Thursday, October 13, 2016

G2 - The Child Frontier

One week ago today, we brought another precious boy into this world.

Liam Craig Gibson
born at 5:29pm on 10-5-16
6lbs 14oz, 20.5in of pure man baby

Now I must take you back. Bear with me. 

At my 36 week appointment, I opted to be checked. Big mistake. Huge. To my doctor's surprise, as evidence by her saying "I'm just really surprised", I was dilated to 4cm, 60% effaced and my child's head was just clicks away from being engaged at a -2 [you either know exactly what all of this means or you're Googling labor terms right now].

I just knew he was coming that week. Then my next appointment arrived. Still 4cm. But I just knew he was coming that week. Then my next appointment arrived............. I could go on typing these identical sentences, but as annoying as that would be to read, it was ten-fold annoying to actually experience. Shout out to the co-workers, friends and family who joined me on that month-long roller-coaster. I owe you a drink.

So arriving at my 39wk2d18hr15min appointment, I had already told myself I was still 4cm and would have him at 42, maybe 46 weeks. Sure enough, I was still walking around with a 4cm gap in my cervix, BUT THIS TIME, I was 100% effaced ! But not in labor. This was bittersweet news for me. I was thankful I made it to full-term, an answered prayer for sure, but at this point it was obvious to everyone that I was just ready to hold this baby.

I hesitate to say 'as luck would have it', because I didn't intend to induce at all, but as luck would have it, my burgeoning belly was measuring "a bit small" this week, so she sent me in for an ultrasound. The baby was great, but my amniotic fluid levels were a bit low for their liking which isn't ideal. When the doc came in with the results, she was only able to get out a "wellllll..." and I practically jumped off the table with "Yes? YES!? I have to have a baby soon??"

20 minutes later, Josh was on his way to grab my hospital bag, my mom was on the road from Dallas, my sister was checking out of work and I was checking into the hospital. So much waiting for this to culminate in just a matter of minutes. I almost didn't get to wrap my head around it until I experienced the Hospital Right of Passage... struggling to get the damn gown on the right way before the nurses walked in and got a full monty.

It was a whirlwind, but the next 5 hours went something like this. The abridged version:

12:30 Pitocin started, Josh resting his eyes in the recliner, vast difference from Thomas's birth that I'm confident he thoroughly enjoyed

2:30 Epidural, scared to death, scariest thing ever, really psyched myself out, but the flu shot hurt worse than that thing

3:00 hatingHATING the catheter, bolus bolus bolus that epidural

3:15 Shouldn't have bolused so much, left leg numb, right leg dancing a jig

3:30 Break ze water, show on the road, could feel the contractions at 75%

4:30 Josh monitoring the contraction sheets and whale sounds, Mom and Alyssa playing Heads Up, breathing through contractions

5:00 Doc checks me, oh. baby is here, ready to have a baby?

5:15 Staff scurrying about, flood lights, it's showtime

5:25 Push, good, breathe, Push, good, okay stop, don't push, want to feel his head? YES! instantly regretted feeling his head, anyone have a tissue?

5:29pm one last push... limbs everywhere, baby cries, daddy cut the cord, kisses, tears, hugs,

I got an hour of skin to skin before they even weighed him. Glorious. Everything was wrapped up just in time to order a dinner tray and a piece of apple cake. Glorious. The sunset was beautiful. Glorious. The journey that is the miracle of life was complete. And it was glorious.

Now we're home and I'm in full maternity leave mode. Diaper changing stations in every room. Sweatpants and nursing tanks on 24-7. Making every effort to snuggle Thomas when I can. Terrible at returning texts and making plans. The whole 9.

This might come as a surprise to some of you, but Liam does a lot of eating, sleeping and filling of diapers right now. He's been known to crack a few smiles too.

Still trying to figure out who he looks like... maybe another hybrid with a Gibson edge this time. But either way, our Thomas is smitten. He calls him "Lilam" and it melts my heart.

Josh has taken care of so much home/cleaning/toddler/cooking, I feel like I've spent a solid week just staring at a baby and smiling at everyone.

Life is grand as seen through the eyes of a hormonal milk-cow, isn't it? Check back in a few weeks ;)

Until then,
with all my love, welcome to the family, sweetheart

Saturday, September 13, 2014

3rd Time's a Charm...

Telling the birth story of each new little member of our ever-growing family has become something of a tradition now... and yesterday Brooke added one to the litter, so here goes nothin :)
Elliot Grace Desrochers
6 lbs 13 oz and 20.25 inches of straight up pretty n' pink

I don't want to be a person who believes the circumstances of one's birth completely foreshadows their character, but alas, I am... 

