making baby food

when i was pregnant, i totally thought i would make baby's food. after a few months of life with baby, i began to think there was no way i'd have the time or energy to make her food so i got a few jars of earth's best. it's organic and not overly pricey. this seemed easiest.

then we got our last CSA (community supported agriculture) share and a beautiful butternut squash was in that share. earth's best doesn't make butternut squash in the starter veggie pack and i LOVE butternut squash so i figured i'd try my hand at making it for her. it was so easy and if i do say so myself, so very tasty. :D best of all and most rewarding, sophia loved it. this motivates me to make her more food.


live a life worth living

my first ever FB note was a call for my friends to step up and make a difference. the note talked of a special burden God placed in my heart for those suffering from cancer. i spoke of a young lady named michelle who needed a bone marrow transplant and encouraged each of you to register at the national marrow donor program. my heart breaks in remembering that michelle passed away on july 25th 2009. her family and friends are still continuing michelle's legacy. you can read about it here. http://projectmichelle.com/blog/

today i write on behalf of a little girl, kate who has been battling a very malignant and aggressive brain cancer since june 29th 2009. my sister and BIL used to go to the same church as kate's family in california and this is how i found out about their story.

kate's mom's most recent journal entry shares of their desire to help other families in similar situations as they have felt so blessed by the help and outpourings of others. last year, they did 'kate's crazy cool christmas' and requested that toys be donated to the children's hospital so other cancer patients could receive gifts. this year they are once again doing 'kate's crazy cool christmas', in a slightly different way.

they are choosing 10 families to give gift bags to. these gift bags will hold different things that they felt were helpful during the difficult times. things like starbucks, target, restaurant, visa gift cards, etc... along with a separate gift bag with some items such as jesus storybook bible, esv journaling bible, and/or charles spurgeon's "beside still waters".

calvin and i are donating 4 jesus storybook bibles to kate's crazy cool christmas. sophia has one of these and we find it wonderful for her and us. it gives us so much pleasure to know that another family can read stories of Jesus to their child.

i hope you'll join us in sharing Jesus' love with the 10 families that aaron, holly and kate choose to bless this christmas. if you're interested in giving something, send me an email and i'll give you the address where you can send or have the items sent directly to.

in these small little ways, Jesus can shine.

oh my darling .

sophia at birth

sophia at 6.5 months

the hat from the hospital still fits! :)


my non-cuddler

i always thought my baby would love to cuddle. when i worked in the day care center, every baby loved to be hugged and snuggled. when i hold my friend's babies, they all love to be hugged and snuggled. sadly, sophia does not like to be hugged or snuggled. she makes noises stating her dissatisfaction. one would think she was flying vertically. her body is curved outwards against the curve of my body. and even then, i try to curve my body towards her.

recently it made me feel sad and i would kind of force her to me so we could be closer and bond. but that didn't feel worth it nor did she appreciate it. understandably so. so i stopped and try not to take it personally. there are moments however when i feel like, "sheesh. i only grew you inside my belly for 10 months and then pushed you out without pain meds so your system wouldn't have to experience drugs (as well as other reasons) and now lactate so you can eat and grow... oh, that's all." but it's too early to start the guilt tripping. don't cha think? :P

alas, God made my daughter as she is for very specific reasons. it's my job to love her and grow her as she is.


my jacked up dislocated pinky :: part II

turns out the pinky isn't only dislocated.... the hand doctor said i ruptured a tendon and fractured some bone. :( boo. the remedy is a custom splint worn 24/7 for 6 weeks.

last saturday our football team played in the WFFI new jersey flag football tournament. i only played a handful of times. i really wanted to play more but was rather fearful of getting more injured since i have to take care of sophia. we made it to the tournament of champions though (YAY!) which means we're playing again on nov 20th. maybe, just maybe, the tendon will heal by then and i'll be able to play with my team. :) that would be so awesome.

the team did so well. go vision! this mama was/is so proud of each and every one of you! :)


my jacked up dislocated pinky

football is so fun. less fun is dislocating my finger while playing football. it happened yesterday while i was rushing the QB. i was trying to grab his flag and my poor little pinky got stuck in his pocket. and then there was some twisting and some pain. i remember looking at my hand wondering why it was hurting so much. and then i saw my finger stuck in an abnormal position. fortunately for me there's a doctor on our team. she's a dermatologist but managed to make me believe she knew what she was about to do to my dislocated finger. i braced myself for the pain that is putting a dislocated joint back into its socket but was pleasantly surprised. i felt the clicking but that's about it. i think it was semi-numb because of the initial pain as well as the adrenaline rushing through me.

i always heard people say that if something is dislocated, it'll feel much better (and like normal) after it's popped back into place. is that true? because my finger certainly does not feel normal. it's swollen, bruised, and ugly. i didn't know i was so vain when it came to my fingers. :P i'll find out on friday if anything is torn or fractured as i'm going to see my hand doc then. our tournament is saturday... oh, how i hope i can play.

aside from disliking not being 100%, it's actually really hard to take care of sophia without having full finger capabilities. even in a splint, i notice myself wincing when i pick her up and tend to her needs. ah. the joys of getting older. when i tore my ligament in my ring finger a couple of years ago, i asked the hand doc why it tore this time when on numerous occasions while playing football, my fingers have jammed. he answered that once you hit 30, nothing is the same. man... that was the year i turned 30. i guess at 32, a dislocated finger is to be expected.


