Pounding Pavement Again

Last month I ran a half marathon. It was kind of a big deal because it was my first half in eight years. And that’s kind of a bigger deal because while I’ve always been a recreational runner, there were several years in which I became an avid racer. I trained for and ran a full marathon along with a few halves every year from 2002-2006.

The Entenmann’s Half Marathon in Bayshore, NY is one of my favorite races of all time because it’s small, it’s flat and it’s scenic. In 2003 I set a course personal record of 1:41. A couple of months before that, I ran a half PR of  1:36 in hilly Central Park. But in 2006, without much training at all, I ran the Bayshore half with an all-time worst record of 2:08. I remember running that race so well and how I completely  bottomed out after 8 or 9 miles. Like a slug, I literally dragged my butt to the finish. I’m not knocking the time, it’s respectable for most people, but a finish of 2+ hours was not respectable for me. My body was breaking down. So many consecutive years of training and running had taken its toll on me. My piriformis muscle was a constant pain my ass (literally) and plantars fasciitis was constantly being triggered by fluid in my heel.

After the half that year, I pretty much gave up on racing. I continued to run, but nothing over a 10K. Once I accepted that my relationship with running long is one that required a lot of time and a strong commitment, it became easier for me to let go. I had entered into a serious, romantic relationship during that time, and it was difficult to balance the two. So I focused on my relationship with my now husband and stopped training.

It’s been eight years and I now have two small children. After the birth of my second, I had a burning desire to get back to doing halves. It’s a distance that doesn’t wreck you physically and it’s much easier to manage time-wise.

At first, I think I decided to train for the half purely for motivational reasons — just to get my butt out of bed to shed the last of my baby weight. However as the spring and summer months rolled around, it became an impending reality. I had to decide if I was going to commit or not. It became something more tangible, something I knew I could achieve. And so I committed.

While out to dinner with friends over the summer, I mentioned I was training for the Bayshore Half. The next thing I knew, three others were joining me. We trained separately but kept up with each others progress on a private Facebook group.

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Danielle, Kelly, me and Karen a few minutes before the start.

To train for the half I’d run 4 mile tempo runs at least two or three times per week in Brooklyn. And on weekends I’d run long while out at my parents’ house on Long Island. I logged several 8-11 mile runs leading up to race day.

On race day I had so many cards stacked against me. Not only was there a torrential rainstorm to contend with, but the winds were blazing – and was only compounded by the fact that the course is along the Great South Bay. It was the second day of my period, which is usually no picnic, and I showed up at the start without my iPod shuffle — something I had trained all year long with.

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The storm was no joke.

The storm: It was brutal. If it wasn’t for my three friends, there’s a good chance I wouldn’t have gotten out of bed that morning. While there was some serious groveling going on in the car on the way there, we held each other accountable and showed up to the start smiling and cracking jokes.

Aunt Flo: It sucked. Let’s just leave it at that.

No music: It also sucked. I was alone in my thoughts for 13.1 MILES!

Despite running in pouring rain at times, and through flooded rain and sea water up to our ankles at miles 3, 8 and 10, I finished in under 2 hours. I can’t help but think that if there was no wind, my shoes weren’t waterlogged and I had tunes to help push me along, I could have shaved 2-3 minutes off my time. Maybe next year.

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I was as happy as my smile. Literally.

Because the race is sponsored by Entenmann’s, we refueled with some post-race doughnuts.

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And after we changed out of our wet, soppy clothes, we made good on our free drink race-perk at Fatfish Bistro. The race wouldn’t have been complete without a hard earned beer (or three)!

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A 1st Birthday Video for Reya

I actually made this video a while ago, but didn’t have the time to finalize it until recently. Here are some photos and snapshots of the first year of my daughter’s life.

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Reya on her 1st birthday! 9/17/14

Reya on her 1st birthday! 9/17/14

 

Happy 1st Birthday Reya!

I wrote about every little thing during Mylo’s first year. Reya just turned one and sadly, I haven’t written much about her at all.

One of the things I adore most about my daughter, is her timing and gentle nature. From the second she came into the world, she’s had a calm and gentle presence about her. When she was born she didn’t cry at all. She also didn’t open her eyes. Mylo on the other hand, came into the world ready to rock. His eyes were glued to whoever it was who was holding him.

