Wednesday, February 23, 2011

4 minutes before my water broke...

Micah's in the sling (made my by darling friend Leanne) wrapped around my middle and we all (the three of us!) sit at the table (the boppy pillow under my bottom) and we dilly-dally on our laptops. me on facebook and google reader, Curtis tying up loose ends on his work computer (i guess i was the only one who's dilly-dallying). He starts laughing and begins to read me an email i sent him from work just minutes before my water broke at 1:15pm on Feb. 17th.

Maybe i'm the only one who gets a kick out of this, but hey, here you go anyways. A glimpse into the productivity level of a pregnant lady:

From: Jessica Penick []
Sent: Thursday, February 17, 2011 1:11 PM
To: Penick,Curtis,SOLON,Supply Chain Performance

I was super productive this morning and now I’m just hitting a walllllll.
Help me! I’m so tired.
Even eating lunch didn’t help.
So glad we have a night off tonight – I need it
What’cha gonna make me for dinner? J

Senior Search & Media Associate
yeah right, a night off! ha. 
little did i know i'd walk to the bathroom after sending this email and my water would break.
little did i know that i would grab my things and dash out the door to my car without telling a soul.
little did i know that i'd get out of my car in our driveway and then my water would really break (wet down to my shoes)
little did i know that 23 hours later i'd have my boy in my arms
little did i know that it wouldn't be the night off that i wanted so bad, but probably the least relaxing night of my entire life.
and little did i know that 4 minutes after sending that pathetic sounding email to my husband, a whirlwind of events would change our lives forever.

Monday, February 21, 2011

hazy thoughts in the middle of the night

i don't want to forget a thing, but i already feel my mind getting hazy in that sleep-deprived familiar way that comes on a morning with a flight before the sunrise. how you stay up too late in anticipation of a vacation and then the alarm goes off just as your nodding off for the very first time. how that feeling of lethargy creeps in, and you tell yourself that you would've rather slept than left for the tropics.

we are exhausted but overwhelmed with the love we feel for this little boy that i thought i knew.
i thought i knew him, after 37 weeks and 5 days of holding him safe in my belly, i thought i was prepared. ready. not just for the parenthood part, but for all the emotions that went along with it. boy was i wrong.

i feel like a sucker punch has come at me full force and knocked the wind out of my belly that now feels more like a water bed than a watermelon. that is hit me and curtis both when we expected it but didn't know exactly what to expect. a strange phenomena you don't read about in what to expect when you're expecting. probably because it really can't be put into words.

mothers for generations and generations have been giving birth and learning what a mother's love truly means. i have now joined that club and i can't catch my breath.

i watch his little hands and feet go. sound in rem sleep he flexes his fingers and curls his toes. his knees are bent up with feet flat on the ground, and i try to picture him inside of me, making those same movements, but there is a disconnect. the synapses in my mind don't connect those two things. the butt i felt for months under my ribs on the left side are his little butt cheeks that right as we went to wipe them tonight, he sprayed black tar back at us. this is a strange miracle. a lovely miracle, but so unbelievably strange. i pushed a little boy out of my body. how was that possible. i still can barely wrap my mind around what i felt and saw my body do that morning.

Friday morning. it has been burned, seared, tattooed in my mind as the hardest, happiest day of my life. i try to think of a day that outweighs it in pain, emotion, the swelling of love that comes from the throat, but i can't. our wedding was wonderful, but i loved Curtis before our wedding day. there were no surprises on June 17, 2006. But on February 18, 2011, i was not prepared. but oh so ready.

This afternoon he was unconsolable. After being under the lights for hours already, he was over it. he screamed sad, hoarse cried, sounding more of an old man who's smoked for 60 years than a 3 day old. so we decided some kangaroo time is what was needed. we we stuck him, under my nursing tank top, belly to belly and he immediately hushed. it was a miracle. i'm still amazed every time i hush him with my voice or my smell. it's an incredible gift i've been given. we've been given.

we have waited so long. I take a look at him and think, he's ours. mine. you've got to be kidding me that if his blood tests come back good in an hour, we get to take this precious little being home with us today. in a car seat purchased just for him. in clothes that were given to him because others were excited about his arrival too.

it's almost too much.
and i don't even care that i've been up since three on baby duty.
or that i hurt in places i never knew existed.

this has been the longest four days of my life, and almost unmistakably the best.
i have my best friend, the father of my son snoring next to me after keeping watch while i got some sleep, and three feet away, under psychedelic lights my son glows like the angelic little thing i still think he is.

this is the life, if i could only take off his little eye mask and walk him right out the door.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

broken wide open

we were supposed to be discharged from the hospital 26 minutes ago
but this morning they told us that Micah is a bit jaundiced so we're here one more night.
everything within me knows how common this is.
the blue lights, the little eye mask, the naked baby laying in the middle of it all
but when they're your own
it's enough to break you wide open.

