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My Birth Story

As many of you know, I attended a prenatal yoga class during my pregnancy, which was awesome.  Not only did it help me relax during the pregnancy, but we learned poses which helped during labor.  Also, through my yoga class I met other soon-to-be moms, and as a practice we share our birth story so we can learn from the experience of others.  See my birth story below!

Hi Julie and Yoga Friends!

I’ll give you the short version of my birth story, followed by the long version for those interested. 

Our baby boy, Elias Julian Thronson, was an April Fool’s Day baby, born one week early on April 1st at 11:16am weighing in at 7lb 9oz and 19.5 inches.  I feel so blessed to have been able to have the drug-free birth we hoped for, and a happy and healthy baby. 

My last doctor’s appointment was on March 31st, where she advised I was 3 cm dilated.  I hadn’t been feeling any obvious BH contractions, but the week prior I could definitely feel things had shifted and he was moving, and Monday night that week I hardly slept because of lower back pain.  A little after midnight on Thursday, April 1st I awoke to contractions.  I still wasn’t positive they were contractions until I realized they were occurring every 10min, and after walking around and drinking water, they continued.  I kept trying to sleep them off (still convinced he wasn’t coming for another week or so), but they kept waking me up so I worked through them doing cat to cow and frog pose on the bed.  I was trying to let my husband (Eric) sleep, but woke him up at 1am to tell him I thought I was in labor. 

Around 1:30am my contractions started coming every 5min, and I started feeling nauseous.  About every 3rd contraction I ended up getting sick.  We labored at home as long as possible, taking a long hot shower, walking inside and outside quite a bit, with Eric pressing on my lower back through every contraction. We were consulting on the phone with our doula (Abbey Lake, who was awesome), and finally decided at 5:30am to head to the hospital because by that time my contractions were consistently 1min long and about 4min apart for 2hrs, and we were concerned I was dehydrated with the vomiting, despite all the water I was drinking. 

We checked in at UC Davis Medical Center around 6am, at that time I was 6cm dilated and 100% effaced.  We shared our birth preference plan with the nurses, and they were all incredibly supportive, making copies, and informing the on-call doctor and all new support staff of our desires.  (It also helped that our primary nurse had given birth twice drug-free.)  I worked through most of my contractions either by walking, or in a forward fold position, again with Eric applying lower back counter pressure.  I also did a lot of horse lips with my breathing.  In between contractions I felt completely exhausted, and just wanted to sleep.  I felt like I was sleeping between contractions (while sitting on a birth ball and laying onto the bed), but Eric said I was just in a trans-like state. 

Finally, at one point I turned to Abbey and Eric and told them I was considering an epidural, not because of the pain – I felt like I was managing through the pain, but because I was just so tired.  I think I imagined that if I had the epidural, I could take a nap.  Abbey reminded me that I was doing great, I was close, and she thought I could do this.  (Which is exactly why I wanted her there).  We decided that it might be time to have the doctor break my water to help speed things along.  I was excited to hear I was at 9cm when he broke my water.  After that point things became much more intense with hardly any breaks.  (had my water broken earlier, I don’t think I could have labored for hours at that intensity without some medicated relief). 

After I think a little more than an hour, it was finally time to push.  They gave me the option to choose my position, I was so sleepy I chose to lay on the bed, with my feet up on a squat bar, pulling on a sheet the nurse had wrapped around the bar.  In total, I think I pushed for about 30min.  This part was also very intense, but knowing I was in the home stretch, and the incredible positive reinforcement from the doctor, nurses, Eric and Abbey helped me get through.  Meeting and holding our little guy for the first time was such an amazing experience.  Again, I feel lucky to have had so many things line up to help us have the birth I desired. 

Things are going very well at home.  We had a few hiccups with weight gain and feeding initially, but I think we are out of the woods now and things are improving every day.

April 10, 2010 at 6:06 pm 2 comments

Happy Birthday Elias!

Our baby boy Elias Julian Thronson was born one week early on April Fool’s Day, at 11:16am weighing in at 7lb 9oz and 19.5in.  Today, April 8th, is his due date and one week birthday.  Unfortunately for him his gift is a little snip-snip (sorry buddy!), but I thought I would also write him a letter.

