Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year

The Moores // December 2014

Phew... what a year! 2014 was definitely eventful for The Moores. 

We lost a family pillar with the passing of my Grandfather, and only a few months later welcomed a beautiful new life with the birth of Spencer.  Talk about a battle of conflicting emotions. 

I was pregnant for most of the year and Jimmy dealt with all that comes with his scalp reconstruction and two head surgeries. 

We surprisingly still managed to travel. Don't ask me how. I think we're still recovering... 

Jimmy is in his 3rd year of using a wheelchair, living with a spinal cord injury and being paralyzed. It's a wonder I don't breakdown everyday. It's a wonder he doesn't breakdown everyday. 

Someone asked me this spring if I still got sad. That must mean I'm doing a good job of putting on a brave face. Sometimes that helps me to really maintain strength and sometimes the mere sight of Jimmy in a wheelchair produces the quickest of streaming tears. 

How we hold it togther most days is beyond me. How we deal with skin breakdown, UTIs, no sleep, broken wheelchairs, insurance barriers/limitations, needing nursing care, and, now, trying to overcome new SCI/baby challenges is... amazing.

BUT. We have a new baby muffin now. She's a little ray of light in this sometimes dim life. 

We're grateful for this year that brought us Spencer Rosalyn, our little beauty. 2014. 

She's currently laying on my lap, smiling in her sleep. Dreaming of milk waterfalls, I imagine. She's so perfect and so completely enough. 

So many people love her and love us and there's so much support and checking in and visiting. 

The scale is starting to shift.  She's patching up our souls slowly but surely. With little baby band-aids. 

The constant healing will continue in 2015. 

It will be our baby's first full year of life. This time next year, I can't wait to see where we are with her. 

Hopefully I'll return to this blog feeling even stronger and more patched up. 

Baby band-aids. 

Oh, and I just discovered the sleep smiles that were happening may have been gastrointestinal-related. 

Baby band-aids and Pampers. Lots of Pampers. 

HAPPY NEW YEAR! 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Spencer: Two Months


Spencey, 

Two months already! Holy moly honey child! 

You're just the cutest.  I could actually just stop there.  

We've noticed you can see better and with that comes more smiles as you associate faces with voices.  

You're getting more comfortable with your morning routine of laying next to your Daddy for some morning cuddles. It's much easier to snuggle with him in the bed versus his chair so we try to make that A.M. goodness happen. 

You're also getting less traumatized by the car seat and the car itself. Baby steps. 

You love taking walks outside and you don't seem to mind if it's in the stroller or the Ergo carrier as long as we're MOVING. 

Today you got your two-month vaccines. Like five of them! Whoa. You were so good. You only cried a few minutes but then you got way fussy later. Luckily Gigi suggested baby Tylenol which seemed to calm you down. Thank GAWD. I didn't even think of that. 

The doc tells me you look good and are growing great. That's good enough for me, kiddo. 

Love you,
Momma 

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Baby's First Christmas



I feel like the few days leading up to Christmas are sad. Saaaaad. Maybe this is just a post-injury deal. Or maybe I've always been nostalgic and reminiscent during the Christmas home stretch. 

Seriously though, the music from movies like Home Alone and The Polar Express don't help. Am I right? Even the attic projector scene from Christmas Vacation. I mean...  

This year, I'm bracing myself for being without the family I'm normally with. That includes my parents, brothers, sisters, uncle, aunt and cousins. This will also be the first Christmas -- ever -- without my Papa who passed in July. It still hasn't felt real that he is gone. Probably because I don't live near him. But if it's ever going to feel real, Christmas is the time.

Christmas just bleeds family and tradition. I made only a few kinds of cookies but they are the kinds Papa would have us grandkids sneak for him once at a time on Christmas Eve and after Christmas morning breakfast. The memories are still so palpable. He was here last year. At the table. Just like he always was. He was just fine. Eating cookies.  

Just by looking at these cookies as they come out of the oven... there's both heartbreak and comfort happening there.  