the nurse was sweet, she explained everything and stayed to chat.
but as she played him in the bili-bassinet and
wrapped his little head in the eye mask i couldn't help it
tears stung my eyes and i couldn't hold them back.
he was just so little in there
so helpless with eyes covered
right after his circumcision in only a diaper

Curtis saw me turn my head and cry
then our sweet nurse came in and got me kleenex
and curtis reassured me that he'll be fine
which i knew
but with minimal sleep and the crazy hormone situation going on within my body
i couldn't help it.

now i've taken the shower  i thought i'd get to take at home
Micah is sleeping under the lights and i am counting down the minutes until his next feeding
when i can hug that tiny little naked body and satisfy his need for skin on skin.

i was never a crier, but he has broken me wide open
and i'm so glad he did
he couldn't have come a minute too soon.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Micah David Penick

What a beautiful surprise! And to think, it only took 20+ hour of labor! Jess was a champ the whole time. The doctor said if this was her second, her pushing would have shot him across the room. Not sure if that was a compliment, but it sounded impressive, and resulted in my little boy taking his first breath of stale hospital air!

Micah David Penick
7lbs 9oz 21 in

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

big and ready


The last few days at work have been uncomfortable and dare i say it - miserable
Not work-wise, but comfort-wise.
I ache, my back hurts and my ankles and feet swell up so bad,
despite trying to get up and walk around and chugging more water than I ever have in my life

This isn’t fun anymore.
As of right now, I only have seven (7!!!) more days in the office until maternity leave begins.
I think I’m going to stop a week before my actual due date and take the last of my vacation days and waiting it out while getting stuff done.
I’ve got big plans that week (if this boy doesn’t come early!)
I will clean and organize and make meals to freeze like it’s my job.
Although I have a feeling this is all a mute point, as I’m pretty certain he will be coming before March 5th.

Did I tell you that at my doctor’s appointment last Wednesday I had an ultrasound.
And guess what the ultrasound told us???!!!
They estimate that our boy is already 7 lbs. 11 oz. and in the 93rd percentile.
And based on those measurements I am measuring 2 weeks and 2 days ahead of schedule
That means, while today I’m exactly 37 weeks and 3 days, I’m measuring like I’m 39 weeks and 5 days!
Although I am not dilated, effaced or anything like that – yet –
He has begun to drop (although she said he’s still got a ways to go)
Everyone, including my doctor is convinced he will be here before my due date.
Music to my ears I tell ya!

But although that was the best news we could have anticipated (did I tell you how I was at risk for premature labor originally?!)
It has amped our preparations into full gear
This weekend we packed my hospital bag and the diaper bag
We took the hospital tour of labor and delivery and
We pre-registered
we put together our baby swing and bouncer

On Friday night I even had two contractions within an hour.
But my excitement came too soon, because there was no third one.
I was bummed for a while, but then realized, he’ll come when he’s good and ready.
And I don’t want to rush him or miss out on how great these last few weeks can actually be – just the two of us!

Like last night - we made eggplant parmasean together
had a quiet dinner by candle light and enjoyed our last Valentine's Day as a family of two.
it was mellow and perfect, and just what we both needed.

Monday, February 14, 2011

to the very first man in my heart







There are a million reasons I could tell you that I love you
And maybe I should have taken the time to write them out
One by one
In list form because you know how much lists delight me
But tonight
I just wanted to tell you that today
What I love most about you will be something that I will not always be able to appreciate as I do today

Today I love that I can watch you prepare for fatherhood
In those deliriously happy moments
That you talk to my tummy
To this little human being
That we seem to know so intimately
Yet will soon come to realize we had no clue about before he came
And I can watch you as video tape me washing baby clothes
Or sitting in our new rocking chair or making dinner

I can see you looking at me in amazement
Of this tiny boy that has invaded my body
And still you call me beautiful
Despite swollen feet to go with my swelling emotions
The closer we get to meeting him

How you held my hand as we walked through the maternity ward
Imagining how those rooms could be ours in just days or weeks
And how you kissed my nose when I told you
the look of three infant boys in the nursery was enough to almost bring me to tears
and how you say I’m sorry when I’m the one to overreact
because you know it’s just hormones and lack of sleep talking and
how you drank two glasses of water before your morning cup of coffee this morning
because you want to be healthy for your little growing family.

There will never again be a time when I will see you
In this state of suspended fatherhood
Where you are the father of my child without ever holding him
Where I’m the mother of your son without knowing if he looks more like you are me
-I hope you-

Because there will never be this time again
Where it is just the two of us
And our hearts,
While we already inexplicably love him,
have yet to rip wide open for this little boy we’ve yet to truly meet
And whether it’s for 3 more weeks
3 days or a mere 3 hours longer
You are my one true Valentine

You are the one who made it possible for my heart to beat for two
To love two men at once

I consider myself the luckiest lady that has ever lived.

