Monday, July 30, 2007

Before Pic

I just can't bring myself to submit to the humiliation quite yet. Of course, the grosser my before shot, the better I'll look after, but what if...what if I stay like my before picture??

Sunday, July 29, 2007

The After Before Picture

It's time.

The two-week grace period is over. It's time to get down and dirty with the last 20-odd pounds I have to lose from this pregnancy. Granted, I gained about 50 with that massive edema I endured at the end (Good news--I can see the veins and tendons in my feet again! And I can see my feet...) so I'm thrilled that I dropped 30 just by surviving the birth. Maybe that's why I was so weepy that first week--sweating like a pig and peeing like a racehorse just didn't do the job of getting rid of all that water. I had to cry some of it out too.

But seriously, I have nearly nothing that fits and I've got to get back to work next week. Not to mention the fact that I have two weddings to attend next month--both of my triathlon friends... I can see it now: crowds of type-A hardbodies and there I am, all mushy and amorphous, one boob inevitably bigger than the other and probably leaking. She must be the fat cousin. Ugh. Not gonna happen. So tomorrow it begins. I am going to take advantage of the surprising popularity of this blog and publicly post a horrid, humiliating Before Picture of myself.
You'll enjoy that, won't you? You will--admit it! You looked at the Elepheet, you laughed at the tick pic. You know you're going to be hitting F5 all day tomorrow until I post that photo. Wow--she really looks like crap. Better her than me. Well, at least someone's fatter than me...
Not for long, Porky! I am nothing if I am not vain and competitive.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Before There Were Blogs

In December of 2001 we were blessed with baby #3 (Linny). If I thought keeping my family posted from the hospital about Ellen's birth was difficult, all I had to do is remember what it was like trying to communicate with them from China! Maybe there were blogs in 2001, but I didn't know what the heck they were. So I used the next best thing I knew of at the time, a Yahoo! Group.

I was thinking that since Linny is feeling a little displaced that perhaps I would let her share a little of the spotlight. If you have a Yahoo! ID or are willing to get one, go to and check out the drama of six years ago (I can't believe it was that long!!).

Thursday, July 26, 2007

First Post-Bellybutton Bath

Anyone who is having fertility issues, do this: hold a newborn milk-drunk baby against your chest and let her freshly washed fuzzy head nuzzle in your neck. If you don't have a newborn handy, buy a bottle of Johnson & Johnson's baby shampoo and dab a little under your nose 3 times a day. Ovulation should occur within 12 hours.
Ellen had her first real bath today and loved it! She just hung out in that nice warm water and enjoyed it. Look at that big tummy--Mummy might be suffering, but this kid is not going hungry!

I Christen Thee

Follins Pond is a place that holds much fond history for our family, and today Ellen had her first ceremonious dip--an informal baptism if you will. It seemed to suit her just fine!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Both Engines Up and Running

Back from the brink! I really thought I was not going to make it with this BF-ing thing. But it is so important to me to give her what's best, plus I sort of feel like it is part of my feminine purpose on the planet. So when I was having so much trouble it really got me down. (A comment from Linny, "I don't think we should have gotten a baby sister. She just makes you cry and yell.")
However, with a peek from the OB and another session with Angel Anna, we are now nursing on both sides. It's still a little rough to start, and I am giving her a bottle at night, but she's getting all the good stuff, and I am fulfilling my destiny, so it's all good.

Monday, July 23, 2007


That's not really what she's thinking. She's actually thinking, "HURRY UP AND CHANGE MY DIAPER!!" Well, I couldn't let the bellybutton thing pass without documenting it.
She survived the ordeal just fine, by the way.

I Make Milk--What's Your Superpower?