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Mylo hit every milestone (or Mylostone) early. Reya took her time with the first year milestones and it’s made me feel that maybe I missed out on a lot of the “baby” stuff with my son.

Reya was content to chill in her baby chair for the first three months. Up until she was eight months old I could leave her in the middle of my bed and go to the bathroom. I know it doesn’t sound safe, but believe me, she wasn’t going anywhere until one day, she did. Off the bed. And then I learned my lesson fast.

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Chillin.

Reya is completely attached to me. I bonded to my son without a doubt, but as soon as he became mobile, it felt as if he was always running away from me. And he still is, today! Reya on the other hand, moves toward me. She follows my eyes with hers. She meets my smile with a bigger one. Reya crawls with fervor in my direction when I walk in the door from work. She’s either singing praise to be cute, or wining in disdain because she wants me to stop what I am doing and pick her up. She is just entirely present with me.

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Piggies!

We introduced solids to Reya when she was about four months old. I barely let Mylo have a sip of water at four months, let alone solid food. Baby girl really enjoys to eat and it has been a delight watching her negotiate and ponder new textures and tastes. Some of the things she loves is steamed vegetables, grilled cheese, pasta, french fries and ice cream. And of course she’s got a real thing for the beans, cheese and guacamole from our weekly forays to Chipotle.

Despite Reya’s healthy appetite for food, we nursed until two weeks shy of her birthday. I never expected to nurse her that long, despite the fact that I went 14 months with her brother. The part of me that wanted to end nursing looked forward to Reya’s “need” for me not being as dire. Right now, that need is still there. As there are some nights she insists on using me as a pacifier, despite the fact that nothing comes out. The transition has been bittersweet — there is something so sad about the finality of anything, especially breastfeeding.

Reya recently rode the Prospect Park carousel with wide eyes.

Reya rides the Prospect Park carousel with wide eyes.

Reya began sitting up somewhere between her 6th and 7th month. She was quite wobbly in the beginning, and she’s had many accidents. At 9 1/2 months she found her knees. I forgot how ridiculously cute babies are when they crawl!

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Mylo discovered the army crawl at 5 months old. So by the time he found his knees at 8 1/2 months, he just took off. With Reya it’s been real sweet watching her go from knees to butt and back again, contemplating how to make them work together. She also does an adorable backwards army crawl.

Reya loves to clap. She will return your claps with her own, and it is so sweet! Reya also enjoys doing a crawling face plant into pillows. The more pillows there are, the harder she will dive into them. All you have to do is say the word “pillow” and she does it. It is the absolute cutest!

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At 10 1/2 months Reya began standing up and it is clear how proud of herself she is when she does this. I am too, because there were times I wasn’t convinced it was going to happen! Walking is next and I know life is about to get more interesting, and difficult. I did not love the walking-but-not-talking stage with Mylo. Maybe because he didn’t listen to me. Here’s hoping Reya redeems this part of toddlerhood for me!

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Bam Bam!

My mom recently taught Reya how to blow kisses with her hands. It’s pretty darn cute.

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Rey-Rey on her 1st birthday!

I am overjoyed to have a daughter. And even more so because it is Reya who fills this role. Happy Birthday my Rey-Rey!

 

Birthday Buddies!

My daughter Reya shares her birthday – September 17th – with another baby who was born just two hours earlier, also at home in Brooklyn, and with the same midwife.

While laboring in the wee hours of the morning, I reached a point where I thought it could be time to bring in my midwife Kristen and her assistant, Piper. My husband Jason sent our midwife a text only to receive one back that said she had another mom in labor who needed her first.

I spent 35 weeks getting to know my midwife, preparing for this day with her, and she delivered me the blow of all blows. (No pun intended).

I write about my reaction to the news in Reya’s birth story, and how it all played out with Kristen’s backup midwife Barri, and the fact that in the end, Kristen and Piper made my birth a half hour before Reya was born.

At some point during labor Barri said she received a text from Kristen that simply said, “baby out.” I asked Barri what the woman had and Barri said she didn’t know, all Kristen wrote was ‘baby out.’

Even though I was knee deep in labor, it struck me then how innocuous this all was for the midwives. They spoke in truncated code to one another via text. It didn’t matter what mom had, all that mattered was the baby was out and they were safe.

