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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Welcome Maya Annabel Carver

Welcome to the world little one!! Oh, where to start? She is beautiful and magical and, as Mary Poppin's would say, "Practically perfect in every way." (Okay, Ella has been watching it A LOT!) Maya was born last night, Monday October 29, 2007 at 10:59 pm. She weighs a slight 7 lb. 2 oz. and measures at 20 1/4 inches.

Sandi made labor look more like leisure sailing than actual work. She breezed through yesterday afternoon of ever increasing contractions. Wary to alert anyone of another false start, she waited to call the Carver clan until they were regular and close together. Even still, she was up walking, eating dinner, reading to Ella. Not too long after she says, "I think it's close to time to go." The contractions were 45 -90 seconds apart. Yikes! So to the hospital we go- for me I am acting as an extra on "ER" rushing around, bossing people around- saying retroactively embarrassing things like, "Hello- we're in labor!" to slow moving staff and waving our baby pre-registration card like a Platinum Gold credit card. We got up to the labor "suite" (employee perk) and admitted around 8 pm. Just before 9 pm, the nurse said Sandi was only 4 cm dilated (far from the holy grail of 10 cm). She was breathing, doing her peaceful hypnobirthing and things started to pick up significantly - the contractions were right on top of each other and she was shaking when they would take hold. They checked her again at 10 pm and she was still only 4-5 cm - a real downer of news when you're working that hard.

But hold tight, it gets better... Shortly after 10 pm she says, "My body wants to push." I tell the nurse, alarmed by this progression at 5 cm. She checks her again- only 30 minutes later and says that Sandi is now 6-7 cm. We agree it's time to call Debbie, our midwife. Within 15 more minutes, Sandi is getting a bit frantic blowing air out in short puffs to try not to push- no joke- by now she is fully dilated and ready to push. Synopsis- this is only 50 or so minutes after she was only half way to full dilation. Debbie showed up just in time for Sandi to push through three solid contractions and out comes the baby. She made it look as easy as Mozart playing Mary Had a Little Lamb. From 5 cm to holding the baby in one hour. A-maz-ing.

Present for the birth were Sandi's sisters Trish (Tia) and Kristi (Auntie Kricka) her mom Patti, our wonderful midwife Debbie, our friend Bridgette who took pictures and Sandi's dad Dwight who came in minutes after the actual delivery because he couldn't get there fast enough from the parking lot where he was napping in the car (now that is a fast delivery- he was called just before Sandi started pushing.)

So Mommy and baby are happy and healthy. Maya is eating like a champ. I am over the moon. But perhaps the one who is shining the brighest is our dear little Ella who was such an example of love and welcoming when she came in today to meet her little baby sister. She asked to have her beloved security blanket (yellow blankie) retrieved from the car and when she got it she took it over to where the baby was being held by Grampie- put the blanket over her and said, "There you go baby."

Pictures to follow when we get home from the hospital. I stand in wonderment today at the beauty and fullness of life. Sandi and I feel so appreciative of all the love and support everyone has shown us through this incredible journey. We'll be calling on it in the days and months to come. Love, Suzanne

Monday, October 29, 2007

Headed to the Hospital!!

It's finally here. Contractions are close and we are ready to go shortly. Keep us in your thoughts- it will either be tonight or tomorrow!! Love to all!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

How do you stimulate labor??


Ella & Brooke - gymnastics buddies
Today has been full & exhausting... we've told this baby that it's time to come out and meet everyone. Suzanne has told her she's ready to meet her. I am no longer vacillating between excited and a little nervous... I am now in a state of full out determination. I am ready for the experience of childbirth and becoming impatient to meet her. I started telling her last night that it's time and I want it to happen before Debbie, our midwife, has to take further action to stimulate labor (intentional omission of details for those of you who do not want them). She has until 9:00 a.m. tomorrow morning - clock is ticking.
I got up early and went to the gym for a decent workout and then came home for a shower. Suz, Ella and I then headed out with a friend to hike in Clifton. It was very windy so we had to turn back just prior to reaching the top of our destination (again, omission of details - this time to keep us from a lecture later on). It was extremely windy and Ella was getting cold. We thought for sure this would stimulate labor. No.
We came home for a nap to rest up for when it did happen. An outing in the afternoon didn't work so we're now relying on the Red Sox to thoroughly exhaust us due to the late hours. If this doesn't do it, I guess Debbie's our next option, but we're planning for tonight!
There's only one link missing... Ella has told the baby that she doesn't want her to come out. In fact, she would prefer that the baby stay in for awhile. I'm nervous that the baby is in tune to Ella.
Who would like to take her off our hands for the night???

