Monday, February 8, 2016

Indiana Kathleen

Because I am a chronic oversharer and documenter, here is the story of how the Seahorse, now Indiana, landed on earth. I wrote this a few days after she was born, but am just now finding the time to share it. I've also just now had the chance to look at the pictures Brendon took, and I immediately teared up while going through them. I'm sorry there aren't any of you in them Dr. Hogan! If I hadn't been giving birth I would have made sure you made an appearance. But I love that you documented this, I love seeing your perspective of things, and I love that I don't remember you taking any of these. You're the best.

Also this is in no way graphic or detailed, but I mean, it is a story about giving birth. So if words like "pushing" freak you out, feel free to skip it! By how relaxed I look, I'd say these first two photos are post epidural. Here we go!

I am writing this with a baby (!!!) in my arms via my phone via the couch. Life is a dreamy sleepy haze right now, but I wanted to get this down before my memories get fuzzy, because I want to remember them forever and ever. Here's how Indiana Kathleen came into our world.

Friday morning I had a doctors appointment. I had progressed a bit from my last appointment, but not enough to get excited. So we made another appointment on my actual due date and scheduled a back up induction for the following Saturday. My doctor says the quickest way to make a baby come is to schedule an induction. She was SO right. After the appointment I started having contractions. They persisted regularly all day, and real talk, it was pretty rough. So I sent up the white flag and Brendon came home early from work and we headed to the hospital. They checked everything out and though things were "happening", they weren't far enough along to admit. So we went home, we built a rocking chair, and we went out for Indian food with some good friends. The contractions slowed down and I came to terms with the fact that this lady wasn't gonna show this go around. I showered, got in PJ's, and we snuggled up on the couch to watch a movie. The Legend of Zorro by the way is not a great movie, but it might make you have a baby. Contractions were pretty much nonexistent at this point but about halfway through Zorro, BOOM my water breaks. And I mean, it broke. Like something out of a movie. I legit heard a pop and everything. GALLONS of water it felt like. It was seriously insane, and I could not stop laughing. So back into the shower I go, and then we're off to the hospital where this time, I'm admitted like a boss. Contractions started happening on our way there and woooo, did they hurt. I was all about the drugs in my game plan but I didn't think I'd ask for them so soon. The plan was to tough it out as long as possible. But the cool thing is, I have this awesome reaction to intense pain where I PUKE LIKE CRAZY. So a contraction equals puking. It was horrible. That epidural request happened real quick, and IT WAS AMAZING. Science and medicine you guys. I'm a fan. My parents all arrived around midnight I think? My mom stayed in the hospital with us (and is staying with us now, THANK THE MOTHERHOOD GODS) and my dad and step-momma crashed at our place,

At around 2am something happened with my epidural and I started feeling everything on my right side, which meant more barfing. My hero, aka the anesthesiologist, adjusted things and all was well again. I even got some sleep! Like a good half hour. My doctor was scheduled to arrive around 7:30am and that's also when Indiana decided it was time to come out! I won't go into details about pushing, but let me just say, it was the hardest and most amazing thing I've ever done. I've never been so tired in my life (no joke, I thought I was going to pass out/die from exhaustion) but oh my gosh, I'd do it again so fast to meet that little baby. I pushed for about two hours (which felt like so much less) and at 9:45am we brought Indiana into this world. She came straight to my chest and it was the most life altering thing. There are not words for that moment. My whole world shifted. Seeing her face and her body and her EYES. Nothing else mattered. All the pain and craziness and chaos happening around me melted away. I never ever want to forget that moment. Life highlight, for sure. I was so tired and happy and in shock and just so proud. It was like a dream. The best dream.

Brendon Hogan is my hero. He was by my side the entire time. Coaching and cheering me on. And drilling the doctors and nurses about everything of course. I could not have brought baby girl into this world without him, literally and figuratively. He is the best husband and already the greatest dad. I don't know how I won the lotto with the guy, but I am so very thankful. I can't even with seeing Indiana in his arms. It is heaven on earth.

Recovery was and still is surprisingly easy. Don't get me wrong, I feel like I've been hit but a bus, physically and emotionally, but it could be so much worse. I think the joy of having her HERE overshadows any pain. I'm not even mad that since Friday (it is now Monday (keep in mind this was written on 1/25)) I've only slept maybe 6 hours. High on life, y'all. Who needs sleep when you have a new Hogan?