The news comforted me, but it would have comforted me more to know about this other woman, just a neighborhood away, that went through the same thing I was going through and made it out on the other side, with a baby.

Not long after, I gave birth too. Reya joined us earthside at 6:27 that morning.

Afterwards, I asked Kristen what the mom had. She also had a girl around 4:15am and had gone into labor two weeks early. I had gone into labor two days late.

But it wasn’t enough, I needed to know more.

I asked her name. Thea. A name we had considered as a possible girl’s name at one point. When Kirsten weighed Reya and exclaimed that I nearly had a 9 pound baby, she told me Thea was just 5 pounds!

Two weeks after Reya’s birth, I was invited to the home of another Brooklyn midwife to discuss my homebirth with other homebirth moms, doulas and midwives. An evening spent reflecting on and processing my birth experience.

A woman walked in wearing a Moby wrap with a newborn and the baby was oh-so-tiny. Despite the fact that I heard her tell someone her bundle was two weeks old, I knew the minute she walked in that this was the mom of the other baby born on September 17th.

Meeting for the first time at two weeks old.

Meeting for the first time at two weeks old.

I went up to her and asked, “Is that Thea?” She looked at me proudly and somewhat cautiously and replied ‘yes.’ I told her I was Kristen’s other mom who also had a baby on September 17th. And with that, her eyes welled up with tears.

Since then, Thea’s mom and I have discovered we have a great deal in common, and that there are other little things that connect us, too.

Three months!

Three months!

Our first children are both boys born just weeks apart in the summer of 2010.

When our babies were just a few months old, Marni accompanied a friend of hers to a class on essential oils at the home of a doula and midwife-in-training in New York City. It just so happened to be Dia’s home, my doula. They began talking and Marni told Dia her daughter was born in September at home with Kristen Leonard. It didn’t take long for them to put two and two together.

We’ve dubbed Thea and Reya “Birthday Buddies”. September 17th 2013. One day out of 365 that brought two women and two baby girls together, forever.

Celebrating the girls' half birthdays!

Celebrating their half birthday!

 

 

 

Reya’s First Two Months

Reya my love, you have been an absolute pleasure of a newborn baby.

I mainly say that because you SLEEP. And for this I am so very grateful!

We got off to a rough start with breastfeeding. The first week was trying and oh-so very painful. And I didn’t expect it to be. Especially since I had the very same experience with your brother Mylo when he was born three years ago. I sort of expected my breasts to remember. But they didn’t.

We spent the first couple of weeks holed up in my bedroom with my white T-shirt draped over our cheap Ikea bed lamp the midwives put there the day you were born – to dim the room. I did almost everything but eat in the bedroom. I fed you, changed you and would lay down next to you to steal some shut eye. The cracked nipples, latching issues, raging headaches and engorgement lasted one week – one very painful week – but then we were on our way.

Since the first week of your life, you’ve been sleeping 4-5 hour initial stretches. This past week it’s increased to seven, sometimes even eight hours. That’s not to say we don’t have the occasional bad night, we do. But it’s just that: occasional. At night you start out in the co-sleeper next to my side of the bed and when you wake up I unloosen your swaddle and put you in bed between us.

A couple of weeks old...

A couple of weeks old…

You spend the rest of the early morning hours cuddled up against me, breastfeeding. We hold hands, you snort and grunt, and we nod off back to sleep. It’s not the most comfortable position for me, (I prefer to sleep on my left side) but for the first time I’m getting a true taste of what it means to co-sleep.

See, I tried to do this with your brother but it wasn’t very enjoyable or restful. I looked through other blog posts to point to proof and only found one that said he stopped co-sleeping peacefully at about five months. THIS. CANNOT. BE. I must’ve been sugar coating it.

My big non-sleeping baby holding my little sleeping baby.

My baby who doesn’t sleep and my baby who does sleep.

It was difficult to know what color your eyes were those first couple of weeks. Mainly because your eyes were rarely open. But they’re wide open now and they’re a beautiful dark blue. Whether or not they’ll change, I don’t know.

You were born with a “stork bite” on your left eye lid and in between your eyes. When you were just a couple of days old you got your first case of acne. Baby acne. And apparently it’s to blame on me, or my hormones anyway. Luckily it doesn’t bother you and is no indication that you’ll have acne when you become a pubescent teenager.

