The Nursery

February 17th, 2013

Originally, we weren’t going to find out the sex of the baby. Only a few months into pregnancy and the secrecy was driving us nuts – we wanted to know. However, we still wanted to keep the room gender neutral. The hardest part about gender neutral rooms is that most of the items available for sale are either brown or yellow – not my favorite choice of colors. We also thought about using gray since that’s the main color throughout most of our house, but we still wanted it to be colorful and fun – it is a baby’s room after all.

We finally settled on a colorful polka-dot theme by Skip Hop. Not to make the room too matchy-matchy, we decided to incorporate a bird theme as well. To do this, we added a tree decal to one of the walls to give the room some pop. Plus, it’s best not to have too many things hanging on the walls, especially above the crib. This easily solves that problem.

Paint was the hardest choice. What we ended up choosing was a light pistachio green. Not too baby-ish, gender neutral, and can grow with him for several years. We thought about blue once we found out the sex, but we had a blue room in our old house and  frankly, were pretty sick of looking at it…

Furniture was an easy choice! We knew we wanted something modern and convertible. The bed we chose converts to a toddler and twin bed later on down the road. The dresser slides apart to reveal a changing table. When he’s older, he can use it as a desk, or just slide it back and use it as a dresser. This particular set is called “Cube” by Baby’s Dream Furniture. There are plenty of cheaper, modern sets out there, but Baby’s Dream doesn’t use particle board and is built right here in the U.S.A. It was worth the extra $100.

 

Max in His Crib 

No, we don’t let him sleep with bumpers or stuffed animals, this is just for show.

Looking into the Nursery

The color of the room looks a little yellow here. I didn’t have time to color correct it. Newborn, remember? To keep with the bird theme, we bought the cutest little LED branch light from IKEA to hang over the changing table. It’s perfect for late night diaper changes.

Corner of the Nursery

Again, looks darker and more yellow than it really is. We accented the room with white and red. Max LOVES staring at the red curtains and the red birds. He’s also mesmerized by the dots in his crib.

If I had to do it all over again I would:

1) Start sooner. Technically, you don’t need the nursery for the first few months. However, trying to paint the room at 7 months preggo was no fun. It’s really hard to manuever… Also, the dresser ended up being on back order for nearly two months. Once the baby is here, it’s harder than ever to pull the room together because you’re so busy taking care of him. I would have started it at 5-6 months pregnant.

2) Not fret so much over everything being perfect. Nesting is at an all time high in the final months of pregnancy and I panicked his room wouldn’t be ready. Of course it wasn’t ready. And that’s ok. All Max really needs the first few months is the be held, fed, and loved.

3) Not listen to input. People love to offer their opinions. You don’t need them. You’re the one who will be spending the most time in that room. Especially at 11 p.m., 1 a.m., 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. Do the room to your liking. If I didn’t love those birds, I should as hell wouldn’t want to stare at them for hours a day. I like how the room looks and it works perfectly for us.

4) Remember it’s a work in progress. Not all the photos are hung. This is because the best memories are yet to be made and captured.

5) Realize that pee, spit-up, and explosive poo will end up all over the…well, everything. Don’t get too invested in stuff. Babies will combust all over your perfectly matched nursery.

6) Seriously, pee everywhere.

 

Month 3

January 22nd, 2013

Max is growing like a champ! He’s well over 12 pounds and is quickly outgrowing most of his clothes. He loves tummy time and tries to reach for objects now. Gone are the days of randomly smacking himself in the face (well, not entirely gone). Now Max can use his hands to grab and play with toys.

There was lots of fun to be had this month. Moa and Pop Pop came down for TWO weeks during the holidays and gave Max all the love and attention he could handle. For Christmas, he was spoiled by all his relatives, but fell asleep for the festivities. New Year’s Eve was also an early night for him. After mastering hands, who needs holidays? Not Max.

My favorite memory from this month was hearing his first giggle. There have been plenty of coos and plenty of smiles, but when you hear that first laugh – it’s beyond awesome. Max is a such a low-key, happy baby.

 

Month three was full of firsts for Max:

Christmas (Zonked out)

New Year’s (Zonked out)

Nursery School (Teacher’s Pet!)

First Cold (Hazard of Nursery School)

First Giggle (He really loves bath time)

5 Hours of Sleep in a Row (Mom and Dad are eternally grateful)

 

Max’s Debut

December 27th, 2012

Around mid-October, I was getting the unmistakable pregnancy waddle. Sleeping was increasingly uncomfortable, swelling caused my feet to look like balloons and my hands to ache from carpal tunnel symptoms, and anything on the floor, well, it just stayed there or was kicked out of sight. I expected to continue this trend well into November since this was my first pregnancy and I was certain Max would show up a week past his due date of October 25.

However, being a type A personality, I figured I could push things up a bit.

I was right.

