Saturday, June 30, 2007

One Week Old

Our new family is one week old today. Things are going pretty well so far! I've got several things working in my favor: Chris is still home from work and able to entertain Drew a LOT; when Dean is not nursing he's sleeping; Drew is still thrilled to have "Baby Dean!" here - the novelty has not yet worn off. When all three begin to change, so might my feelings of contentment and calmness.

It's a lot easier the second time around. Everyone keeps is it with two? how is it different? was it harder to go from zero to one, or one to two? For me, going from one to two has been easier. My maternal instincts were immediate as well as my adoration of Dean. There isn't as much of a life change...I'm already a mom; I have lots of mom friends and support; I know how to create a schedule and juggle within it. I can be structured and flexible at the same time.

Amazingly the lack of sleep has also been manageable. Dean wakes about every two hours to be fed & changed and then he returns to slumber...sometimes on top of my sweet. He loves to cuddle! I try to lay down during Drew's nap and catch a little shut-eye. Seems to be working so far.

With the jaundice behind us and Dean continuing to nurse like a champ, my biggest concern has been for Drew. I'm trying to look at everything through the lens of my toddler. I want him to continue to feel secure in our relationship and love. I am making great effort to give him my undivided attention when possible. In exchange, I'm teaching him to be patient when I'm unable to respond immediately. It's easy with Daddy around...let's see if I'm singing a different tune in the weeks ahead.

Dean is already quite different from Drew. He's nursing well, sleeping well, and fussing little. Drew had awful colic and was unconsolible from the start. They look a lot alike only Drew was born weighing over a pound more than Dean. I'm curious to see how they'll grow to be both similar and different.

(Left: Drew at birth; Right: Dean at birth)

Today we had our first family outing. We went to Wilson Park for about 40 minutes. I'm thrilled that we made it out of the house (Daddy's been having lots of fun with Drew, but we've been staying in!). I can't wait til I feel comfortable and confident to go on playdates with both kids by myself.
In due due time.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Dean Michael Kardos!

Born on Saturday June 23, 2007 at 6:58pm.

Weight: 7 pounds 4 ounces

Length: 20 1/2 inches

We are all so excited about the arrival of baby Dean. Mom is especially happy that she went into labor on her own Saturday morning and didn't need to be induced on Sunday! Drew is thrilled to be a big brother and gives Dean lots of affectionate kisses and "nice" touches. For those who are interested, I'll share the labor & delivery story below along with an at-home-update.


Around 2:30am on Saturday I started having some mild contractions. They were about 15 minutes apart, making sleep a challenge, and I lay anxiously awaiting the dawn. I woke Chris up at 5:50 (just as Drew started babbling a bit too) and told him we needed to pack our bags and head out! We were at my mother's house by 7:30am and my contraction seemed to be growing closer together, although the pain was definitely manageable. Chris, Drew and I went for a walk around Bonnet Shores and my contractions grew closer together. We returned to my mom's and sat for a bit...suddenly my contractions eased up a bit and we began to wonder if this was real labor or just braxton hicks/false labor. Still every time I was on my feet they grew in frequency and intensity. At 11am I called the doctor who told me to "Enjoy the day" because if it were real labor my contractions would continue to increase regardless of movement. I decided to lay down while Drew napped - from about 12:15 - 2:15pm - yet still (12 hours after they began) I was having contractions every 8-9 minutes, each lasting about one minute. After resting (who can sleep at a time like this?), Chris and I decided to walk again. Just standing caused me to contract...and when walking my contractions became incredibly painful and quite frequent. By 3pm I had contractions every 2-3 minutes lasting over one minute. We finally went to the hospital.