BabyBond nursing {giveaway}

UPDATE: and the winner is #30, AmyLynn. congrat's!

nursing. sometimes it brings me great joy. other times it brings me to my knees with tears in my eyes. i am thankful for creative folks who try to come up with ways to help a nursing mother.

BabyBond. an innovative idea, this sash covers only mom making for less fight and struggle as my baby isn't draped over by a piece of cloth. BabyBond generously gave me a BabyBond Flex in charcoal to test out. {thank you!} the first thing i noticed was how extremely soft the fabric is. a positive since the fabric touches sophia's face. i like that the babybond flex is easy to use and quickly maneuverable. another great feature is the burp cloth strap. my sophia just loves to spit up which means i find this particular feature rather functional. overall, i found this great to nurse in and with a 5 month old who gets easily distracted, the fabric gave her just enough to play with while still remaining focused.

{{win it}}
how generous of BabyBond to offer a BabyBond Original in turquoise (size 2) for one lucky reader!

mandatory entry: leave a comment
•'like' BabyBond on FB and say that {MustardSeed by.carollai} sent you!

additional entries: leave a separate comment for each
•'follow' my blog
•swing by my etsy shop and tell me your favorite item
•'like' my FB page
•link this giveaway to your blog
•share with us your favorite nursing memory

open to readers worldwide. the winner will be chosen via random.org on 10.24.10 at 11.59pm EST and has 48 hrs to respond.

as if that wasn't marvelous enough, the people at BabyBond are offering 2 BabyBonds for less than $46. that's a 75% discount! this way you can buy one for yourself and another for a friend.

all you need to do is purchase one BabyBond via babiesrus.com and email a copy of your receipt from babiesrus.com to missy@babybondnursing.com. you will receive a discount code to purchase another BabyBond via their website for 75% off! make sure to place the first order on babiesrus.com within 4 days of this post (by monday 10.18.10) and on the babybond website within 24 hours of receiving the discount code.



oozing with love . my sophia

in the beginning, i thought my sophia was goofy cute. then we bonded and i began to grow in my 'like' of her. after some more time i started to love her. just recently though do i look at her and love her SO MUCH and find her to be the most adorable little baby ever. i've become that mommy. :)

let me explain.

her thighs are chubby. they are soft and they like to kick and fling about ever so carefree-ly. they don't have much control yet which just makes it all that much cuter. it makes me smile.

her cheeks {the ones on her face} are similarly chubby and so kissable. i often squish my lips into them. sometimes she'll squish back against my face. i like that.

even her little teeny tiny feet are so irresistible. they're adorably pudgy and rounded-ly rectangular. she finds it funny when i play games with them.

her head is so round and smells a little sweaty most the time. it's not disgusting, it's rather endearing. :)

her chubby arms are just long enough to reach the side of her head to tug on her hair, which she will do when we read together or when she gets tired. those often go hand-in-hand. i like peering down at her when we're reading together. all i see is the top of her head and her cheeks.

when she wakes from a nap, she lets me know by 'calling' me.  when i go to her and her eyes focus on me, she breaks out in a cheeky sweet smile. i love lifting her up from her crib and hugging her close to me.

see what i mean? don't you love her now too? {{smiles}}

my sophia at 4.5 months.


review and discount code! {the fresh stitch}

i first found corinne at the fresh stitch by search for baby related products on etsy. how delighted i was when i clicked into her etsy shop! i was greeted with quite the visual... adorable (and some eco-friendly and organic) fabrics that made up a variety of great looking bibs, burp cloths, minky blankets, embellished onesies and more. i was addicted and looked at nearly everything in her shop. :)

after starting up a conversation, corinne generously mailed me this beautiful bib and burp cloth set since i had mentioned to her that my sweet baby girl is quite the spitter upper. the green leaf fabric is 60% cotton and 40% bamboo poplin and the reverse side is 100% certified organic french terry. isn't it pretty?

i was delighted when i received it. the package was so thoughtfully put together (i could easily have given this as a gift!), the product looked amazing (sewn so perfectly. believe me, i examined it!) and felt so so soft to the touch, but i still wondered how it would hold up under sophia's, at times, messy dribble and massive spit up. the answer? BEAUTIFULLY!

