Monday, April 28, 2014

Sleeping Beauty

Thanks Tita Kelly for the cute outfit!

Q has been a champion sleeper. Now before you go on hating me, my definitions/expectation of "good sleeper" might be skewed since Derek didn't sleep more than 2-3 hours at a time for the first 20 or so months of his life (really). So the fact that she will sleep 3 hours sometimes is amaaazing to me. I can actually sleep a little bit too. 

There is always that annoying advice that you hear about sleeping when the baby sleeps which is completely impractical to sleep in snippets of 15-30 minutes, or an hour in the morning even if you're exhausted. I've also had an easier time sleeping since we are co-sleeping and its made a huge difference in making things easier. We have an Arms Reach co-sleeper, which is a farce, because even though its right there next to the bed, she still sleeps better right next to me. 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Can I hold the baby?

Derek has had a change of heart and decides he loves his baby sister (for today that is)...

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Derek's Take on the Baby

You know, when I was pregnant, I didn't really worry about the baby so much. I spent more time focused on how Derek would adjust to not being the center of the universe anymore. Let's admit it, he suffered from pretty usual only-child spoilage issues. We laughed at all his jokes. Came running to his beck and call. Praised him for behaving well and eating vegetables (the two times he did it).

And he would say all these really cute things like,
"I'll share my toys with the baby."
"The baby can watch me play soccer." (Curious, since he doesn't play soccer)
"I will looooooove the baby."

Well, that enthusiasm was short lived.
First week it was things like,
"I like the baby."
"The baby is my sister."
"Mommy, you're the best and Quinn Luu is the best!"

Third Week in... its bedtime and he hears the baby crying and decides he will need Mike at the same time ad we hear him exclaim in his room, "Daddy, DO NOT pick up Quinn Luu!"

Or in the mornings when he sees me feeding her and insists on sitting in my lap instead, "Don't feed the baby...I don't want you to feed Quinn."

And my personal favorite, "I don't want to share mommy."

Well here are memories of happier times when he still wanted to hold her. I'm sure the pendulum will keep swinging back and forth until he goes to college or thereabouts.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Healthy Again...

Hi everyone, I'm usually trapped under a baby a few hours a day which gives me some time to reflect and type out some thoughts about this very chaotic newborn period.  You'll see me drop off in the number of posts when she's sleeping less.

Quinn has been pretty easy-going from the beginning and the first 2 weeks were pretty awesome - she fed well, didn't have weight issues and life was good. Derek's adjustment to her was tougher. He wanted to hold her lots.

Dek: "Look Mommy, I washed my hands so I can hold the baby." [Sneezes on Quinn's face]

Quinn develops a cold at day 11. She has trouble breathing and doesn't nurse as much. I develop oversupply issues and then signs of thrush. Then, I get a 103 fever and in bed with really bad chills, aches... and I know - I overdid it and *ta-da* - mastitis. Its so annoying. I'm supposed to know NOT to behave like this, as I counsel so many mamas through La Leche League. After being stubborn and worrying about making the thrush worse, I finally get prescribed antibiotics after a few days and on the road to recovery.

Ah, medicine is magic. Quinn got better on her own, but I do love using the Nose Frida to suck the snot out of her nose.

"The first wealth is health" - Emerson

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

By The Numbers

Quinn Luu's Weight has been really great. Most babies lose up to 10% of their birth weight, and need to regain it within two weeks - but our eating champ has been an overachiever and even beat her brother's newborn weight gain.

Day 1 - 7 lbs 6 oz (3.445 kg)
Day 4 - 7 lbs 1 oz
Day 7 - 7 lbs 10 oz
Day 14 - 8 lbs 10 oz

Sunday, April 20, 2014


Quinn and I are both sick. Boo. Will post more once we are healthy.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Greeting Quinn at the Hospital

With Di (Auntie) Chau who came from her shift at Fairfax Hospital to see the new girl.

Bac Phi comes to check out the new niece.

With Lola and Cu - who overly adore her already.

My side of the family...

With big bro and dad.

That birth story post was really long. So here is just Q with all of the lovely visitors we had in the hospital. We were originally going to not have folks come because the rooms at GW are the size of closets but Miked scored the VIP suite which we really enjoyed having "special" treatment for the 2 days we were there.

Friday, April 11, 2014

The Birth Story

Dek Sending Mama to the Hospital (7:30pm, 3/31/14)
Here is the scoop I can remember one day how Miss Quinn came into the world. This is very long, and pretty boring with some excitement at the end.

