Tuesday, March 21, 2017

In Which Ruth Sleeps Through Her First Bath....

Well, it's officially Ruth's due date and I suppose to celebrate, we gave her her first bath! If these photos give you any idea of her temperament, you'd be right. I didn't know it was possible for a baby to sleep through their first bath (or any bath for that matter?) but Ruth just went ahead and proved me wrong! She is such a sweet angel of a baby and we're absolutely smitten with her! She's back up to her birth weight, nursing like a champ and pretty much just charming us all. We love her so much. 

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Ruth Elanor, a Birth Story

The last photo of the bump!

This time around I tested positive for group B strep, which is fairly normal but made me a little nervous because of my previous quick deliveries. Since I had Winnie literally 40 minutes after getting to the hospital and they like you to be on the antibiotics for 4 hours before the baby is born... my doctor recommended inducing me at 39 weeks to make sure we'd be in the clear. I was pretty opposed to being induced with Winnie but this time I was like "yes! Sign me up!" I went in for my 39 week check up on Monday, having been dilated to a 2 for 3 weeks already and they told me I was scheduled for an induction the next morning at 8am! Baby time! I called Steve and we were both totally giddy, it was hard to believe she was actually going to be here! I got my nails done, gave the house a good last minute clean, took a long shower, made avocado toast for dinner and soaked up our last night as a family of four. The one thing I will say for an induction, it was so nice to know it was baby-time, to go to the hospital with my hair and make up done, not in a rush but totally calm. The drive was serene, fields were covered in early morning fog and Steve and I kept hypothesizing....what's she going to look like? What's she going to be like? 

We got to the hospital and signed in and then waited for our room to open up... for 2 1/2 hours. I guess that's what happens in labor and delivery when you're needs aren't urgent! We got into our room at 10am and they started me on the antibiotics. My dr. came in at 1pm and broke my water, he was expecting me to go fast so they didn't start me on pitocin right away. Then, we waited, patiently watching the monitor. I was getting contractions, not very painful or regular. I've decided that the difference between being induced and going into labor is akin to the difference of jumping off a cliff versus being pushed. I think I'd prefer to be pushed....all things considered. Waiting for something to happen was mentally exhausting, especially after expecting it to go so fast! After not progressing for a few hours the nurses started me on a small dosage of pitocin at 3 pm and my contractions picked up  and got to be more intense and regular. They were about like the contractions I felt the morning I went into labor with Winnie, too intense to put on a pair of pants or talk through, but I was still standing, so not crazy. These lasted for a couple of hours about  2-3 minutes apart, I thought for sure I would've progressed to at least a 5 or 6, but when they came in to check me I was only at a 3!! I think they actually said 3 1/2 but I assume that was only to make me feel better ;) at 5pm they upped my pitocin dosage again and this is when my contractions really picked up. They were coming intense and very close together, some of them one on top of the other. They were about the intensity of transition contractions with my other two girls. The nurse came in to check me several times because the readings were coming in so high, but I was staying (frustratingly) at a 4-5. At this point I was exhausted, hungry (I hadn't eaten since my bowl of yogurt at 6:30 that morning), discouraged and getting nauseous- probably from the aforementioned lack of food.

At this point I considered getting an epidural but didn't want to risk slowing labor down even more than it was already. I was nervous about what would happen to baby girl if my labor didn't start progressing any better. My contractions that were coming one on top of the other (coupling, I think they called it) were concerning the nurses and I just wanted to get the whole thing over with! I tried to get in the zone and focus on visualizing baby girl coming down with every contraction and breathing well. Steve held my hand and rubbed my back and let me pinch him through the pain (not sure why I needed to do this??). This labor, more than either of my others I really needed him there, more than just back tickling it's like he anchored me down somehow. He ran out to use the restroom once during these contractions and I was seriously nervous about getting another one without him there. Around 8 pm our nurse came in to check me again and I was at an 8! Woo hoo! I had about 30 seconds to be excited about this before another contraction came, and with it an overwhelming need to push. Literally, the nurse had just shut the door when Steve had to call her back in. She checked me again only to find I'd gone immediately from an 8 to a 10+. My dr. was assisting in a c-section in the OR and they frantically called him in as several other nurses rushed in the door. At this point I was holding myself trying to stop from pushing and I could literally feel her head with my hands. It was crazy. Dr Swanson whisked in hurriedly but calm and told the nurse to hold the baby's head in while he prepared. She was literally pushing Ruth's head back into my body, exerting not a little force. Crazy crazy crazy. I pushed for about 30 minutes and at 8:55pm we FINALLY welcomed our perfect baby girl into the world.

I was exhausted and so incredibly relieved. Hearing that sweet cry was the best sound in the world. She was completely covered in white goop (way more than our other girls), perfectly healthy with a full head of brown hair. They wiped her off somewhat and put her on my chest. Tears of joy and relief were shed as I snuggled my precious girl. It's such a wonderful distraction to have while they stitch you up. There's nothing like holding that sweet baby after the adrenaline high of giving birth! By the time they stitched me up and weighed and measured baby girl it was almost 11pm and I was RAVENOUS. The cafeteria was closed and so was most everything else outside the hospital so Steve headed out and brought me back a double double animal style with fries and a large diet coke. I don't think anything has ever tasted so good! And no heartburn! Hallelujah! Baby girl latched on right away and has been the best nurser I've had so far right off the bat. 