We went home at noon, and the drive was the most stressed I'd been yet. Tiny babies in carseats! AH! Then when we got home I had a massive freak out (first of many I'm sure) because I couldn't get her to wake up to feed. But all was well, she was just exhausted from you know, her first day of life. And it's been a dreamy haze since then! Everyone is exhausted but I'm too happy to mind. My mom is here spoiling us absolutely rotten, and I am so thankful. Brendon is the greatest dad already and is making this transition so much easier. I don't know what I'd do without him by my side. Don't go back to work ever, okay? (Today was his first day back. We are surviving, but barely. We miss Dr. Hogan.)

And Indiana Kathleen, she is perfect. She is the most adorable creature I've ever laid eyes on. She's a big ol' sleepy mess who has her days and nights confused, and is turning into the biggest milk piggy. She doesn't cry often, but when she does, girlfriend can SCREAM. It's impressive. She mostly just grunts and makes these adorable new baby squeaks. It's heartbreaking how perfect she is. I still can't believe it and feel like at any point someone will wake me from this dream. I am too lucky. And I'm so glad so many of you liked her name! We've had it picked since before we knew she was a she. We picked it while driving through the desert on the way home from Vegas in June. And somehow we told not a single person until January 23rd in the delivery room. I think it fits her perfectly. But I still call her the Seahorse every now and then, I don't know if she'll ever lose that nickname! Old habits, you know.

I must include a few thank you's here. To my family, for coming to Temple for us and Indiana. I know we were a sleepy and frazzled mess, but it meant so much that you were there. Baby girl has the best family ever. Thank you for supporting us and feeding us and just being amazing. And my momma is seriously up here saving lives and sanity. She and my sister cleaned my apartment while we were in recovery!! I can't really wrap my mind around the immense gratitude I'm feeling. I just hope I've got some of that momma gold in my blood for Indiana.

To the staff at Scott and White Temple, I'm sorry I ever scoffed at your hospital. I obviously had no idea what to expect, but we were spoiled rotten. Everyone was so nice and so great and made the experience so personal. We hit the jackpot with our nurses, you don't even know. They are angels. And my doctor is seriously a super hero. Seeing her in action was impressive to say the least. Woman is a magician. Even the dietary folks, they spoiled us! They went out of their way to make sure we had BIG vegetarian meals and checked back to make sure that we liked them. I just... I didn't know it could be like that. I wouldn't want to have a baby anywhere else. I felt like a princess, when I never thought feeling like a princess was possible.

And to all of you folks out on the Internet! I don't know what I'd do without all of your support and well wishes and advice and LOVE through these whole thing. The Internet can be a nasty place, but it also connects us to friends and family afar and gosh I am thankful for that. You guys are amazing. I read every single comment from Indiana's birth day and loved them all. You all are rock stars, thank you for being the happy light in an often dark world.

And to Brendon. Goodness, I never think loving you any more is possible but you always surprise me. My heart grew forty sizes when Indiana was born, and not just because I never knew it was possible to love such a tiny thing so very much, but because my love for you EXPLODED while on our adventure of bringing her into the world. You are more than I could have ever asked for or imagined and I am honored to have gone through this with you. I could not have done it without you, boo. Team Hogan forever.

So there we go. How Indiana came into the world. She's the best baby ever. In my opinion. ;)

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Land of Fairy Tales

I don't know where this idea came from, but last week or something I was like, WHAT IF I MADE A MAP FOR THE SEAHORSE, WITH FAIRY TALE LOCALES?! And then as projects do, the idea wedged itself into my brain and I had to see it through. This is not what I had planned, I actually have no idea what I had planned, but this spiraled into something far more colorful and crazy. Which, obv, I love.

I googled Fairy Tale Maps for ideas, because they are in fact a thing, and they were all very flat. Which maps usually are. So I schemed to make my own. I made a list of all the places I wanted to include, and duhhhh a lot of them were Disney inspired. But there are also some classic tales thrown in too. After I had my list I sketched it all out, planning where each location should be in relation to the land mass/each other. Because if you're going to do something you ought to do it right. Then I bought a nice big piece of watercolor paper and drew this baby out. And then I colored it!