first the hubby tested out the bib when he did his once a night bottle feed. many other bibs that we have get totally sopped and instead of keeping the milk dribble off sophia, the end result is a wet disaster. {note how she's now naked when feeding from the bottle!} not so with this bib! i loved it. baby remained dry and the bib was somewhat damp but not even completely sopping wet. i didn't know how corinne did it until she mentioned the layer of cotton batting inside the bib. she's a genius! :)

sophia looks kind of serious here but she's really thanking corinne for making a bib that has kept her dry! {"thank you!"}

now to the burp cloth. corinne is accurate in saying that this burp cloth has a variety of uses. she writes, "this burp cloth wipes up any mess resulting from spit up, vomit, baby food, milk, diaper changes and can also function as an over-sized wash cloth!" it's true. i've used it while burping baby (works well so long as she doesn't completely spit up her entire meal -- for those instances, i'd use the fresh stitches cloth diaper variety which is 6-ply. talk about absorbent!) and while baby is on her activity mat (another great use since sophia tends to drool when on tummy time.)

look at that neck strength! :) yay for sophia!

all in all, i just love this etsy shop and owner. aside from the many different adorable/cute/fun choices and products, corinne was so kind and easy to converse with. i always love 'meeting' the face behind a product i love. it's particularly refreshing when that person is so open and friendly!

what's in it for you?
corinne at the fresh stitch is generously offering 10% off to my readers for the month of august. simply write MUSTARDSEED10 in a conversation to corinne prior to the sale for a reserved listing or write it in the 'note from buyer' section at checkout and corinne will refund your paypal.

thank you corinne for sending us the bib and burp cloth. you really do make such wonderful things and we'll be back for more!


diaper bag {genius}

it's hard to find a good diaper bag. as i searched for the 'perfect' one and wasn't able to find it, i gave up. thankfully when baby came, the hospital gave us a similac diaper bag on our discharge. it was great! it came in an urban and simple across your chest backpack form with just enough space for the changing pad, numerous diapers/wipes/buttpaste, change of clothes, a couple of burp clothes and a swaddle blanket. we were even able to stuff a few other things in there when needed. that took care of the functional aspect, but what about fashion? i was still searching.

one day i stumbled upon babyeverafter {aka. hot mama handbags}. this etsy shop sells handbags that can also be used as diaper bags. or maybe it's better described as diaper bags that can also be used as handbags. in any case, i was so excited because the prints and patterns of the fabrics are so very cute. after hemming and hawing and saving up some money, i purchased one.

today i received it and i just love it! first, the owner, maranda lee has great customer service. she had so many conversations with me as i considered and re-considered and requested some changes, etc. i was very thankful for her willingness to talk with me through some thoughts and to answer questions i had.

now to the bag. it is very well made, the fabric is beautiful and it's an easy bag to pair with many different things. the pockets come very much so in handy whether i want to put diapers or a bottle or anything else. the little compartments help me easily find things. there's even a key hook so i won't need to be rummaging around to find my keys. i highly recommend this bag for diaper bag/baby needs and/or for just plain pretty handbag needs. :D p.s. isn't my bag pretty? 


{the mommy cover by joia} review and giveaway!

{{edit: and the winner via random.org is #21 - melanie! you will receive an email from me shortly! thanks to all for participating!}}

being a new mommy has many challenges. one of them is figuring out the art of breastfeeding in public. enter the mommy cover by joia.

joia products was founded in 2007 by mommy of 2, charlie. she sought to combine the two sides of being a momma - "The Mommy - who simply wants something that works well, is easy to use, and is equally easy to maintain; and The Fashionista - who still craves some sense of individuality, confidence, and style."

i was introduced to the mommy cover by my sister who received the cover as a gift when she was pregnant. i loved its chic look. the satin strap up top, the bold pattern print and its reversibility. it looked too good to be true! when i became pregnant, i received a mommy cover of my own and i was so excited to have the baby so i could use it!


now that baby sophia is 2.5 months old, i've had many chances to use the mommy cover. the mommy cover is beautifully made. there are many wonderful fabric combinations to choose from! i love all the attempts at making this cover functional and easy to use - their innovative reel feature which keeps the cover closed helping to avoid any accidental flashing and the semi-rigid band across the top so i can see baby while she's nursing. their website is extremely helpful, with FAQ's, their story, and even a how-to on using the reel. a gallery shows the mommy cover in use.

i had some challenges with the reel as it pulls the fabric tight across the back and therefore affects the ability to see baby while nursing. i've found it easier to use the cover without closing the reel. additionally, the semi-rigid band at times will break its hold so i have to readjust to maintain eye contact with baby. i like how the cover is wide horizontally. this helps keep me covered when baby is struggling or flailing her arms during a challenging nursing session. i'm still getting the hang of using a cover in public so i think as time passes, it will all go more smoothly. my suggestion would be to have a more rigid band up top as that aids in keeping the cover off baby and would allow for easier use.

this company's customer service is unmatched. when the reel on my mommy cover broke, charlie kindly sent me a new cover. i greatly appreciated the individual attention and care!

charlie at joia products is generously offering a gift certificate to be used towards one of her lovely mommy covers. thanks charlie! :)

