Tuesday, August 30, 2011


The Cornstuble chitlins meet Baby Maci…

…more to come!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


For the almost 13 years Shawn and I have been together, he has never been quiet. Yes, he talks. A lot. To anyone. And everyone. However, this is not quite the quiet I'm referring to. The man sings! CONSTANTLY. Now, he wasn't in choir, he's not necessarily in tune, his beat is a little off and he isn't really all that appealing to listen to but what gets me the most? He does not know the right words to the songs! Any songs! And, he combines songs or makes up his own little diddies that just don't make sense! Plus, he chooses to sing them to Maci while she is losing her mind and I'm a person who can't generally handle more then one noise at a time so this makes my anxiety soar until I usually end up screaming in my head (and sometimes aloud).

Now, why do I care? Why should I be complaining? Shouldn't I embrace this endearing aspect of his personality? Shouldn't I appreciate the bonding between him and Maci? Um, no. Why? Because the damn songs are catchy and get stuck in my OCD head where they get repeated and repeated and repeated and repeated. It's like listening to elevator music all effin day long. Not super decipherable music but audible and just plain annoying. He's got some favorites that he pulls out all the time and then every once in a while he'll throw in Tom T. Hall's "Sneaky Snake" immediately followed by "Wanna Be A Balla" by Lil' Troy. What the fa-hell. What's worse is I then catch myself singing this crazy, dumb ass song two hours later and think where in the world did that come from. Why am I singing "Jump" by Kris Kross circa 1992? Oh yeah…

Anyone out there know what I'm talking about? Can we commiserate? Let's bond over blogging.

Monday, August 22, 2011


Well looky what we have here. Photos I found that I never got a chance to post. Now normally I wouldn't encourage posting pictures of me at such a puffy state, however, I'm in a nostalgic mood and obviously took them to record the journey so it's only fair I take it to it's rightful conclusion. Also, it's eery (in a good way) to look at the last photo now knowing I went into labor two days later. Plus, it's great motivation to get me to get my ass a movin' in order to lose the 35 to 40 pounds I gained. Everything in moderation people. It took me ten months to put the weight on so I'm at least giving myself that much to get it back off.

Side note: It took a ridiculous amount of time for me to figure out how to arrange my hands each photo I posted the week count for. Doesn't look tough but it's amazing what little brain you have left at this point. Either that or I'm just really challenged.

Week 35 – Neighbor Mike informed me I looked like a giant pumpkin in orange. Okay, I added the giant part.

Week 36 – I have no idea what I was doing here but it's a slimming gesture. Well, except for…

Week 37 – Hello God?

Week 38 – Two days before d-day and I didn't even know it.

Sunday, August 21, 2011


"Look Ma! Check out the bottle!"
Happy (and hairy) Dad
Last week Maci achieved greatness. She took a bottle. She took a bottle like a pro. In fact, when she was done with said bottle, she wanted more. That's the tricky part about giving a breastfed baby a bottle; trying to figure out how much they consume in a feeding is like trying to put together a rubix cube. Having gained almost three pounds in five weeks, we should've known better. We should've known she would have wanted more. Little double-chinned, adorable porker. Live and learn.

This milestone is monumental for many reasons. 1) She can now successfully go to daycare. Whew. 2) Dad can be more involved with the feeding process. 3) Mama can once again have plans that last longer then three hours. 4) Mama can have beer. Mmmmm… beer. It may be completely shameful but this is the reason we kick-started this whole bottle business in the first place. Happy hour. Don't judge me. Well, go ahead, I don't care. The Fat Tires I enjoyed while she was home bonding with her Dad were delicious, refreshing and worth the wait. PLUS, beer helps bring in milk for nursing moms so the next day, Maci ate like a king.

For those of you peering at me with that crooked eyebrow, alcohol metabolizes in milk so if you wait two hours after your last drink before nursing, you're back in business. Unless of course your teetering on engorgement and need relief or if you went a little nuts with your night out. In that case, if you're still feeling the effects, then wait a wee bit longer until you're back on steady legs to nurse or then you can engage the pump and dump ritual. Just a little tip from me to you. If you're really anal about it, they even make these handy dandy strips you can use to test the alcohol content in your milk. Talk about technology at it's finest.

