Thursday, March 31, 2011

Rinse and Repeat

A little timeline of events regarding my daughter's impeccable timing this morning.

- Undress Natalie down to her diaper and put her in her crib.

- Get bathing stuff all ready: run the water and get out the tub, towels, soap and washcloths.

- Put Natalie in the bathtub and take off a wet diaper.

- I grab a washcloth, put soap on it and as I'm about to put it on her to start her bath...AND...

- She poops.

- I put a diaper BACK on her, place her BACK in the crib and run downstairs for every disinfectant cleaning product I have.

- Wash out tub thoroughly with OxyClean Baby and Clorox wipes.

- Repeat process from the top.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I'm Not Alone

Friday night was a little rough.  I had just returned home from an almost all day trip to my parent's house because my middle brother Mike flew into town from Maine to visit and meet his godaughter for the first time.  It was about 8:30 and I was about to settle down at the table and eat my grilled cheese sandwich when Natalie, who I had just left sleeping peacefully in her carrier on the kitchen table next to me, started to wake up and cry.  As I was lifting her up out of the carrier, I felt something warm and squishy on my fingers as I reached around her back.  Oh shit.  Literally.  She had exploded out of the TWO diapers she was wearing (more on that later) and all over her brand new dress and on the carrier.  I abandoned my dinner and went about cleaning her up - thank goodness for paper towels because I somehow managed to escape this entire ordeal without getting the poop directly on me.  I went ahead and wiped her entire body down with baby wipes and put her in her pajamas and then laid her in the bouncer seat downstairs while I focused on dismantling her carrier and then Oxy Clean-ing EVERYTHING that she was wearing or sitting in.  While I'm rushing around the kitchen and the laundry room taking things apart and scrubbing and starting laundry, Natalie is lying in her bouncer screaming.  Not just the "I'm hungry" or "I'm being ignored" cries, but flat out screaming like Angie was gnawing off her toes.  The more gutteral her cries became, the higher my blood pressure rose and eventually, I'm not sure who was crying or her.  And if Angie could cry tears, she would have because she was just as nervous and anxious about the situation as I was.  Finally I was able to shut the lid on the washer and rush back to the bouncer where my child's face was as hot pink as her "I heart Daddy" pajamas and I whisked her upstairs to her dark and quiet bedroom to calm down and nurse.  As she began to relax and nurse, I could feel the tension seeping out of my body and I was able to rest my head back on the glider, close my eyes and take a few deep breaths.  As I opened my eyes and looked down at my little cherub with her eyes closed peacefully, her hand clenched around the middle strap of my nursing tank top and her cheeks still slightly flushed from her frustration...I realized something.  I was not alone.  Two thousand years ago, Mary nursed and loved her baby Jesus just as I nursed and loved on Natalie that night.  She too had her moments of sheer anxiety and panic while raising him and in that instance, I felt comforted.  Comforted...and humbled.  I now understand the love that she had for Jesus and it wasn't love just because he bore the name Savior, but because to her, he bore the name Son.  She loved him just as much as I love Natalie and what a sacrifice it was for her to allow him to become a Savior for the rest of the world.  It might have taken about what seemed like a gallon of poop and an hour of sheer insanity for me to gain this great insight, but everytime I feel like I'm going to lose it when Natalie wants to nurse...AGAIN...for the fifth time in an hour, I remember that I'm not alone and that women have been doing this against greater odds than what I face.

Monday, March 28, 2011


Since I have a very squirmy and half asleep baby on my lap, I hope you'll be okay with just some pictures of my little munchkin for now.  These were taken by a friend of mine from college, Heather Hubbard - you can check out her photography by clicking here.  She has beautiful twins that just turned a year old and she was so gentle and sweet with Natalie and we got some great pictures!!!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Early Morning

I'm borrowing this from my friend Molly who used to be a youth group leader with my Mom (I used to call her my Mom's friend, but since I'm now well over the age of 21 I suppose she would consider me an adult and therefore a friend) who borrowed it from one of her favorite blogs.  I've feeling contemplative on this early Friday here it goes.