Dear Elias,

Wow, I can’t believe just a week ago you were in my belly.  I thought I wasn’t ready yet for you to come out into the world to meet us.  I loved feeling your kicks (or as we have now figured out, your strong right upper cut, I can show your daddy exactly where that right arm was!)  It seemed safer and easier to care for you when you were inside me, and I was convinced you were coming late.  Instead, you decided to play the ultimate April Fool’s joke and arrive early.  I’m so grateful you did.

In my biased opinion, you are the most beautiful baby I have ever held, and I am so lucky to get to spend so much time with you.  Your daddy and I thought we wouldn’t be those parents are head over heels for their child, but you have successfully wrapped us around your little finger and converted us.  I sometimes think I couldn’t possibly love you more, then the next day (ok, or next hour), I find myself loving you even more. 

Those first few days at home were pretty exhausting.  The doctor was concerned about your weight loss and had us waking you up every 2 hours to feed, which meant mommy and daddy were lucky to get 60min of sleep between feedings.  After 2 days of this, I’m not sure how safe it was for us to be driving to your doctor’s appointments.  I almost cried and hugged the doctor when she said we could back off to 3hr feedings, giving us time to sleep in 2hr increments. 

Your daddy and I are amazed by you every day.  Your daddy (and the nurses) were impressed with your neck strength during your first bath at the hospital.  You were sitting there, fussing a bit, then all of a sudden lifted your head up and stared at the nurse, trying to figure out what was going on.  We love watching you sleep (even though we should be sleeping too!) because you make such amazing facial expressions.  Here are some of our favorite moments with you that made us laugh:

  • Your poos sound like those of an old man (or a Lindabury!)
  • You like to conduct an orchestra while you sleep
  • When you fall asleep during feedings, Daddy uses you as a puppet to tell stories.  We laugh and laugh, and you stay sound asleep.
  • When you are nursing and I sneeze, it looks like a tidal wave across the goods – and it doesn’t faze you!
  • When you are passed out sleeping with milk left on your lips, it looks like you are sleeping off a wild and crazy night on the town.

We look forward to many more birthday celebrations and fun moments with you!

Love always,

Mommy

April 8, 2010 at 7:09 pm Leave a comment

The One With THE BELLY

Eric and I thought it would be fun to take some pictures of the belly in pre-preggo clothes.  We laughed a lot, and hope you do too!  We are still amazed at how much my belly, and boobs, have grown!!

Dress Before

Dress After

Bathing Suit Before

Bathing Suit After - "They say these things are going to get BIGGER? Geez!"

Running Outfit - Before

Running Outfit - After 1

Running Outfit - After 2. Remember that time this shirt reached my waist?

Belly...

March 14, 2010 at 3:22 pm 3 comments

The One with the FAQ

Now that I’m well into my third trimester, I have found there are common questions asked to a pregnant woman.  I’ve tried to capture some below along with my typical verbal response mixed in with the sarcastic thoughts that run through my head.