I wish I could take credit for that quote but I actually saw it on a t-shirt.
Wow, ask and ye shall receive! So many people have responded with all different kinds of advice--thank you all so much! Today I had an appointment at the Center for Breastfeeding in Sandwich (who knew they even existed?). Anticipating the torture I was about to endure I was in tears before I even sat down. My consultant, Anna (heretofore referred to as 'Angel Anna'), asked me a few questions and then suggested we take a look at how Ellen nursed. With great trepidation I got started. Well, Angel Anna saw right off the bat about nine things I was doing wrong, had me make a few adjustments and in a minute I was nursing Ellen like nothing ever happened. Unbelievable! Of course, that's only on one side. The other side has been pretty traumatized and I might have to get my OB's help there, but that's fine. I now actually have hope that it will all get worked out. I can actually feed my baby--yipee!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Calling all experienced BFers

I need to hear from all experienced breastfeeding moms. I'm nine days in and my you-know-whats are cracked, bleeding and raw. It is too painful to nurse, in spite of Motrin, Vicodin and Tylenol. For the past 24 hours I have just been pumping and putting it in a bottle instead. I'm still so sore... I seem to recall the last two times that the first week was rough and then we settled in, but we're past that now and I am getting very discouraged.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Some Days...

...will be better than others. I hope tomorrow is one of those days.
I don't know who cried more today, me or Ellen.

Friday, July 20, 2007

I Learned a New Trick!

I just figured out how to insert pictures into my posts, so during Ellie's nap today I moved a bunch of pics into the posts and even added a few that I hadn't had places for before. Go check 'em out!

Ow, Part 2. Not For the Faint of Heart (or any male member of my family)

I posted something earlier that suggested nursing doesn't have to hurt. I still believe that is true. Just not for me. I'll put it this way: Ellen spit up blood the other day, and it wasn't hers. I can hardly notice the 6-inch gash across my belly. In fact, I almost didn't fill the pain med scrips. Good thing I did, because my nipples are hamburger!
For some reason it is taking me and my body a long time to get used to this breastfeeding thing. I've already been through at least 2 lactation consultants, all the nurses at the hospital and most of my Percocet. The good news, though, is that Ellie is getting plenty of milk (at today's doctor visit she was already right back to her birth weight!) And, actually, I do think we're turning a corner. I nursed twice today without any Percs. Yay me!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Safe to Approach?

I know many people have been wanting to see sweet baby girl and we would love to see you too. I really do want to see people. I just need a little warning. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays are kind of lonely here, as the big kids are all off doing their summer activities, so I'd love company then. And, of course, anybody who wants to bring dinner is welcome to visit anytime!

Delivery Day

Who doesn't love to see the UPS man stop at their house? And then the Edible Arrangements guy? And the DHL guy? And the USPS guy? And other various men bearing gifts?? It was a pretty good day, considering I'm housebound.
First the Edible Arrangement arrived (Yum--Thanks Auntie Judy and Coach!), then the UPS man brought a thin padded envelope, inside of which was a personalized t-shirt and tutu (pictured above) from the Graneses (Lez--you rock!). In the mailbox was stuffed another padded envelope. When the DHL truck pulled up I was almost relieved to find it was for Mark! But then Mark came home and his hands were full of gifts from a customer, followed right behind by a Clancy Homes employee toting a fat cigar for Mark and a gorgeous new outfit for Ellen
But really, you are all so generous. THANK YOU for all of the cool fun presents!

The Daily Weep

As you know from my previous rantings, or perhaps from your own experience, pregnancy triggers the release of a truckload of high-test hormones whose overflow can express itself in vast and sometimes unusual ways. For instance, I bet you didn't know that the 'tan' I sported on my face for the last month was actually rogue melatonin all jacked up on estrogen. Or that my bloodhound sense of smell was just a fancy progesterone trick.
Well, the party doesn't stop after the birth, not by a long shot. Some of the hormones do back off, which is nice, except they do it cold turkey. So I'm not just dealing with sore nipples and a severed belly, I get to experience the DT's, too. One of the manifestations of my detox is the ability to cry spontaneously and for no apparent reason. Here is a sampling of some recent sob sessions:
-Going to bed in the hospital Sunday night without my husband (Hello? I had 19 pillows and a bed that sits me up, lays me down and has a little red button on it I can push if I need someone to pass me the remote...)
-Leaving the same hospital on Monday.
-A country song on the radio
-The thought of my MIL bringing my family a hot, tasty and nutritious dinner that I didn't have to cook
-Eating that dinner (THANK YOU JACKY!)
I wonder what it will be today, dirty laundry? Clean laundry?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

More Blog, More Blog!