We arrived at Women & Infants around 4pm and I was nearly in tears with every contraction (Ok, I cried a bit!). I was seen right away and was 90% effaced and 6 cm dialated. I begged for the epidural. They tried to move things along quickly so I could get this beloved pain medicine, and by the time I was in the labor room I was already 9 cm dialated. It took my doctor FOREVER to ok the epidural (apparently he was enjoying the day) so by the time they arrived I was nearly ready to push. I'd had the sensation to push for quite some time and felt no comfort in my deep breathing. The doctor who attempted to administer my epidural was incompetant to say the least. "Is it in the center? Can you feel it? Is it to the left or the right?" I hated to tell her it wasn't centered because I wanted the meds, but she couldn't seem to find the right spot. They kept telling me it would kick in soon enough, but when it didn't she was called back to up the dosage. No luck. In any case, it was time to push...which actually brought some relief. As Dean's head begins to crown I am told to stop pushing while we wait for Dr. NiceDay to arrive. At this point I'm screaming "I need to push!" and within ten minutes of pushing beautiful Dean arrived! (Oh yes, Dr. Slowpoke had arrived.)

We're home!

Before leaving the hospital it was noted that Dean was a bit jaundice. This is common in little ones, but it turns out we have incompatible blood types (I'm O positive and he's B positive) which exasperated the problem of too much billirubin. He received a phototherapy treatment before we left, seemed to be eating well, and we were released. He is now under a "wallaby blanket" which provides the therapy at home. I'm happy to say today his level had dropped (yippee!) so it's improving.

Of course, as with all new babies, we're not getting much sleep. I'm amazed I found time to write this lengthy entry...but it's as much for me (to remember!) as it is to share with everyone. We've been grateful for all the calls & emails, but it's hard to contact everyone individually so I thought I'd share our news with everyone at one time.

Thank you for thinking of us. We can't wait for baby Dean to meet everyone. We're so happy to see our family grow - and to watch our first baby become an amazing big brother!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Still preggers...

My due date of June 15th has come and gone; and here I sit still pregnant, enjoying the silence of Drew's naptime. Fortunately I still feel good so Drew and I are running about the state playing with friends. Some days we have two or three dates! Every day is the "last day" so I've been trying to fill Drew's days with lots of friends & fun.

This past weekend we went for brunch Satuday and then took Drew to Bonnet Beach. He LOVES the beach. In the afternoon, we went to the Strawberry Festival at Smith's Castle - a historic home on the water with lots of folks in costume from the 1600s. We went out for pizza afterwards ... suggested to help start contractions (didn't work for me!). On Sunday, we went to Jamestown for some kite flying at Beavertail (near the lighthouse) and walked along the cliff. Then we went to the playground and shared Dels Lemonade (Drew's first - a big RI tradition). We met up with my family (and Tiffany's parents) at my mom's house for a big father's day BBQ Sunday evening. Steaks on the grill and way too much food. It was fun!

This week we've been to Wilson Park, the imPOSSIBLE Dream playground, the playground on Boone Street, and Humboldt Park. We've walked along the ocean in Narragansett, throughout Bonnet Shores, along the path at Goddard Park, and the bike path in Kingston. (I'm hoping the walking is going to help move things along...again, not working!)

So, despite the fact that I'm still cookin' this baby - things are going well. We're keeping busy and having fun! Tomorrow morning I go back to the obgyn for a non-stress test, an ultrasound, and to see if my cervix has softened at all. It seems that if all is well, I'll be induced on Monday. I'm a bit anxious about that, but if it's in the best interest of my baby (and me!) then I'll comply. The tentative plan is that I'll go to the hospital Sunday night and they'll apply a cervix gel. I hope this will be enough for me to really dialate and progress at home. Monday morning I'll be scheduled to return for a pitocin drip. Having experienced such a long, slow labor with Drew, my biggest concern is that it'll take me a while to get to 10cm dialated - and I'll be encouraged to have a c-section. I hope to stay strong and active during the early stages of labor and resist the section offer if proposed. However, I now acknowledge I have absolutely no control over what is to come. If I had any control at all, this baby would already be here! I've tried everything. So, now I'm just trying to be patient, have fun with Drew, and go-with-the-flow. Baby Kardos will be here soon enough.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Bitter-sweet...and just plain sweet