Still, while there's sadness, there's also Spencer. There's new life in our house. There's a new stocking hanging from the mantle. There's Christmas jammies with footies. There's talk of Santa (and how next year he'll really have to have his act together). There are new noises in our house. Not just the constant sound of the ventilator or the sound of Frasier re-runs. There's legitimate baby noises to remind us to keep going.

There's the opportunity for a cheek-to-cheek or forehead kisses. That's a comfort I never could have imagined. I inhale it.

I usually have to work hard to make holidays - specifically Christmas - feel different and joyful for me and Jimmy. My fear has been that with our routine, with Jimmy's routine, it will feel like just another day. Much of the same. And it can't. It just cannot. 

Christmas cannot feel like another day.   

This is a familiar fear from our first Christmas, post injury, which came just a few months after the accident in 2011. We couldn't get back home and I was missing that comfort so bad.

The comfort of my mother's beautifully decorated tree and my dad's Christmas lights. Laughing with my family. Overeating and really maybe trying to get to midnight mass. The Neil Diamond Christmas CD. The platters of cookies and treats. The smell of homemade Italian food on Christmas Eve. The cold Christmas air that really hits it home. I cherish it all and will hold it in my heart until I can revel in it next year, hopefully.

For the years go by quickly.

I'm sure I'll always hold in my heart this quiet first Christmas at home with our Spencer. We get her all to ourselves. Christmas morning, I'll wake-up with this sweetheart of a little girl and a hot cup of coffee (made special with whip cream and cinnamon because it's not just another day) and we'll go wake up Dad. We'll tell him to hurry so we can do whatever Christmas stuff we want.

I'm making us a big dinner tomorrow, but Christmas day might be the opportunity for a new tradition like Chinese take-out or some really good cheese pizza. Momma be tired.

It's gonna be a good couple of days, I think. 

Alright. Enough of this gooey shhhh...show of emotion. (Home Alone 2, anyone?)

Merry Christmas, everyone.

From our family of three.. to yours. 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Spencer Newborn Photos

Guess whaaaat? MORE SPENCER PICS.

Our dear friends who took our wedding photos in June 2011 came to  meet Spencer a few weeks ago. Not only did they bring her some cute baby goodies, but they brought their fancy camera equipment to snap just a few shots of S.

She was fussy at first. I was thinking it would never work. But, we gave her a bottle and they worked their magic with her to get her to sleep so they could snap some magical shots. They clearly knew the ways of a newborn.

I was not prepared. Didn't have any cute outfits or headbands ready. It was just that kind of day. So they just shot her in what she was wearing and we added a few hats.

They came out pretty wonderful, I think. 

Sweet little baby muffin Spencer Rosalyn at one month old...








Friday, December 19, 2014

Recent Favorites

I haven't been able to blog like I want to because, ya know - BABIES! They need entertaining.

But, there's no shortage of photos. Most of my favorites come when Jimmy and Spencer get their morning time. Such sweet moments. 

Spencer is now 7 weeks old! 


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Because I Bought the Stickers...


Fussy but still super cute. 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Spencer: One Month


My Darling Spencer,

Yesterday, you were one month old. Already! Everyone did warn me it would fly by. 

You were surrounded by loved ones, family who came to see you for the first time and spend Thanksgiving with us. 

Your Uncle Gary drove all the way from Florida. He loved holding you. He was a big help! Also, your Grandpa Gary and Christine came to see you. They flew on an airplane from Ohio. They brought Momma Starbucks. That made her super happy. 

The past month - our first month - was challenging and difficult as we're both feeling things out. We're finally starting to get a few things down. 

Believe it or not, I cherished the grind of the late night feeding withs you, watching the entire Gilmore Girls series over the past 4.5 weeks. You're the Rory to my Lorelai. 

You're doing great, lil muffin. 

Love,
Momma

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

I'm thankful for so much. Family that traveled far to see my new beautiful baby. Family who couldn't but still sent love. Friends who checked-in.

And, especially, my two loves.

I'm thankful that Jimmy finally got some quality time with his baby girl today. We put the baby carrier on him and she slept in his nook for, like, over an hour! 

He got to hold his girl! 

It was a huge, wonderful Thanksgiving moment. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Spencer: A Birth Story

Spencer is now almost one month old (!!!). I need to jot all this down before it completely escapes me, aye?

