Cecelia’s Birthday

Cecelia has finally been born. Here’s the lowdown:

Sara Cecelia Musgrove was born Saturday July 11, 2015 at 5:44pm ET, healthy, strong and beautiful. Casey had a regular checkup on Thursday July 9, and the doctor thought that if Casey was ready, it wouldn’t be any problem to electively induce labor, which if you ever have the chance to choose, is the way to go. It allows a much more manageable and comfortable experience.

Saturday morning Casey called the hospital at 5am to see if they had an open bed, and they did. Casey, her mother and I headed to the hospital after picking up 2 dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts to bribe thank the nurses in the labor and delivery wing. We arrived around 6:45am and began the day. Lots of checkups and visits by nurses and hospital people. Casey had a very nice room and the whole experience was excellent. The people were all very helpful and nice and I can’t think of a single thing that could have improved the experience.

The nurses set up an epidural and administered the Pitocin, which begins contractions. We waited around for everything to set in and the contractions to come regularly. Casey was pretty uncomfortable during this period, but it was about to all be over. At least the contractions and discomfort. In the afternoon, Doctor Boyd came by, checked Casey out and asked if she was ready, we could get the show on the road. He had just delivered another kid, so he was good and warmed up. Casey gave about 5 series of 3 or so pushes, and eleven minutes later, Cecelia was born. Casey and the doctor and nurses did a wonderful job. Deborah and I helped Casey and I got to cut the cord. It was a very magical and emotional experience. The complete lack of sleep the prior few days made things a little tougher, but the excitement cut through that. Neither Casey nor I could sleep the night before, we were so excited, and I didn’t sleep the night before that either.

Cecelia was 8 pounds, 15 ounces and 20.75 inches. Totally healthy and strong and a furry head of dark hair. Her eyes, as best as I can make out, are grey, which is normal for many babies. They usually change color later, and I expect them to either be brown or blue. She has long eyelashes already like her father. Everyone had been expecting a small baby the entire time. That was not the case whatsoever. Almost 9 lbs of cheeks.

I stayed with Casey both nights in the hospital and they were discharged Monday around noon. Sort of sleepless nights, but with Deborah’s help we’re able to get some good naps in. And we also came back to a house with broken AC. So the house is pretty warm. Megan got back from Africa last Tuesday, and has been staying with Annabelle (her BFF) over the weekend, and everything couldn’t be going more smoothly. We’re now all back home and so the adventure begins.

and baby makes three

So Close

Cecelia has been very busy lately. Mostly making Casey uncomfortable, but also preparing herself for a grand entrance and life beyond the belly. She’s dropped quite a bit, which makes everyone, including the doctor, believe she’ll arrive early. That would make Casey happy, but I, her father, don’t feel totally prepared. Close, but not totally. And I’m going out of town for the night next Friday, which makes me really nervous.

Although Cecelia’s been an exceptionally wiggly baby, she’s pretty much run out of room, so now she’s just squirming around, trying to get comfortable, I’d imagine. Other than Casey’s discomfort, which is pretty standard apparently during a pregnancy, this has been a smooth experience. Hopefully the final approach and landing will be as smooth. The OB/GYN Casey sees is great, and we’re hoping he’s the one delivering her. Cecelia’s not going to be a big baby, luckily for the mother, which we presumed. No reason she would have been.

But I’m thinking we’ll be holding little Cecelia next week. Finally.

All Systems Go

Since I haven’t posted an update on Cecelia and mother recently I thought I should, even though nothing exceptional is available to report. Which is good. I believe we’re at week 33 now, and Casey is beginning to get impatient. And ever more uncomfortable.

Cecelia is a total wiggleworm, and you can visibly see her squirming around now, which is a little odd to watch, as a man. She’s getting more and more cramped in there, and we think she’s flipped head-down, which is normal at this stage of pregnancy. But she’s getting stronger and really laying into Casey with some of her pushes and kicks. She apparently heard the song Louie Louie by the Kingsmen and liked it quite a bit. A lot’s been going on in there; she has fingernails now and can sense light and dark and hear exterior sounds. She’s supposedly about 16 inches long. We’ve been following along with Heidi Murkoff‘s videos each week, which explain what to expect when we’re expecting, and learn which fruit she resembles. And I have a “new dad” class coming up in June which I’m looking forward to.

Casey was in Denver the other week for a conference and was able to meet up with Cecelia’s great aunt Rozzie, which a good trip for all. Cecelia’s half-sister Megan is about to depart for her yearly trek to South Africa in a couple of days, and will be back just in time for the birth. She’s really looking forward to it now, which is in contrast to her reaction when she first heard the news. I don’t think anyone is more eager than Casey however, who has a list of issues from carrying a growing, non-stop wiggler in her. Soon enough.

Cecelia’s Travels Both Far and Near

The lase of time between this post and the last has been due to a couple of things. None were plesant.

We, meaning the entire family-cats and all- moved once again. Still in Louisville, but out to the country. Fisherville, to be exact. Louisville is a city made up of dozens (it seems) of other tiny towns. With normal-sized people living there. The best reaction so far when I told someone we were moving to the country has been “You don’t mean Indiana, do you?” in a hushed, pensive tone.

We now have a newer house with more rooms, a usable, grassy yard and  array of amenities Casey’s wanted. Megan has another girl her age next door to play with, and it’ll be nice not having to repair something daily. At least something to do directly with the house.