I haven't painted with watercolors since maybe freshman year of college? And that was like once. I swore up and down by oils back in my painter hey-days, but I really enjoyed using watercolors! They're more like drawing than painting. And gosh set up and clean up is so easy and so fast, something oils are definitely not. I haven't painted anything in a very long time, so this was a fun jump back into it!

Here are some rather poor quality close ups. I tried to take decent photos but my shadow kept getting in the way, also I was sleepy. That's a pregnant as hell excuse.

Can you guess all the locales? Here's what I included, in no particular order: The Emperor's Palace from Mulan, Agrabah, Eric's castle from the Little Mermaid, the Beast's castle from Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella's castle, Sleeping Beauty's castle, the Snow Queen's ice castle (yes, Elsa.), Rapunzel's tower, the Seven Dwarf's cottage, Jack's beanstalk, the Three Little Pig's homes, the Witch's gingerbread house, a troll bridge, a wishing well, the Old Lady Who Lived in a Shoe's... shoe, Wonderland, and Neverland. I think that's everything. My favorites are Rapunzel's tower and Neverland. It would be a blast just to do a map of Neverland.

There is like zero scale or logic involved here, perfection and crazy details are not something I'm good at. I just wanted it to flow decently and for it to be pretty, but not overly girly. I used the Disney versions of most everything as a reference, but they're not exact by any means. I decided to NOT label everything because I felt it would be visually obnoxious, and it gives the Seahorse a chance to use her imagination. Make up yo' own stories, girl!

I had WAY too much fun making this. Like, it was a blast. I sketched the main buildings out but a lot of the background just happened as I went. I mixed colors as I moved along and gosh, it was just FUN. It took me less than a week from plan to finish and actually drawing and painting it took me two days. It was a fantastic time waste, of the productive variety.

I'm pretty happy with it! I could nitpick little things that bug me about it, but that would make me crazy so I'm just calling it done! It will go somewhere in the Seahorse's tiny box of a room, but it will probably take some rearranging and help from a taller human like her dad. I hope she likes it! Obviously she wont even realize what it is for a while, but I wanted her to have something that I made for her, that she can keep for years! 

God forbid she hates Disney. I'm not sure how any child of mine could, but that would be inconvenient to say the least. ;)

39 weeks

Y'all! This could be the last one! WILL WE MAKE IT TO 40? Probably. Baby girl is still SO comfy in there, and seems to be very content with hanging out upside down and not having to deal with the real world. I get it little lady, I get it. But one week until the due date! Not that that is any indication that she'll arrive, but it's a goal to get to.

I'm trying these days to focus on remembering what it's like to be pregnant. What it's like growing this little Seahorse. This is a once in a lifetime kind of thing, and I want to soak it all in. I've been rushing and rushing for the past nine months, impatient to meet this little Hogan, but now that the end is near I find myself a little sad that it's almost over. And I do mean a little, I'm mostly thrilled to meet this girl and start the next BIG part of our adventure. But there is something really lovely and magical about growing a human. And having a built in little buddy. I'm nervous about what it's going to feel like to be... empty. It will be weird! And everyone is just so nice to you when you're pregnant, I'm gonna miss that. ;)

Thankfully I am feeling really really good. She's "dropped" so my back pain is basically gone unless I sit oddly or do something weird, and she's not so much right under my ribs any more, which is heavenly. I'm far more comfortable than I thought I'd be at this point which is making waiting, and enjoying, these last weeks easier. Overall, I think I've had it very very easy. I've spent a lot of time complaining about little things on this here blog, but I know it's been a much smoother ride than it could have been. I'm thankful for being healthy and making it to this point! The longer we're able to keep her in there the stronger (and chubbier! Eee!) she'll be. A healthy baby is all that matters.

But for real, we are ready for her to arrive! We've got everything in order that we could think of, and we even deep cleaned the house last weekend! My doctor is out of town today and tomorrow, but after that she can show up whenever! I'm just really really hoping she makes it by the end of January. I've got it set in my mind to have a January baby and it's doing all sorts of things to my brain realizing that she very well could come in February. It would be fine, obviously, but my dad and Brendon are the February babies, we've got no January birthdays! And I prefer January's birthstone over February's... so... ;) (Let me have my selfish moments while I can. I know karma is going to get me now for saying this and she'll be born February 1st at like 12:03am.)