Summary (for those that can't be bored with the details, because trust me, I usually only care for the highlights and 3-bullet version of the story as well):  Didn't really know I was in labor. Doula kind of delayed us going to the hospital for a few hours, which mean we only really got to the hospital when I was 10cm dialated (!) and 30 minutes later baby was out! It was intense. Pat, pat myself on the back for natural birth #2. In fact, it was so rushed, they didn't have time to put an IV or anything on me. My water never broke, so we didn't discover Quinn had meconium until the end and the cord was wrapped around her neck (probably why she pooed herself). She came out with poo on her leg, so we didn't get to do the immediate bonding as the Pediatric team whisked her away to be suctioned. Luckily it wasn't too long before we were reunited. In fact, I didn't even know she was a girl until someone shouted it over to me. Ta-da. Afterwards, I got up and peed. It was awesome.

The Detailed Timeline... from what I can remember:

[7:00am] I woke up with strange cramps (again) and figured it was just Braxton-Hicks (e.g. false labor) which had been going on all night anyway. I've had a few nights/days of these already. Trust me, very pleasant to be sitting through hours long technical meetings with these puppies rippling through your uterus. Not.

I was at 39 weeks and drinking Red Rasberry Leaf Tea and taking Evening Primrose Oil religiously, so I figured it could be any day, but still hoping not today because 1) our Doula was out of town and 2) I had a job interview on Monday, so was hoping the baby would at least wait until Tuesday out of consideration. Unlike with Derek, I didn't lose my plug, but did have some spotting so I thought... maybe it could be happening today.

[11:00am] The intermittent contractions are still coming about 10-15 minutes apart, which makes me think it could be early labor. I decide to call the miwife on call, Marsha, so that they could be prepared in case I needed to come in later in the day. I was pretty doubtful at that point, so I just continued with my day. Drink a cup of red rasberry tea to see if it makes a difference. Not really.

[12:30pm] Had to eat a Thai Square lunch. Last time in labor, I had the spicy seafood, this time I was much more reasonable and decided to just get the fried rice. I packed my hospital bag, which includes all kinds of stuff since I wanted to be prepared for the long run. Print out the birth plan. Have the birthing ball nearby, pack 3-4 labor outfits in case I want to get in and out of the tub/shower.

[1:30pm] Contractions are still coming about 10-15 minutes apart and mild, so I decide to lay down with Derek for a nice 2 hour break.

[5:00pm] My grandma decided to visit (!) and I don't want to get her hopes up so I basically ignore my contractions for 2 hours and tell her everything is fine and not to worry but baby will be coming next week.

[7:00pm] Hmmm. The contractions are still coming. I think, maybe we should take Derek to my sister's house... just in case. We're weighing the logistics of how we may have to retrieve him in the morning in case this isn't the real deal. Remember, all I have are some mild to stronger contractions... they are increasing in intensity but not to the point that I can affirmatively say - this is it! I thought I was supposed to know the second time around, but alas I am clueless. Called my Doula, she's just leaving NY since her flight was delayed and should be back around 9pm.

[7:30pm] I drive (!) over to my sister's house since we have to leave a car there for her. I am having contractions along the way, there are 2 in a span of 15 minutes. So maybe its getting closer.

[8:30pm] Decide I need snacks for labor, so we drive to Trader Joe's so I can get apple sauce and soup. Yes, priorities people.

[9:30pm] OK. Now things are starting to really get rolling. I start up the app to time things. Call the doula again - things are about 5-7 minutes apart. Switch on the hypnobirthing tape and listen to the nice Marie Mongan tell me how "my baby and my body" know what to do. I listened to this tape for months on end with Derek and then this time around not so much. I find it incredibly cheesy, but something about it makes labor more manageable so I don't knock it.

[11:30pm] I'm doing all kinds of crazy stuff the doula is suggesting (side lying releases? tummy tucks?) She says I'm "pretty calm" so its probably not needed to go to the hospital too early. I take a shower and think, wow, I wish I had the contractions from 9pm or earlier now. We are timing things and its still like 3-5 minutes apart, but only about 30-45 seconds.

[12:15am] Called the midwife. She mentions I could "turn the corner quickly" in active labor so possibly consider coming in the next hour. They are very good about asking - 1) what number baby? 2) Group B positive? Water still hasn't broken, nor has plug appeared. Very weird.

[1:13am] Realizing I am NOT going to make it to the job interview. I emailed the point of contact. Yes at 1 am because I don't want to forget the next day.

[1:41am] Alright, this is getting ridiculous. We gotta go to the hospital since the contractions are like 2-3 minutes apart. It takes so long to load the car since I overpacked and am demanding my yoga ball and mat. It takes forever to get to the car since the contractions are close and reallllly intense.

[1:58am] We finally are in the car. Its torturous and I'm wondering. Why didn't I leave earlier! Its ok though, there is no traffic, but I do have 4 contractions in 12 minutes. Of course, I don't think I'm even half way there and getting pretty annoyed that my "second birth" is taking longer. Since my labor started around the same time, I had a direct comparison chart running through my head and started to get annoyed that baby #2 was taking sooooo much longer. How dare s/he!