  1. When are you due?  or How far along are you?  The due date question is much easier to answer – April 8th.  The how far along question depends on who’s asking, I’ve come to learn there is fuzzy math that comes with pregnancy.  It is commonly understood that pregnancy is 9 months long – well, sorta.  A full term pregnancy is 40 weeks, divide that by 4 and you get 10 months.  So how does 30 weeks translate to months?  Divide by 4 and you are 7 1/2 months, look at a calendar and you’ll see you have 2 1/2 months left.  Adds up to 10 months but the average person asking is looking for a total of 9 months.  Answer – if it’s a mom, soon-to-be-mom, or new dad asking – I answer in weeks, otherwise, I do my best month estimate.  Now that I’m almost 35 weeks, I just say 5 weeks to go.
  2. What is the gender?  It’s a boy. 
  3. Do you have a name picked out?  Most people are just making small talk, but this is a BIG deal.  We have felt so much pressure narrowing down our names to find what feels right for this child we have yet to meet.  It has been an intimate process.  Even if we did know for sure the name, it’s not something that I necessarily want to share with the random person I just met.  We have decided to keep the name a surprise for everyone until he’s born.  Primarily because what if we meet him and decide no, this is totally the wrong name for this child  (not that I expect to know his personality well enough when he’s 2 days old and we’re forced to pick a name before leaving the hospital).  Also, people can be mean when you share your chosen name before the child is born.  We’ve been calling him Taric, if we told our family and friends this is what we are naming him I’m SURE at least one person would say – really?  Oh, you don’t want to do that.  I knew a Taric once, he was such a bully, you can’t name him that, it’s an awful name.  Really?  I’ve spent all this time finding the perfect name, and in one breath you are going to stomp on my heart because you knew one Taric when you were 10yrs old and can’t get over it?  If we name our child Taric and not tell anyone until they meet him or see his picture they will say “Oh, Taric, his is so adorable”, then they can all talk to each other about what a strange name, and they leave our hearts alone.  Verbal Answer – We aren’t sure yet, we plan to take a few names to the hospital with us.  Answer in my head – We think we have a name, but because I love you and don’t want you to be mean to me, I’m not sharing it with you, or anyone. 
  4. What are you craving?  Honestly, nothing really.  I may partake in foods I enjoyed before pregnancy more now (read – Thai food and sweets), but I think that is just me making up for all the wine and unpasteurized cheeses I’m avoiding.   I have a hard time believing that people really “crave” a sheet of brownies.  Come on, we all “crave” a sheet of brownies, but it’s called SELF-CONTROL that keeps us for eating them all at once, or sending our husbands out in the middle of the night to get whatever sounds good at that moment.  Now don’t get me wrong, my sweet tooth has picked it up a notch recently, but I still keep it under control with a lot of mental will-power.
  5. How do you feel?  This answer changes a lot.  Most of the time my answer is “ok” or “can’t complain”, because really, I have had an easy pregnancy in the whole scheme of things.  1st Trimester answer – This felt like a month-long hangover.  I never got sick (which I still can’t believe since I’m a puker), but for a solid 4 weeks, then off and on for 2-3 more weeks, I would wake up with what felt like the morning after a day of watching football and drinking beer.  I had to be super careful with what I ate to not trigger a visit to the porcelain gods.  Twice it felt like the day after a wedding.  Thankfully I never had a New Year’s Day.  By the end, I told Eric that I hated to complain since I knew it could be much worse, but every night I would hope that I would wake the next morning feeling better.  Note to my non-preggo ladies – next time you wake up hung over and think “why, why did I have that extra glass of wine last night”, think of it as training for your 1st trimester.  2nd Trimester answer – I felt GREAT!   I’m not sure I fully appreciated how exhausting the 1st Tri was until I was out of it.  (I have no idea how women go through that 1st Tri with a toddler running around).  One day I woke up, had my old levels of energy back, and my stomach was back to normal.  That’s when the planner in me really came out, but I had to tone it down a bit to accommodate our travel and work schedules – and keep our sanity!  3rd Trimester answer – my answer seems to change every week.  For the most part, I’m feeling great, but each week I feel that I’m slowing down.  I ran until the end of January, when my lower back reminded me that running with a 20lb bowling ball strapped to my waist wasn’t the best idea.  A few weeks ago my body told me that my weekend walks need to be shorter and slower.  Some days I feel “pregnant”, particularly when I have to catch my breath mid-sentence and I’m fanning myself in a t-shirt while my coworkers are wearing sweaters. 

That’s it for now!

March 3, 2010 at 9:02 pm 2 comments

My Running Heroes

The past few weekends I have been blessed to witness some amazing running feats, I thought I would share some thoughts and pics of these events. 

Last Sunday, Eric and Justin ran the California International Marathon (CIM) in Sacramento, each with a different goal: Eric – attempt to run a Boston qualifying time, Justin –  finish his first 26.2 mile race.  I have participated in many road races either as a participant, volunteer, or spectator, but every time I witness runners attempting the marathon, it’s inspiring.  Each runner on that course has spent many hours and miles preparing for this moment on this day, to see if everything (weather, training, muscles, mental game, stomach, etc) can come together for them to meet their goal.  I love watching runners at different stages of the race.  At mile 5 everyone was energized, still closely packed together, smiling, chatting, and still feeling great.  At mile 10, most folks still look strong, they had found their rhythm and were clicking the miles off.  By mile 18, runners look tired, and in the midst of the battle, their battle with their legs, the road, and most of all, their mind…convincing themselves they aren’t crazy, that they can do this, and pushing on.  This is when runners start to dig deep, to find out what they are made of.  At the finish line, I can’t help but get tears in my eyes watching runners meet their goals and finishing their 26.2mile (+ many months of training) race. 

