Monday, February 28, 2011

first few photos

the girls.  Catherine, our Doula, was a clothed angel.  what a graceful woman.  she led kristyn all the way to the end of the road.
worn out.

this was one of Kris' visuals, to help her arrive to the product on the right.  

little Hensley 

there are surely to be hundreds more.  i think she is cute,  and she is.  less like an alien i think, more like the pretty little girl she is...

*7lbs 12oz.
*19 1/4 in.
*came out rippin' and snarlin'

i am going to let kristyn tell her labour story, when she gets around to it.  i feel that since she did the work, she merits the opp. to share.  she pushed herself to the limit, and then went farther than she could ever have imagined.  she worked for over an entire day; preparing for Hensley, battling and overcoming her mind.


4:15 am, Hensley starts Day 1. After performing a last minute resort of a c-section, both girls are safe.  A team of doctors worked quickly to birth Hensley.  After 15 min of surgery, poof, she was out screaming full of life.  She has a full head of brown hair, a round nose like MJ and tiny everything else.

Kris is feeding her, being a good mother already.


hensley will not move and correct herself.  after another hour of pushing, she is still refusing to descend.  it is the best option for kristyn and hensley to meet via c-section.  with kristyn's fatigue, and hensley's time in "open" womb, the girls need to meet in the operating room.

kristyn is a real hero.


kristyn is resting.  she is still working to get hensley to straighten.  she is cock-eyed and even though the doctor feels her when examining kris, she can't get her head to get in position.  kristyn is being brave and has finally succumb to fatigue.  she is resting and is seeing if hensley will straighten.  25 hrs down...hopefully minutes remain.

Sunday, February 27, 2011


she is working hard, conquering her mind, and preparing well.  she rested a little, and is now between tightenings.  they are surely getting more intense, and she is handling it well.


Game On...

Water broke, 1:20 we go.

Early labor could last 2 hrs, could last 12 hrs.  She's going to labor as much at home, then we'll head out.

Pray for my ladies...

Friday, February 25, 2011


Hensley -
This is your mother.  She is radiant, amazing and gracious.  You won't believe how compassionate she is and how she "feels" for the neglected and discriminated.  She is incredibly intelligent and insightful.  She has a knack for making any space utile, and and comfortable.  When you come out, I just hope you know that she has looked forward to meeting you for months.  She has been planning, and dreaming, and hoping for you.  She has changed her life for you, and will continue to do until she passes.  Your mother loves well, better than any woman I have ever known.
She is impatient for your arrival, that is how much she wants to know you, feed you, hold you, protect you, raise you, and love you.
I have watched you grow in her, and she has become beautiful more and more as each day passes.  I imagine the same for you.  Come soon, and rest in your mother's arms for the first time.  She won't easily let you go, ever...

She is an incredible woman, I know that well.  You, soon, shall experience the love of your amazing mother.


Breastfeeding: Nursing Covers

I've noticed that nursing covers (aka hooder hiders) come in handy for breastfeeding moms who would like a bit of privacy. I looked around for one and thought that these Feeder Frocks were nice, but then my mom made me these darling ones out of vintage aprons. I must admit I love her eye for all things vintage via my dad's auction business.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Labor: Ways to Get Things Going

No, not in labor yet but I'm working to get things going! There are several suggestions I've gotten on getting labor started, most of which I read in Ina May's Guild to Childbirth. 

One of those is castor oil. Here's what I read: 

Indigenous peoples all over the globe have used castor oil to induce labor for centuries. Taken orally, castor oil acts as a laxative, and the stimulation of the digestive tract often starts labor at term. No one knows exactly why castor oil works to start labor. When there is little or no money to be made as a result of research, generally little or no research is done. Nobody has figured out how to make an appreciable amount of money from castor oil, so this subject has received virtually no research attention. Nevertheless, it seems to be quite safe. Nearly nine percent of nearly eleven thousand pregnant women in a large birth center study used it to start labor, with no adverse outcomes. At The Farm Midwifery Center, we recommend beginning a castor-oil induction at breakfast after a full night of sleep. One tablespoon is added to scrambled eggs or mixed with fruit juice to make it more palatable for the woman. If necessary, she takes one more tablespoon one hour after ingesting the first. 

I just bought my castor oil at the pharmacy, and I think I'm taking my dose tomorrow morning since I thought that my due date was Wed 23rd and my midwife said Sat 26th. Sure hope it works! 

Here's a funny add about the stuff. Looks like they used to give it to children.

Don't worry, Tegegne, I won't make you take any of this yucky stuff!
photo source

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

House: Our Bedroom

So we totally love it here. Our bedroom is my favorite spot by far. My mom just got us the sweetest Simmons desk + chair from an antique mall nearby. Early birthday present...thanks mom (+ dad)! Can you spot Owen sound asleep in the sunshine in the last two photos. Pretty sure he likes it here too. Michael made our bed for my Christmas gift a few years ago. Speaking of beds, I love this one from emmas designblogg and hope to make our bedding look similar. Also I'm thinking of white linen curtains, industrial wall mounted bedside lighting, and so on. We've got Hensley's basket and diaper stuff set up bedside for the first month or so. Should be fun!