TO ENTER :: {one entry for each. leave a separate comment per entry. make sure to leave your email address so i can reach you if you're the winner!}
1. head over to their website and comment on which mommy cover you want.
2. head over to my etsy shop and tell me what you'd like to see more of.
3. 'like' their FB page.
4. 'like' my FB page.
5. become a follower of my blog.
6. blog about this giveaway on your blog! leave the link in your comment.

the lucky winner will be chosen via random.org on 7/23/10 at 12.00pm.
ready? set? GO!



i am now a true momma.

life with sophia

sophia is almost 2 and a half months old now! can you believe it? thankfully, we've started to find some sort of rhythm. in the coming weeks and months, sophia should get on a more organized schedule which will be very helpful to me in terms of going outdoors more.

baby is super mellow and that has been such a blessing for me as a new mommy. she's learned the art of breastfeeding rather well, though each week she challenges mommy in one way or another related with the feedings. i've been learning the importance of letting things go, going with the flow of each challenge, and adapting. this is only the beginning and likely, the easiest part! :)

these days baby is cooing, intentionally smiling, grabbing, pulling, holding her head and neck stronger, pushing off her legs, and doing lots of finger sucking. :) baby is also starting to chuckle! she makes the cutest noises at the most random moments. what a true joy and blessing from God. we're so thankful.


precious moments captured .


{our birth story}

this is the story of how baby sophia paige lai entered the world.

two entries below explains that i was given cervidil (a cervix ripener) on may 3, 2010 in hopes of bringing on labor. i walked the L&D hallway nearly all night, taking about 1.5 hrs to rest and sleep. unfortunately, when they checked me 12 hrs later at 6:00am, the cervidil didn't do the trick. it did, however, dilate me to 1 "good" cm... i was very thankful as that was 1cm further than the previous day when i was still completely closed!

on may 4, 2010 at 7:10am, i was hooked up to an IV of pitocin, some saline and two fetal monitors. i was definitely bummed about receiving pitocin and being hooked to monitors but considering the circumstances (baby's lack of weight gain since the last measurement), we had no other options. my doctor was on 'partial' call at the hospital and she suggested a cook balloon which was inserted and filled with saline. {that did NOT feel good and the process was rather painful, but heck, i was hoping to push out a baby by the end of the day so i wasn't going to complain!} the idea of the cook balloon is that the added pressure of the ball inside would push down on the cervix, hopefully aiding the process of dilation. the doctor filled up the balloon with a lot of saline, saying that when the balloon came out, i would be about 3cm dilated.

7 hrs later (around 2:10pm), the ball was still inside. this was definitely a low point for me emotionally as contractions were becoming more and more painful (i was gauging the pain level at around 4, maybe 5 out of 10) and i was starting to feel really discouraged. i was experiencing a lot of pain in my lower back region as well. my head kept circling around the fact that the ball hadn't fallen out yet which meant that i was still less than 3cm dilated. "with all this pain, how could that be?", i wondered. typically, 1-3cm is still early labor and shouldn't be so painful. then i remembered that pitocin was doing its work and that my labor was drug induced, not natural.

as my doctor was leaving the hospital and another doctor in her practice was taking over, i received a great pep talk. my doctor told me that i was doing great and that she could always tell in someone's eyes if they were losing it. she said that i was not there yet and that i could do it. she reminded me of my hopes for a completely natural {aka. no pain meds} labor and delivery and encouraged me to focus on one contraction at a time. i inquired about an epidural as i kept thinking if i'm not even at 3cm, how the heck will i handle, 4cm, 5cm, 6cm... 9cm, and 10cm? my doctor said that if i wanted one i could definitely get one but she again told me how wonderfully i was doing and that she believed i could do it naturally.

then she left.

shortly after, i was doing some squats in hopes that the ball would come out and it did! it was the weirdest sensation. i think the back labor i was getting was from the pressure of the ball because the second it came out, the contractions changed and away went the back labor. thankfully!

i was checked for the first time since the introduction of pitocin and i was 6cm dilated! i felt so thankful and encouraged feeling that all the pain wasn't for nothing because it had brought me past the halfway point. the hubby and my doula rejoiced but i quickly refocused knowing there was still a lot of work to be done. this was around 2:45pm.

the labor increased in pain as the pitocin increased in amount. i was sitting on my fitness/yoga ball a lot as i was tied down to too many monitors/IV pole to walk around or use the shower/tub. my doula was wonderful and continually encouraged me as well as gave me massages/counter pressure to help deal with the pain. the hubby provided quiet support which was exactly what i needed from him.

labor continued to progress. at 4:45pm when the doctor came to check how far along i had progressed, i was at 7/8cm. i was somewhat bummed that after 2 hrs, i had only progressed 1-2cm. the doctor decided that it was time to rupture my membranes (i.e. break my water) and when she did, baby's head immediately came down and i was 8cm dilated.

woohoo! i was getting closer.