I am so proud of what Justin and Eric accomplished on Sunday.  Justin trained for his first marathon through the Texas summer heat, around many out-of-town weekend trips, a 24hr mountain bike race, and a busy work/life schedule leaving him few hours to sleep, much less train.  Some how he fit it all in.  Not only did he finish his race, he ran an AMAZING time of 3hrs, 44minutes!  That is 8:33min/mile!  He looked strong and like a champ the whole race.  I’m so grateful to have been able to witness my brother’s first 1/2 marathon earlier this year (in Austin), and now his first marathon.  

Eric has run a few marathons, and after our Big Sur Marathon experience, decided to train for CIM to see what kind of PR (personal record) he could run, hoping that it would be 3 hrs and 10min or less, qualifying him for Boston.   This is a ridiculously fast pace if you ask me.  That requires and average of 7:15min/mile…I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty confident I would be lucky to run ONE mile that fast, much less 26.2miles at that pace!  Eric tweaked his training for this race, tried a few new methods, and logged many miles and long runs on his own.  Ultimately, Eric shaved 17 (difficult) minutes off of his PR, finishing in 3hrs, 15min, 40 seconds (7:27 min/mile!).  He ran an incredible race, pushing his body to the max capacity, something which I know I couldn’t do myself.  His discipline and self-drive enabled his body to run 25miles averaging at his goal race pace.  Unfortunately his legs weren’t calibrated with the full length of the race, and like a rebellious 2 year old, refused to listen to what Eric told them to do resulting in cramping and walking much of the last mile.  I can’t express how proud I am of Eric’s accomplishment on Sunday, finishing that race in such an incredible time and overcoming miles of throbbing pain.   

Eric and Justin, ready to go at 5:30am, braving the 30degree start-time temperature.

Justin & Eric post-race

 This weekend Eric and I drove to Reno (through the snowy pass, taking chains on and off the tires…) to watch Eric’s niece run in the Junior Olympic National Cross-Country meet.  Katie is 9 years old and a very talented runner.  This was an incredible race and fun to watch.  Reno recently has received an un-seasonal amount of snow, leaving these kids to run on a course with 1.5 feet of snow.  By the time her race started, it was 29 degrees and most of the snow was packed, but they were the first race and still had to run through some unpacked snow in parts.  In a field of 250 girls ages 9 & 10, Katie ran like a champ, fighting the whole race finishing 14th overall and the first 9year old.   She was honored as an “All-American” as she finished in the top 25.  It was exciting to see this cute, cheerful 9year old give it all she had to do the best she could in this race.  

My other running hero is Katie’s older sister Chelsea.  Chelsea is 11years old, and also competes for her school track and cross-country teams.  Chelsea may not have the same gifts with running as her younger sister, but that girl is driven!  During the regular cross-country season she won almost every race in her age group, improving on her times from last year.  Although she didn’t qualify for the National competition, and knows that if they run head to head her younger sister would beat her, she worked so hard to improve her personal times and run the best she could in all her races.  Her self-motivation is so admirable, and on top of all of this, she is one of the biggest cheerleaders for her younger sister.  It was great to see her support and encourage Katie this weekend! 

Not only do I love running for the physical and emotional health benefits, but I love watching how it can bring out the best in each of us.  That it can motivate a person to take on a long-term goal, and find it within themselves to complete it.  I’m so blessed to be surrounded by amazing runners! 

The Katie Thronson Cheering Team. From left: Aunt Tara, Chelsea, Uncle Eric, Michael (Eric's brother), Katie, Kerrianne (sister-in-law) and Kirsten (Eric's cousin who lives in Reno).

Katie after her race! Uncle Eric is still super excited and can't wipe that smile off his face.

December 13, 2009 at 3:10 pm 1 comment

The One When I Peed on a Stick

Who would have thought a little bit of urine, a piece of plastic from Rite-Aid, and 2 minutes (or in my case about 20 seconds) could totally change your evening beverage choice and many other more important decisions for the rest of your life.  

We had recently decided we were finally “ready” to take the plunge into parenthood.  We threw caution to the wind thinking it would take up to a year to get pregnant…apparantly it only took a night at the Portland, Oregon Shiloh Inn!

