It is hard to celebrate Tatum’s birthday without recalling her grand entrance into this world. I questioned posting my email to friends and family about her birth on here because now it is out there for all to see! But I am going to do so. It holds so many memories and while it may be a bit graphic at some parts, aren’t all childbirth experiences? There are mistakes that I didn’t correct, what can I say, I wrote this from the hospital with a brand new baby.
sweet baby girl
Tatum Paloma Ristow arrived at 2:50 am April 14th and I will try to give you the scoop in a nutshell.
I had a gynie appointment on Monday and found out I was dilated 4 cm. That was exciting, I thought, “wow, if only the next 6 cm could be this easy!” I had no real signs of labor, but after that appointment I had a few contractions that afternoon. Nothing serious, and then they went away. Nothing Tuesday until bedtime and then I was having a few sporadic contractions. I couldn’t fall asleep that night and Brian asked if I was okay. I said, “I am having some contractions, but that is not the problem. I can’t sleep because I feel like she is dancing inside.” Well, finally I fell asleep to be woken up by contractions at 1:20 in the morning. I decided to grab my phone to start timing them as it was her due date and I knew that soon she had to be coming. Maybe this time would be it. My first contraction I timed, the was at 1:26, then 1:33, then 1:34. “What?” I thought, “That was only 1 minute?” They weren’t strong though, so I wasn’t that concerned. I got up, got a bowl of muesli and figured I would just keep an eye on them and get up for a little while. I ate my cereal, emailed back a friend and my sister, and then went on facebook. At 1:51 I wrote, “I’m in labor!” Still, very mild, just like cramps, but they were pretty regular. So, at 2 I woke up Brian and I told him I think he should get up. I said, the contractions weren’t that strong, but they were close together. My midwife said I should go to the hospital when they were 10 min. apart because 2nd births are quicker. So Brian got up and he said, “Do I have time to take a shower?” I told him that was fine. I was getting things together and calling my friend, Liza who was going to be coming over and staying the night. Brian went to get Liza and I called my mom to tell her we were heading to the hospital. At this point I was pretty nervous. They were getting stronger and I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to do this drug free. I knew it would be fast, but even 2 or 3 hours would be fast, and I didn’t think I could handle the pain for that long. I quickly explained things to Liza while Brian emailed his sub plans and at 2:34 we were on our way to the hospital. I said, “I am weak! As soon as we get there I am going to ask for an epidural. I don’t want to do this. I am so afraid. I am so afraid they are going to tell me it is too late for an epidural and they I will have to feel this pain for a long time and I can’t do it.” So as you can see things went from period cramps to pretty painful in a matter of minutes. Our parking ticket showed that we arrived at 2:47 and we pulled into a spot in the garage. We rushed out of the car and I climbed 4 steps to the main level when I got a super strong contraction. I had to stop and hold onto the wall. I said, “I feel like I need to push, but I can’t I can’t push!” (sorry if things get graphic, but I am just going to tell you the whole story, okay?) I knew I couldn’t push, because we were in a stairwell first of all, and second of all, I was afraid that if I pushed, that I would be pushing a poo out and I didn’t want to poop in my paints. Brian said, “do you want me to get a wheelchair, I see one right inside” “Yes!” As the urge subsided briefly I began making my way to the entrance, but i only made it about 20 feet. I felt the urge to push again. At this point, I am freaking out and Brian is doing great, but he is running around like a mad man too. He is telling me “sit, sit, sit”. “I can’t sit!” I put my hands down my pants and felt the bag of water. I told Brian, “get that nurse inside, the baby is coming!” He ran inside and got this nurse who was on break flirting with the security guard he said. When he ran back out I was on my knees holding onto the wheelchair. Brian pulled down my pants and the nurse said, “no no, she needs to sit!” And Brian said, “no this baby is coming! I see the head!” And then he caught Tatum, I heard her little cry and Brian kept saying “she’s beautiful she’s beautiful”. Meanwhile the nurse was yelling at this man delivering newspapers to get help. Apparently, he was too busy and couldn’t help, so Brian handed the baby off and ran inside again to call for more help. Some nurses from the labor and delivery came down and one took off her jacket to wrap the baby and then I guess they cut the cord. They asked what her name was and Brian said, “Tatum”. That was when I knew for sure what