Pregnancy: Yep, Still Pregnant

So I heard the average "spontaneous" delivery date is 3 days after ones official due date. Even though my stomach is larger than life, my midwife says that Hensley is not taking this into consideration and that she will come out when she chooses. Besides my immediate family and friends, you, dear blog reader, will be the first to know when I go into labor for real. 


Monday, February 21, 2011

Pregnancy: The Energizer Belly

So, this belly keeps growing and here is the lovely proof:

38 weeks

39 weeks
My due date is Saturday, but I have had lots of early contractions. One group of them lasted 4 hours and were 6 minutes apart, waking me up from my sleep. I thought for sure that was the real deal. Nope. I'm thinking the way that my contractions are going right now, that she may come tonight but that's also my wishful thinking, so please don't wait up for the news! My father-in-law just informed Michael that he is sure she will be born on March 8 (our b-day), but that is not the prediction I am interested in right now. 

It is neat to think of the similarities between this process and adopting you, Tegegne. We waited for our referral phone call and picture of you, then waited for our court date, then anticipated our travel dates. The most exciting part (that I think will be similar to really being in labor) was when we were in line at the Transition Home to meet you. You walked out holding Fami's hand with a curious look and we scooped you up. Our love for you was so real from that moment. 

Hensley, I've heard that when you are placed on my chest I will feel a special kind of love and bond with you. I look forward to this experience so much. So, come on already.

Our bags are packed. We have your sleeping basket and the tiniest diapers ever by our bed. I've got my "visualization images" printed that intend to distract me from the most intense pain ever, and I have a lovely birthing playlist. Two actually. One upbeat and one mellow. I spend half of my days in the productive squatted position or on all fours to move you in the right direction! Both positions are multi-tasking while I play with your brother. I have six books that I've read/skimmed including  Active Labor, Pregnancy, Childbirth & The Newborn, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, BabyWise, Sacred Parenting, and Safe Haven (for something off the topic) all sitting by the bed for quick reference. Most importantly, I've got a husband that is ready to be my birth partner, and a doula and a midwives team on call.

Good night. Sleep tight on my behalf. Please, may we meet you tomorrow, please?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Tegegne: Kids Say the Darndest


All of these thoughts on the 10 minute drive to school this morning. One right after the other:

T: "Mooommmy! policeman at gas! I see policeman at gas!"
T: "Big trailor! We don't have one, but Grandpa Ben and Gramma Debby do. We can ride in their trailor."
T: "Is it Christmastime, mommy?"
M: Nope, it's almost Easter though!"
T: "Well, can we sing that Christmas song...turn the music on."
M: "I will turn the music on when you ask nicely."
T: "Please turn music on, please?"
M: So I turn the music on and he says, "That's like my drum." (hearing a drum in the song, of course)
T: "Mommy, look...tractor movin. Clouds movin'. Why clouds move?"
T: "I wanna see cows, mommy."
M: "Clouds?"
T: "No, cows!"
M: "We can't see cows in the city, gotta go to the country to see cows."
T: "Look, it's my new school!"

And we get out of the car and you go to school.

On the drive home you were still thinking about clouds and policemen:

T: "Mommy, where do policemen live?"
M: "In houses, and apartments, and maybe lofts downtown (pointing out the loft buildings downtown.), but mostly houses like us."
T: "Mommy, where do clouds live?"
M: "In the sky."
T: "Noooo, clouds live in houses! (you laugh) I gotta tell Ababayeh. He think that's funny."

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tegegne: When I Get Bigger


When I get bigger, I'll drive you and Ababayeh in the car.
Mommyeh, when I get bigger I'll sleep in Ababayeh's bed and your bed.
When I get bigger, I'll go to Ababayeh's school with Ababayeh.
When I get bigger, I'll drive Ababayeh's motorcycle. (aka scooter)

You are probably thinking about being bigger so you will be able to do all of the things that we tell you you can do "when you get bigger." Like take things out of the oven, shave your face (and probably legs since your father does), drive the car, touch the printer, use the computer, plug things in, use Michael's drill, hammer, touch the washer and dryer buttons, use the sharp knives to cut vegetables, etc...several of these things that once you are big enough you will most likely not be interested in anymore. Funny how that works.

Baby Hensley's gonna cry a lot. I'm gonna bounce her when she crys.
I want Baby Hensley's seat by my seat.
I'm gonna hang my belt on there, like Ababayehs. That be funny?
(You wear your Native American beaded leather belt every day. It is one of your favorite things.)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

House: Kitchen Upgrades

So in order to get the much anticipated dish washer to fit into the current layout of our new kitchen we had to get a new sink and faucet. We had planned to wait a bit to do our kitchen remodel, but the dishes were not cleaning themselves so we must work in phases. We ordered this faucet and sink, plus a Bosch dishwasher. (No, not the posh Bosch that costs $1500, but one of the cheapest models which should still be quite nice and ranked high on consumer reports.) 
Ikea Pull-Down Faucet

This faucet has the handy pull down sprayer and I like that it has a single lever and single hole. I am interested to see how the knob works, though.
Elkay Sink
I wish this could have been the Kohler sink, which has even more square edges, but this one was cheaper and still has a contemporary look. It can be under-mounted which should look even better once we get the countertop we want.