When you were five weeks old your acne took on another meaning. Your cheeks became so red and raised. Dr. Google had me worrying it could be eczema but your pediatrician confirmed it was cradle cap. It was barely on your head and mostly all over your cheeks. A little olive oil, bacitracin and eliminating eggs from my diet for the past two weeks has helped nip it in the bud.

You began smiling back at me a few weeks ago and oh my is it a beautiful smile. I’m overcome by a profound pang of joy when you do this.

You love to be worn in the Ergo baby carrier that the women from my office gave to me at my Baby Sprinkle. Since you were one day old you’ve been worn all over Brooklyn.

As for the taking the bottle… that’s been a work in progress. You tricked us all when you took a bottle from dad at five weeks without even coming up for air, then not again after. But soon enough, you will have to.

I wanted another child to add to our family so much. So to have miscarried twice was such a blow. The third time though, it stuck. I then spent a good portion of my pregnancy worrying if I could hack it. Especially the newborn stage. Yet I couldn’t be happier that you are you. The child who drifted into my life and has made things pretty easy. So far.

Knowing that all my hurdles and hiccups brought me here, to this moment. Everything hard and trying that I’ve been through, has been a step closer to becoming your mom. And I am the better for it.

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A couple of months old…

 

My Daughter’s Birth Story

Monday 9/16/13. I woke at 7 in the morning two days past my due date to discover wet panties. When I told my husband that my water broke he said, “Are you sure it’s not pee? I mean you’ve been coughing a lot lately.” When I assured him it wasn’t pee, I made phone calls to family and then sent text messages alerting my birth team, close friends and colleagues. I even texted my boss, and told him I’d work from home until I no longer could.

The gushing began around 9:30 when I went to move the car from a Tuesday spot to a Monday spot. The fact that I had a lingering cough from a cold I caught a week earlier, didn’t help the flow either. When I got back upstairs, I was met with the reality that I wouldn’t get through the day without using pads.

Mild contractions started around 3:30/4 in the afternoon. I shut down my computer and let my boss know that was going to be it. I called Jason at work and asked if we were doing dinner together. He said that if I could wait to eat after Mylo went to bed then yes. I told him I had a feeling that could be too late so I grabbed dinner at Chipotle, and bought dog food at PetSmart.

I remember running those errands by myself so clearly. On the one hand I felt so liberated, to be out and about on my own – no husband, no three year old in tow and no baby yet. And I also felt like a real rebel. I remember a couple of people looking at me and giving me a gesturing nod. Probably just being kind about my very pregnant state, but for a minute I wondered, ‘do they know I’m in labor right now?’

Contractions picked up in the evening while Jason ate dinner and we got Mylo ready for bed. I downloaded a contraction app on my iPhone and began to time them. They averaged 30 seconds long and about 6-10 minutes apart.

Evening sky while I was in labor.

Evening sky while I was in labor.

At 7:00 my midwife texted that I should try to go to sleep early and get some rest “before things take off.” A couple of hours later I heeded her advice.

Only when I did lay down, things picked up rather quickly. I had to use the potty a couple of times and experienced a couple of super painful contractions while sitting on the toilet. I labored in the bedroom alone with Jason and our dogs for as long as I could.

Around 10:00 it became obvious that getting shut eye wasn’t going to happen.

At 11:15 Jason texted our doula that contractions were one minute long, less than five minutes apart and that I was beginning to feel nauseous. Dia joined us an hour later.

Tuesday 9/17/13. When I made it to midnight, I knew for sure that we were going to have a baby on September 17th. I posted this Dr. Seuss quote on my Facebook page that I had come across months earlier and absolutely adored. It was my way of letting those in my circle know that the baby was coming.

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Having Dia at the house was a comforting Godsend. She urged Jason to nap and encouraged me to keep moving and change positions. At one point she even took my cell phone away which was blowing up with texts from two of my close friends. In hindsight, it was actually pretty funny.

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With my doula Dia

We were in the living room with the lights mainly off and my iTunes “baby” playlist on in the background, while Dia timed my contractions the old school way. Around this time I moved into the transition stage of labor. I vomited a couple of times into our beloved salad spinner while leaning over the kitchen table.