Pump! Hydrate! Drink and be merry nursing Moms! Okay, I better stop. I'm starting to sound like a lush…

Friday, August 19, 2011

Hannibal Leo

It's not what you think but I know it's what came to your mind. It's okay. It came to mine too. No, Leo didn't eat Maci or attack a small child or bite Norman or any other horrible possibilities. He's actually been uber loving of all creatures great and small, well, except for maybe squirrels, rabbits and neighborhood cats. He's just actually developed a "lickoma" or hot spot. He's licked a part of his left hip so bad he's drawing blood. This has happened before, when we first adopted him, and the solution was a rather expensive vet bill. To avoid a repeat, we're trying to see if we can alleviate the situation before it comes to that. So along with the muzzle, Shawn's also been diligently applying a bitter apple spray to the wound to deter him from licking. It works, it just doesn't last long enough for it to heal so our efforts have to be a combo attack.

These types of problems occur in dogs for multiple reasons. When it happened the first time, we were told it could be food allergies, weather allergies, stress or anxiety. We think it's a toss up between summer allergies and anxiety with the addition of Miss Maci since he's been rather attentive to her every move, sound and scent in an overly loving manner. Plus, Leo's always had very, very, very sensitive skin. We think that's why he begs to be pet all the time. Especially when if you don't pet him, he literally comes up under your legs and starts to rub his back and butt on you. He does this to Norman as well who seems much more tolerable of the gesture. He's also constantly rubbing himself on our ottoman, thus is gross discoloration, the leather sofa and the rug on the floor. He makes a mess but we turn a blind eye because he's part of our family, it obviously makes him feel better and you can't help but love the poor bastard because he's so damn cute.

The image above is quite sad but I assure you, bassets have a way of making it worse by giving those elusive sad eyes and wrinkled expression. It almost works on me until I catch sight of his sore and then I'm reminded it's for his own good. Plus, I'm sure Norman appreciates Leo's handicap. Less playful or dominating interruptions to his eighth nap of the day…

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Friday, July 15, 2011
Be warned, I'm not shy with specifics.

12:30 p.m. :: I decided to have Chipotle for lunch semi-thinking something spicy might help move things along. I had been having back pain and cramping since my routine checkup the day before when I learned I was 2cm dilated, somewhat effaced and had a hunch something was in the works. A hunch I kept to myself (and Shawn) in the event I turned out to be completely wrong.

1:00 p.m. :: I started to notice a pain in my right abdomen. It was similar to pains I've had in the past and I fully assumed it would dissipate. In the meantime, I started to guzzle water assuming I was just dehydrated.

3:00 p.m. :: The pain was not only still present but had grown steadily worse. After I visited the bathroom for the hundredth time that day and noticed some other "happenings" I decided to call Shawn.

3:30 p.m. :: At Shawn's suggestion, I called my doctor's office. I gave the synopsis of what I was experiencing and was told I'd get a call back after the nurse had a chance to confer with the doctors.

4:00 p.m. :: After no such return phone call was received, again at Shawn's suggestion, I called them back. In the meantime, I had conferred with my boss (Did I mention I was at work?) if it was cool for me to just hang out in my cubicle since I was experiencing some "pain" and asked her to keep it on the down low in the probable event that this turned out to be nothing.

4:15 p.m. :: In finally speaking with someone at my doctor's office, it was suggested I go to the hospital because it sounded like I might be in labor.

4:30 p.m. :: Shawn arrived at my work to pick me up and take me to the hospital. This was just after I was caught sitting in my car in the parking lot by some coworkers who had come out to check on me. The jig was up, they were suspicious that something was going on, wanted to make sure I was okay and wished me well upon Shawn's arrival. Having to leave one vehicle at work because I was instructed not to drive, we headed in the other to the hospital.