Friday, October 26, 2007

Our Day Trip

Going....


Going...

Going....

Gone.


(Still Here)



We're trying not to just sit and wait for the baby so we went on a trip today to Camden to have lunch with my mom (Gramma) and walk Sandi around to try to stimulate labor (I said we're trying not to sit and wait - not that we aren't walking and waiting.) Sandi has been having quite a time of it with her camera so we did a lot of stopping to take pictures along the way both in the car and on foot.

When we got home, we were all beat. At dinner, Sandi said, "Wow, I'm pooped." Ella looked at her, thought for a moment, the gears switching in her head and said, "In your pants?"

Last night Ella was pretending to write a check (she's a bit obsessed with having her imaginary checkbook- which is weird because we mostly use a debit card). She said she was writing it to her bunny, Blackberry. "How much is it for?" I asked. "Thirty Pounds," she answered. Apparently she has been watching just a wee bit too much of Mary Poppin's (daily) which is set in London.

It's 8:30 and we are seriously heading off to bed. I just remembered it's Saturday night... inward moan...

Okay, oops - I'm even more far gone than I thought... It's actually Friday night...

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Ella's funnies

Blackberry's "Broken Eye" (read on...)

Ella with Hampden Bronco after Nursery School


Ella having dinner at Tia's House



Here are some of today's highlights:

Ella's bunny Blackberry got spooked inside his cage today when there was some intense dog commotion in our house. He threw himself all around his cage and tore off a chunk of fur between his eyes. Ella has been asking all afternoon, "Is Blackberry's eye still broken?" (He has been relocated to quieter premises in the house.)

We were upstairs playing in Ella's room- Sandi, Ella, Tia and I - and Ella was making some pretend meals with play food from her kitchen. She made Sandi a lettuce and waffle sandwich - sadly, it wasn't the carrot, ice cream, cherry soup that she made the night before. Tia asked if she could have something to eat, too. Ella looked at her very seriously and then said, "No food for you!" (again, a Seinfield flashback) but she did offer to make her some lemon juice to drink.

Then tonight, we were putting her to bed and she says,
"My tummy's hungry."
"Really?" We say.
"Yes, my tummy's hungry for water." Yesterday it was hungry for vitamins - today it's water. I guess we are raising a health nut after all.

Lastly, I was humming part of a song I sing to her each night (after we had gotten the water craving taken care of). She looks at me and says,
"No Momma- sing it with your mouth."

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Today's Quotes

Okay- here are today's top two Ella quotes.

"My belly is hungry for vitamins."
- on being asked what she wanted for lunch.
I'm wondering... do cheese puffs count?


"I look great!"
-response to the question, "How do you look?" when she looked in the
mirror with those blasted cheese puffs all over her face. (Mental image
of me shaking my fist at Tia for those stupid things. They felt like they
might be the demise of my day.)

Still waiting for a real contraction - Suzanne

The Honey Bear

This morning Ella put me through the paces to find just the right food for her senstive (picky) palate. The big hurdle was that Tia gave her a small bag of crunchy cheese balls last night and she was focused on them from the get go this morning. She complained that her cereal had nuts in it (it did not) and then that her toast had nuts in it (it did -even after I had surgically removed all visible nut traces). Her new response to all questions about what she wants is "You pick." Roughly translated this means, you pick and then I will reject.

She wanted honey on her toast and when I produced the honey bear she was quite taken with it asking, "Oh, where did that come from?" I said, "Gramma gave that to you." She pondered this- the likelihood of my mother locating a bear that happened to contain honey- and then asked, "How did she manage that?"

I did all these culinary gymnastics while trying to complete a rather rigorous yoga practice. It looked like this: Downward Dog Pose -pause the DVD- get cereal. Warrior One pose- pause- retrieve a napkin. Half Moon Pose- pause- switch the beverage. Triangle Pose- pause- make toast (which as you recall was rejected because of the nuts). By the end, my chi was flowing in stilted waves and I felt like yelling (a flashback to Seinfield) "Serenity NOW!"

We thought Sandi was starting labor last night again but alas, the cramping continues with no progression yet. It is weird and fun and exciting to be on standby and anticipate the baby constantly.

Love to all- Suzanne

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Blackberry & Potty Training

Blackberry- our almost lost rabbit. He was out in his pen romping around the other day and decided, oh well, why not jump the fence? I thought he was gone for good and said a quick prayer to the Rabbit Gods (did you know there was such a thing?) and then saw his head peek up through some brush and he gave a couple quick hops. I ran and got Sandi and we cornered him- a good thing otherwise I would probably still be chasing him all over Hampden. We would definitely had some 'splaining to do to Ella had he not been found...






