Friday, June 22, 2012

Yes, we're still alive....

I'm horrible.  There.  I said it.  No excuses.
When I have a longer moment I will write a more thorough post.  Until then, please enjoy some pictures.

Monday, January 30, 2012

And we're back...

Hi, folks. I'm back. Tomorrow marks the last day of January and I can honestly say that I have survived one heck of a month!
Aside from being a tad "stopped up," Mattie is doing great. She's filling out, eating every 4 hours, starting to make eye contact and just as cute as she can be. Reagan loves on her a little too hard sometimes, but loves her baby sister to pieces. The first two weeks were ROUGH (emotional, sleepy, overwhelming, etc.) and ended with some tears as my mom went back to her real house. (I'm still trying to convince her that she and my dad need to buy a lot and build in our neighborhood) She did have to go and we had to start living real life eventually. And we have. Go me!
I always like hearing birth stories, so I thought I'd write Mattie's. Don't worry, I don't get too graphic.
Here goes it...
We moved on January 2nd. I 'thought' that would allow plenty of nesting time since I wasn't due until January 18th (which had been moved up from the 25th) Reagan and Winnie stayed with my parents after Grandaddy's funeral so that Devin and I could get things done without helpers stopping our progress.
The 2nd was a busy day, but we got it done. Tuesday the 3rd (my sister's birthday) was spent getting our new washer and dryer and a pedicure. The nail techs warned me that they had put women in labor more than once with their mad massage skills. I welcomed the risk, not thinking it was a reality.
That afternoon, my mom brought Reagan and Winnie back home and started helping me do a few things around the new casa. That night, as Reagan was getting ready for bed, I felt a random gush. (gross, I know. that's as graphic as I'll get.) I have never had any "issues" with bladder control, so I thought this was very strange. About 15 minutes later it happened again. So strange. I told myself that if it happened a third time I would call my doctor. It didn't happen. Luckily, I had a doctor's appointment the next morning at 9:20. With that thought in mind, I went on to bed.
Wednesday morning I woke up feeling a little funny. Around 7:30 I had a weird cramp. 5 minutes later, another one. 5 minutes after that, yet another. And so on. I told Devin to go on to work and I would call him if this was the real deal. My mom thought she better drive me to my appointment "just in case" and we decided to bring my hospital bag, too. She and I dropped Reagan off at preschool and went on our merry way...all the while I had cramping every 5ish minutes.
When I got to the doctor I told them something was up. I'm not sure if they believed me because it didn't seem like the message had reached Dr. Murray when she came into the room. She did a little test to see if my water had broken and told me that my strange gushes must have been something else. Say what?! Anyway, she examined me and I was dilated 3 cm. After assessing the situation, she decided that something was happening and sent me down to labor and delivery to be hooked up to monitors.
I arrived at labor and delivery around 10:30 or 10:45. My nurse was wonderful! We clicked right away. After my i.v. was in (not easily...had to dig around with the needle) and the monitors hooked up, my nurse told me I wasn't going home. I was contracting some every minute. Like whoa. I called Devin and told him it was really labor day and to hop on his horse and get to the hospital. (By the way, my nurse told me my gushes were probably a high rupture in my water)
Dr. Murray came in and broke my water and I was 5 cm. Contractions started getting stronger after that and I asked for my epidural. My next check, I was 7 cm. The anesthesiologist came in and administered the drugs (water continuing to gush as I sat hunched over a pillow). I waited and nothing. It was hurting. BAD. A few minutes later, nothing. A little longer. NOTHING. My next check I was dilated 9 cm. and my epidural WASN'T. WORKING. Finally, after 3 doses of drugs, wishing for death, about 45 minutes to an hour of I-can't-even-speak-pain and repositioning the line, my epidural started to work. I was 10 cm.
Mattie was not very far into the birth canal and her heart rate started dropping. I was so happy to finally be numb that I didn't really think much about the whole team of people in my room. They had me wait (at 10 cm) to see if she would drop further down and she didn't. Her heart rate was low and staying that way. Finally, after about a half hour, my doctor said I could push for an hour and a half, but she wouldn't let me. The baby needed to come out. So, there it was. Another C-Section for me. Honestly, I was ok with it. I wanted to see what it was like to go into labor on my own and I had. Off to the operating room we went.
This time was different than before. For one thing, the anesthesiologist was so nice and a lot more attentive than the jerk from the first time. He even massaged my shoulders when they started hurting from laying flat and spinal fluid leaking up. The radio was on and playing some of my favorite music. I was wheeled in to Aerosmith and during delivery Queen's Under Pressure was playing. (Seriously)
At 2:48 Mattingly Jo ("Mattie") Garofalo was born. She was pink and perfect. She weighed 7lbs. 9 oz. and was 20 inches long. She looks a lot like Reagan, but has different ears and eyes. It will be fun to see her change over the next few months.
My hospital stay was great. I didn't want to go home! My nurses were awesome and the quiet was wonderful.
Going home was hard. My house didn't feel like a home. Thank heaven for my mom. She cooked, cleaned, unpacked, did laundry, walked Winnie, drove Reagan to preschool, picked up carloads from the other house, you name it. What would I have done without her?
I experienced a whirlwind and needed some time to catch my breath. I'm thankful Mattie decided to come early and I didn't have to spend one more day pregnant. I haven't slept on my stomach yet, but I have a feeling it will be soon. Oh happy day!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

How much can a person accomplish (survive?) in a week and a half?