She's such a calm, sweet baby and just the best addition to our family already. We named her after her great grandma Marcum (Ruth) and a flower that grows in Lothl√≥rien (Elanor), just to remind her forever that her mother is a nerd :) We love this little girl so much already and as cheesy as it sounds, I already cannot imagine life without her.          

also, for those interested... Clara's birth story and Winnie's birth story          

Thursday, March 16, 2017


Ruth Elanor Marcum

March 14, 2017 (pi day!)


7 lbs. 9 oz. 

20 inches long

She is healthy and perfect and we are absolutely smitten! 
Welcome to the world our sweet baby Ruth.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Nursery #3

Another nursery for another sweet baby girl! For those interested, here's Clara's nursery and Winnie's nursery as well. We decided to set baby girl up in our room for a few months while I decide if I'm ready to move Winnie out of her crib or not....but I couldn't help decorating a little space for her, obviously. I actually love it as part of our room, who knew we were missing so much?? Can't wait to hold you sweet angel! Come soon!

Things to be Remembered About Right Now.

How Clara loves to take instax photos on my camera and will arrange little "still life's" or ask you to make very specific faces/poses for her photos ie: "Mommy, make a really serious face, like someone just made a mean choice."

How Winnie grabs my face with both hands to kiss me, or how she put her cheek next to mine for a solid 10 minutes and played with my hair after her nap a few days ago.

Reading a big pile of books to both the girls on Clara's bed during for their bedtime routine. How absorbed Clara is in the stories and how Winnie will keep pointing at different animals on the pages saying "MOM!!!"

How good Clara is at cracking eggs when we bake. I didn't teach her, she's just naturally good at it and I am always amazed-she hardly ever lets a shell in!

How both girls love sushi. They'll eat all the raw fish off the top of a rainbow roll if you let them!

How a couple nights ago after dinner Steve and I let the girls run around at the fountain outside the restaurant. You would've thought from the look on their faces that we'd taken them to Disneyland. Even though it was freezing and it was bedtime and from a practical standpoint.... we should've just gone straight to the car, I'm so glad we didn't. Sometimes it's important to let yourself remember that it's the little things in life that bring the most joy to a child's soul.

Clara insisting on carrying the groceries in from the car for me this week- it was so sweet and actually very helpful! She must be watching her daddy ;)

The faces Winnie makes at the dinner table. That girl is hilarious!

Taking the girls to the zoo on Tuesday and watching them run around ecstatic to see all the animals.

The way Winnie runs. It still looks completely out of control, like she should fall at least 90% of the time. Her feet go faster than her body and it is absolutely hilarious to watch. I don't know how we haven't had more scrapes and bruises with her (knock on wood).

All the spontaneous hugs and kissed Clara gives me and my baby belly throughout the day. She's just the sweetest 4 year old alive and she's really excited for her new baby sister!

How fun it is to get the girls dressed and do their hair. I honestly look forward to it every day! They're like my little dolls. I'm grateful I still rule their closets, even if Clara does take off her pants and add a few bows by 3pm every day.

Looking back while in line at lunch the other day and seeing Clara give Winnie a big hug and literally picking her up off the ground (to Winnie's delight).

Clara's obsession with catching and/or possessing a bird. It's a brainstorming discussion at least once a day and it's hilarious to hear the solutions she comes up with. The best was when I told her that birds were too fast to catch point blank, end of discussion-like, then she thought for a minute and responded with "I have a good idea! Let's climb up in a tree, steal an egg from a nest and put it in the cage, then it will hatch in there and we'll have a bird!" Once her mind is set on something, there's really no convincing her of the impossibilities.

How much the girls love their Daddy. Seeing their faces light up when they hear the garage door open is one of the highlights of my day!

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Life Lately via my iphone

these girls love their daddy!

Clara, refusing to smile for me and looking very grown up in the bargain.

I think that this was around 36 weeks. I've since given up wearing jeans. 

Winnie found the dark chocolate!

post-breakfast belly cuddles 

bahahahahahaha. she loves me.

Sunday best with my two favorite chickies 

I can't wait to be occupying this corner with a BABY in my arms.

seriously, when did she turn into such a big girl??? I'm freaking out over here.

photocredit: Clara. So flattering, I know.

proud of her work on Daddy's hair

the girls room by morning light. Such a happy little space.

just, you know, playing with the cat, in the tub, in the morning.

two girls at Costco. I asked them to smile and this is what I got.

As I took down the Valentines decorations I decided it was probably time to take down the Christmas cards as well. They make me so happy! Thank you to everybody who sends them! I will say that this was the first year I could bring myself to throw them all away instead of tucking them into some forgotten drawer never to be seen again. It was a proud moment for me. I'm slowly but surely weeding out my hoarding tendencies.

obligatory selfie of the hair cuts

our pretty blooming backyard.

Clara with all of the things required for a trip to the zoo, apparently. I asked her to smile on the way out the door and I got this fantastic pose instead. Not complaining. 

^^^zoo pics^^^
Fresno may have faults, but our cute little zoo is not one of them.

I used to shun the tulip but have grown quite fond of them in the past couple years. I can really get behind a bloom who ages well!

^^see, two days later, even better!^^

bagel date with these goofballs. 

I finally found a frame suitable for my foxy lady. My brother got this print for me and I know it's weird, but I love it.

pretty certainly our last date before baby! We saw a terrible movie and really regretted our dinner choice but the company was fantastic. There was a point were we both laughed until we cried in the car talking about who knows what, I love this man so much.