A love fest on the living room floor.







This is Elmo falling off the potty training wagon. This pretty much sums up the stage Ella is at with the training as we speak.
Ella had her first day of Nursery School today and she did such a good job!! We are working hard not to pigeon hole her by calling her "shy" -rather she is what my mother calls "discerning." So today our discerning youngster stayed for two hours with complete strangers and HAD FUN! So did we- we sat at Starbucks and did a little shopping. We are so proud of our big (little) girl.
Some recent Ella bloopers:
Tia was eating dinner with us and she happened to see Ella with her finger driven
up her nose in an apparent search.
Tia: "Did you get it?"
A lengthy pause and look of disdain from Ella to Tia.
Ella: "Not yet."
We were at our midwife appointment on Monday and Ella was playing with a Big Bird stuffed animal. To keep things interesting, I started to make him talk to Ella.
Big Bird: "So Ella, do you poop and pee on the potty yet?"
Ella: "Yes, Big Bird, I do."
Big Bird: "Really? Because I heard that you used to go on the potty
but that you don't anymore."
This is the point at which Ella stopped talking with Big Bird.
When we got in the car I said, "Big Bird seems to think that you go on the potty."
She said, "Big Bird doesn't think."
Here's hoping for a baby soon.... Suzanne

Monday, October 22, 2007

Our well-rounded child!

Working out with exercise bands... Do we feed this child?



Cooking in her kitchen... we had scrumptious BLT's and homemade bagels


Constructing something? at her toolbench

We've been hanging out at home over the weekend, getting caught up on some much needed sorting and sifting, cleaning and filing, cooking and dancing... general nesting! We're feeling very ready for this baby's arrival now. We met with our midwife today - the news is that we're good to go whenever "M" wants to come.
I think everyone in our family is now officially over their various colds and flus. We've had many stay here or nearby and secretly hope we'd conveniently go into labor while they were closer to Bangor (I think we've been hoping the same). It would be great if it was convenient for everyone, but this child is apparently holding out.
Ella had gymnastics this morning (one of her favorite activities of the week) and tomorrow she starts nursery school. If we do go into labor, I think getting her there will be a priority because she's pretty excited. For those of you who read our blog entries regarding her 3 year old tantrum behavior, Ella has morphed into a different child since a recent appointment with a longstanding and respected practitioner of energy work. Suffice it to say, we needed this appointment prior to the baby's arrival... Naomi makes parenting 100 times easier for us.
We have many more pictures to put on the blog. I'll probably add them to the side panel to the right.
Hope everyone is well. Cross your fingers and send lots of "crampy" energy my way. (They say you should be careful what you wish for!!)



Saturday, October 20, 2007

Sorry no pictures today

I have lots of pictures to put on the site but blogger is having difficulty uploading them this evening. We have been posting some pics along the side as well, but even that is not functioning properly today.
This baby is quite comfy right where she is apparently. She's not moving nearly as much, but when she stretches out, everyone notices the foot protruding from my right side. I am no longer able to sit down or stand up without the hands out in front rowing maneuver. Turning in bed is like throwing a sack of potatoes around in the middle of night. Perhaps my favorite is the legs splayed out as far as I can get them so as to accommodate her body when I'm seated.
"How can you be 38 weeks pregnant? Your belly is so tiny!" Anyone should try wearing this child around for awhile and then tell me she's not ready to come out.

Friday, October 19, 2007

First Haircut !

Ella - Age 2 years & 11 months getting her first haircut
Ella has the most fine hair and it doesn't grow very fast - obviously. She'll be three next month and is finally having her first haircut... a small trim in the back is what she really got. The front and sides don't grow much. Now it's a bit more even, but nobody would know to look at her that she actually had anything done today ~ a bit anticlimactic really.
We've received many phone calls, e-mails and comments on the BDN website today - mostly all favorable. Thank you to everyone for the support!
13 days left according to our due date counter on the fridge. I really didn't think we'd make it this far. Now everyday is starting to feel the same, like something really big is supposed to be happening and just isn't. Makes us begin to wonder if it will actually happen... I realize that she can't stay in there forever.
We hope everyone is well. Enjoy the pics on the side !
S, S, E & M

Thursday, October 18, 2007

No baby yet....