Speaking of Brendon, he's still my hero. He's ready to meet the Seahorse as well and is forever checking on me and her. And making me go on walks. He was really trying to get her to show up this weekend while he had three days off. I think he's a little paranoid that I wont go to the hospital in time, but I think when the moment comes there will be no hesitation. Just keep that phone near you, Dr. Hogan, I'll let you know. And I have to share a gem from Boy Wonder, the other day while walking he said, "After the Seahorse is born you don't have to do anything. I'll take care of everything, I'll bring you food in bed, whatever you want. For like two days. Then you need to get up." Oh boo, you're too sweet. ;) I love that crazy boy. He's taking off TWO weeks when baby girl arrives and I'm feeling so lucky. My momma is also coming up to stay after she's born! Such a relief, knowing I'll have major back up. Because as I've said before, I'm flying blind here, what are babies?!

You're almost out of the woods with these bloated bathroom selfies. We're wrapping this whole thing up soon! So strange, but so exciting!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

37 weeks

Cue the Final Countdown please.

Three more weeks! WHAT. But I feel like she's going to show up late? I just feel like she's big time chillin' in there. I mean, really, who knows when she'll show up. My goal was to make it past all the holidays, and she's full term now so no big stress if she shows up whenever. But I want that chubby baby. No hurry, little lady. (But at the same time, don't be real late either.)

I got a bonus ultrasound yesterday! My doctor was working with a resident so they used me as an opportunity to practice ultrasounding. Is that a word, ultrasounding? It is now. I hadn't seen her in about 20 weeks so I was super excited. She is BIG! She used to pretty much fit on the screen and now you can only do parts of her at a time! And I got to see her little face, which looks so much more human now. Cute little nosey! And I made sure that they checked again to make sure she is a girl. Is it just me, or do other moms to be get paranoid that somehow they saw the wrong thing down there? And that it will be a huge surprise come birthing day? It was just very reassuring to see lady parts. Because she ended up with a lot of pink stuff, as baby girls do. Also, she is still a wriggly little Seahorse, she never stays still! As my insides can attest to. She was not trying to let us get a good picture of her, I was kind of proud? Party on you feisty thing you. Also, hallelujah, she is head down. Which makes sense because whatever has been beating up my ribs definitely felt like knees and feet. She was kind of facing towards the side, but she moves so much who knows where she'll be in an hour. But hopefully she'll be face down on the big day!

So lets get to the complaining portion. My back pain has actually subsided some, maybe because she's moved lower? Or because I've started taking it easy? Or I've just gotten used to it? But whatever the reason, I'm hella thankful. The newest addition is stomach muscle cramps, like the kind you get when you run too fast but WHEN I WALK. Walking (waddling?) too fast... well, at a normal speed honestly, wrecks my world. I am a long legged power walker, I am not used to taking my time. We were at HEB shopping the other night and I was like, WHOA we have to slow down or I'm going to have a hernia. So that's taking some getting used to. Also makes me feel like a weenie.

Basically none of my clothes fit anymore. I've got a handful things that I wear over and over, but even some of my maternity clothes aren't making it over this big ol' belly and, lets be real, big ol' boobs. Wearing a bra basically just sucks. My rib cage has expanded so much that anything touching it feels awful. Brendon's side of the closet has recently become very appealing, although I wore one of his flannels yesterday and it still barely buttoned over my belly. But a HUUUUGE shout out to my maternity jeans, they are a freaking life saver and have not let me down yet. If you are in the market, GET THESE. They are worth every single penny. I cannot express how much I love those pants and what a relief it is that they still fit. They go a long way in helping me feel normal when I venture into public.

I'm pretty much ready for baby girl to get here. Every time I say that people go, "OH JUST WAIT! You'll want her back in!", which might be true, but yeesh. Also if someone tells me to "sleep while I can" one more time, I might just implode. I know everyone means well when they say stuff like this, but it does nothing for my anxiety and stress and worrying about being a first time mom. I think Brendon said it best the other night, we didn't go into this thing lightly, we sorta knew what we were getting into? I mean, nothing can prepare you for a newborn, I get that, but we knew it wouldn't be easy. I KNOW I'm going to be exhausted and tired and overwhelmed and generally wrecked. But I also know it will be 100% worth it. So if you have a pregnant friend, maybe say, "Good luck, you're going to do great!" or "You've got this!" or "Feel free to ask if you need anything!" instead of, "Kiss your life and sanity goodbye!" Because, damn.