Based on the events of September 12, 2014, this child, the last born of the Desrochers family (yes, last born - stated repeatedly with certainty and conviction):
  • Is not to be rushed - will do things on her own time
  • Will grow to love me one day - but as it stands now, Auntie Ash is somewhat of an acquired taste

    Let's start from the beginning. 

    Induction was set. Per Anderson family rules, she was there on time and ready to go (I could go on for days about the annoyance of lateness, because seriously people - stop being late - but aint nobody got time for that). Paperwork completed, induction started... or so we thought.
    Water broke. Let's get this show on the road - surely having a baby by lunch. Except Elliot promptly placed her hand above her head [insert ET joke/reference here], blocking her exit and consequently freaked out the resident who also had her hand up there.

    She just wasn't ready. Don't rush her.
    Oh lookie there! that pesky Pitocin that gets this whole party started, was never actually started. I'm going to make a wild guess that the same nurse who forgot to start the induction was the same nurse who couldn't get my IV in when I gave birth. I fired her in March. I fire her again.
    Even once things officially got rolling... not much actually got rolling.

    Elliot wasn't ready. Don't rush her.
    I just happened to be working at the same hospital that day, so I was glued to my phone waiting for the "get down here!" text. I was primed and ready to drop anything and everything to see the miracle of birth again. Had my heart set on it the whole 9 months!! And after having my own little beebee 6 months ago, the desire to see someone else do it was ten-fold. Hours. and. hours slowly ticked by.

    But Elliot wasn't ready. Don't rush her.
    I must have texted every 15-30 minutes for an update. The responses were short.
    "nothing yet"
    "no change"
    "still at 5"
    "leave us alone" [I never actually got this one, but I felt it]

    I finished my work, so I headed to the room hoping we would have this baby. Elliot still wasn't ready. Don't rush her. But I was definitely rushing her. I wear most of my emotions on my sleeve and this was no different. We were quickly approaching the time that I would need to leave to pick up my own little one from daycare and I was getting anxious!! Although I was confident I could get Thomas and still get back for the birth since Brooke was a "6, maybe 7" after 9 hours of labor... Elliot wasn't ready and we weren't rushing her... I still didn't want to leave.

    But I did, because above all else, I am a parent and it's considered poor form to leave your child at the daycare over the weekend.

    I receive a text from mom.
    "just hit 9cm and meds aren't working, almost fully effaced"
    Um. Excuse me? You have to be kidding. I'm hardly out of the damn parking lot!

    "she feels pressure, but is good. They have prepped the room and we are just waiting."
    Are we talking about the same not-going-anywhere-labor-with-a-baby-that-just-isn't-ready-DON'T-RUSH-HER??
    "head's coming now"
    I'm just in shock I'm getting these texts. Apparently 1.5 pushes later
    "she is here! and just fussing!"
    I would like to be ecstatic at this point, but I will tell you, MISS ELLIOT, don't think I didn't notice that you decided to arrive the minute I left.
    That's okay. I forgive you. I really do. We'll work on this relationship all our lives... because you're beautiful and amazing and healthy and precious and all of those things that fresh, innocent little babies are...
    ...and you're 6 months to the day younger than my sweet boy! No pressure, but you guys have to be really good friends because that would make playdates easy. I think we're off to a good start...

    Welcome to our crazy awesome family, baby girl xoxox

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Because Who Is Ashley Anymore?

At 4:43am this morning, Tommy boy turned two weeks old :)

I thought about 136 different topics for this blog entry as one of my main goals of motherhood is to NOT LOSE MYSELF in the crazy world of motherhood... Because after all, I was Ashley before I was "Mom". But then I realized my son was born two weeks ago !!! So I guess I need to work a little harder at attaining my goal.

Now I'm sure you were in some stage III slumber dreaming about your weekend plans at 4:43am. That's nice. I was staring at the monitor, zooming in on his chest just to make sure he didn't forget to breathe. He was busy making gas smiles and metabolizing the liquid gold breastmilk I so generously made for him. And Josh was subtly reminding me with his rhythmic breathing that I was still laying there staring at a monitor when I, too, should be sleeping.