This part of the story starts on October the 27th, a Monday. I had my weekly OB appointment that day. Jimmy and I both went. It was a run-of-the-mill check-up: weight, blood pressure, and urine check. My blood pressure was running a little high. Not scary high but, higher

The cervix check revealed I was still under two centimeters dilated. I was 39 weeks and 4 days pregnant.

Jimmy and I had discussed it and wanted to talk with the doctors about possibly getting induced on our due date, if I had progressed enough.  Our due date was that Thursday, October 30th. 

Our doctor(s) knew the transportation challenges we faced if I did actually go into labor: getting me to the hospital and getting Jimmy to the hospital.

We never really had to have that conversation because of the blood pressure factor. My doctor said because A) Since it's running higher B) We were so close to due date, and C) We were considering induction anyway -- they would like to take me in that night to start the induction.

My heart started racing. I wasn't expecting that scenario. Alright.

I started texting Mom, Sister and a few friends about plans for admission that evening. My mind started racing with things to do before I was due at the hospital at 8pm. Pack a bag for Jimmy. Final touches on my hospital bag. EAT! Nap? Time to get eyebrows waxed? Time for a pedicure? A friend reminded me to take a final belly pic. I took one with my final belly sticker and one more on my way out as I started feeling the emotions.
I did most of the things on my list (even pedicure/eyebrow wax thank you very much) as we arranged for Jimmy to get in bed super early so he could get back to the hospital at the crack of dawn, before the induction process truly began.

I kissed Jimmy goodnight and got in my car to head to the hospital. The labor and delivery nurse that admitted me was amazing and tenderheartedly curious about our situation. Between the paperwork and questions, she wanted to know all about the accident, the pregnancy, etc. She was genuine and it helped the time pass.


At around 10:45pm, I got something called Cervadil. It's a medication to help my cervix become more ideal for induction.

I didn't get much sleep that night. At around 6 or 7am, Jimmy was getting up and was on his way. He made it to the hospital around that time. I was glad he stayed home and got some rest for the impending events, but I was happy to finally have him there.

He got fed and comfortable. We kept the lights dimmed in the room and dozed together as the sun came up. It was nice.

My doctor told me I could eat lunch and take a shower before we got the party started. I was excited about that! Food! Shower!

At 1pm, I got Pitocin -- the Let's Have A Baby meds. At 1:30pm, my water broke.

Not knowing a damn thing about inducing, I stupidly thought, "Hey, this is gonna go by fast. I'm gonna have this baby in no time."

FALSE.

The Pitocin brought on the contractions. And the pain. Holy crap the pain. I lasted a few hours before asking for my epidural.

The epidural was no frickin' walk in the park. I found it uncomfortable and painful but was looking forward to the fact that it would supposedly help me to feel better. I think it took him longer to complete because of my scoliosis. Extra fun!

Jimmy and his nurse had to leave the room because it's a sterile procedure. I could only have one person in there with me; someone to sit on my feet so I wouldn't move during. That person was friend Jamie. Poor thing -- between the pain of the contractions and the awfulness of the epidural, she felt helpless in trying to soothe me. She did a good job of trying though.

The epidural was over and I was left to rest a little more comfortably. For an hour. Then, more pain. What the crap? An hour? That can't be right. The nurse agreed so they gave me a re-dose. This time, it lasted a little longer. I was finally able to get a little sleep.

My sister finally made it in on a plane from Ohio after several delays and Mom decided to come for the crucial first days at home.


I stayed at 2 and 3 centimeters for what seemed like forever. Hours later, I was a 7. Progress! Much later that night, I started feeling excruciating pain. Bad, bad, so very bad. I called for the nurse. She checked me and informed us I was 10 centimeters dilated. We did some practice pushes. 

The pain in between the pushes is what hurt the most. Such bad pain. F bombs and screaming like in the movies. Maybe it was normal but I felt a little cheated. I think my epidural was broken.