5:00 p.m. :: We arrived after one of the hardest drives I've ever experienced. I felt every pothole, corner turn and lane change on Interstate 94 and had everything magnified by the fact that I had to pee (again) so bad I felt I would explode any minute.

5:30 p.m. :: Shawn had parked the car, we had both used the facilities (Shawn was nervous), we had filled out the necessary paperwork, I had dawned the atrocious hospital gown and I and baby were officially being monitored. At United, where we delivered, you're admitted to a triage area to see if you're really in labor before they admit you to an actual labor room.

It was in this room that we sat for the next five hours. The nurse declared I was having contractions but they weren't regular or intense enough to warrant admittance and I hadn't dilated any further in the process. She also couldn't deduce what was causing the stabbing pain in my right side. They drew blood, took a urine sample, took my blood pressure and temperature all to determine that again, nothing could be determined. So the doc came in and told me to walk around for a bit to see if that would help things progress. It was on this walk that I nearly fell over from the side ache and where my first tears started to form from the pain. I had started to feel actual contractions but they were nothing compared to this ache in my abdomen. I managed to walk for the hour they suggested and upon my return to bed, immediately complained (as politely as possible) again about my side ache and tried not to jump to conclusions with my concern.

The nurse suggested they monitor me for a while again and then check me to see if I had made progress. Before any of this could happen though, I felt a gush of liquid escape. I assumed my water had broke but when Shawn took a peek to verify, all he saw was blood. He immediately alerted the nurse who came to check but didn't seem overly concerned. What felt like moments later (but was probably more like an hour) I felt another substance escape but this time it felt more… solid. Again Shawn verified (bless his heart) to find I had passed a blood clot. Again he alerted the nurse who seemed slightly more concerned but still, not alarmed. Finding some comfort in her calmness, I continued to lay in bed and be monitored while my side pain subsided some and where we waited to see the doctor again. Right before she arrived, the nurse informed me she was going to do a speculum. I remember this term very vividly because when I asked what it was, I quickly learned it was "the duck." The metal, beak-shaped instrument they painfully insert at every yearly right before they scrape the inside of your uterus.

Knowing I was dilated and making it through contractions I figured, how bad could this be. Oh how wrong I was. Holy SHIT in God's name on everything that is holy, I had never felt such pain! It actually started out tolerable until the doctor decided there was too much blood to get a sample of anything so instead, decided to check my bag of waters and see if I had progressed. Just as she was digging in, a contraction started. I nearly shot off the bed! My ass went into the air, my hands grabbed the side of the bed and my head went back in mortifying pain while I refrained from cursing obscenities at the doctor as she apologized to me in as sweet of a voice as possible. Afterwards, all I could think of was that quote from Juno…

"Well, honey, doctors are sadists who like to play God and watch lesser people scream... "

When the visitation of Satan was over and my ass had returned to the bed and I had assured a somewhat scared Shawn that I was okay, we had a heart-to-heart with the doc on where to go from here. She said I wasn't really in active labor but there was too much blood for her to feel comfortable sending us home. She made the suggestion they break my bag of waters, admit Pitocin to get things going and see where I went from there. Knowing how painful Pitocin can make things and not initially wanting too much intervention, I asked what my alternatives were. She said I could go home, labor there, maybe sit in my tub, lay in my bed and come back when my contractions were closer together. This sounded appealing until I asked the risks. She had come to the assumption that I may be experiencing a placental abruption, where the placenta starts to actually detach from the uterus, and the main risk of this is stillbirth. My heart took over my head and I immediately was on board to be admitted.

10:30 p.m. :: We were finally officially admitted and escorted to our digs where I would labor and eventually deliver. We met our fabulous nurse and I settled in in preparation to have my water broke.