Happy Valentine’s Day to the very first man in my heart.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

on former thoughts remembered


A few nights ago I remembered a thought I had way back when we were still in the long process of trying to get pregnant.
It was probably about 2 years ago
I remember thinking

I wonder if God is not letting us get pregnant now because of our financial situation.
Wouldn’t it be just like God to have us get pregnant like the month we get out of debt
Maybe he’d do that so my whole pregnancy wouldn’t be spent stressing about money.

And now here we are.
As of last Monday night, we are officially out of credit card debt.
That weight has officially been lifted off our shoulders

But what's better yet is that we’re not hoping to get pregnant this month like we had been in the past

In all of God’s irony
Isn’t it fitting that the dream I had of how God would work – he one upped me.
I’m not hoping to get pregnant this month
I’m planning to have a baby 
(this month preferably, but possibly the beginning of next)

And as the thoughts of former wonderings crept into my conscious,
I paused in awe – again.

Not only does He know what’s best for us – but he does what’s even better!

*photo of a stack of little baby onesies...

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


In one of my last posts I mentioned one of the great games we played at my shower.
See, I’m not typically one for shower games and my friend {Kate} knows that.
So, she did a great job of coming up with a few that really turned out to be fun - and that means a lot coming from the girl who usually can't stand them (get that diaper shmeered with chocolate out of my FACE!)

One was a onesie decorating contest. I was the judge and got to keep them all in the end.
Let’s just say there were some adorable ones and some others that probably will never make it on my boy (in public at least!)

The second was a trivia game about famous parents on tv.

Then there was this game.
She emailed curtis a list of questions to answer.
He wasn’t allowed to talk to me about them or look up the answers.
Then he emailed her back his responses.
At the shower she asked me the questions and wanted to know if I could guess what he said.
Let’s just say, it was hilarious – and now you’ll see why –

Here are the questions from Kate and Curtis’ responses, taken right from the email:

How many diapers does a newborn go through each day?
20, but if I had it my way, I would hold the kid over the toilet once every hour and hope I get lucky.

How many diapers do you plan to change each day?
My theory is, if you're the one making the food, you should have to see it all the way through. When Micah starts eating Nestle/Gerber products, we'll talk! But honestly, I will change diapers whenever I possibly can.

How many hours does a baby sleep each day?
20 hours

At what age does a baby start sleeping through the night?
6 months

At what age does a baby start eating solid food?
1 year

How long does it take for the belly button stump to fall off?
Belly button stump? It’s called a penis! And I hope it doesn't fall off! (j/k, 2-3 weeks)

Do you think your baby will be born with a lot of hair?
Yes! Dark brown hair just like daddy! (which Jess will no doubt fashion into a mullet before he can open his eyes)

How big do you think the baby is going to be? lbs and inches?
7lbs 2oz, 26" Long

How many kids do you want to have?
I don't want to have any, that is Jess' job! I would like maybe 2 children from her womb, and as many as God gives us from someone else's

Who'll be the firm parent, and who'll be the pushover?
I will be firm and structured, Jess will be the softy!

Do you think your wife is going to yell at you during labor? 
She yells at me now, so why should anything change just because she's birthing a human being?

What are you most excited about in becoming a dad?
The constant hugs and hearing "I love you dad"

Pick one word to describe the kind of mom Jessie is going to be.
Compassionate, affectionate (because I will force her to hug our children! haha), caring, and of course "always right"

*promise to show more pictures when i get them...

Monday, February 7, 2011

on taking crappy photos and not caring anymore


Nesting has gotten the best of me
So have swollen feet and ankles
And snow

Like I said before, I have tapped in to my homebody ways
And refuse to leave my house if I don’t have to

I’m not sure why all of this has caused some blogging draughts the last week or so
But it has and for that I’m sorry

I think I’m struggling with words that lack pictures
I’m sick of going into my flickr archives for an outdated photo to go with my posts
And that’s not cool

I’m trying to hunt down pictures from both of my showers
I want to see them
And share so bad
They were two great days
I felt loved and it made me so grateful that this little boy is going to grow up
Surrounded by these people
That and we pretty much have everything we need to welcome him home
And the stuff we didn’t get
We ordered online with gift cards

I might have knocked showers in the past
But when they’re for you
They are a great, great thing! such a blessing, to be given what you need.
Even the games were awesome

I’ll have to share the one game we played in another post.

But all that to say that I have decided that I need to start taking pictures again.
I’ve been lame-o on the picture taking lately
Except from the random belly shot or nursery photo taken on my iphone
I haven’t really taken many photos throughout this pregnancy.
And I regret that.