Jan over at RevGalBlogPals writes:

Whether we liked it or not, we all "sprang forward" with the change to daylight savings time in the USA this past Sunday. There is lightness and brightness slipping in as spring approaches, so let us consider what is springing forth in our lives right now.

Name 5 things that are springing forth, possibly including:

What you hope for:

An infinite amount of hopes for Natalie and her life, but on a smaller scale, I hope for a smooth transition for our family as Craig returns to work on Monday and I start my ten weeks at home with Natalie and Angie.
And of course...for my NCAA bracket to be better than Craig's so I can win the bet.

What you dread:

Being alone next week and the potential range of postpardum emotions that could accompany that transition.  I've already planned lots of activities (photos, doctor's visits and Mike coming home) to occupy our week so that I don't feel so isolated.
What you observe:

Angie abandoning her breakfast and hustling upstairs at the first cries of Natalie, whom I left peacefully asleep on her daddy's chest on our bed so that I could steal a few moments alone with coffee and the computer.  She really is her sister's best protection.
What is needed:

In the grand scheme of things...patience, prayer and perseverence.  On a much smaller house to be cleaned and scrubbed to satisfy my ever growing OCD.

What is intangible:

How much I love this little girl.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Natalie Teneile Nelson born on Tuesday, March 8th at 1:43pm.  She weighed 8lb. 6oz. and was 21.5 in. long.  She was delivered via c-section which went against what I had originally wanted and planned on, but in the end it came down to her being delivered healthy and safely and that was how it all had to happen.  It was an emotional decision for me at the time, but by the next day I was over it and ready to enjoy my baby.

First...a few pictures:
Holding her for the first time in the labor and delivery room after I returned from the OR.

We brought a few items to the hospital for her first photos; I brought Mardi Gras beads and Craig brought a basketball.  Please keep in mind that the basketball is a MINI ball and therefore my daughter is really not that huge.

Craig preparing to go into the operating room with me - I was still emotional at this point so I think he was trying to get me to laugh.  He was pretty successful.

A moment alone in the room just the three of us.

Momma and her Mardi Gras baby.

