Welcome, Phoebe Jane!

We are so grateful and over-the-moon happy to welcome our new little birdie, Phoebe Jane!

After a false alarm and a long week of early laboring, our sweet Phoebe made a very dramatic and thoughtful Halloween entrance into the world. I think Phoebe knew that I really wanted to be home for Halloween because her big sister was really excited about all things Halloween, including dressing up as a strawberry, trick-or-treating and eating more than her fair share of candy. So she let Chris and I take Wren trick-or-treating around our neighborhood. I even got into the spirit of it and turned my belly into a pumpkin. At this point in the evening, I was having some contractions, but they weren’t too close together yet. Plus I had just seen my OB for my regular check-up about 45 minutes earlier. I told him I was “ready to burst” and he chuckled, checked me and said, “well, you’re still a loose 3.” Arrgghh. Just 3 cm?! After a week of contractions off and on? Would this baby ever come out?

So we trick-or-treated for a bit around the neighborhood and the contractions got stronger, longer and closer together. I decided that we ought to round the block for home. Plus, Wren’s candy bucket was already getting heavy because it contained a juice box and a full-size Snickers bar, in addition to the usual favorites. Seriously, someone in our neighborhood gives out full-size candy bars to an estimated 800 trick-or-treaters!?

We arrived home around 6 and I started timing the contractions. They were about 60 seconds long and only a couple minutes apart… I told Chris he better quickly eat some of that chili I made for dinner and get us over to the hospital. Thankfully, we only live a few blocks away and “Dampa and Damma” were already here with us!

Here they are, aren’t they cute?

We got checked in, they monitored me and I got checked into my room around 7 p.m. I told Chris to speed on ahead and fill up the deep tub for me. I labored in a deep tub with Wren and I don’t know how I could’ve achieved my goal of having a low-intervention, natural hospital birth without it. So I climbed on in and within fifteen minutes of laboring with the jets, my water broke. And the pain got so strong and all I could think was, there is no way I can do this, thinking I’d have to labor like that for at least another six hours, or days, there’s no way to know for sure. I let the nurse know what had happened and she said I could continue to stay in, but right away I started to feel Phoebe coming out already so I let the nurse know and she told me I needed to get out. I told her I didn’t think I could because the baby was here and she helped Chris hoist me out of the tub. I walked the short distance to the bed and my OB just arrived and told me to get up into the bed and I said, no I can’t, the baby was here. He checked and sure enough, the baby was here. He had just enough time to get his second glove on and catch our new little birdie like a football and pass her up to me! Just like that. Crazy stuff. Our Phoebe Jane was here!

On October 31, 2011 at 7:19 p.m. Phoebe Jane Walter was born! She’s a tall, thin birdie: 6 lb, 12 oz and 21 inches. And I know I’m biased, lovelies, but she is really an incredibly beautiful little lady and we’re so very glad that she is here with us in our nest.

40 weeks + a time warp?

We made it to 40 weeks! It’s in the upper 30s and a bit blustery here in northern Michigan so I’m bundled in a wool sweater with my favorite winter scarf (thanks, Nic!). The baby is still in there somewhere, I assure you. I’ve never been this pregnant before. Uncharted territory, lovelies! Oof. Looking forward to meeting this new little birdie and beginning to reclaim my body. Enough already! Ahem.

I feel like something strange happened between Monday’s quick grocery shopping trip and yesterday’s trip, like I went through a time warp. I was under the impression that Halloween was just around the corner, but my milk was dated December 19!  I looked to my left and spotted egg nog, walked a little bit more and the peppermint ice cream jumped out at me, then in the produce area, fresh cranberries and pomegranates? Yikes.

Please don’t tell me you’re already done with your Christmas shopping because I haven’t even finished (err, started) my spring cleaning yet this year, lovelies…

false alarm

Lovelies, I thought for sure I’d be home by now with our new little birdie in my arms! We went to the hospital early Saturday morning after I started having contractions and some bleeding. It was going to be the same exact timing as with Wren – six days before my official due date. And the same exact room! I got checked in, got into the gorgeous hospital gowns, got monitored, got mentally prepped. But things slowed down, too much bad early morning TV was watched, progress wasn’t made; I was only at about 3 cm six hours later. So I was given three options: 1) stay and wait, 2) stay and get my water broken, or 3) go home and wait. It was a beautiful day here so we decided to go home and come back later when things picked up again. Well, here I am, several days later. No baby! Well, there is a baby, but it is still tucked safely inside. Sigh.

At first I was discouraged and disappointed, but now I’m feeling fine with it as long as I can be home for Halloween with our little birdies! Again, I realize this is really out of my control, but I would just hate to miss the sugar-fueled time with my little strawberry. 