her name was going to be. It was my first choice name, but Brian’s was always Paloma. I then said, “what do I do?” I mean I had bloody disgusting pants around my legs and didn’t want to pull them back up. I am not sure what happened, but they put a papery blanket over me an wheeled me upstairs. At 3 o’clock Brian took a picture of the clock and we are up in a room and Tatum is laying on me and we are all safe. Who would have thought? What a crazy 30 minutes that’s for sure. After getting stitched up, yes unfortunately, I still tore, I said, maybe we should give her a name that will help her remember her grand entrance into this world. Brian said, “Parker” for being born in a parking lot. So, I told him he could decide the middle name, and finally, today before leaving the hospital he decided on Paloma. He really liked Parker, but was afraid if he used it, he might never get to use Paloma. So, Paloma it is. She weighed just under 7 lbs. 12 ounces and was 20 1/2 inches long. She is just perfect, and we have fallen in love with her. I was really counting on her being quite different from Piper, because I hear that it is common to have your first and second be so opposite. I am not sure there is room for 2 Piper’s in this world, but she looks a lot like Piper as a baby, but her head is not as round. She is also quite feisty like Piper was. If she is not sleeping, which she is a good sleeper already, but when she is not sleeping she is usually crying. We will see, maybe it is just the shock of this new world.
The Ristow Bunch
Tatum taking a picture at the spot where she was born (so close, yet so far)
And now we have a two year old. How time flies. She is kind of a crazy little kiddo and she makes us laugh all the time. She does goofy faces and talks in silly voices just to be funny. She runs away and giggles when I’m trying to change her diaper. She throws herself down onto the bed, floor whatever is close when she sees me approaching her with a hairbrush. She’s started talking a TON in the last month or so and she copies everything she hears. Last year Piper couldn’t wait until she could understand Tatum and now she can! Tatum is Piper’s biggest fan. If I leave to go anywhere, even just the store, and Piper is with me she will start crying and calling for Piper. If I take Tatum somewhere without Piper, she starts crying. She wants to be doing everything her big sister is doing. Tatum loves dancing, swimming playing at the park, and attempting to stand on her head, oh and airplanes too.
We had a party for the girls last month, but we had to do a little celebrating on her actual birthday. It actually started the night before when she spent her first night in a big girl bed! The girls’ room is so tiny and I was anxious to get Tatum out of the crib and get a trundle so there would be one less piece of furniture in the room. We got a beautiful trundle from some friends and prepared the girls for their first “sleepover”. Tatum has never slept in the bed with us, and has gone to bed every night and every nap in her crib or possibly pack n play, but never a regular bed that didn’t have her trapped inside. It went amazingly well. Piper rubbed her back and sang to her a made up song about staying in her bed and not getting up and going to sleep (such a good big sister). And off to sleep they went!
Then on Saturday, we woke up, picked up some breakfast burritos and headed to a parking lot that backs up to the airport to watch the airplanes take off and land. It has become a Wednesday morning ritual for the me and the girls and Tatum loves it. So, we thought we would take Daddy along, and Grandma too. Tatum loved watching the airplanes and the noise but not as much as she loved her cupcake. She has a serious sweet tooth. She even has tried to pick gum off of the curb!
After that we came home for a nap and when she woke up her Nana and Papa were here. We decorated our new fort with little flags and birthday signs and a candle in a special #2 vase and enjoyed another cupcake! Some days call for two cupcakes, what can I say?
Tatum and Nana "upstairs"
And then it was time for bed. But this time it didn’t go as smoothly. Perhaps it had something to do with having two cupcakes, who knows? Tatum figured out how to open the door and as she walked out with her sleepsack on looking like Maggie Simpson as her feet seemed to slide across the floor she didn’t want nothin’ to do with going to bed. But she finally fell asleep and when we went to check on her we found her on the ground, face covered and her foot propped up on the wall.
And that’s how we celebrated the terribly terrific Tatum Paloma. Okay, one more picture of her in her new itsy bitsy teenie weenie yellow polka dot bikini that she wants to wear all the time now. I apologize for the poor quality pictures lately, I seem to have misplaced my camera charger, so I’ve been snapping away with the phone.
She always loves to put her glasses on upside-down