the doctor said that she would come back to check me in one hour. one hour!!! that was so exciting to hear. except that this next hour was so intense! i found myself looking at the wall clock at every contraction which made the time tick even slower. minute by minute... finally i made myself stop looking each time i wanted to. these 'transition phase' contractions were beyond anything i've ever experienced. i was sitting in a rocking chair with my feet pressed and pushed and pulled against the bed legs. although, truthfully i can't really remember the pain right now, i remember at the time feeling like i was going to die. and feeling like i just couldn't handle another one. the hubby held my hand and let me squeeze it to pieces while saying that i could do it. that i WAS doing it. ice chips were also very helpful at this point as my lips were so dry from trying to breath steadily. my doula was also wonderfully reminding me that this was all for a purpose and that each contraction was bringing me closer and closer.

by the 35 minute mark, i really really wanted the doctor to come and check me again as i felt like i wanted to push. i kept pathetically looking at the hubby asking/requesting him to pray for me. he said he was. i remember praying as well, asking God to please make me 10cm dilated when the doc came back. i felt in my heart that if i wasn't fully dilated at that point, i really didn't know how i would continue on. yep. it felt THAT intense. the doctor came back around 6pm, checked me and said the words i wanted to hear. "are you ready to push?" adrenaline and excitement entered my body and i was ready! so ready.

the pushing was such a relief after the intense 'transition phase' contractions. the doctor taught me how to push {get air, hold your breath and truly push like you're going to have a bowel movement.} i started getting the hang of it and the doctor was slowly applying jelly and stretching the perineum to minimize tearing. dang that burned and did not feel good but again, i knew my baby's head was going to come out through that space so the momentary burning faded to the background. the doctor was so good - between pushes, she had me touch baby's head. to be honest, i didn't know what i was feeling but apparently it was baby's head and apparently there was a lot of hair. :) the hubby and the doula were both so excited and i was starting to think there really was an end in sight.

but when was still in question.

my team was so great. my doula held one leg, my nurse held the other leg, the hubby took photos/videos, and the doctor encouraged and let me lead on the pushing front. i am so thankful for the team that we had working with us. 25 minutes after starting to push, baby's head came out. on all the baby story television shows that i've seen, they tell the mom to stop pushing as they maneuver the baby's shoulders, etc but apparently baby sophia flew out in one {nearly} fell swoop. :) our baby was born!

in the end, no epidural or pain meds were given. the doctor asked me at 8cm if i wanted an epidural. i recall grunting, "no". she asked again and i ignored her. in the end, i'm really thankful that i didn't get an epi or pain meds as i really didn't want baby to feel sluggish or experience any drugs (except for pitocin but there was no option there). i also didn't want to feel sluggish or drugged so that i could fully experience it all. and boy, i did.

now that the labor and delivery is over, i kind of laugh at how much emphasis i had placed on learning how to have the labor and delivery that i wanted. i should really have focused my preggo-cy days reading up on how to be a new mom. my butt has been kicked over and over again since baby's birth and it's only been 2.5 weeks. i've felt completely overwhelmed and anxious at the thought of being responsible for such a little being and breast feeding has put me at such high highs and such low lows. each day brings new challenges filled with changes and the need for me to adjust and adapt.

thankfully, the past 2 days have been much much better emotionally and mentally. perhaps the preggo-cy hormones are exiting my body. or perhaps i'm slowly learning to take each change as it comes and to adjust. i'm trying to let go of the way i thought things would or should be and am trying to just go with the flow. it's been quite the adventure...

time to feed the little one again. i am a human cow. that is my job description.


{introducing Sophia Paige}

hello all!

it's been awhile since the last post. baby, aka Sophia Paige made her entrance into the world on May 4, 2010 at 6.28pm. she weighed 5lbs 11oz and measured 18.5". we are happily exhausted these days which is why this post is so delayed. sorry! but i did want you all to know that baby is out and about and thankfully, healthy! thank you so much for your prayers.

free time is so rare these days and i'm in need of a nap right now so i will be back (hopefully in a few days) to share the birth story! :)



{week 40 and 2 days - induction)

did i ever mention how much i hate roller coasters? i've never liked the up and down, the stomach jumping to throat feeling, the risk related to being thrown every which way but belted in at the chest and waist.

well, this morning was quite the roller coaster ride. first came the doctor's appt at 9.30am. baby, who has been head down since week 32 was suddenly slightly off center. it was rather concerning because after all this time of monitoring baby's small size and all, i hadn't thought abt the possibility of her head not being down and centered. thousands of thoughts ran through my mind and i had a good cry.

at 1.30pm, i had the hospital appt. this appt was to measure the baby's weight as well as have the non-stress test (NST). the sonographer did the ultrasound and the news wasn't positive. baby measured 5lbs 13oz. that's the exact same weight as 2 weeks ago. we were informed that baby could gain up to 1 lb every 2 weeks. my already completely overwhelmed emotional state began to deteriorate. one humongously good thing was that baby's head was back centered and down. the head obstetrician came to speak to me and he decided on immediate induction.