Jason joined us in the living room 45 minutes later after an unsuccessful attempt to nap. For the next couple of hours I was in and out of the tub. I can’t recall if I loved it at first or not, but given the extreme pain I was in I know I found it comforting.

Then the bomb of all bombs dropped.

A text came in from my midwife, Kristen, at 3:20. Prefaced with an “uh-oh,” Jason read it aloud.

I’m so sad to tell you this but I am headed to another labor. (You have both been in labor all night!!) she’s ready for me. I’m assuming you may be ready soon. When you are, if I’m not done, I will send (my backup) Barri Malek. She’s wonderful. You’ll be great with her but I will be really sad.

I was in the birthing pool when I got the news. My first instinct was to sink myself under the water to drown out the news I had just heard. But then I had a mind-numbing contraction and thought, ‘I don’t care who you send, just someone get here who can help deliver this baby!’

Barri and her assistant (her daughter Sophia) came over an hour later. And when they did they brought this sense of calm and confidence to the home that only a little while ago, I was beginning to lose sight of.

I sat on the rocking chair while working my way through contractions. Each time I had one I was urged to lean forward, which wasn’t easy to do. Dia was on the ground on my left side and Barri was on my right. As I worked through each contraction they stroked my feet.

I asked Barri if she was going to check me. She explained that she preferred not to but that if I really wanted it, she could. Then she asked me why I wanted to be checked. I told her that I needed to know how much longer I had to go. To which she told me that judging by my ability to carry on a conversation, she guessed I was midway through labor. That news alone was enough to take my mind off an internal and get back to focusing on my labor.

After a long and agonizing trip down the hallway and into the bathroom in our bedroom to relieve my bladder, I headed back to the birth tub. I must have made another comment about how much longer I’d be doing this when Barri asked me if I saw what Sophie was doing in the background. I didn’t exactly because it was dark, but I had a sense that she was setting up the birth supplies. I know from my son’s birth in the hospital and from the few births I’ve been a doula at, that it’s a good sign when the nurses begin to organize the equipment. It means there’s going to be a baby soon! Again, more news to help me labor on.

The only thing I would change about my birth is bringing the photographer in earlier. And perhaps, that Jason remembered to handle that part of it as well. The last time the photographer heard from me was in the morning the day before, when my water broke. Mark arrived around 5:30am.

I was in the birth tub when Mark walked in. With my head down, I said hello to him. I remember the quiet clanging of his lighting equipment being set up in our living room and I appreciated the noise that was drowning out the soft whispers of my birth team.

Not long after Mark arrived, my midwife Kristen and her birth assistant Piper walked in the door. My birth team was complete, in fact more than complete! I had two midwives, two midwife assistants and a doula!

In between contractions I asked Kristen about the other woman who gave birth. I needed to know what she had and at what time. It helped me to know that someone else went through what I was going through and she made out ok. The other mom had a girl around 4am.

The whole team

The whole team.

I never announced out loud when it was time to push, but my body did. Out of no where I had this intense urge to begin pushing, something I didn’t have with the labor and birth of my son. I started out on my back in the pool with my feet up against the sides. I pushed through a couple of contractions but it didn’t feel that productive. When I told the midwives that, Barri began pulling down my perineum to help open me up with each push.

Not only did that help in bringing my baby down lower but the pain of her stretching me out, took my mind off the pain from pushing. At one point Barri, who was all smiles, even while she spoke, said my baby would be here in a couple of more pushes. I remember looking at her dead in the eyes and saying, “You don’t have to lie Barri, I know we’re gonna be here a long time.” (Based on the fact that it took me two hours to push my son out, I had this sinking feeling it could take that long again.)

Barri chuckled and said something along the lines of ‘Why would I lie? You’re doing this, your baby is almost here.’

Time was becoming a factor for me. It probably didn’t help that I was sitting facing the clock on our kitchen wall, but I was acutely aware of the fact that my son Mylo would wake up soon. Though my birth plan originally called for him to be present if possible, I no longer wanted him to see me in this final stage of labor. I didn’t want my screaming to alarm him.

I’m not sure if I wanted to change positions or if I was told to change positions but I made my way to the edge of the birth tub, resting on my knees and shins. This squatting position which I had labored in earlier, was a total game changer. I was still in unbelievable pain, but bearing down while pushing was way easier and more productive. Not to mention it gave me a sense of privacy that being spread eagle didn’t.