11:00 p.m. :: This event reads basically like that of the speculum… only it lasted longer, it was more painful and I was convinced it was never going to end. Happily it did and I survived. After this, an ultrasound was done to make sure the wee one was head down. After it was declared that the head was in fact, due south, the doctor also discovered that right where I was having all my side pain was where my placenta sat. I think it's safe to say she was accurate in her assumption of a placental abruption in progress and we were right to hang out at the hospital.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

1:00 a.m. :: Shawn enjoyed a Jimmy Johns sub (he hadn't ate since lunch) while I contracted and drained and contracted and cringed and contracted and contemplated. After painfully being checked, again, I had advanced a half a centimeter. Half. As in, not whole.

After this I don't remember if I went another hour or they suggested the Pitocin right then and there but I do remember, very vividly, the minute I decided to get the Epidural. It was during a contraction right after I learned it took two hours to dilate a half a centimeter. This is when doubt set in. I didn't doubt I could deal with the pain, I doubted my endurance. I doubted my ability to push at the end of it all and I doubted my strength during the dark hours of the early morning. And so, I caved. I got the Epidural and let me tell you something, I could have kissed the anesthesiologist. Hell I could've gave him tongue for the relief he was able to provide with his magical needle. God bless technology for us pansies. After God's angel had done his deed, they started to administer Pitocin and within minutes, I was as numb as an Eskimo's ass sittin' on ice. From then on out, I dilated in peace whilst trying to get a few minutes of shut eye to prepare for the big push.

5:00 a.m. :: Another check. This time, I didn't feel a thing. All was right with the world again and I had progressed to 5cm. Back to schnoozing I went.

6:00 a.m. :: I was beginning to feel not so much pain, but very intense pressure. I was alarmed the happy drugs were wearing off so I pushed the little addicts drip they give you. It will only actually administer more meds every 20 minutes but I managed to get three more hits in. In the meantime, I was checked again. 10cm baby! 5cm in one hour, now that's progress!

Sometime after this, I started the process of pushing. Three pushes per contraction, each held for ten seconds. Shawn and the nurse had a good laugh at my expense as soon as I started pushing. She told me to take a deep breath, hold it, put my chin down, legs up and push. So that's what I did. At least I thought so. Apparently right as I started to push, I let all the air out my nose. Come on, this is natural right? I'm a swimmer, I do yoga, this is the most natural thing to me. Apparently though, it wasn't helping my cause so I fixed my method and went on my merry way.

This pushing process went on for about an hour to an hour and a half when the nurse decided she better hail the doc to deliver our little Cletus. He arrived, he prepped and moments later, his work was done. Right before Miss Maci entered the world, he asked us one last time what we thought the gender would be. Immediately I said boy even though during labor I had been feeling some pretty intense girl vibes. Intuition? Maybe… Coincidence? Probably…

After Shawn hesitantly agreed to the boy declaration, he delivered our little nugget and showed her to us ass end first. Shawn's exact words were, "And we have aaaaaaa… vagina." I was SO SHOCKED and happy and elated and emotional and overjoyed and every other emotion in the book. She was placed on my chest while they rubbed her down and immediately, we bonded. It wasn't until they took her off to assess her APGAR score that I looked over at her under the heat light and lost it. As this was all going down and just after I had my "moment" I turned back to Shawn and the doc (who was doing whatever they do after the baby comes out) to hear what they were talking about. Fishing. Fishing in Canada to be exact. If I wasn't on such an emotional high I would've been annoyed but I just had to laugh. I think it's a good sign when you're husband is kindred spirits with the man who delivered your baby.