1. I was in the hospital from Tuesday morning and we were released around noon on Friday.  I was pretty pleased with the new Presbyterian hospital and I don't have too many complaints.  Of course there were your standard nurses - there were ones that I loved and ones that I was relieved when their shift was over.  I think my main complaint was how some of the baby nurses didn't mind manhandling my goods when we were trying to get Natalie latched on so she could feed.  I usually require dinner and a movie before I get to second base with people.  The worst night was Tuesday night because I was severely anemic due to the loss of blood during the procedure and I had really low blood pressure.  I was dizzy and having hot flashes which ultimately ended in my throwing up but by Wednesday morning I was feeling better and VERY hungry.
2. We had lots of visitors while we were in the hospital: my parents, my brother Stephen and his wife Meredith, my friends Heather, Amy, Kate, Kelly, Beri, Dana and Emily, Craig's mother and sister and her two friends Sonya and Dave and of course Memaw.  We were able to get a few moments alone with just the three of us and the best night was Wednesday when we had a family "date night" when Craig came up and we all watched the Stars game together.  My mom and dad met us at the house on Friday night and came bearing a delicious "first night at home" dinner: meatloaf, mashed potatoes and green bean casserole.  Mmm.  My mom stayed the night Friday just to help with late night feedings and to show us how to properly bathe her the next morning.  Craig's Aunt Kay arrived on Saturday afternoon for her annual Spring Break visit and we wanted to make sure that we had a clean baby to show her.  On Sunday Natalie met her cousins Alexander and Ford for the first time - Alex was very intrigued and interested in Natalie and Ford...I think he just wanted to hold her because his big brother had gotten to hold her.
3. I'm feeling really good.  The pain from the incision is nothing that a few vicodin can't handle and so far, Natalie has been kind enough not to keep us up too much at night so that during the day I'm not a complete zombie.  I haven't had any postpardum emotional meltdowns but I have a feeling that once Craig goes to school next week, it might be a different story. 
4. When I first held her, I wasn't that struck by the amount of love that I had for her.  I looked at her and quite frankly, she wasn't what I had expected.  I guess since I was the one that was carrying her for nine months, I figured that she would come out as a little exact replica of myself.  But instead she definitely has Craig's eyes and it was weird to think that although she came from me...she looked like Craig.  I'm over it now, but it was a very odd realization at the very beginning.  Craig and I were talking at dinner last night about if our love for each other had changed and how we had felt when we first held her and all that other stuff that goes along with having a baby.  I told him that everyday since she arrived, I have fallen more and more in love with her.  I don't think I will ever quite understand the depth of my love for her, and that I will discover new layers of my love with every event in her life - whether it's from beaming with pride when she is successful at something or when I'm disappointed in a poor choice that she's made.  I think that if I was to experience the full amount of love I have for her all at one time it would be too overwhelming for me.
5. Angie has been absolutely amazing.  You would think that she had given birth to this little girl.  She is completely and utterly protective of Natalie and is often the first one at attention when she cries during the night.  If we don't get to her quick enough once she starts to whimper or cry, Angie gets very agitated and upset that we aren't responding.  When someone other than Craig or myself is holding her, Angie is continually staring them down to make sure that her little baby is properly taken care of.  She has also been taking more naps during the day since she is up with me at every nighttime feeding, changing or rocking.  I couldn't be more proud of how easily she accepted Natalie as part of her pack and how quickly she committed herself to protecting her.

I guess that's about it for now...

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The final two minutes

It's no secret - I can be pretty intimidating when necessary.  I know how to use my size to my advantage on the volleyball or basketball court...or when I'm staring down an unruly class of 6th graders.  I know I can come across as pretty scary and when put on the net, I will try to slam the ball down your throat and when I'm under the basket, I will be using my elbows and knocking you down.  I love being physical and getting my aggression, anger and angst out during a competitive sports game.  It's even better when that physicality leads to a kill, a rebound...or a win for my team.

But don't let my tough game face fool you.  I am a big baby when it comes to pain.  I don't like being hurt, injured, inconvenienced, incapacitated or uncomfortable.  Some of it is probably due to the idea that I like being independent and doing things for myself but most of it is just out of the sheer fact that...I have a very low tolerance for pain and can sometimes be a bit of a hypochondriac.  It's not my fault, my brain just immediately goes to "what is the worst possible scenario" and therefore I think I'm fractured my entire foot when in reality it's probably just a mild sprain. 

I'd make a great Boy Scout because I'm always prepared for everything.

So how does this relate to the journey that I'm about to take?  Well, in the past week, pregnancy has gone from uncomfortable but manageable to unbearable and GET THIS THING OUT OF ME!  Walking is painful due to her head resting securely in the DOWN position and my back pain never ceases.  I'm not sleeping (poor Angie isn't either) and I feel like an 80 year old woman with arthritis in my fingers and toes.  In a few simple words...I'M DONE.  And all I really want to do is lie in bed, cuddle with Angie, watch television and have people bring me food.  But unfortunately, this is only the beginning of the "uncomfortableness" and I know that I have to get a better attitude or else I'm going to make everyone else's life as unbearable as my own. 

As an athlete, I'm a big believer in mental preparedness, visualization and positive thinking.  So the other day I gave myself a pep talk: it's the final two minutes of the game and I have a choice...I can either lie down and die and let the other team roll over me or I can not give up and keep driving to the basket.  It sounds cheesy but it has helped get me through each day with a slightly better attitude...and I'm sure everyone around me appreciates that.