From the minute I got pregnant, Jimmy always said he didn't want to be positioned in the room to see, as my friend says, on the business end of things. He had planned to be head to head. When he got there and mapped out the logistics of the room (baby nurse station on the right and monitors on the left) he realized this may not be possible. Jimmy was lined up perfectly, much to his dismay, to see the business transaction.

Sister was on my left also looking at all the action, screaming things like, "Shes almost here! I can see her head! She's got a full head of hair!"

Meanwhile, further north, friend Jamie was fanning me off and trying to get me to take oxygen in between pushes.

Just diagonal, but a little further back was Jimmy. For someone who was ill himself, he did a good job of stomaching all of this. 

After about 45 minutes of pushing, there must have been something of interest happening. The doctor was called.

And with her came the freaking entourage. Baby nurses, more L&D nurses, people off the street -- I don't know. I do know it was a well-oiled machine and they readied the room and themselves in like 3-5 minutes. 

The doctor asked me if she wanted me to turn off the TV. I immediately said NO. It was nice having the distraction of a random How I Met Your Mother episode on in the background.

I kept pushing and in response, kept hearing, "You're so close!"

Lies.

THEN WHY WASN'T SHE HERE?

But, she eventually did come. It wasn't all lies. She popped out at 1:49am on October 29th in Decatur, GA with some Barney Stinson shenanigans happening in the background. 

Spencer Rosalyn Moore.

At first we heard a little whimper and not much else. The doctor suctioned her airways and quickly handed her over telling the baby nurse to stimulate her. She definitely was a whiteish-blue when she came out, but it was only a few seconds spent with the baby nurse and she was then a nice shade of pink and just screaming her little head off. Music to our ears. 


The nurse started to bring her to me for some skin-to-skin contact when I told her Dad gets the first touch/kiss. 



Jimmy saw it all. He saw his sweet daughter being born. I know it was absolutely effing disgusting, but I also know it's probably something so good that outweighs the nasty. 

One of the first things I noticed about Spencer is how curious she is. Those eyes just constantly scanning the surroundings. 




And with that, we were parents. I was wheeled up to the Mommy and Me floor where we'd be looked after. It was odd to have gone through all that trauma and not focus just on me. I had a little being to now pay attention to. No big. 


After 33 years of just me, 8 years of just me and Jimmy -- now there were three. 

A sweet little baby girl with a boy's name. Spencer.


Here's what I know about Spencer in the short four weeks I've known her: 

Still very curious.

She's in constant need of contact.

She hated her first bath but now enjoys the warm water.

Her favorite thing to do is to eat. She'll fit in this family just fine.

She hates wardrobe changes. She's also not a fan of diaper changes. 

She loves hanging out in the Ergo baby carrier. It's her favorite.

She's not a huge fan of riding in the car... if we're stopped. If we go, she's kind of okay with that. But even then... you're up against the clock.  Definitely not a fan of the car seat. 

She likes to look at the fire while sitting in her bouncy chair. She apparently also likes to watch football. 

She makes her Daddy beam with pride. It's amazing to watch.

She's the sweetest sweetheart.  And she's ours, all ours. 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Heaven

Friday, November 21, 2014

3 Weeks

I love this picture so much. Each morning when we wake up, I can see the character starting to take shape in Spencer's face.

She's so sweet and squishy.  She's liking the baby carrier, so I've been wearing her around the house to get stuff done. It's so nice! 

We're gonna try the carrier on her Daddy soon so he gets to "hold" her. 

As I catch my breath and some Zzz's: pictures, birth story and more pictures to come...

Monday, November 10, 2014

Spencer Rosalyn Moore


Our new universe... 

Life is lovely right now with this little bright light hanging around our house. Our daughter, Spencer, was born on Wednesday, October 29th at 1:49am. She was all of 7lbs and 4oz and 19 inches long. Smaller than we thought. 

She's almost two weeks old and is a very curious baby. It's one of the first things I noticed about her. 

Spencer is so unbelievably sweet and cute and just... pure lovely baby. I look forward to writing all about and reliving how she came into the world, but for now... 1) feed 2) pee/poop diaper disposal 3) nap 4) the quickest of showers 4) kiss baby on the head a million times/swoon/stare 6) repeat.