introducing djuna sulise + birth story

Stella meets Djuna
Djuna, 7 days old
Meet Djuna Sulise! We named her Djuna (pronounced JOON-uh) after writer Djuna Barnes. It's a name I've loved ever since reading Nightwood in college, and Jordan and I agreed after we had Stella that if we ever had another girl we would call her Djuna. We wanted to capture the love and admiration we have for both our mothers; Sulise is an homage to them, Suellen and Malise.

Djuna made a speedy entrance into the world early last Thursday morning. After days of pre-labor contractions that left us wondering "is this it?," I never imagined I'd have such a different birth experience from the one I had with Stella. With Djuna, there was no doubt when I actually went into labor. Going to bed Wednesday night she was very active and I kept feeling her head moving and turning against my cervix. At 1 a.m. her movement broke my bag of waters and I woke Jordan up and called my Mom who was at our door in 20 minutes. Because I tested positive for Group B strep this pregnancy, my OB requested that we head to the hospital sooner rather than later if my waters broke so that I could be given a dose or two of antibiotics. I had my first serious contraction, one that stopped me in my tracks, right before leaving our house.

We arrived at the hospital and were admitted into the labor and delivery department. At this point I was excited and chatty with the nurse and with Jordan. After weeks of waiting, I was ready to be past the labor and meet our girl. I felt so happy and not at all scared or apprehensive. At around 2:15 a.m. they checked me and I was 3-4 cm dilated. They moved me into a room and we met and talked with our attending nurse. I was still smiling and laughing, easily breathing through the contractions with Jordan rubbing my back and offering encouragement, and eating fruit popsicles.

The nurse drew some blood to run tests and ended up poking through the other side of my vein, which, I learned as the blood started to pool in my arm and Jordan almost fainted, is called a blown vein. I started shaking after that from the rush of adrenaline and was light-headed from having my blood drawn badly. Another nurse came in to insert the IV drip into my other arm.

By 3:40 a.m. I felt the urge to pee and afterwards found I couldn't sit comfortably on my birthing ball anymore. Our nurse had left the room and as I leaned over the bed I told Jordan to go get her because I could feel Djuna moving down the birth passage. At 3:50 a.m. the doctor checked me and was astonished that I was already 9 cm dilated. The attending nurse was surprised as well because I was managing the contractions without much discomfort. At that point, however, I started moaning, open-mouthed (thank you Ina May!), through the contractions because I could feel the urge to push coming on and I was told to wait so they could quickly prep the room for the delivery.

The nurse hurried to get the antibiotics in the IV for the Group B Strep prevention (much too late), and at around this point I looked at Jordan and told him I didn't want to do it anymore. I quickly stopped myself from saying it again, and started repeating "I can do this." 

I started pushing at 4 a.m., and after 3 intense pushes, Djuna was born. I felt ecstatic. And relieved. As they put her on my chest I said with great joy "I did it, Sweets! I did good..." 
He agreed.


today could be the day

Tomorrow marks the start of week 41 of my pregnancy. Yes, as of this morning I am still pregnant. For the past two weeks I've woken up earlier than usual, usually with the realization "oh, shit... my labor hasn't happened already?" And then I give myself a little pep talk and think "today could be the day! Tomorrow I will wake up and get to hold our new girl..." And then I wake up still pregnant and facing down the hardest thing I've ever had to do, the thing I promised myself I would never do again just minutes after birthing Stella.

So here I am. Another day dawning, and I'm thinking "today could be the day."


a few friday links

Our plum tree is producing more fruit than we can manage to eat, so this week I made this super tasty plum tart. I used half whole wheat flour for the crust and very little of the topping. We devoured it with a scoop of Jeni's Goat Cheese with Red Cherries Ice Cream. Absolutely delicious!!

We are recommending this book left and right (so good!), and I'm currently in the reading this book, both of which made it onto NPR's Best of Summer: 6 Books that the Critics Adore.

Hurray for new episodes of Endeavour.

I can't wait for my feet to go back to size so I can finally (I got them in MAY) fit into my *new* clogs.

The Rapper is Present: Marina Abramović + Jay-Z.


still pregnant + first tomatoes

At just one week away from my due date, I'm a cringing at the prospect of being pregnant another week, or (please no!) two. I am so top-heavy and unused to the way my body has to move in this state that I tripped last night and skinned my knee and palm of my hand. I'm fine, if a little banged up. And I know that even though I can't see my feet I do need to watch where I am going.

In other news, my tomatoes finally started turning red! I harvested my first batch this weekend. They are delicious, especially when eaten soon after being picked and still warm from the sun. I hope you had a lovely weekend!