Ella & Brev snuggling in blankets and stuffed animals


Just wanted to put a quick post on the blog for those of you who check to see if the baby's here yet. We've been on Beals Island the last two days while Suz has been massaging. Ella has spent most of her time playing with Brevan. We've had lobster, crabmeat and veggies from Mom's garden. We've spent time with lots of family. Mom and Kris have turned the upstairs into a little apartment for our family when the baby comes so that Suz and Ella sleep in one room and the baby and I will sleep in another until nights are more restful. We're very lucky to have our own space when we visit.
Now, we're all a little tired and ready to be closer to Bangor when we go into labor. We have lots of great pictures from our trip. Will post a few later and give more update when we get home.
Hope everyone is well!!

Monday, October 15, 2007

From Bad to Worse

She sees the camera and a smile creeps on her face!

Hey everybody. The title of this is no joke. Now Ella won't even take baths. Everything we suggest we get a firm "NO!" My mother has sent me an email containing what she calls some very sage advice which is "QUIT PICKING ON ELLA!" Trust me Mom, that is no easy task. We've resorted to the sponge bath for the mandatory cleaning areas and I am embarrassed to say how many days it has been since she's had her hair washed (rest assured, it's shorter than a fortnight). Tonight she gave Sandi a big hug goodnight and then ran from the room screaming "Don't hug me! Don't hug me!" Living with Ella these days is like living with a whole lot of crazy humming inside a thirty pound time bomb. Okay, a slight exageration but that's really almost expected in a blog, right?

But really the reason for this post is to alert you of the impending Carver family celebrity. Namely, our little family will be featured (along with our dear friends the Merrill-Maguire's) in an article for the Bangor Daily News about the legalization of second parent adoption in Maine. For gay families this means the non-biological parent can adopt (Sandi can adopt Ella). This is HUGE news. Our local paper (which is also online at http://www.bangordailynews.com/ ) interviewed and photographed us today and will be running the story on Friday. We are going to be pursuing adoption for Ella and the new baby - the elusive "baby M"- when she is born and once we mobilize legal funds (read: save up the cash). So check it out on Friday!

Love to all of you who take the time to read our ramblings! We so appreciate your thoughts and love!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

From the Mouths of Babes

Ella Loves Her Soap
(at Schoodic Lake this Summer)

I haven't posted yet since Sandi is the one who got this up and running and I just wanted to say hey to everyone and tell you how much I love that you love the blog. I love that people are commenting on this blog site (can you say loving the instant feedback!) and lots of people have been calling and saying that they are checking in. This is a great way for us to keep people up to date, especially regarding the baby news, so you will all be in the loop. Obviously, we will post the birth news. This is primarily to string you along and make sure you check our site often. What better advertisement could we have?


Trish (a.k.a.) Tia has been staying with us in our spare bedroom for the past couple of weeks (we love having an actual guest room and we have had so much company it makes me think of "if you build it they will come"). That way if we go into labor in the middle of the night, Trish will be able to be here for Ella until my mom can come. So one morning, Ella caught site of Trish's very large (sorry Trish but it's true) shoes by the front door. She said, "Momma, Tia forgot her shoes." And then she thought for a minute and said, "It's okay because she comes back here - a lot." She loves having Tia here.


See sometimes there are those cutie snippets and then last night when I put her to sleep she was in her incredibly bossy mood that made me with bedtime was an hour earlier. I told her I needed to go eat my dinner and as I left the room she was yelling at me, "Don't you go! Don't you eat! Don't eat Momma!" This could be the diet plan according the Ella...

The baby's name... according to Ella.

Lounging in the Boat at Schoodic

This is a picture from this summer of Ella, Auntie Krick (my sister, Kristi), Suz and our nephew, Brevan. My mom's in the background at the helm of the speedboat. Anyhow, I show you this picture as an introduction (for those of you who don't know) to Auntie Krick, who is quite crafty and oftimes a bit too smart for the rest of us.


I will preface the story by saying that we have been sneaking the baby's name in here and there so that Ella could get used to it, but not telling her that "M......" is actually the baby's name. A few nights ago, Ella and I were taking a tubby (Ella really likes to feel that she's in the tubby with the baby - she washes my belly and talks to the baby like she's giving her a bath). Anyhow, "Gabriella" is stenciled on the wall beside the tub. I was explaining that pretty soon, we would have to add "M......." to the wall. I asked, "Do you know that this is the baby's name?" Ella responded very quickly with, "No. That's not the baby's name. Her name is 'Baby Pete'." She has a porceline cat which she has named Pete and feels a strong connection to him.