It seemed like other women’s stories about their deliveries (after their first) all seemed so fast, but maybe this is just what I was hoping to hear. Since our weekend false alarm, I’ve talked to quite a few women who went through a very similar experience. How had I not heard these stories before? Likely because I didn’t want to… regardless, it is inevitable that this baby will come out some day. And some day relatively soon, right? Heck, it could even be today. It’s cold and rainy, a perfect day to be spent laboring away… please and thank you?!


nesting: salsa and pacifiers

I was gifted with a child-free day today and made use of my special (read: don’t know when this will ever happen again!) time on last-minute nesting projects like finally turning all those October tomatoes into roasted tomato salsa and a big batch of roasted tomato soup. Since I was in the mood to boil water, I also sterilized a bunch of pacifiers. Funny juxtaposition, isn’t it? Ah, well, such is life right now.

I can’t really even begin to describe the great sense of relief I have now that I don’t have to stare at all those tomatoes every time I come through the back door. I’m so grateful they didn’t go to waste because I knew I wouldn’t be able to get to them once our babe arrived; I just dreaded the thought of having to see them again as I was walking through the door with a new little birdie. Whew!

Have a great weekend in your nest, lovelies! Here in Traverse City there are a couple really cool things happening that I just had to mention: an indie art fair and the nation’s first XC ski race of the season, for which they are hauling in shaved zamboni snow from the local ice rinks. Something for everyone…

{this moment} 39 weeks

{this moment} 39 weeks – a brief moment from our week, a Friday ritual inspired by Soule Mama.

It’s been cold and rainy here in northern Michigan this week; we walked outside yesterday morning and Wren said, “it’s a blustery day, Mama!” Indeed. So the little birdie and I have been spending a lot of time cuddling up on the couch together this week, reading lots of books, “one, two, three more, Mama?” OK.

This is one of our favorite lap-sized board books by Lois Ehlert: Eating the Alphabet: Fruits & Vegetables from A to Z . Have you read it?

Happy Friday and happy weekend to you, lovelies! Any big plans? I’m hoping to have a baby this weekend. We’ll see how that plan goes…

still pregnant

A few people got to wondering if we had welcomed another little birdie into the world because I haven’t posted in a few days. Well, I’m here to tell you that the babe is still tucked safely inside at 38.5 weeks and counting! Feeling (almost) ready for this new adventure, or as ready as I think we can be…

Chris and I finally agreed on boy and girl names, which shall remain a secret for a little while longer. Hey, a girl’s got to have some secrets!

And I finally finished covering the rocking chair cushions that have been waiting for me for months in the basement. They used to be white in Wren’s room and not able to be removed, but they had gotten so stained and yucky after almost 2.5 years of continuous use that I couldn’t take it anymore and tore them off. Now that they’re back on and look great because of some fabric that my friend, Sandy, gifted me, I’m ready to rock away with a new babe in my arms. What do you think?

Oh! I also just realized I must really be craving iron and getting my body ready because yesterday I cooked beef for dinner, which I almost never do (Chris wondered if it was his birthday!), and today I’m making a big batch of molasses cookies, along with a slew of from-the-garden beet & chocolate muffins. IRON!

So there’s a brief update for you, lovelies. Yup, still here. How is your week going? What’s been happening in your nest?

37 weeks and still at the beach

It’s been unseasonably warm and sunny here for the past week (!) in northern Michigan. We are trying to soak up as much bare toe time as we can before late fall kicks in and we pull out our scarves again. We spent Saturday evening on the shores of Lake Michigan in Empire. While the air was warm, the water reminded us that it was October after all. Brrrrr. Chris bravely jumped in, but the little birdie and I decided to just play near the water’s edge and cool off our toes. We ended the evening with a sunset, pizza picnic, bonfire and clear glimpses of the Big Dipper and Casseopeia‘s showy “W” for Wren. All that and a reasonable bedtime for all. That’s what you get when the sun sets by 7:30 on the western shores of a timezone… thank you, summer in October.

How was your weekend, lovelies? Did you get all sweaty and hot at the pumpkin patch?


“They” say not being able to sleep well in the late stages of pregnancy is just a way of preparing you for the new baby. 34 weeks and not able to sleep much here, lovelies. Hmmpphh. Sigh. Arrgghh. I just wish I were able to wrangle tomatoes or paint the house or protest stupid politics (don’t get me started) on the street corner in the middle of the night, but no, it’s too dark.

But the Internet is always on! And I have a mountain of work in front of me! And a hot cup of coffee! So here I am. How was your weekend, lovelies? Happy Monday!

soaking up summer

Even though the calendar says that summer will still be here for another month, I don’t trust it to stick around much longer. I’ve learned my lesson in the past. Sometimes we are blessed with a beautiful September, filled with water warm enough to welcome us until the leaves begin to cover the lawn. Other years, Labor Day hits, local stores begin to shorten their hours and boom, Lake Michigan turns frigid and summer is OVER. Sigh. Summer’s not even my favorite season, but it sure is fun to play at the water’s edge with the little birdie. And a husband who will swim no matter what the water brings. And the big belly. Swimming is one of the only times I feel a bit weightless; what a relief!

So we’re soaking it up while we can and enjoying the sand in our sheets for a little while longer.