The 15 minutes or so that I spent in this position was a complete out-of-body experience. There was a lot of screaming. A LOT. At one point, I screamed “PLEASE HELP ME,” something that had me laughing and feeling ashamed about later when I recapped the events with Kristen. There was also a lot of focusing on objects — like the sun rays on my doulas T-shirt and the darkness outside the slightly opened window. I was in a trance. I remember having a very hallucinogenic moment in which I closed my eyes and saw this girl I knew from my school days, dancing around in a jester’s costume. Freaky. I know.

I could feel the bulging when I pushed and it was then that I knew I was close. When Kristen told me to reach down and feel my baby’s head I said no. Not because it weirded me out, but because if any part of my upper body let go of the side of the pool, I was convinced I was going to fall in.

I remember the excruciating burn, and being told what an amazing job I was doing. I remember Jason being right in front of me, despite plans to be in the back, catching with Kristen. But it was for the best, I needed him to be right where he was, holding my hands.

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With another mind-numbing push, the head was out. I stayed squatting with the head out, about another minute or until the next contraction, and then eased my baby out. When I did, I felt the body leave me in an amazing “bloop bloop” sort of way. Again, something I don’t recall when I pushed my son out.

In an instant I felt the baby’s slippery, jiggly body get past up through my legs. I looked down and saw a squishy little face swimming up toward me. I lifted my baby out of the water and brought it to me.

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Meeting my baby.

My whole world stopped in this moment, for I was overcome with great relief and immense joy.

The baby was pudgy and squat and covered in vernix. She had a shock of black hair and she remained incredibly calm – like the room she was born into – in those first few minutes.

I’m not proud of the words that immediately flew out of my mouth, which were the first words the baby ever heard. They were “Thank fucking God”. What can I say? It just happened.

After a minute or so of relishing in the shock and awe of what just happened, I asked if anyone in the room knew what the sex was. I thought perhaps someone saw something I didn’t.

I was told to reach underneath and feel for balls but I lay her out in my arms instead. I looked down quickly and saw a little vagina. She had holes in all the right places. It was a GIRL and I was THRILLED. I mean really, really thrilled.

Reya Taha Wood was born at 6:27am after 14 hours of labor and a half hour of pushing.

Jason retrieved Mylo from his room and found him sitting up in bed awake and smiling. We’re not sure how long he had been up and what he had heard but he handled the busy room with our birth team with equal parts cutesy and shyness. I was so proud of him.

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Mylo meets his sister.

I birthed the placenta 15 minutes later and Jason and Mylo cut the cord.

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I was guided to the bedroom where I nursed Reya and was spoon fed Cheerios by Kristen.

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Reya was weighed and I texted profusely our beautiful news with family and friends.

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My girl weighed in at 8lbs 13oz – WOW!

 

I Dreamt It Was You

Before I was even through the first trimester of my second pregnancy, I had a very profound dream that I was carrying a girl.

I was walking along Court Street in Brooklyn when I spotted an indigenous looking man walking a few dogs and a cat on a leash. He had long black hair and was wearing beaten up khakis, Birkenstock’s and donned a fanny pack in the front.

As with most people who have one or more dogs on a leash, I approached him. Jason trailed me, not the least bit thrilled I was about to strike up a conversation with a stranger, and one who looked a little nutty to boot.

I can’t remember what we spoke about, but I do remember crouching down to pet his well-behaved animals. When I got up to leave, he pulled a small sack from his fanny pack. He opened it up and told me to choose one. I reached inside and pulled out a stone that he then held up in the day sky. A ray of pink shone through. He looked at me and said without hesitation, “it’s a girl.”

I’m not sure if I said anything back, but I remember so clearly Jason’s reaction. It was one of amazement, disbelief and skepticism. He muttered, “but how…” and that’s all I really remember from this dream.

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It’s A Girl!!

How my feet want to jump up
Push me high to the sky
I found you
How my heart is beaming like the sun,
And the moon and the stars beyond,
I found you…

First breath.

First breath.

On Tuesday 9/17/13 at 6:27am, our daughter Reya Taha Wood, joined us earthside at home in Brooklyn. She’s super cute and we are super happy. We are also super pleased that it’s a girl!