This child of ours is chill. So chill. He does NOT 'get it from his mama'. He sleeps 3.5-4 hours at a time and when he is awake, he just lays there looking at something, kickin his chicken legs and wavin his arms in a very martial-arts-like manner. Since I know he can't see more than a foot in front of his face, I often wonder what he's looking at, but I guess the important part is that he's looking at something. Or more importantly, that he's doing it quietly. He's started this hilarious growl/grunt thing when he's trying to get the 'ol GI system in gear, but otherwise, the boy doesn't cry. For this, I am thankful (and knocking on every piece of wood I can find).

Since he was a month early, he is no longer my little Aries baby, so I did a little research. Tommy Boy is now a Pisces. Characterized by the proverbial fish, my son is an omega-3-rich lean protein :) Very fitting, as he was born on National Registered Dietitian Day. ((Yes, there is such a thing, you smart asses))

"Pisces natives are in touch with their emotions, though not to the point of mawkishness. Apt to be idealists. Physically and emotionally strong. The Pisces Man has great warmth and charm. He is not afraid to show vulnerabilities -- in fact, he displays them with pride. He connects with others on an emotionally satisfying level. Relationships make up the primary focus of this man's life. The Pisces Child is a dreamer. At times he may seem caught up in his illusions and unable to tell reality from fantasy. These little ones should be allowed to explore the limitless boundaries of imagination without fear of ridicule. Playing games of imagination allows Pisces children to safely explore their creativity."

That last part is kind of scary. I mean, what exactly is the "limitless boundary of imagination"? I feel like everything has a boundary. For example. One boundary might be thinking he can fly - off the roof. Or acting like an animal at church. I'll have to draw the big 'ol bold boundary line right there.

Anyhooooo - next time I'll find something else to blog about. For seriously.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Very Big and Very Small Things Have Happened Since 2012

It dawned on me somewhere between waiting for him to wake up and the next time I was waiting for him to wake up, that I should probably get a hobby. So I decided to start blogging again. Since my last post in 2012, I graduated from grad school, finished a 9 month internship, earned the official MS/RD/LD signature credench, got married to the funniest person I know and most recently...

brought forth the first fruit of my loin. Simultaneously the biggest and smallest thing I've ever done.

I drafted birthday stories for both my nephew and my niece, so I'd be remiss if I didn't chronicle the birthday story of my son. Let's start from the beginning. Cliffs Notes version.

In November 2011, this man named Joshua Gibson said he loved me. In May 2013, I married him. Somewhere in between Josh renovated a kitchen, I bought some awesome drapes and decided soft peach and charcoal gray would be our wedding colors. Since I'm such a patient person, we waited an entire 2 months to make a kid. Josh decided early on he didn't want to know the sex of our child, so I was forced to get on board with that because I'm the world's worst secret keeper and I've accepted that about myself. I only hated that part of pregnancy like 242.75 times. I mean, it doesn't really make you feel like the world's greatest mother to call your unborn child an "it" and nickname it Herm. I also think it's necessary to document a funny story here. We took a childbirth class in late January. The instructor asked us to introduce ourselves and tell everyone something interesting. Every man in the room used the example given and told us what kind of dog they had (how that is an "interesting fact" is beyond me). When it was my husband's turn, he said "I'm Joshua and this is Ashley. An interesting thing about me is that I chopped up our Christmas tree with a machete last night." No one talked to us the rest of the class, but I thought it was awesome.

So now we're up to speed.

The anticipation of the birth of this child started much earlier, but it really ramped up when I had what I thought was my 36 week appointment on March 5th and I learned I was already dilating. All of the sudden, things got REAL. Josh returned from his last childless deployment that weekend and I started making lists of dinners I needed to freeze, clothes I needed to wash in fragrance-free detergent and art I needed to hang in the very nursery that the wee one probably wouldn't use for many more months - but it was a VERY important bullet point to the estrogen coursing through my veins. Just ask Josh.

The entire pregnancy, my 311 crazed husband was hoping our child would be born on March 11th. When he got home from work that day, he prompted me one more time... "sooo I guess we're not having a baby today, huh?" I shook my head and apologized for what a failure of a wife I am. Actually, I just laughed at him, said no, and went about my day. It was a beautiful, clear, relatively mild March night. I did my pregnancy workout DVD with full on labor squats, 4 sets of Kegels and a curious Jane-Fonda-circa-1985 arm circle routine whereby the instructor tells you "if it gets too hard, just imagine holding your baby for the first time." I'd never done this birthing thing before, but if a couple minutes of arm circles gets "too hard", just go ahead and knock me out when it's time to give birth to an actual baby. In hindsight, it was during the labor squats that I got the sneaky suspicion the wee one had dropped. The actual thought was "I feel like I'm squishing its face. I should probably stop doing this." So I went to bed.