Apparently, a night of hot wings and a long morning walk did the trick. By Sunday evening, I was feeling contractions. I wasn’t sure if they were the real thing or Braxton Hicks. By ten p.m. I could no longer sleep and was Googling “Should I go into work with contractions?” I started timing them. They were definitely getting stronger and were pacing at 5 minutes apart.

Then, the big moment. My water broke. 11:30 p.m. “Expletive. Expletive. Expletive. Expletive.”

I ran to wake up Graeme, “Um, we need to go to the hospital.” Our bags were packed, the diaper bag was ready, the birth plan and insurance papers were firmly in hand. We scrambled to the car.

Game face.

We arrived at the hospital a little past midnight and were the only two patients in the maternity ward. Not one to pass up opportunity, I quickly asked, “Can we have the biggest room?”

As they checked us in, I could really feel the contractions. It was getting harder to concentrate and I needed to focus on my breathing. Luckily, Graeme was right there to help me and keep things moving. We were going to meet our little boy soon!

That’s when things took a turn for the worse. The nurses noticed my blood pressure was going up. It was stellar all through pregnancy and I certainly felt fine, but their charts indicated otherwise. Apparently, I was developing symptoms of preeclampsia during labor. That happens? This was not in my birth plan.

Then, Max decided to speed up the whole delivery process. I dilated from 2 to 5 centimeters in less than an hour. Soon after that, I was at 7. The contractions were big now. So big, that when one would happen, Max’s heart rate would drop. WHAT?!

The nurses would quickly rush in, checking monitors, flipping me on my side, putting new bags of fluids in my IV, and telling me to focus on breathing from an oxygen mask. Max’s heart rate was pacing at 140 most of the time. Then 100. Then 80. Then…40.

40. Those moments felt like an eternity. Time slowed with his heart rate.

This wasn’t working. Max was stressed. Any labor progress I made was quickly diminishing. The million people (hyperbole!) staring down at me in the room suggested I take the leap.

C-Section.

After 7 hours of controlled, yet panicked labor and at the advice of the surrounding doctors and medical professionals, I agreed to take the leap. My dreams of bouncing on a labor ball and getting massages flew out the window hours ago anyway. It was time to get serious. My birth plan was toilet paper.

It’s amazing how quickly a medical team can prep you for surgery. Within minutes I was in the OR. I was frightened. I had never had surgery before. Ever. 3 minutes is not enough time to mentally prepare for this sort of thing. Luckily, I had an amazing husband and medical team by my side. Graeme held my hand. The doctors talked me through everything. And then…

Max.

I couldn’t see him, but I could hear his cry. They quickly brought him around the sheet to show me. I bawled.

That moment.

The moment you meet your destiny.

You experience past, present, and future all in one tiny, but significant moment.

Screw the dreams of a perfect labor, what really mattered was my perfect baby.

Maxwell Winter Hunt, born October 22, 2012 at 10:33 a.m. at University Medical Center in Tucson, Arizona.

 

Love him!

 

Month 2

December 22nd, 2012

Ok. We got this.

Graeme and I can swiftly change diapers, rock Max to sleep in record time, and do many household chores using only one hand. I can’t tell you what songs are popular on the radio or what is currently in theaters, but I can quickly recall mundane details about laundry soap, formula types, and breast pumps. Chyeah, I’m that boring.

I returned to work after only six weeks on leave, which meant it was now Graeme’s turn to take over for the remaining six. It was an easy transition and it turns out that Graeme is the best Mister Mom in the world.

The best parts about month two are the rewards. Max now smiles at us all the time, coos, and wants to interact constantly. He is no longer in the larva stage, but now the pupa.

In the second month Max:

Loses his umbilical cord stump (I hope G writes a blog about this one. Good story)

Establishes a favorite blanket (i.e. the Magic Blanket = Insta-sleep)

Has his first official full bath (Goodbye sponge baths!)

Meets Mema for the first time

Max’s First Bath

Month 1

November 22nd, 2012

We made it. We survived the first month. It’s all a blur. A long, sleep-deprived blur. All the baby books, well-intentioned advice, and babysitting practice cannot prepare you for what is in store for those first four weeks.

Basically, babies eat every two to three hours. If you’re lucky. And if they happen to be sleeping longer than three hours, you have to wake them up to feed them anyway. Life for the first four weeks is all about input and output. You hope to capture special moments and milestones on camera. However, the only thing you’ll be keeping record of is what goes in…and what comes out.

Don’t get me wrong, parenthood is fabulous.

Exhausting, yet exhilarating. Stressful, yet blissful.

We honestly can’t remember what life was like before Max. It feels like he’s been a part of our lives since the beginning. Like he was always meant to be ours. So far, only the dogs disagree.

In the first month Max:
Found His Hands
Smiled
Had His first Thanksgiving in Sedona

Max’s First Turkey Day!