[2:12am] We park. I walk to labor and delivery. Wheelchairs are for wusses I think, plus I can still walk though its getting increasingly challenging to do so.

[2:17am] Mike signs in and starts the paperwork. I'm walking around L&D listening to other people yell as I continue to roam the halls. I request a room with tub (its available!)  I am really annoyed that Mike is filling out paperwork and doula is nowhere to be seen and I'm trying to pee without having to melt onto the floor. Wah. I'm really annoyed.

[2:30am] I cannot hold still for ANY of the intake - e.g. the fetal heart monitor, forget it. No time for the heplock. Mike is asking for my social security number and I'm having a ridiculous time. My doula isn't there yet, though I have called her over an hour ago. Then I tell my midwife, um, I kind of feel so pressure to push.

She tells me, well, let's just check and see how far along I am because "you could have your baby right now and this could all be over with." Sounds awesome to me.. I have to put a plug in for how much I love midwife care here - this is the ONLY time I had an internal exam my entire pregnancy... and voila - I was 10 cm dilated and ready to push.

Doula hasn't arrived. Water not broken. Baby about to come out. Whaaaaaaaaaaa. Next it happens quickly.

There are 2 sets of pushes. I think I'm going to pass out. Up until this point, I was very zen and doing the very long yoga breathing that I've been practicing for months, but when the pushing happens. There is a lot of shouting. Not the sweating, squished faces that they make on TV. I'm talking full on yelping.

[2:57am] One more push, baby is almost out, but the bag of water still intact (man, it was stubborn!). Midwife asks if its OK to break it b/c there might be meconium. I agree. Next push and the baby is out! She looks all grayish, has cord around her neck and cries a bit. They are clamping her cord to be cut and I notice poo all over her leg (yuck!).  The very able pediatric team takes her to the side to suction the poo out. Mike will have to give you the details since I'm still utterly confused that its been about 30 minutes since we arrived and baby is outside of me.

And ta-da. Quinn Luu arrives. Apgar scores were 8/8/9 at 1/5/10 minutes. Poo was out and she was a happy little chickeroo happily nursing a few minutes later.

I'm totally confused that I have given birth, but it happened so fast. I was able to walk to the nursery a few minutes later when they have to do her tests.  I feel pretty relieved to NOT be in labor anymore. Disclaimer: Totally a crunchy hippie that believes in natural birth and all that jazz, but man, is it not a fun thing to go through!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Early days

We had no idea what to expect with Baby #2. We couldn't make any decisions about naming him/her. But then she here... and it all came together. So truth be told we only really had 1 girl name, and 1/2 of a boy name formed - that's how indecisive we were with the baby name.  

At the hospital, Quinn immediately latched on and had a pretty easy time nursing right from the beginning. This was a huge relief compared to all those early challenges Derek had first time around with jaundice and weight loss. Even my pediatrician remembers me calling him to "negotiate" at 8pm the day after Derek was born so I could continue breastfeeding without supplementing.  

Our time in the hospital was relatively drama-free, and we even got the nice VIP suite (thanks Mike!) since our impeccable timing showing up on a Sunday night and Quinn arriving a mere 30 minutes later meant we had the pick of room it would seem. We also didn't get sucked into the photography packages, or worryign about attending the newborn classes for new parents. I rested and got to hug up with the cutie pie.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Welcoming Quinn Luu

Our little gal showed up at 39 weeks + 3 days -- just 4 days short of her due date (just like big brother).

Quinn Luu Dinh Favila
Born March 31, 2014 at  2:57am (an early bird, what can I say)
7 lbs, 6 oz.
19.75 inches

Compared to Derek, she's slightly smaller in weight and length. Though she may have weighed the same if she didn't poo herself on the way out.

Inspiration for her name, I have always like the Vietnamese name "Quynh" - which is a type of flower, and Luu is the name of my great aunt, my grandma's younger sister who I've not met. We opted for the American spelling of Quynh, so she wouldn't have to go through life respelling her name often (trust me, I know that's U-Y-E-N-DASH-M-I-N-H, no H as in house). But it works out OK I think.

Coincidentally, Quynh Luu is also the name of a province in Vietnam, which was well-known during the Vietnam War for leading an uprising against the communist regime, even after it had been captured and made part of North Vietnam. The people there are known for their great spirit and freedom fighting ways - so its nice to have Quinn's name have both historical and family significance.

More on the birth story to come soon...

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A Fresh Start

Thanks for joining us from Dek's blog. If you were a fan of Derek, you'll love the newbie, Quinn Luu! I've wanted to start a more broadly themed family blog so we could try to chronicle all adventures (though we know Derek was really all anyone ever cared about - he will have to get used to sharing the spotlight.)

Though we had not planned on him coming to the hospital, he was taking staying at his Bac Cun's house with some difficulty though he knew the baby was on her way.

Here are some photos of the big brother meeting his little sister. More on her arrival and Dek's reception.