i went upstairs to the 12th floor where i signed in and waited for a labor room. during that time, i called all the necessary people and shed a few more tears. all the while praying, asking for His peace and trying to stabilize myself for the road ahead.

a room was provided by 3pm. i ate my last meal for quite some time at 3.30pm. what was it, you're wondering? boston market! i love that place and we, fortunately have one very close to the hospital. :) cervidil, the induction medication was given at 5.50pm. now we're just waiting and praying for labor to begin. cervidil will stay in for 12 hrs and if labor progresses, i can labor and have baby. if cervidil doesn't do anything after 12 hrs, pitocin will be administered. we really really don't want to go there if possible, so please pray with us that the cervidil will do the trick and that labor will begin on its own.

according to the monitors, i am contracting but it doesn't really hurt so i'm guessing they're still braxton hicks contractions. they are rather consistent though so we can think positive thoughts that it is the start of real labor.

please pray with us.
1. baby is safe and healthy. we're not sure why she didn't gain weight. the sonographers measurements are likely off so we just pray for God's hand to be over baby and for baby to be well developed and without any problems.
2. for the cervidil to work and for labor to begin as we hope to avoid the crazy induction drug called pitocin.
3. peace in our hearts and spirits. God's plan is perfect - but it's still hard at times to let go of everything we've hoped for and desired. for our faith to be strengthened through all of this.
4. that baby's head would remain down and centered as we'll need that if any pushing is to occur.
5. for the doctor's and nurses we encounter. that they would see our love for Jesus and that we could show them this love. also that they would genuinely care about us and try to give us their highest level of care. that they would know what they're doing and not jump to do anything rash.

thank you all for your prayers! as always, we know how powerful your prayers are and appreciate them.

oh btw... i'm feeling much better emotionally. i think throughout the day God really granted me some peace and stability of mind. thank goodness. now i'm not tearing at every second!


{week 39-40}

my parents arrived last Sunday. days have been filled with spending quality time with them, eating wonderful home cooked meals from my mommy and taking strolls in Central Park. the weather has gotten so lovely! :)

as the due date has come and gone i went through a day of feeling extreme internal pressure and anxiety. "how come baby didn't want to come out?", i thought... thankfully, after praying about it, God gave me much peace and now i'm just enjoying the last bits of free time before baby arrives. we're ready for you sweet little one but we will be patient until you are ready. or until God says you're ready. :D


{ playing while anticipating }

baby oh baby, when will you make your appearance? mommy and daddy are excited to meet you! we shall be patient and wait until you are ready. here is your room -- all ready for you. :)

since we weren't sure if we were going to be induced on Monday, last weekend i had a sudden urge to take some 'final' photos of my belly. as you can tell, i'm very nostalgic. here is belly at week 38. she certainly looks bigger to me! :)

our doula brought us some lovely smelling and pretty lilacs. they sure brighten up our space! :) thanks mk.

lastly, tonight we enjoyed attending a spring benefit for the private school i used to work at. this year it was held at the diane von furstenberg studio in the meatpacking district. lovely space. great food. free drinks. nice time chatting with friends. good times.



baby gained 1 lb since 12 days ago! that meant we didn't need to get induced yesterday and we can continue on with growing baby inside and just wait for natural labor to begin. at 38+ weeks, baby is estimated at 5lbs 13oz and that is a good place for us! i told my doctor that i had upped my protein intake in hopes of helping baby girl grow and she said that i shouldn't do that because it only adds onto my weight and not baby's weight since my normal nutrition is def adequate enough to feed the placenta that feeds baby. phew. :) what a relief. now i can stop trying to overeat on the protein front!

over the weekend, when we were contemplating the idea of induction and of meeting our baby girl super soon, we went from slight apprehension to eager anticipation. yesterday when we were informed of no induction (yay! definitely a good thing), a small part of my heart was disappointed that i wouldn't yet get to meet baby gal. but i know that day isn't far so i quickly bounced back and got to spend some quality time with a few friends. :D

baby is hiccuping and kicking right now so my guess is she's saying hi to you all and thanking you for praying for her, mommy-to-be, and daddy-to-be. we thank you as well. the past two weeks reminded us of the importance of being surrounded by a supportive and praying community. we love you all. :)


{baby update}

we've felt so blessed by all the support and prayers for us and baby. thank you!

here is an update:
i spoke with my doctor today. she said that on monday when i get the ultrasound estimating baby's weight, if baby hasn't gained at least one pound (the last weight estimated was 4lbs 14oz 12 days ago), she is going to send me directly back to the hospital for induction (meaning they will use drugs to make my labor begin). initially i felt alarmed at the immediacy of that idea but i completely agree that if they feel that baby is at risk for some reason, for example, "why is baby not gaining weight appropriately, esp in these last weeks when babies typically gain lots of weight", then i also want baby out. i am 38 weeks tomorrow so there is no reason to really wait if they feel something isn't right.