While I packed loaded and moved, Casey went to Denver for a conference in her embiggened state of motherhood, and Megan went about her days as normally as possible. So Casey met up with Aunt Roz and reports a fun time, and Rozzie was able to see Casey with child.

Cecelia is very active. As in, hyper. She’s poking and boxing and twirling and Jazzercising all over the place in there. Casey is ready to meet her and have this part of the whole process over with, for understandable reasons. But it won’t be long now.

In not so fun news and related only via family issues and physical discomfort, Annie had to go to the vet for geriatric ventibular problems, which was a scare. It appears she had an inner ear infection, although her ears are sparkling clean. And the vet said he sees more cases this time of year because of allergens in the air. I’m not sure what the link is, but Kentucky’s “allergy problem” is a concern to me, long term for my family’s health. What people around here call allergies is pollution. It’s not the pollen and natural springtime particules lie in the South. It’s Ohio River Valley coal dust and industrial crap coming from somewhere, but it’s a mjor reason I want to move away as soon as we can, which Casey agrees with.

So, back on topic: Annie had an IV treatment and is spending a couple of nights at the vet but looks like she’ll be fine. She displayed symptoms of nystagmus, and I thought it was a seizure or maybe stroke, but she was still very alert, although dizzy and confused, and stressed by it all. She’s in great shape, but when you get older, anything can go at any time.

Example: My main computer spazzed for no reason (problem with Windows, a corrupt file, a missing operating system and deeper issues) and has been down since last weekend, which has been an extremely poorly-timed problem as well. but that’s a post for my own website. A total comedy of operational explosions. It’s unbelievable, and funny, if it weren’t me. I’m writing this on an iPad and mini bluetooth keyboard. That’s what I’ve been reduced to technilogically.

Casey just brought me a video of Cecelia doing laps or something. I’m thinking of building a hamster wheel for her for when she’s born.

A Super-Awesome Present

One more cool thing about having babies: presents.

Actually, not just one super-awesome present, but (2) Two! They just happened to come in the same package, but in two Tiffany-blue boxes, within. My aunt Rosalind took thoughtful gift-giving to the next level and sent Cecelia completely appropriate gifts: a sterling silver feeding spoon, and accompanying sterling cup (does Tiffany’s even sell silver-plated stuff? I have no idea.) from which to sip her Coca-cola.

tiffany's silver spoon and cup
The much-maligned, but often desired, silver spoon, with cup to keep her diamonds in.

It’s Alive

Apparently Cecelia is a fidgety thing and quite active. Although I have trouble seeing them, Casey insists there are visible kicks in the video. And in addition to that, she’s been pretty hyper in general. This bodes well, although I sympathize with Casey’s declining comfort level. All things considered, she’s as comfortable as one can be. She just had a routine doctor’s visit, and everything checked out OK with both of them.

casey and a friend
23 weeks along for Casey. I can’t speak for the pig.

What’s Going on in There?

No big news to report. The most noticeable change is how much more active Cecelia’s become. Wiggling around, poking and getting adjusted quite a bit apparently. I haven’t been able to see or feel any of it yet, but Casey said it’s becoming much more pronounced and common. She’s been trying to provoke some sort of movement so I can see, but there hasn’t been much cooperation. Cecelia does it when she feels like it, or I guess the need arises. It’s pretty cramped in there, I’d imagine. She can taste things now that Casey eats, so eating or drinking something may get a reaction, although I’m not really in favor of trying to get a response by eating a habanero pepper or anything. One thing will be for sure: she’ll be familiar with garlic. And pickles and cheese. And orange sherbet push-up pops. If she’s anything like me, which she very well may be, she’ll love ice cream. In my very own baby book I remember my mother reporting that when I tasted ice cream for the first time “I went wild.” And I still do.

mega ice cream cone

No News is Good News

Not much to report in the world of gestation. Casey and I are looking at strollers and trying to decide which one as if our very lives depended on it. I usually am a thorough shopper, but some of the items we’ve been deliberating on have given a new meaning to comparison shopping. Nine months gives you a lot of time to prepare, and we’re going to be VERY well-prepared for Cecelia’s arrival.

Casey has felt her wiggling around some and says when she drinks orange juice it perks her up possibly from the sugars. Who knows? I can’t even imagine that sensation and am fine not being able to. Casey hasn’t been having too many cravings other than juicy foods, so I’ve been trying to stock tangerines, mangoes, OJ, berries, and so on. We’ve always been a fan of pickles and ice cream, so there’s those, which isn’t anything different. Her sense of smell has been traitorous, and some things have been a big turn-off that she used to like.

We’ve decided to use Americord for our stem cell blood and tissue storage. Seems like the best value. Like they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and that’s kind of a benefit of me having kids later on in life.  You never know.

We finally settled on a diaper-bag, as if that was a life-choice. The nursery will have a lamb-theme, for no particular reason than we have a lot of lamb-inspired items. Although we have no idea what house we’ll be living in at that time. We are moving in May, a month before Cecelia’s due, to a place east of where we are now. We need more space. Megan has become spoiled accustomed to having her space. And we’re planning on having another kid, so we’ll need even more room and a yard of some sort. Megan isn’t too interested in the outdoors, but I plan on instilling a sense of adventure and curiosity into Cecelia. Holing up in her room won’t be a viable option.

We’re trying to find a rocking chair/glider for Casey, which is a big purchase. I may end up building one, but we’re looking at second-hand stores and Craigslist, etc…It reminds me of trying to find that perfect overstuffed chair in Orange at Woodberry.