Well, believe it or not, it's more challenging to get to the computer after the baby is born than it is during labor! But I cannot let my public down :):)
We are home at last and loving it. I was planning on coming home Tuesday morning, but laying down in my hospital bed on Sunday night I got really lonesome for my sweetie and my big girls, so Mark came and scooped me up Monday afternoon. I realized last minute that I had sent home my going home outfit to be washed and it hadn't come back yet, so poor Mark had to do some impromptu clothes shopping for me. But, as always, he came through and I felt beautiful in my coming home dress with my gorgeous baby girl in tow. More blog later. Baby crying!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

I Know All You Want Is Pictures...

..But you get to hear from me anyway. :)
How fun it is to hear how much people are checking the blog! I'm glad that I can keep all of the people I care about up to date. Thank you all for your loving, funny and encouraging comments. I read them all!
One limitation with the blog site is I can't post pictures very big. One thing I can do is crop pics so you can see more detail, but it's a little time consuming, and as you might expect, I'm a little busier than I was a week ago. I'll try to get more cropped photos like the one of Ellen fresh out of the oven, but in the meantime I will try to post photos in quantity (to the best of my ability).
Before that, though, here's an update: We are doing pretty darn well (FYI as I type she is stirring, might have to cut this short.). Ellen is having a little tummy trouble, typical of belly-birthed babies who didn't get squeezed hard enough on the way out, so that has made her a little uncomfortable today. We're also working on nursing better. Turns out it doesn't have to hurt--who knew?? I thought that there was a compulsory 'breaking in' time for nursing, where the early latch-ons involved the mother biting a leather strap. Not so, says another one of my new BFFs, Heather, a lactation consultant here at the hospital. So I'm kind of starting over in that department.
Okay, off to post some pics!

Friday, July 13, 2007

First Night

Wish us luck!

I Can't Believe She's Finally Here!

Ellen Viola Clancy

Born July 13, 2007, 8:06 a.m.

8 lbs., 5 oz.

21.5 in. long


they're prepping me now and i can't wait. i honestly am completely fine with it. she's almost here!!

baby or mule?

went in the tub for a good long time and got myself to 8 cm. yaay! that was about 9 pm. at 1 am, still I was at 8, after going through a gritty transition (used my hypno tape--thank you melody!)and trying for 4 hours to turn Ellen from sunnyside up. babies travel much better face down. sunnyside up=back labor=stuck=ouch. at 130 or so doc says it's not so great to have a stuck baby, and if we couldn't get her turned in 2 more hrs, we should talk c section. emotionally and physically exhausted, i made the decision at that point to request an epidural. i now have my wits about me and have been able to rest. this also has bought us a little more time. i love you all and am so grateful for your good wishes. just a couple of hours now!
this is me saying goodbye to my second nurse, Bern (not to be confused with Bernie), whose shift I also outlasted...

Thursday, July 12, 2007


still at 4 cm/80% 1/2 hr ago so now I get a little help from pitocin. Oh well. Also, since i've been ruptured for so long I get antibiotics.


having babies can hurt. I was only at 4 cm as of about 40 min ago. Wished it was more.

How Cool Is This??

I am posting from my hospital room! I have to go quick between contractions, but I wanted to tell everyone that we're (Mark and I, and soon, Ellen) doing great! This morning I was dilated to 3 cm and at 0 station. I don't know what I am now. Since my water is broken they don't want to check me too often, to reduce infection risk. That's just fine with me. Ellen's heart rate is doing everything it's supposed to and apparently so is mine.
Our nurse, Bernie, is awesome. Last time she monitored she said I was doing great for what looked like pretty intense contractions, so that was encouraging.

AZ Clancys: I'm trying like heck to have this baby before you guys have to leave town. :)
Mum, if you're reading this, tell the girls we LOVE them and will see them soon! xoxoxoxoxoxo
Thank you everyone for all your good vibes--they're working!