Birth story to come…

 

40 Weeks Pregnant With #2

I’m officially one day past my due date. Sigh.

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My belly on my due date, 9/14/13

Last Monday I came down with a sore throat. It lasted all week, eventually manifesting itself into a cold. While my throat is thankfully no longer sore, the cold has reared its ugly head in other ways. A hoarse voice, followed by a painful cough and now a stuffy nose.

It’s probably for the best the baby didn’t come early. Labor and caring for a newborn while being sick would have sucked. And so I can’t help but wonder if the baby is waiting for me to get healthy, which I suppose is very thoughtful!

The fact that I’m just waiting around at this point has been frustrating. But having friends, family and colleagues constantly check in to see if there’s any baby news serves as an even more painful reminder. Poor Princess Kate! I couldn’t even imagine what it would be like to have the whole world waiting… and watching!

I’ve been keeping busy for the most part – sitting down to write this blog post is probably the most I’ve sat all weekend. Friday I took Mylo to the park with our friends and neighbors. We then took Griffie (our small dog) to the vet to have her shots. My parents came to Brooklyn for dinner. We ate at Sam’s in hopes that their famous baked ziti would have the same affect on the eve of my due date as it did in 2010 when I was pregnant with Mylo.

The ziti was a zero this time :(

The ziti did zilch for me this time :(

On Saturday we enjoyed some quality family time in Brooklyn. Jason took Mylo to the park with our friends and neighbors while I did the grocery shopping. After Mylo napped we drove to Jones Beach. The sun was peaking through the clouds but also on the verge of going down. Between the fall sun on our faces and our cozy sweatshirts, it was the perfect evening to be at the ocean.

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One of Mylo’s last days as an only child.

In the car on our way home from the beach I had four tolerable contractions in the span of a half hour. It was exciting but then just like that, they were gone.

Today we went with our friends and neighbors down to the farmer’s market at Pier 6 and met up with a few more friends. The kids ate pickles on sticks and ran around together like maniacs. Then we continued on to a street fair in Brooklyn Heights, which was dullsville. Mylo didn’t nap today and is currently scooting his tush off at the park with his buddy Matias. That means an early night in the sack for him and takeout and Shark Tank on TiVo for us!

 

Fun With My Son

I was recently reflecting on photos in my iPhone from this past summer. Seeing all the pics reminds me that with just one week to go until my due date, that I’ve had a hell of a fun summer with my son Mylo.

I made an extra effort to create memories of the time we had together. Even if he won’t remember them…I will never forget them.

I took him to the ocean five times. Two times it was just him and I. The other trips were with friends who have children too. Mylo loves the beach! Sure he loves the waves and the sand. He also loves climbing on the unused lifeguard chairs that are laying down in the sand. But what really cracks me up is that he especially loves to eat on the beach. And if you know my son you would know then why that’s so amusing. Mylo doesn’t have a whole lot of interest in food, and as a result it’s not always so easy to feed him. But the second we claim our spot in the sand, Mylo’s in the cooler and the seagulls are surrounding him.

Mylo and Olivia

Mylo and Olivia

Final day at the beach together.

Final day at the beach together.

I recently took him to a water park on Long Island called Splish Splash. I’ll admit, it was a bit too early to introduce him to water rides. It also turned out to be a super long day, not to mention expensive too. BUT, we went with a friend of mine, two of her young children and her 13 year old niece. So there were many hands on deck and despite the nasty spill Mylo took while chasing his buddy James, he had a lot of fun.

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The food options left a little more to be desired.

The food options at Splish Splash left a little more to be desired.

Last week we went with my friend Jenn, her two kids and her nephew to Hoyt Farm on Long Island. What a little gem of a place!

On one side of Hoyt Farm is two playgrounds and a small water park with fountains for cooling off. On the other side is a nature preserve. The two are connected by windy trails and an expansive field of rolling hills.

Mylo rockin' out on what Jenn's kids call "Big Mama"

Mylo rockin’ out on what Jenn’s kids call “Big Mama”

Mylo and Kailee feed the goats

Mylo and Kailee feed the goats

I’m certainly going to miss our time together as mommy and only child. It’s been an incredible three years full of sleep deprivation, learning curves and loads of fun. But I also look forward to the next chapter of our lives… when Mylo’s sibling completes us as a family.