the harder part to reconcile for myself is that i really wanted a natural birth and with induction (pitocin drugs) and being continuously monitored (because of baby's small size), it will be SO MUCH harder to do that since the contractions will be so much stronger/intense and i won't be able to walk at all or move around as much due to the continuous monitoring... i had also really hoped for no drugs (whether epidural or pitocin because all these things reach baby and i didn't want baby drugged) so that's a bit unexpected and makes me remember that i really need to let go and be flexible with how things will go because it's all in God's plan.

all this to say that we'd love your prayers - i believe that God can fatten baby up if He wants to so that is what we'll ask for.

please pray:
1. that baby fattens up so much more than we can hope and that it's a miracle how much growth she's had thus allowing labor to start as it will on its own (but of course not too much growth since we don't want her humongous).
2. that the sonographer on monday would be accurate in her estimate of baby's weight since her measurement will decide a lot.
3. that we would fully trust our doc's recommendations and feel at peace with whatever decisions are made on monday.
4. that even if there is pitocin and continuous monitoring - for a smooth and uncomplicated labor, even "easy", in relative terms of course.
5. that calvin and i are emotionally prepped and that we will fully rest in His plan for us and baby.

there's probably so much more i would love prayer for but please pray as you feel led since i can't think of it all and can't possibly state it as clearly as i would want to. lots of different things are running through my head right now.

overall, i feel okay. i randomly feel panicky as it's all so unpredictable and come monday morning, so much will be revealed. so, pray with us please! :) thank you.


{ emotions }

today i am feeling sad. i went to my doctor's appt in the early am and met with the last doctor in the practice. she's got the least "warm" bedside manner of the 4 doctor's in the practice and she said, "your baby is VERY small", which really didn't make me feel better since she didn't offer me help in how to make baby bigger. she also commented that i am high risk... now that certainly didn't feel good.

next i headed over to my hospital visit where i was to get the biophysical profile and the non-stress test. my spirit was a bit dampened already since the doctor wasn't encouraging regarding baby's size and then baby apparently didn't really feel like being monitored so i had to stay for quite some time with the nurse (who is nice) every so often roughly shaking my belly to make baby wake up. even though there was nothing wrong with what she was doing and normally i don't think i would've been too bothered, today it made me very sad. i was saddened that baby needed to be monitored so much when just 1.5 weeks ago all was well and things seemed perfectly normal and fine. the biophysical profile was fine. everything seems to be okay there according to the sonographer and reading doctor. i am thankful for the good news. i thought we'd get another reading on baby's size but i was informed that they do weight readings every 2 weeks so baby has time to grow.

i prayed a lot to God to lift my spirits because i would start tearing just thinking about all the tests baby has to go through. so many ultrasounds and being monitored by the fetal monitor in the coming weeks. and being pushed and jostled so she would "pass" these tests. i also wanted my spirits lifted because if i'm sad, then baby may feel my sadness and i didn't want that. last week i felt fine - maybe the emotional burden of all of this has just started to hit me more.

please pray that baby continues to gain weight and that in a week or so when we check her weight, that she has put on enough poundage to make us no longer high risk and higher than the 10th percentile in weight. we really appreciate your prayers and know that God hears them.


{prayers answered}

thanks for all the support and prayers. we felt so blessed and supported by the community around us. 

an update: 

we went to the hospital this morning to get the biophysical profile (i.e. an in depth ultrasound) and a non-stress test. baby passed both with flying colors. baby is estimated at 4lbs 14oz which is abt 1 lb smaller than the average at this point. that felt okay to me since i'm pretty small as well. also, it's just an estimate, which honestly i hear is often very incorrect. we checked the amt of nutrients and oxygen going through the umbilical cord and that looked good. and baby's heartbeat and movements were very strong which made me very happy.

all this is good news, however, because of baby's small size, the doctor at the hospital wanted me to come back 2x a week til baby is born. they'll be monitoring baby and making sure baby gains weight and continues to look strong. that along with our weekly doctor's office means a lot of visits but i guess it works out okay since friday is my last day of work before maternity leave! and all this is for baby so i will do it willingly.

the photo above is from the non-stress test. the squigly line up top is baby's heartbeat. very steady which is great! the little music note like dots underneath is baby's movement which is very frequent, another good sign. the line at the bottom is my uterus contracting... i didn't even realize my uterus was contracting at all, so that was a bit interesting!

in other wonderful news, my friend gave birth to a healthy baby boy at 7lbs and 7oz. i had the awesome privilege of being with her as she labored for numerous hrs in our apt. it really is perfect how my appt this morning took so long that it wasn't worth it to go to work and then she needed a place to labor so she could be at the hospital for as short a time as possible... for me, it was wonderful to be a part of her laboring process even as i did nothing and tried to be as quiet and out of the way as possible. it was great to experience labor with her and see how she handled it. it gave me great hopes for my own laboring process and made me believe i could do it too. i am so proud of you becky!!! you and daddy did such a great job.