It's On

Water broke at 2:30, been contracting for 3 hours. Still could peter out, but since water broke, the rule is deliver w/in 24 hours. So still could have a Friday the 13th baby, but she's coming on her own. Good girl.
Just thought of something...if there's no wireless at the hospital I can't post. Rats! I'll look for a USB cable between ctx. If I don't find one, be assured I will post IMMEDIATELY when I am able, or maybe instruct someone to to post on my behalf. . Think happy thoughts!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Just Don't Tie Me to a Pole

I think I've just about exhausted all of the natural labor induction methods out there. Today after my final acupuncture session, my practitioner tried one more thing on me: gua sha . The theory is that there could be a blockage of chi somewhere in my baby-making section and gua sha might get me unblocked. Can't hurt. Well, actually it did hurt a little.
There are a few I never intended to try, though. Castor oil, for one. Castor oil (or mineral oil, vegetable oil) is a powerful laxative. The spasm of the colon can sometimes trigger sympathetic contractions in the uterus. Can you picture the scene in the delivery room?? Not worth it to me. And these, from
When a pregnant Plains Indian woman was near term and showed no sign of going into labor, tribe members would tie her to a rock in an open field and stage a mock "attack," pulling up their horses only at the very last minute, in hopes of inducing labor. The Pilgrims, for their part, would stand women whose babies were late against a pole, strap them to it, and pound the pole up and down against the ground -- apparently hoping to shake the baby loose.

In 48 Hours

I'll be 2 hours away from getting this party started. It still seems surreal. I will say that my body is feeling more and more ready to do this. Not just impatient ready, but getting-down-to-business ready. I'll spare the casual reader the evidence I have for this, but for the morbidly curious or soon-to-be-pregnant themselves, follow this link.
It is my sincerest wish for my labor to start on its own. It might seem silly, but I want to say to my husband, 'Hey, I think it's time!' and jump in the car together. I want to be amazed at the primal intelligence of the human body and be humble enough to go along for the ride. Some people think I'm nuts for planning an unmedicated birth, but I am looking forward to it. Modern American life is lovely and comfortable and I am grateful for it! But sometimes I feel a little spoiled. It's easy to take my comfort for granted and get complacent (who here doesn't have at least 5 pounds of flab they 'just can't lose'?). There is something about survival that makes living that much richer. Ask anyone who's lived through a cancer diagnosis.
Giving birth can make you believe you truly might die. What a great way to be reminded that you are ALIVE! Not to mention the absolutely earth-shattering miracle of new life that is the product of such suffering. God-willing, I will not have to face fatal disease in order to be reminded how to live, so I am going to take this opportunity to see what I'm made of.
Snicker if you will, and be smug if you hear I do use medication, but first look at yourself and consider the last time you ventured close to your own limits.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Hey, the Blog's Been Kinda Quiet...I Wonder If She's

You wish.
I am not giving birth today.
Wait--let me be more positive: I have not yet given birth today.
I have, however, been poked again, and I was much more sensitive at today's acupuncture session. It felt like electricity zapped out from each needle as it went in, and some of them actually hurt a bit. Maybe that means something... We'll see.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Pop Me

So today I tried acupuncture. I didn't pop.

Eviction Date Set

I went to this morning's NST (my third now) hoping that maybe they would let me stay and just have this baby. Nope. In spite of a robust patch of contractions last night, the baby seems not to be interested in a Monday birthday. I could have pressed for an induction, but I know it isn't the best thing for me or the baby today, and it would be purely for my own convenience, so I let it go. Dr. T was able to strip my membranes with a little more intensity this time, though, as the baby's head has come down further. This alone could put me in labor today, but my experience tells me otherwise. We did agree that if she doesn't appear before Friday at 8:00 a.m. we will pursue an induction. Not my first choice, but whaddya gonna do?

Sunday, July 8, 2007

If You're Squeamish...

...don't look at the new pic. But if you have a morbid curiosity about the many ways pregnancy can disfigure your body, go ahead and look (ya sicko).
I post this picture of my turgid feet in an effort to communicate to the world what my entire (and I do mean entire) body feels like right now. I believe that if I were to be wrung out I could bring a small village back from the brink of famine.

If You're Keeping Track

Then today is one week.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Karmic Torture?

I'm starting to take this delay personally. Could it be some kind of freaky payback for all the times that I have been late in my life? Am I now giving back all of the time I took from other people when I made them wait for me? Well, I have to say, I think I understand your pain now, and I am truly, deeply remorseful.
However, I have to be getting close to square with you all at this point. Adding up all of the days late my births have been, we are over 500 hours. I think I might even have a credit by now!

P.S. I told you not to call. I won't answer my phone. I love you all, and I know you mean well, but believe me, you don't want to talk to me right now. I'm not nice (Just ask my poor mother. In fact, call her up if you want an update.).

Friday, July 6, 2007

If We Name Her Will She Come?