(MUST MAKE NOTE HERE, there have been some AMAZINGLY supportive moms out here on the internet who have been life savers and excellent support systems through all this. I don't have a lot of young mom friends, but you guys have been there. Thank you for answering questions, giving helpful advice, and just being supportive. That support, man. You don't know how far it goes. THANK YOU.)

But seriously, all that whining aside ;), I am so excited. I'm excited to embark on this next adventure and we're so close! In just a few weeks our Seahorse will be out in this crazy world. I keep thinking of events on random future dates and I'm like, "Oh! We'll have the Seahorse!" Like Valentine's Day? THE SEAHORSE WILL BE HERE. EEEE! I want to meet her and hold her and watch her grow. I want to see what being a mom and a three person two cat family is like. Cats and babies! I want to muddle through this mess and find out what works for our family. I want to see Brendon hold that little bundle of goop and watch him be the rock star dad I know he'll be. And I want to change a diaper! I've never changed one before! I will loathe this statement in the future, I am sure of it. I have basically ZERO experience with babies, so this is going to be a wild ride. One that I'll probably fall off of multiple times, but gosh I'm stoked! I will probably be the biggest mess of my life for a few months, but it will be so so so worth it. I am also SO excited to not be pregnant anymore. I am not one of those people who loves being pregnant, and I've had a pretty easy pregnancy. It just kinda sucks, you feel me?

So we're just playing the waiting game! Being confined to staying an hour from the hospital has been real boring and makes the days inch by, but it's forcing me to rest and relax, so I think that's good. But for real, I am going nuts. I just want her to be hereeeee! But I know every day she stays in there makes her stronger, so I'm trying to be patient. It's just, if you know me, I'm not very good being patient. ;)

This photo is a liiiittle on the blurry side, but I spy a SOPHIE! :)

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Farewell 2015

That is technically a photo from the last hours of 2014, but whatever.

This year, y'all! What a ride. Easily the craziest year of our life. SO many changes. But still, I think it's been the best. There were some rough moments, but overall as usual life just gets better and better. Even if it is full of chaos.

This was obviously the year of being pregnant. I spent the majority of it pregnant and when I put this together I expected to find kind of a dull year, but we still did SO MUCH. We had so much fun this year, preggo or not. Plus, we managed to cram a lot of action into the not preggo months.

So here's the run down. We worked a lot, played a lot, explored a lot, ran a lot, and I sewed a lot (the year of Disney Princess dresses!). After half a year of trying I got pregnant (!), BRENDON GRADUATED PHARMACY SCHOOL, I quit my coffee queen job, we said farewell to Austin and moved to Temple, Brendon started his residency, and then decided to do another year of residency. On New Years Day we (Brendon) drove through a winter storm at night to get us home from skiing in New Mexico, we flew three times (big deal for us, since we hadn't been on a plane since our honeymoon), went on one giant road trip, lots of little road trips, and most of this was while preggo. We ran five races that I can remember, one of which was the Austin Half Marathon we'd trained over a year for, and two of which I was pregnant. Plus lots of other little adventures wherever we could squeeze them in. We have had a hell of a year. It's been a reeeeeally good one.

So lets get on with the photos! Lets watch me gain a million pounds over a year. Going from the best shape in your life to extra pregnant, and seeing it documented, is a blow for the ego let me tell you.

Had to sneak one of baby girl in there somewhere.

Such a good year! Thanking my lucky stars for this wonderful life we've got and all the good folks in it. Obviously 2016 will be one for the books as well, our first year as parents (AHHHH). I'm looking forward to this next year, more than I've ever looked forward to a new year. Not surprisingly. Not only do we get to finally meet the Seahorse, but life will just be all new! Nothing will be the same! And I will be able to wear regular clothes again! Haha. But seriously, I am so excited for 2016. I know it wont be an easy year, but I think it will be a great one.

And I leave you with mushyness, because always and forever, this boy is the reason I spend most of my life over the moon in happiness.

Thank you for a wonderful year, Brendon. Thank you for everything you do for our little family and for being the weirdest and most fun person I've ever known. Can't wait to kill 2016 with you and our offspring.

See ya soon, 2016! And if you want to see younger Hogans, here is Farewell 2014, 2013, 2012, and 2011.