Six days of bliss

highlights from Grandma Julie's camera

These first six days of Naomi's life have been blissfully smooth, almost strangely so. I feel pretty normal for having just had a baby, and I owe so much to my mom for being here. She's taken wonderful care of me, Bret, and Natalie -- bringing us breakfast, lunch, and dinner in bed; taking Natalie on all manner of errands; cleaning the house; helping me assemble birth announcements; distracting Natalie at crucial moments when I can't pay the requisite amount of attention to her... The list goes on and on.

Tomorrow, she leaves, and I'm not as worried as I should be! She's gotten us off to a good start. And like she told me yesterday, during these next few days and weeks, I'll no doubt feel like an airplane touching down for a rough landing. At least I know there's solid ground beneath my feet. Thanks, mom!

I'm getting very excited for the next wave of visitors -- we've got two sets of friends visiting over the next couple of days, then my dad and stepmom over the weekend, then Bret's folks next week. Then a weekend alone, and my mom returns to help when Bret goes back to work... I'm extremely grateful for all this help, love, and encouragement...

And now for some photos (there are more below the first one; and just as a reminder, click on the first one to enlarge the photo and to scroll through all the photos).


Andrea, Wednesday 29 July 2009 at 10:07 pm No comments

A somewhat important discovery

This may sound a little trivial, especially in the face of the profound joy that is new baby Naomi, but I just have to blurt it out: Naomi does not look good in pink (dark pink, at least).

After my mom and I laboriously dressed her in almost all pink Natalie hand-me-downs, we both immediately grimaced and undressed her. So far, yellows, purples, greens, browns, and reds suit her. I just had to share...

More photos coming soon.

Andrea, Wednesday 29 July 2009 at 3:40 pm No comments

Natalie and Naomi

growing as sisters

For the most part, Natalie seems to have fallen in love with her baby sister. She comes into the bedroom, where Naomi and I are recovering and bonding, and crawls onto the bed to touch Naomi's head or give her a tentative kiss. And then she proceeds to jump on the bed and lose all awareness of where her feet are in relation to her sister's head (no incidents yet, fortunately).

At other times, Natalie exhibits the impatience of a little girl no longer able to have unlimited access to Mommy. She often wants to nurse right as Naomi cries to nurse (yes, I'm still nursing Natalie, and it's going very well for both of us). Natalie also is displaying a knack for crying for me just as I'm taking a nap.

So far, it's not been overwhelming to balance the two girls' needs, thanks to Bret, who's home for the next couple of weeks, and my mom, who's staying with us for the next couple of days. In the meantime, here are some photos of the sisters bonding...

More photos below...


Andrea, Tuesday 28 July 2009 at 4:31 pm One comment

Getting to know Naomi

a photo love fest

We've all been treasuring this early peaceful time of getting to know Naomi. Natalie is blossoming in her independence -- so much so that I'm finding myself missing her throughout the day, especially when Naomi is in the middle of a 4-hour nap.

Natalie today invented some sing-song nicknames for her little sister: "Baby Cupcake," "Baby Muffin," "Baby Cookie." I wonder if any of them will stick...

So far, we've been able to get some sleep, some naps, a shower apiece, and plenty of photo opportunities, thanks to Naomi. Without further ado, the photos (there are more below the first one)...


Andrea, Saturday 25 July 2009 at 8:22 pm Five comments

Naomi Elizabeth Rooks

Pictures Galore

After much anticipation, we are excited to welcome Naomi Elizabeth Rooks into our family. She was born at 12:53 am last night (July 24), at 9 lb. 5 oz. and 23 inches long(!). Labor was only 2 1/2 hours, but Andrea will tell that story later...

Everyone is healthy and feeling great, and we're all looking forward to spending time together resting and getting to know each other.

There are a whole mess of photos after the on them all for larger versions (and email us if you want larger larger versions).


Bret, Friday 24 July 2009 at 9:32 pm Nineteen comments

41 weeks and 3 days

that's 10 days past the due date -- it sounds like a lot

I've now got it in my mind that this baby's just going to hang on as long as I let him/her, so today I feel relaxed about starting some new projects and going to my church's moms group this morning.

I have a hunch we'll make it to the 42-week mark. If we do, I'll have to see how I feel about taking more action to get labor started. Until then, we'll be doing our best to stay healthy and rested and have as much fun as we can...

I see my midwife tomorrow -- I'll keep posting updates.

Andrea, Thursday 23 July 2009 at 11:45 am Two comments

41 weeks and 2 days

more thoughts, emotions, and reflections

We're still very much enjoying our pre-baby family vacation time. We've been making the most of all our favorite outings that SLO has to offer, namely our favorite places to wander, browse, play, and shop (downtown, Borders, the park, and Costco). 

Concerning the baby, all is well. I had an appointment two days ago and will see my midwife again tomorrow. I'm 4 cm dilated, the baby is where he/she needs to be, there is plenty of amniotic fluid, the baby has grown, my belly has grown, I've gained a little weight, my blood pressure is good, and I've been having contractions on and off since yesterday afternoon -- so we'll continue to wait. I had a chiropractic appointment yesterday, just to make sure there isn't anything structural impeding labor...