And I keep thinking to myself, unless I get back into the habit now
I won’t be in the habit once this boy is here

I think part of my photography paralysis is that I read a lot of very creative
Design and photography blogs
And they all take such great photos
Mine never turn out as crisp, bright and clear
And I get discouraged because the photos I take
Often don’t accurately capture my memory of the image
And it doesn’t frustrate me as much as it makes me sad.

So then my love of my camera and capturing images fizzles
But let’s be honest – my love for a lot of things fizzled in those first four months of pregnancy

The only hobby that started up again with a vengeance is crocheting
and i just showed you the fruits of that labor - my {granny square blanket}

So, Friday night, before we babysat for two sweet little babies, i got home from work and whipped out my camera. I read the manual and got to know my camera again. I’m going to try to increase my photo taking abilities, and even when my pictures suck, I promise to keep taking photos – if nothing else but to document my beautiful life
for me, and for you.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

on nesting


Like a bird, collecting bits and pieces
particles, scraps and stuffing for the nest
preparing a safe, soft place
a passage
a shelter for those fragile eggs
to hatch and open and be born

I am that mamma bird
I shuffle through the house
slippered, swollen feet
washing tiny clothes in dreft
folding blankets
filling drawers of tiny little things
preparing for that hatching
cracking open
preparing for birth
in a way other than
reading books
and conspiring between other swollen bellied friends


a concept
unlike any other I’ve experienced
a pull to home
to warmth
this winter season seems appropriate
for my mood of
long sweaters,
stretchy sweats that sit below belly
folding clothes in front of the fire
organizing life and house and objects
in small piles
tiny stacks
neat rows of small, precious things
all smelling of baby clean and cotton.

This week I have been in hibernation mode
thanks to the cold and scare of winter warnings
and blizzard threats
a homebody down to my core
I’ve worked at home and warmed my hands with the idea
of doing this daily for the rest of my days

of coffee sipped from a mug not a to go cup
cereal eaten from a bowl with milk and not a baggie, dry
curtains opened to skies of blue or grey, it doesn’t even matter which
they are my windows, in my home
my curtains,
my view.

This nesting period will not last forever
I know it will soon be replaced by feedings and naptimes
and diapers and laundry
and I welcome it
the busy new life that will come with this tiny
swaddled little bundle of being

I nest for this little one
to make a place in our home of two for one more
to gather soft and safe things to gather around him
creating a nest inside our walls
for him to hatch and grow

my little chicadee

Saturday, February 5, 2011

granny square blanket: completed


i have made four blankets over the years.

My first blanket project turned into a “car cover” – literally
When curtis and I were dating I decided that for our first valentine’s day I would crochet him a blanket. It was soft and thick, charcoal grey.
But I didn’t know how to properly measure, or plan, and after months of crocheting away, when I finally stopped, it was large enough to cover a king sized bed (when it was folded in half!)
It’s nickname became a car cover and although i was thoroughly ridiculed by many (except my kind bf at the time, who, although he thought i was getting him a leather jacket, opened up a blanket instead, was still gracefully thankful, and who bought me small diamond hoop earrings for said v-day) – we still use it on occasion on frigid nights, tucked between sheet and comforter for an extra layer of handmade warmth.

My second blanket turned out quite adorably. I decided to use up a bunch of scraps to make a little throw. I think I finished it one afternoon while at a friend’s house, and upon her compliment of it – I just gave it to her. She has a chair in her house that it went with adorably and it makes me happy to see it draped over the back of the chair when we go over there. That, and it turned out to be a tiny blanket, and they’re tiny little people, so it fits them better than it would've us.

My third blanket was started years ago and is still sitting half done in our basement. A cute striped little diddle of brown, cream, magenta and some variegated version of all of them intermingled. But it was boring to make so i left it high and dry for other more difficult knitting projects. Maybe once this babe is born, I’ll whip it out for those long lazy days (or nights) that’ll be in need of mindless movement. i doubt it but who knows. i really do hate unfinished projects.

Then came the granny square vision of grandeur.

I saw some blankets online and decided I NEEDED to make one. I had pictures in my head of exactly how I wanted it to turn out and I must say, the finished version is pretty close.

I stopped making sqares when I hit about 100 – thinking that would for sure give me enough for a full-sized throw and some extra squares to make a pillow –
Little did I know it takes a LOT of those squares to make a baby-sized blanket, so a little lap blanket will have to do. But now that it’s complete, I love it just the same.

There are very few times that something in my head turns out exactly the way I wanted it – but this time I must’ve gotten lucky –

I love love love it!

And so does Mea – every time I've gotten it out in the last couple days she's run over to me and curled up on it, a sweet white little ball of fur on a background of color.
I cannot wait to take baby pictures of the boy laying on it, but until then, these will have to do.











so, what do you think?

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