God knows we've tried everything else! So this morning we finally decided to name this baby girl.....

Ellen Viola Clancy

Okay, you can come out now!

Same Test, Different Day

Slept like a rock last night, which means that any contractions I may have had during the night were of little consequence. This morning I had my 2nd visit to the hospital for another NST. Everyone is of course perfectly fine and healthy. Had kind of hoped to have to stay, but when we got there, every bed in the joint was full, they had brought in extra staff and it was just generally crazy. So, I'm glad I'm not sitting around in all of that chaos.
If I don't go in over the weekend on my own I'll go back on Monday morning for another NST. While nobody knows for sure when this baby will come, Mark and I and the doctor all agree that one way or another it won't be later than this time next week (god help me). It would be kind of cool to have her tomorrow 7-7-7...
So that's all from here right now. Sorry if I'm not answering the phone much lately--I'm not that fun to talk to quite honestly, so you're not missing anything. I'll keep the blog updated, even in the hospital, so if there's something to know you'll find it here. :)

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Something, maybe?

Since last night I have been having very irregular, not-too-painful contractions. Every once in a while it seems like they have a pattern but then they kind of fall apart. I had really hoped for an unambiguous, floor-mopping start to this birth, but it seems that is not to be.
In the meantime I am spending some nice time with my family, walking, resting, etc. I have an appt tomorrow morning at the hospital for another NST. Hoping it will turn into something by then.

More Fun than Giving Birth

After much reminiscing over summer days spent out on Follins Pond, this week our family 'took the plunge,' so to speak, and got ourselves a little motor boat. We spent the 4th of July out on Follins Pond tubing with the girls--so much fun! I can't remember the last time I was out there, but it felt like yesterday.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Stress-Free Stripping

Well, the good news is that I made it into the maternity ward today! The bad news is I left, full-bellied and empty-handed.
When a pregnancy goes beyond its expected due date, like mine, the woman gets to have some special appointments with her doctor. One of those is for a Non Stress Test (NST), which is what I had today. For about 20 minutes I lay quietly (thus the Non Stress part) while monitors picked up the baby's heart rate, movements and any contractions I might be having. Then the doctor did a quick ultrasound to check the amniotic fluid levels and health of the placenta. Sometimes these tests can reveal signs of distress in an over-cooked baby, which can be cause for an induction (eviction).
No distress with this baby. She's got plenty of fluid for floating, her heart is healthy and strong and everything in general looks just fine. I suspected as much. I'll confess to hoping for a little distress, just enough for them to say, 'Why don't you just stay and we'll have a baby today?' But truthfully, I'd prefer a healthy, if somewhat late, baby and delivery.
The encouraging news is that my body is showing some signs of progress. Since last week the baby's head is further down, and my cervix is 50% effaced and 1 cm dilated. This made it possible for the doctor to strip my membranes. If all else is favorable, this minor intervention could kick-start labor and we might just end up with a little firecracker baby!
In the more likely scenario that it actually has no impact at all, I will be back at Falmouth Hospital on Friday morning for another round of Stress-Free Stripping.
Here's wishing everyone a happy 4th. I hope my next post has more reason for celebration!

Monday, July 2, 2007

Eviction Notice

Baby Girl, Tenant, has 10 days within which she can gather her belongings and vacate the premises. If, after those 10 days, she continues to occupy said premises, she will be physically removed from the property.
She is being evicted due to a breech of contract and destruction of property. Expansions only to the front of the property, within reasonable limits, were discussed. Not only have these limits been exceeded, but additions to the back of the property were also made. Remodeling and gutting the property was never approved, nor was changing the initial layout and base structure. And due to property damage, there are now leaks in both upper and lower levels of the property.
Also, late night parties have been discovered on the property and are not greatly appreciated! Any further problems will result in immediate removal!

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Nada, Zero, Zip

Nothing. No baby today. No so far, anyway. Even went for a boat ride and rode in the bow, and had spicy Mexican food last night.
With only 8 hours left, I don't think we'll be making the due date. I'm starting to feel like a fraud. With big fat feet.
I think I will go for a walk.

First Bath

First Bath

Big Girl!

Big Girl!

Naptime with Caroline

Naptime with Caroline

I'm a Big Sister!

I'm a Big Sister!