Little did I know, this would be the last selfie of our baby in my tummy tum tum that night. Single tear.

Now, at this point in pregnancy, I was blessed with a bathroom break every 2 hours during the night, so at 12:45am, I got up for the first of those bathroom breaks. I used the same safe pregnancy technique of getting out of bed that I'd been using since I made the conscious decision to avoid back pain - I rolled - but this time, I noticed a slight burning in my back. I didn't think anything of it until I laid back down and it didn't really stop. So I went to the living room to watch TV until I could fall asleep again. But the burning didn't stop. Then it dawned on my to take note if this burning sensation was correlated with the Braxton Hicks I had been feeling for months. Sure 'nuff. An hour later, I had downloaded a contraction timer app (as if the stopwatch feature on my phone wasn't good enough) and decided I was in labor. Naturally, I decided now would be a good time to go shave my legs.

And like a blink of an eye, it was 2:30am and we were on the road to the hospital, Josh having already grounded our unborn child 3 times for being a smartass and coming on 3-12. He also wanted to stop for coffee and donuts -- and for those of you who know me well, the thought of going 12+ hours with just ice chips is scarrrryyyyy -- so of course, we stopped. It was while he was paying for the goods that I timed the contractions again: just 3 minutes apart. Logically, I knew those were close, but I still thought I'd have 12+ hours of labor like the other ladies in my fam. We were even passed up by 2 crazy speeding cops with flashing lights and we debated following them for a hot second, but decided we had better things to do.

2:45am: got to hospital. Checked for progress in observation room. Dilated to 6. Water broke. Nurse asked if we wanted to have a baby tonight. Holy of holies, this was going fast. Let's do it :) Breathing through contractions. Trying not to laugh at Josh's jokes. Josh perfectly stroking my arms to help me stay relaxed. Getting lost in the steady pounding of the baby's heartbeat.

3:30am: Rolled into delivery room. Hit a bump and grimaced. Things starting to intensify like woah. Starting to question my decision to do this sans drugs. Pushing through.

4:00am: Nurses stuck me for IV multiple times. Can't find vein. You're fired. Call a better nurse. Please let me walk around. No. Let's try all 4's. Dear God, get me out of this position.

4:30am: Josshhhh... ouchhh. I want the epidural. Get me the epidural. Dilated 8-9. Epidural aint comin', honey. Nurses rushing around. Flood lights on. Want to push? Not really, what's my alternative? Bear down, grab your knees, push!! Good. Good. Good pusher. Don't forget to breathe. Make up your mind! Hold my breath to push or breathe?? Loud voices. Mostly mine. Not really enjoying this. Ooooow! Dear God. Oh God. Really squirming. Ashley, look at me......... your baby is coming. Yes, baby. I want this baby.

4:43am: One more push and we're having a baby..... Ahhhhhhhhh! IT'S A BOY. It's a boy?! Yes, it's a boy! Josh, it's a boy!!! I KNOW! Why isn't he crying, where's his cry. Suction nose. Waaahhh :) :) Give me that baby. Put that baby right here. Fell in love with that baby.

And that, my friends, was Mr. Joshua Thomas Gibson's debut. A month early. Fast and furious. Just as it was meant to be. And my name is now on the epidural pre-order list for any subsequent children.

It's been just 7 days since this little snuggle monkey blessed our world and it's like we've known him all our lives. He's peed on my hair and christened Josh with an explosive poo AND a fountain pee in very quick succession. I've pulled on his earlobe thinking it was a hat and scared him with my laughter at least 3 times. A lot of napping, waking up, where are the diapers, you are my sunshine, did you swaddle him, what's he doing. Every minute is heaven. I can't wait for him to laugh at Josh. Until then, I'll take all the gas smiles in the world.

Can't wait for the rest of your life, Tommy boy/Thomas/Tbone/T Pain/Thomashead/Tom Tom

Friday, April 27, 2012


I am dramatic by nature, but I'm serious about this... All the stress in the last year and a half of my life comes down to this week. In five days I defend my thesis. The only thing comforting me at this point is knowing that a year and a half ago, everything I knew about writing a thesis came from the movie With Honors in 1994. I'd say that's starting from scratch and I feel good about my progress. Hopefully I'll be updating next week with emotions similar to this

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Virginia is Only 1,376 Miles Away

It's April 12th and The Big Change is behind us. Brooke and those babies have officially flocked to their new home in Norfolk.