This weekend Michael (and two generous co-workers) built a few walls to finish off enclosures, bringing it back to a single family home. (After the hard work and a good dinner the coworkers (from Senegal) had a bongo drum session with Tegegne!) Michael is currently installing a water softener, as we quickly discovered that hard water is not so pleasant. Poor Little Tegegne is getting gray ashy skin on a daily basis and I have been lathering on the cocoa butter. I'm working on keeping my hard workers fed, and trying to move this little girl along. She certainly is "dropping" and getting herself closer to meeting the fam. Oh Hensley, are you really going to wait until the 26th?

Friday, February 11, 2011

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Once in a while we meet a gentle person. Gentleness is a virtue hard to find in a society that admires toughness and roughness. We are encouraged to get things done and to get them done fast, even when people get hurt in the process. Success, accomplishment, and productivity count. But the cost is high. There is no place for gentleness in such a milieu.

Gentle is the one who does "not break the crushed reed, or snuff the faltering wick" (Matthew 12:20). Gentle is the one who is attentive to the strengths and weaknesses of the other and enjoys being together more than accomplishing something. A gentle person treads lightly, listens carefully, looks tenderly, and touches with reverence. A gentle person knows that true growth requires nurture, not force. Let's dress ourselves with gentleness. In our tough and often unbending world our gentleness can be a vivid reminder of the presence of God among us.

 - from Henri J.M. Nouwen's Bread for the Journey.

Thanks again, Henri Nouwen for saying just what I need to hear today. (I subscribe to his "Daily Meditations" and they are quite good.) I love how he says that a gentle person knows that true growth requires nurture and not force. I hope to remember these thoughts in my role as a mother and a wife. 

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Joneses: Day to Day

Well, the snow kept us in last week, so this week we are getting back in the swing of things. For Tegegne and I it's a new schedule, and I think we are about to enjoy a few weeks together before Hensley comes. Today he got some undivided mom time that was oh so fun. He also had no timeouts, which is probably correlated to my undivided attention!

Last week I fell on the ice and my midwife sent me to the hospital so Hensley could be monitored for 4 hours. My placenta could have detached which would have caused an emergency situation, but everything turned out okay. I took advantage of hearing her heartbeat for 4 hours straight, ordering lots of food off the menu, and sleeping. 

Although half of the people who see me now comment that my baby must be coming any minute (some women even saying "Oh, Kristyn!), my midwife believes that she'll come on time (Feb 26) or late. Michael and I were born on March 8 (fyi, I'm 2 hours older), so it would be crazy if she was also born on March 8.

We had a great meeting with our doula tonight. Michael and I are in great anticipation for this labor thing to start. 

Tegegne has his second day at his new school tomorrow. He's quite excited to go back. The transition will be easier than I thought. I figured he would be very sad not to see his old friends at his "new school." 

I was quick to realize that dishwashers are not overrated, as our new house is lacking one. We had planned to remodel the kitchen later on, but we are thinking that a dishwasher would be a great idea before we are a full family of four.


Our square little Eskimo.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

New House: We Love It

So, we've been sleeping at our new house for 5 days now, and we totally love it. The place feels like home. First of all, I must give a shout out to all of the generous folks that helped us move in. Thank you to all of the friends at Michael's school. We were so blessed by all 12 of you! (Even some of his prior students and moms helped us!) And to the Hales and Welches and Heinleins and Jim and Phil and Micah, thanks so much! What a big undertaking. We are so grateful for each of you! 

I'm not sure what I'd do without my handyman husband. Since we've been here he has  installed a new gas stove, opened up two walls and put door frames and doors in, torn out a kitchen on the 2nd floor and hooked up our new W & D and utility sink, moved a ton of stuff, played records on our new record player, finished multiple crossword puzzles, and first thing in the morning he will fix a leaky faucet. He's incredible!

My mom got here yesterday and has organized my kitchen, played with Tegegne, hung curtains, done loads of laundry, etc, etc. Thanks dad for letting her sneak away to get snowed in with us. We totally appreciate her help and presence with us.

The neighborhood has far exceeded my expectations. Michael has met multiple neighbors; two Franks, one Dennis, one Donnie, one Marcus, and a Steve. Then there's Cathy (married to a Frank), "Aunt Linda", and Rebecca (who goes with Dennis). Frank offered to let us park in his driveway, because they don't own cars. We are now parking on the street. Isn't that nice?

And the house, wow. It's beautiful, original, and for being built in 1900 and quite large it's super cozy with the heat only on 65 and a freezing blizzard outside.

Tegegne is good. He was super excited to have Gramma Debby come. Tonight he didn't want to give me a kiss goodnight and he told Gramma Debby he didn't want to kiss me because he wishes we were still at the old house. He really does love it here, but will be glad when we are back into a routine and settled.
I posted this favorite fireplace with my favorite little guy (who is getting taller, btw.)
All original hardware, and fancy heat vents!

Four x eight foot original pocket doors.
Related Posts with Thumbnails