Baby Kardos hasn't arrived yet. I've had lots of time to think about this baby and what its arrival will mean for our family. It's bittersweet in many ways. I'm thrilled for Drew to be a big brother - and I think he'll be a great role model with lots of love for his little sibling - and I'm excited to be a Mom again! This new baby brings something new to our world which excites me, but it also brings the end of a fabulous time in my life. For nearly two years we've been a family of three; and most of my days have been "Drew & Mommy days." I've enjoyed spending this time with Drew: watching him grow, teaching him songs, letters, how to color, or play music, bringing him to playdates & playgrounds. I have enjoyed him more in these last few months than I ever knew I could! I'm so proud of the boy he has become and I love him so much. I want to cry...partly because he's so amazing...partly because I'm so afraid to loose these special moments that I so very much appreciate. I can only hope this foundation is strong enough (or that we as parents are good enough) to sustain the major transition we're about to face...and that he'll continue to be so wonderful. I do believe siblings make a family a family. I am sure he'll enjoy being a big brother. He's loving, generous, kind, and sweet. He shares nicely with his friends and loves others easily.
I just hope I have the ability to be a good mom to TWO kids. Alas, this is the end of something...and the beginning of something new. Both make me want to cry. A bit of sadness, a bit of joy. Can't we just have this baby and end this waiting?!?

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

No complaints

I haven't gone into labor yet. I've got two days til my "due date" but who's counting?!? I have to say, I really can't complain. I have a wonderful toddler who not only plays well independently, but who seldom gives me a hard time. I have an incredible husband who assists with household responsibilities and is an amazing father! I have a fabulous support network of friends who keep both Drew and me entertained every day. I have an incredibly helpful family who are ready should I call for help. And I am not really too uncomfortable!! I'm one lucky pregnant mother.

That all being said, we're eager to meet baby Kardos. I hope my next blog entry will be to announce his/her arrival. Stay tuned...

Friday, June 08, 2007

Come, Baby, Come!

We are down to the wire...when will this baby arrive?!? If you'd like to take a guess at the baby's arrival date & time as well as the sex of the baby, just click comment below. My due date is Friday, June 15th. So far I haven't felt any contractions, but I do have bursts of energy & nesting along with moments of complete exhaustion. Not sure if that means anything. With Drew I began contractions on his due date (early that day I was not dialated at the dr. appt.) but delivered him 2 days later after a looooong labor. Let's pray it's quicker this time. Not knowing the sex is killing us...what do you think we're having??

Amazing Mom

Anyone that has ever met my mom would agree: She is amazing. Never have I met a more selfless, thoughtful, affectionate, generous, kind person. Her only flaw might be that she cares too much! She puts everyone before herself. Being her daughter, and recipient of much generosity & kindness, I love her giving nature. If I am feeling sick, tired, or stressed, she will immediately come to the rescue - whether she relieves me of mommy duties for a while, makes chicken soup, cleans, or just lends a listening ear. She always wants to help.
One of the things I most appreciate is how she is as a grandmother. She enjoys enjoying Drew! She has taken him to library story hours, music classes, playgrounds, beaches...and loves to play. She is so active and full of energy! And she's created a second home for him in Bonnet Shores. If you visited, you'd think SHE had a toddler! There are as many toys for him there (and crib, clothing, bath toys, etc) as there are here.
What I value most is how much she respects me as a parent. She does a fabulous job of reflecting my parenting style. She follows the limits I set; engages in the same kind of play; feeds him the same healthy foods; maintains the schedule we've established; and showers Drew with love. She embraces the structures I've implemented and supports my goals. I take parenting seriously - it's the most important job I'll ever have - and she appreciates that.
So, when planning the arrival of baby # 2 my mom asked me: What are the rules? She wants me to decide what Chris, Drew, and I need. She wants to give us the space to bond as a family, but wants to be there as a support in whatever capacity I need her. She is the reason we moved to Rhode Island...and the reason why I can feel confident having this baby. I know I have her support. She is amazing. And I know you won't find anyone who disagrees!

Friday, June 01, 2007


There is no denying that Alex is Drew's best friend. Why else would he begin each day by shouting, "Ali Kaki day!" - in hopes that we'll be spending time with Alex and her mama, Kathy. Many days are Ali-Kaki days and with Kaki being one of my best friends, I'll route for more Ali-Kaki days too!