It was a dreadful week leading up to moving day. I did everything but creep around corners and stare at Vin and Avery for hours on end. Not in a super scary way, just a kind of scary way. Hell, I wanted to soak up every last second with them! My sisterwife, Lt. Duracell Bunny, was constantly fluttering about the house getting things packed and we had a slew of grandparents in and out that admittedly got to spend way less time with them than I did... so I surrendered. My rational subconscious knew I couldn't hold them for the last week they were in town, so I just kept repeating to myself over and over "they're leaving either way, Ashley. Just rip off the bandaid now. Go forth and conquer." Then I'd sit in my car crying for 20 minutes listening to slow jams.

But seriously. Do you know what it's like to live with a sister for a year and half help raise her children, watch her baby boy grow into a toddler and witness the birth of her baby girl?? This experience was nothing short of unique and I am seriously blessed to have lived it. Not only because I am that much closer with my sister, but also because now I know multiple tricks to make infants sleep (and when they try to fight it, it's okay, because I'M THE BOSS... right, Brooke??), and now I know the most efficient way of handling a massive turd in big boy undies without getting poop on everyone and everything. I also know I have the strength to pick up a sleeping baby, walk her over to the couch, feed her in the dark, and put her back in the crib without ever waking her. Magic. Where else do you have the chance to learn these things? I won't be the world's greatest mother, but those infamous first-time-parent fears will definitely be mitigated by this experience. So. Lucky.

And best of all, I KNOW these children... like really know them.

My Little Nut
The child can throw a frisbee like there's no tomorrow. It's like a "fire in the hole" moment... you better be aware of your surroundings, because there's no telling where it's going, but it's getting there FAST...

He reads every chance he gets and his vocabulary is reaping the benefits. One morning he walked up to Avery in her bumbo seat by the window and I suggested he tell her what was outside... he proceeded to point at each thing as he said, "see, dat Avery, neighbors der and der on bos sides, dats da swing, ders the wind bwowing in the trees." I d.i.e.d.

He's a park dweller by nature, a softy at heart and thinks it's funny to correct me on the type of grains on the back of the cereal box. Or say "Annie Ash is weird" (another aunt that shall remain nameless started that, by the way. Such a hussy).

I can't believe he went from this...

to this, in such a short time...

Ugh. He'll always be my first love (copyright Aunt June, 1954)

My Little Muffin
I'll miss this baby girl just as much, but in a different kind of way. The kind of way that says "damnit that she's leaving right when she gets awesome."

I mean, she's had the squarest face and the poutiest lips from day one, but they just keep getting more scrumptious.

I already miss our half hour of alone time between 7-7:30 like WOAH. We used that time to coo at each other and solve the world's problems... we discovered the answer to happiness was nudity. Just take off that onesie and the BYOMilk Happy Hour was upon us. Good times.

I only had the chance to teach her the necessities - how to straighten her hair

And how to have a really big mouth like a true lippy Anderson female

And I know she'll use that mouth wisely. Girl has things to say. We went from an internalized laugh, to a motorboat scream/cry, to a throat clearing snort, to a straight up grunt of hilarity in just 10 short months. Sweetest streusel muffin love I know. I heart her.

I'd be remiss if I didn't say it's been really stinking nice to sleep in and lay out all day. But when I do things like Skype with them, like I just did... the flood gates open and I'm a mess all over again. Avery just sat on the table with a big toothless grin, pulling out her happy dance a few times... Vincent just wanted to tell me about the new park and sing Wheels on the Bus. My cup runneth over.

Sooo yeah. I'm starting a "Send Ashley To Virginia Fund". Send me a message if you want to donate.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Time Flies When You're in Gradschool - Actually, No it Doesn't

The internet is such a funny thing. You essentially own something for free that you can walk away from for 9 months and when you decide to come back, it's in perfect shape, just as you left it. Brilliance. However, this does not change that I have this huge guilt complex atop my head (anointy nointy) about leaving it for so long. ESPECIALLY since I just re-read the last 3 entries and clearly remember making The Vow of Blogging Equality to my little moofin.(Moofin is Avery. It's a spin on muffin. Muffin just kind of happened because she's quite frankly the sweetest smelling babe south of the Mississippi. Plus, I'm a dietitian and Vincent's a nut. Moofin just fit).

Point being: I'm sorry, Avery, but we all know what babies do for the first 6 months. Not a whole lot. But now you're 10 months with a distinct personality, a sassy little grunt and a precious internalized-95%-of-the-time laugh. And Vincent is reading novels. And you're both leaving me :( So it's time for an epic entry.

I'm currently collecting kleenex in preparation for the official goodbye blog. It's coming soon.