I’m not going to complain too much about this one since it’s only a few more weeks. 🙂

Ainsley, I cannot believe we are so close to meeting you. Watching that birth video last night made me realize just how emotional and overwhelming it will be the first time your dad and I get to meet you. I will warn you – there will most likely be a lot of tears from both of us, but they will be nothing but tears of pure joy.

All my love,