How about this:
Have Christmas and New Year's
Lose and bury a grandparent
Close on a new house
Move into said house
Have a baby

It's true. I can do hard things. I am doing hard things. Very quickly. I'm fine. Just feeling out of place (this house doesn't feel like home yet and my mom (God bless her) has had to do a lot of my nesting for me since I literally can't). I'm feeling emotional (read above). I'm feeling overwhelmed. No offense to anyone, but I just want to be in my bubble for a little while.

This, too, shall pass. I sure have a cute baby to hold in the process. And, Reagan. Oh, Reagan. This has been a lot for her 3-year-old-self to take in. Each day is better and for that I'm grateful.

Stay tuned, readers. I WILL be back. Just let me catch my breath.

Friday, December 30, 2011

To everything there is a season...

I think it's my turn to write something on here about the events of this week. To be honest, this is the first time I'm sitting down to my computer and not my iPhone.
Christmas evening was spent at my grandparents' apartment in Fairfax. The quote, "keeping watch over their flocks by night" comes to mind. In this case, the flocks were the ones keeping watch. My grandfather was transitioning into the next life right before our very eyes and all we could do was keep watch and wonder, with every pause in breathing, if that was, in fact, it.
He was never a touchy-feely man. In fact, I think the only memories I have of touching him are while he was laying in that hospital bed on Sunday and I touched his hand. His body was so thin and weak and frail...certainly not the Grandaddy I've known my whole life.
We left the apartment that night knowing the end was near and hoping it wouldn't drag on much longer than it already had. If you knew my grandfather, he did nothing quickly (leave a social gathering, open wrapped gifts, eat, etc.) and so was the case with his death. Wait, I take that back, his wit was quick, but other than that, he certainly took his time. (Imagine Todd as an old man)

We were planning on heading home Monday night, but decided to get up Tuesday morning to make the drive instead. I'm so glad we stayed. Around 5:30, Devin came in to tell me that Grandaddy was gone. He heard my parents wake up and rush over to be with Mana and told them he'd come tell me. The events of that morning were very calm and still. Thankfully. I'm thankful that some unseen power woke my grandmother up so she could hold and comfort him while he slipped from this life into the next. I'm thankful that Todd and I could drive there together to experience the calm of his death before the chaos set in. I'm thankful that my dad is a funeral director and could care for my grandfather's body like no one else could. I'm thankful for a grandmother who kept her marriage vows and cared for my grandfather for many years, even when she was tired, frustrated and weary. I'm thankful that she is now free to live her life without the responsibility of caring for Grandaddy at all times. And I am thankful that I had a grandfather close-by and involved in my life for almost 30 years.
If you needed help with your car, he was there. If you had a school concert, he was there. Birthday dinner? There. Holiday? There. No, he was not a hugger, but he was there. And that, my friends, is what really matters.
Rest in peace, Grandaddy. 'Til we meet again...

Thursday, December 22, 2011

To quote my dear friend Randy Jackson...

"Here's what's up."
We are two days away from Christmas Eve! Holy guacamole! I have more shopping to do. I've been sick all week. AAAGGGHHH!!
I went to the doctor yesterday and when she came in the room she laughed and asked, "What are you growing in there?" Um... The ultra sound tech hadn't told me anything, so I was a little surprised when my doc informed me that if I went into labor in the next two weeks that would be fine. Baby #2 is already measuring 6 1/2 - 7 lbs. and I have over a month to go. I have never really believed the 25th was my real due date, so I'm not totally shocked. I would really like to go into labor on my own in the next 2-3 weeks. But, I realize it's out of my hands. What's meant to happen will happen.
I need to get through Christmas weekend first, then our move over New Year's weekend. After that, I'm fine with a baby. Well, give me a few days to put my clothes in my dresser and the silverware in the drawer.
Stay tuned...

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Somehow I erased the rest of the pictures. Enjoy!

The Man. The Myth. The "Legend."

Miss Rea Rea is one lucky lady! Her preschool is the only one in the greater Richmond area that gets a visit each year from the "Legendary Santa." He's kind of a big deal around these parts.

As a matter of fact, this special St. Nick used to be the one and only Miller & Rhoads Santa back in the good ol' days. (He's pushing about 85 and his yellowed wig and beard are proof) He's a member of the church where Reagan attends preschool and takes time out of his busy Christmas schedule to visit with the little kiddies. It was a BIG day!

Rea waited patiently for her turn atop his knee, told him she wanted 3 Barbies for Christmas, then dined on a PLATE (yes, plate...a bit much? I sure enjoyed the leftovers :) of cookies. A fun time was had by all.