Arriving at 7:49 a.m., we declared her name as Maci Mae and when she was handed back to me after weighing in at 6 lbs. 3.8 oz., she went right to the boob, latched on and camped out there for the next half hour. Everything after this is as they say, history, but more accurately, it's truthfully all a blur. It's an experience like no other. One I will never forget. I will always remember the nerves I felt upon entering the hospital, the fear I felt when I started to lose blood, the overriding instincts to stay at the hospital when I heard the word stillbirth, the gratefulness I felt for having the side ache bring me to medical care, the relief I felt when I was finally admitted, the disappointment I felt in my own pain tolerance, the elation I experienced after the Epidural kicked in, the strange tingly numbness in my legs and their heavy jello-d weight as I began to push, Shawn's smiles as he saw her start to emerge, the intense connection I felt to my husband, my giddiness when I learned how much hair she had, my surprise when we heard she was a girl, my validation in deciding to wait and find out the gender at birth, my love when she was delivered back to me and Dad's presence when I saw the fold on her little left ear, just like mine, just like Dads. Part of him had been passed on and I couldn't have been more proud. He was in my mind a lot that night simply because I knew he would never get to meet our little apple but I was sure he was there in spirit and love experiencing the whole thing and I'm positive, grinning from ear to ear. I still crave to know what ole Grandpa would've said though… but I'll find out. Some day.

I learned a very quick lesson the day Miss Maci arrived. No matter how prepared you think you are, you can never fully be prepared. Our little peanut was uber punctual and ended up coming early. Therefore we didn't have a bag packed or a camera in tow. We had to rely on our next best option, our cell phone. Shawn snapped some photos of which there are a couple below. I will treasure these blurry, pixelated pictures and be thankful we at least have them to help document her arrival. One thing is for sure, I will never forget how surreal everything seemed. It was an out-of-body experience. It still is. I have yet to have time, energy or the brain power to reflect on everything that has happened. Luckily, I will have the next 18 years to do so…

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Today I had a thought. I've been trying to put into words how it feels to have Maci here, in our family, in our lives. Today I thought of a pie. I feel like Maci is another piece of my pie. Not just a piece, but another piece. With this addition, I'm more complete. I'm fuller.

One slice signifies the sharer of my soul, Mr. DeBoer. One slice signifies my call of duty as a graphic designer. One slice signifies the space Team DeBoer calls home. One slice signifies my blended and extended family. One slice signifies life's greatest companions, our pets. One slice signifies what remains to be seen. And now one slice signifies the apple from our tree, Miss Maci Mae. She fits like the cornerstone piece of a puzzle. Essential but existent all along? As you can see I'm still a little shady on the details because quite frankly, I just can't put shit into words lately, but I think I'm getting closer.

I will say that having a being completely dependent on you really makes you think long and hard about the kind of person you want to be and therefore the kind of person you want them to be. I really have no solid conclusion about this yet but I do know that I need to be easier on myself. I need to be more forgiving, more complementary, more present and more relaxed. To that end, I'm posting the worst picture I can find of myself because no matter how horrible I think I look… I know my little slice(s) love me anyway.

Thursday, August 4, 2011


So yeah, I obviously haven't gotten around to posting the official birth story yet, or anything else I plan to write about for that matter. I wake up every morning with the goal of blogging and every night I go to bed goal unaccomplished. It's amazing how little one can really get done with a newborn. My new definition of a successful day is if I remember to, let alone get the chance to brush my teeth. I'm a sexy being right now let me tell you.

Now, I may not be beautiful but I think Maci sure is so to appease the blogging audience, here's some more photos of her and the rest of Team DeBoer. I will get around to telling you all the gory child birth details and probably more information then you'll care to hear but I'd also like to share my perspective on having a newborn, sleep deprivation, husband appreciation, family assimilation and motherhood. I haven't had the chance to really stop, think, remember and appreciate everything that has happened so far because I'm still trying to crawl out of the transition haze but one thing is resoundingly true, the addition of Maci feels so natural it's as if she's always been here.

Four DeBoers A Schnoozing

Photo Shoot Outtake

To be clear, she has a pink flower in her hair, NOT a bow.

Photo Shoot Outtake

Yep, that's poop. First diaper blow out. On Mom. NEVER happens on Dad.

She was ready for her closeup.

I'm going to start calling this pose "The Maci".

She's a little temperamental when it comes to tummy time.

Staring Contest

Leo and Norman's lifestyle has obviously been greatly affected by the addition.

Our Little Giraffe

The Recliner

The Maci

She's pickin' up good vibrations…

Baths are getting a wee bit better.


The Walrus


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