So, back to Auntie Krick. The day after our tubby, Auntie Krick and Brev came to play. While we were feeling the baby kicking around, Auntie Krick asked Ella very directly, "Ella, what's the baby's name?" She's tried this with Ella before... very sneaky as everyone knows that we've used the name around her but nobody else. The last time she asked Ella what the baby's name is, Ella said "She doesn't have a name." On being asked this question again, Ella took a second (much to my curiosity as it made me think for a moment that this might end up being the big reveal), and then spit out, "Baby Pete." So there you have it. At work, she's known as "Baby Gert." In Ella's eyes, she's is most definitely "Baby Pete."

Another Quiet Day!




Tia (this is what Ella calls my sister, Trish) and Ella had breakfast together this morning. Ella is still exhausted from her cold and it seems it's working its way through the family on both sides. Nobody's been feeling well the last few days, so I guess this baby knows to hold off for now.

I stopped working at the hospital this week. My body felt as though it had hit a wall and would push no further. My heart was beating in funky rhythms and I began to feel an exhaustion that I have not known before. I'm not sure that if left to my own devices, I could have taken care of myself, much less ICU patients. Fortunately, Suzanne had been taking care of both of us during that time. I had overwhelming support to stop working from family, friends, coworkers, care providers and a very pushy astrologer. Since then, I've been feeling better and better everyday. I'm probably the most well rested person in our house and now I can do a lot of the tasks around here so that Suzanne can work and not have to come home to do everything in the house as well. It feels amazingly refreshing to be more myself again. Perhaps that is part of the reason the baby has more peacefully settled in to her current abode. I've had no further contractions since last Wednesday.

Suz and Ella are getting in a very nice nap and I think I'll go pick up a book...

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Pictures!!!

Ella & Momma at Conant's Orchard

Ella & Mommy attempt to snuggle with Baby M

Finally, a picture that uploaded. I've been trying for days to get a picture on this blog site ~ whoever manages this site has posted each day that the picture upload feature is fixed. Seems it is finally working. I will have more for you to view soon, I hope.


Still no baby. Well, there's a baby, but I'm the only one who gets to enjoy the shots to my ribs so far. Suzanne says that she looks even bigger today than yesterday (great... more to push out!) We've been having lots of sleepovers at casa de carver lately. Suzanne's mom, Jan, her sister, Kathryn, and our neice, Michaela stayed for a night early in the week. My sister, Trish, has been with us for a few nights. Last night, we had Trish, my other sister, Kris, and our nephew, Brevan, for an overnight adventure. We both talk to parents, grandparents and friends daily. We have been surrounded and blessed to have lots of support nearby as the baby's entry is approaching.

Ella has had quite a cold the last few days. Suzanne was hit pretty hard today with it and I am still keeping it at bay. We're figuring that a baby born into our poxed environment might not be the best idea right at the moment. She's hanging tight... smart girl!

Anyhow, there's the quick update...

Love to everyone!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

First Blog Attempt... while we're still pregnant

Here goes... we're attempting a blog (something new and unfamiliar). Our family updates via e-mail have turned out to be not so up to date. In fact, they've been mostly nonexistant in the last couple of years. Seems we did a decent job during Ella's first year keeping family and friends abreast of the happenings here. Ella is now turning three and I'm not sure if we've sent out more than five e-mails with new pictures and such.


We're getting very close to welcoming the 4th member of our Carver Clan. My body apparently attempted labor last night, but got shot down by my cervix which was not ripe for the pickin'. Suz and I went back to sleep in an attempt to rest as much as possible prior to the birth. Meanwhile, our families packed, prepared and waited (at 2:00 a.m.) to come as soon as they received word. Today, we are fairly rested and everyone else is probably dragging from their "dry run." Contractions have stopped and our midwife says that although uncommon for a first-time pregnancy, this phenomenon of labor starting when the cervix is not ready may happen a couple more times before it's really real. We'll hold on the phone calls next time until we're sure. It was fun, though....

Ella is in typical 3 year old mode ~ "I can do it! I can do it!" Potty training is going... though not so well the last few days. When Suzanne asked why she peed in her pants today instead of going on the potty, she said, "because then you'd have to take me." (This from the one who said she had to pick her nose because "it's all crazy up there!") It's a constant attempt for her to control everything & everyone these days, including herself and her excrement. I will admit, this is very difficult for me. I think Suzanne is struggling with it as well. When coming back from outings, she has been known to refer to herself as the "raw nerve." We are not used to being controlled, nor do we give in. Ella has always been fairly mild mannered and this new 3 year old behavior is testy. Needless to say, it's a power struggle in the Carver House.

In light of all this, I will say we are enjoying most of this developmental stage. With hormones raging, this blog could turn into our post for venting... you'll get the updates alright!

Many apologies for the lack of pictures so far... technical difficulties that we hope will be remedied soon.

Please be well.

S, S, E & M