Andrea, Wednesday 22 July 2009 at 08:14 am Two comments

41 weeks and counting

belly photo coming soon

I simply must eat breakfast right now, so I'll post a photo or two later today. I also have an appointment with my midwife today, so I may have a little update to share...

Andrea, Monday 20 July 2009 at 12:08 pm One comment

Counting blessings

(complete with photos)

I'm still ever so pregnant, but I've turned an emotional corner since yesterday's post. I feel at peace and have been actively enjoying the time with Bret and Natalie. Thank you to all who've been praying, e-mailing, and calling with encouragement! I feel truly uplifted.

One of my favorite blessings of this week has been family breakfast time. Bret's been home since Wednesday, spending time with the fam and making sure I don't get stranded at the grocery store with broken water! Wednesday morning I was inspired to make a full-blown breakfast for all of us complete with OJ, bacon, eggs, toast, and coffee. We've had similar breakfasts together each morning since. Yesterday we went out to a bakery after buying fruit and veggies at the Saturday morning farmers' market. This morning I made French toast with fresh strawberries and peaches on top, and, of course, bacon on the side...

It's also been a blessing to see Bret have time to revisit some of his hobbies, namely cleaning ancient coins. He got Natalie involved by giving her a handful of pennies, a small container of water, and an old toothbrush so she could clean coins of her own. We're now teaching her how to say "numismatist."

Today, we're going out to our favorite Mexican restaurant for lunch (thanks mom!) and a drive along the coast. Maybe a spicy lunch will get labor started. We'll keep you posted...

I added some photos below:


Andrea, Sunday 19 July 2009 at 2:03 pm One comment

Sorting through facts and feelings about being late

I'm deeply thankful for the loving comments on this post. You've helped me keep this pregnancy in perspective. I'm feeling much better about everything lately... Two thoughts: I forgot to mention that some of my impatience and emotions come from the fact that Natalie was born two days before her due date in a relatively fast labor (8 hours from first painful contraction to birth); and Bret reminded me that he and his two brothers were all born at least two weeks after their due dates!

I thought for sure that the baby was going to be born yesterday. I had a gut feeling starting two days earlier; I felt a bit off all day; I had contractions on and off throughout the day, which then increased in intensity that evening. Yesterday felt like the day.


But after rushing through dinner, relaxing on the couch, talking to my midwife, taking a shower, and getting ready for bed, everything stopped. On some level, I’m sure there was an element of relief fueled by the knowledge that it’s just not time for this baby to be born. However, emotionally, I was crushed.


Andrea, Saturday 18 July 2009 at 11:46 am Four comments

Still no baby

I'm working on a longer, more detailed entry, but in the meantime, know that we've not had Baby Rooks yet...

Andrea, Saturday 18 July 2009 at 10:24 am No comments

No baby yet

We're still waiting happily for Baby Rooks' arrival. In the meantime, we had a lovely day yesterday -- we spent the morning at Borders, then walked around downtown, came home and rested, and then went to a birthday party for a friend who's in town from Tennessee. I've got some very fun photos of Natalie playing at the party... I'll post those later. Now it's time for a good breakfast: OJ, eggs, bacon, doughnuts, and maybe some decaf coffee. Mmmm...

Andrea, Thursday 16 July 2009 at 11:58 am No comments

Still ready and waiting

Some Natalie photos in the meantime

Baby Rooks hasn't had his/her birthday yet, so we're making the most of our time as a family. Natalie and I spent a long morning at a park with Sarah, Hattie, and Tilly Miller yesterday.

We all then went to the second-hand store where I found some wonderful buys for the new baby, including this bouncy chair.

Natalie also got a kick out of the Bumbo Seat that I bought at the second-hand store. She started to nurse her baby doll in the little chair.

I did have some symptoms of early labor yesterday afternoon, which prompted our midwife to drive up from Santa Maria (30 miles) and stay the night with the Millers. Since I'm still pregnant, we'll all go about our normal days, except that Bret is starting his vacation today! I'm looking forward to some family time and hope to see some friends who are visiting from Tennessee.

More Natalie photos below...


Andrea, Wednesday 15 July 2009 at 09:47 am No comments

Ready and waiting

Today's the due date, and I'm feeling about as ready as I could hope to be. My body's getting ready, and the baby is in the right position. Our house is pretty ready, too. Late last week, we moved our dining room and living room furniture in preparation for our planned and hoped-for home birth.

In the dining room, we set up the birth tank, which is much like a portable hot tub that I hope to use while in labor. Natalie was born in a tub much like this one, also in the dining room ...


Andrea, Friday 10 July 2009 at 7:18 pm One comment

Getting bigger

I asked Bret the other day if I'm still structurally sound. I don't feel like it! And I've still got nine days till my due date -- maybe more, mabye less, depending on when New Baby decides it's time to be born...

I'm feeling well, and there haven't been any signs of imminent labor so I'll continue enjoying the calm before the storm, so to speak.

Click on the photo to get a full view, which shows my new haircut :)

Andrea, Sunday 05 July 2009 at 12:32 am No comments