{prayers requested}

today we went to the doctor for our weekly visit. we're at 36.5 weeks. the doctor was concerned about baby's size saying that baby is smaller than the size expected for the EDD. she is a very laid back doctor (almost like a midwife with medical training) so when she exhibits concern, i definitely start feeling some anxiety. she based her concern on 2 factors.

1. the measurement of my {pubic bone to fundus} is smaller than it was at last weeks visit. it measured at 32 this week (last week was 34 or 35) and typically this measurement corresponds to the gestational week you are at. i have always measured somewhat smaller so i believe her concern is because the number went down instead of staying the same or going up.

2. my weight gain recently hasn't been as much as she thinks it should be. she said she doesn't care if i gain weight or not but if baby's not gaining weight then there is a problem. darn! and i eat so much these days too.

we were instructed to make an appt with the hospital for an ultrasound to measure baby's EFW (estimated fetal weight). i don't really get why we couldn't just do that at her office - all i can guess is that the technology at the hospital is more accurate.

when i start thinking too much about all of this, it's a bit scary . but we're really trying to remember our wonderful God in all this. He made baby and loves baby greatly. all we can do is focus on that and keep praying for baby's safety, health and growth! grow, little one, grow!

we'd love your prayers.



wow. who knew it would be so hard to find a pediatrician? i thought i was so ahead of the game (i'm due in a month), yet nearly all the pediatrician offices i called are either fully booked and not accepting new patients or they're booked til after my due date. all i wanted was a prenatal visit to see if the doctor and practice melded with our needs and philosophy. poop.


baby love

the top sonogram was at 9+wks when we first saw baby dancing and the tiny grey pulsing heartbeat.

the bottom sonogram was at the 20wk anatomy scan where we saw all of baby's essential parts and were informed that baby is a girl. {we'll see for real on birth day!} her thumb is near her mouth and her legs look like skinny chicken legs. :)

tomorrow we will be heading to the first of our weekly doc appt's, get tested for group b strep, and find out baby's positioning. {oh baby, please be (and stay in) head down!}


happy birthday to the sweetest and cutest nephew ever! :) he is ONE today. time really does fly (maybe less so for my sis and BIL). but i can't believe he's already one. he's so sweet and laughs all the time... also, whines when he doesn't get what he wants or maybe when he can't express to others what he wants - but oh, how i wish we were closer so i could squeeze his cuteness and hug the chubs. everywhere he's got chubs! :) so happy birthday to you, my dear. i hope you give mommy and daddy a break today! :)


getting there.... week 35

we've hit week 35. it's really fun as baby is getting bigger by the day. as you can see by the photo above, the belly is stretching and expanding. she no longer gives those swift kicks that signified her presence. now she squirms and slides under my belly because space is a rare commodity. kind of like prime real estate in nyc. :) i wish i knew how to upload a video. i've got a great one of baby gliding across my belly. it's a bit alien-esque and some find it weird/creepy but i love it!

the second photo is of a yummy panini meal at a cute little place called fig + olive. we went there when my sister came into town to surprise me for my baby shower. and what a surprise it was... seeing her brought quite the delight and it made a fun day even more special. i always say this but sisters should always live within at least 1 mile of each other. not this nonsense of opposite coasts.

my etsy boutique has been placed quite on the back burner - not so much because of the preggo-cy but more so because of the job i started back in august 09. i guess the new job in addition to the 1st trimester comatose exhaustion didn't bring about inspiration and creativity. we'll see what happens when baby arrives. i am still creating custom requested pieces so if you are interested, please don't be deterred! :) just contact me by going to the "my shop" link to the right. :)


week 31.5 ::

baby is about 3.25 lbs and 16 inches long. :) she's heading into a growth spurt and i should be gaining 1 lb per week - half of that going to baby's overall weight. wow! 

in other news, my friend is in labor RIGHT NOW! if you're reading this, please say a prayer for her contractions to move along productively and for labor to progress as naturally as possible. it must be because i am heading down this path myself, but i am jumping up and down inside with excitement and some apprehension! when it's my turn, i better keep the adrenaline at bay so the oxytocin can come forth and do its very important work.


{all things baby} almost there!

we are at week 31.5 and baby belly is growing by the day. it's been exciting to experience the changes, feel baby's growing jabs and kicks, see the hubby talk & sing to baby, etc. it's a bit surreal that soon we'll be at full term, which means baby can come at any point around or after that. wowee!

our babymoon was wonderful. we went to barcelona, spain and walked so much that despite eating nearly everything in sight, i actually lost 2 lbs! of course, one week back in new york with our typical work routine and i gained it all back. :) some photos for those of you who are visual.
once we returned, we made sure to get moving with setting up baby's alcove space. we received tons of hand me down clothing from fellow sisters at church {who recently had baby gals}. God has completely provided and we feel utterly blessed. :) again, some photos since those are so so fun. :)

so, we've been pretty busy while also trying to make the most of our time before we become mommy and daddy. i shall update again soon! :) ciao for now! blessings...