In early August, after a weekend of wine tasting celebrating Eric’s birthday, I noticed I was a “few days late”.  I told Eric that it was a busy week for me, so if things didn’t “change” by the end of the week, I should probably take a pregnancy test.  The next day I arrived home to a beautiful bouquet of flowers from the Farmer’s Market…and two tests Eric picked up from the store on the way home.  🙂

I had imagined that by the time we would try to start a family, I would already feel the maternal instinct, and would cry tears of joy as I read the positive pregnancy test.  I even imagined recording us reading the test for the first time, then later posting it on Youtube to tell our family and friends our exciting news.  As I went to take the test, I realized…this wasn’t the Kodak moment I had built up in my head.

Before I could even get out of the bathroom, it was VERY clear, we were pregnant.  There were no tears of joy…I just laughed.  Eric could hardly wait to hear the results, and couldn’t figure out why I was laughing.  He hugged me with excitement, and again, asked why I was still laughing.  I think they were laughs of anxiety and of shock that I was really pregnant.  I was intending to open a good bottle of wine that night, instead…I asked Eric to just hug and hold me while I processed the many emotions I was feeling. 

I was relieved that I didn’t have the “oh no, I’m pregnant, what are we going to do” feeling – I was far from that…but I also didn’t have the tears of joy that I was expecting, and in my head imagined all my girlfriends who are moms had.

I finally was able to describe what I was feeling to Eric.  I felt totally awkward and out-of-place, like I was in middle school all over again.  I was finally settling into Sacramento life, redefining and shaping my owned “identity”, and feeling comfortable in my skin – then in less than two minutes everything changed.  I felt that all of a sudden I was labeled with the “mom-to-be” identity and I had NO idea what to do!  It was as though I just entered a foreign country.  They stamped my passport and sent me on my way…I could understand the language spoken, but couldn’t speak it myself, nor did I understand the customs or behaviors expected of me.  I had mixed feelings of wanting desperately to tell my girlfriends immediately and ask for advice and guidance, yet at the same time I didn’t want people to think I was asking stupid questions and not ready for this. 

Eric did two wonderful things in the next 24 hours to help me feel more prepared for this new and exciting journey.  1: He helped me look up pregnancy food “do’s and don’ts” so, in my words, I didn’t eat something stupid.  2: He went to the library and checked out 5 pregnancy books so we could start figuring out the world of pregnancy and parenthood, and to get a glimpse of what to expect. 

It didn’t take me long to happily and proudly ADD the label of “mom-to-be” to my identity.  Once I got over the initial shock, started to feel the 1st Tri sickness (the pregnancy suddenly became very real!), and start-up the learning curve of all things pregnancy/parenting, I have become VERY EXCITED to be a Mom!  It’s such an amazing and blessed experience, for which I’m very grateful.

November 20, 2009 at 8:24 pm 5 comments

Funny Observations

Three things that recently made me laugh heartily out loud, or at least a little to myself…

1. The Network for a Healthy California has started a new marketing campaign called “Champions for Change” where they have billboards and ads around town encouraging Californians to eat more fruits and veggies and increase physical exercise, to help reduce obesity and other diet-related chronic diseases.  This is a great cause, and I love the ads.  A mom with her arms crossed, with the words “My Kitchen, My Rules.  Rule #1: Eat more fruits and vegetables.”  What made me laugh, is seeing one of these ads on a TACO TRUCK.  What?  Not the place I expected to see one, but it makes sense if you are trying to change habits.  Better to remind people shopping at the local convenience store and the taco truck that they can make healthier choices, rather than in front Whole Foods or the Co-op shoppers. 

2. When walking to a meeting downtown, we walked past a group of protesters with signs saying “Save Sacramento County Jobs, no to consultants!”.  The protest wasn’t really a surprise, there tends to be many these days in town, especially around recent budget cuts.  What I wasn’t expecting to see is that all of the protesters were members from the homeless community.  On the surface it seems like a win-win situation.  Homeless folks are earning a little income, employees get their message across without missing work.  It’s just that the Sacramento County employees essentially hired “consultants” to protest consultants.  Hmmm…

3. My co-worker’s naughty plant.  While brewing her coffee one morning she looked out the window to see the below growth in her plant.  At first she thought her husband stuck a plastic figurine in her plant as a joke, but no…this manhood grew on its own!

Suz_Plant

October 7, 2009 at 8:56 pm 1 comment

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