Monday, December 31, 2007


Here are a few pictures of Gage...

Mat took this one in the hospital nursery just a little while after Gage was born. He was being measured and weighed, bathed off, and warmed up in the nursery. Gage weighed 6 lbs 11 oz and was 20 1/4 inches long. His head measured 13 3/4 inches around and his chest measured 12 3/4 inches around. This kid loves his hands. They are always on his face or he's trying to shove them in his mouth. And that mouth...just look at those full lips. So sweet.

We took this picture Sunday morning before my parents left to get back to NY. I love this fleecy outfit; Gage looks like a little rugby player. Of course it's huge on him! His legs and feet get lost somewhere inside the outfit. He reminds me so much of Braeden whose body was always lost inside his newborn outfits.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

He's here!

Gage Leman Potter-Gendle was born (finally) on Thursday, December 27 at 6:50 p.m. Photos to come!

Amazingly enough, he was 6 pounds 11 ounces, the same weight as Braeden when he was born! He's 20 and 1/2 inches long and has a head full of dark, dark hair.

We came home from the hospital today around 12:30. Me Ma, P Pa, and Braeden were outside talking with our neighbors Michelle and Shaler so everyone got to meet baby Gage when he first came home. Michelle is pregnant, due in April, with a little girl.

He's settling in well to life at our house. Gage has nursed several times and slept all afternoon on one of us. Me Ma and P Pa bought us an arm's reach co-sleeper at Babies R Us yesterday; Mat set it up this afternoon so Gage will have a place to sleep tonight. The co-sleeper attaches to our bed so Gage will be right next to me at night making it easier to nurse him. Braeden slept in our bed for 6 months and it made us nervous eve though it was super-convenient. With the co-sleeper, he's close to being in bed with us but he's still in his own space, protected from us and our pillows and blankets. We should both sleep easier with this arrangement.

P Pa drives back to Rhinebeck tomorrow and Me Ma will stay through next weekend to help with Braeden.

When I have more time and energy, I'll write up Gage's birth story and post it here. It was a long day but it ended perfectly!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Poor Little Boy Braeden

His blog is really getting the short end of the pregnant stick, isn't it?! It's not that he isn't still the cutest kid in the world. And he still does adorable things all the time. And yet he can also be the naughtiest thing this side of the Mason-Dixon line. It's just hard for me to maintain two blogs, get everything done at work, and get all the sleep I need at night.

So, here's a big catch-up post to give you an idea of what's been going on in Braeden's life. (The worst thing about not posting is that I've mentally posted...when something happens, I think of what I would say about it on the blog, but then I don't actually commit the post to the blog. Bad mommy!)

Braeden got invited to his first birthday party. I didn't realize three was the magic age, but he's since been invited to a second party. Actually, I think the second party was today. Oops! Anyway, the party last weekend was for C.J., a little boy in Braeden's room at school. He's cute, not one of Braeden's bestest friends, but still cute. Mat had to go to traffic detention last Saturday morning in High Point (yes, Mat got a speeding ticket!), so Braeden and I were on our own. The party was scheduled for an hour starting at 12:30 at CiCi's Pizza in Burlington.

I had never been to CiCi's but I know now one of the layers of hell exists right here in Burlington. It's a pizza buffet that serves crappy, dry pizza; salad, if you call iceberg lettuce, shredded cheddar, and some anemic toppings and ranch dressing salad; and dessert pizzas and cinnamon rolls. Fitting the hell moniker, it was HOT, crowded, loud, and overrun with wild, out-of-control children hopped up on caffeine and video games. Braeden ate two tiny slices of pizza and a huge piece of Spiderman birthday cake. And he played in the video game room...they had these racecar games where you sit in a seat and drive the car with a steering wheel. He and Matthew, one of his best friends, had a great time (with no money involved) jumping from game to game driving the racecars. C.J. opened his presents and the whole thing was over around 2:00. I was glad we went, but I was also exhausted afterwards and convinced that I would never willingly go back to CiCi's!

Isabella's party is at the Little Gym, so I think the kids would be doing gymnastics like on the Tumblebus. And again, I think it was today, so now I feel bad for not responding to Isabella's mommy. Isabella LOVES Braeden! He likes her but she really, really loves him. To Braeden, I think she's just one of the girls in his entourage.

Matthew's mom asked me Friday if we would be having a birthday party for Braeden this year. Mat and I really hadn't thought about it. We clearly didn't get the memo that three was the magic age for the party craziness to start! I told her we hadn't thought about it (bad mommy moment #2) and she said she wanted to check because Matthew and Braeden's birthdays are so close together and she didn't want to doublebook. How sweet is that?! Anyway, they're thinking of doing a party on January 19. I assured her that wouldn't be a problem. So there's party number 3. 3 of how many??

Another cute thing I can tell you about is Braeden singing the tumblebus song. He first sang it for us about 8 or 9 months ago, but he clearly didn't know the song very well. He slurred a lot of the words together and got about half of them wrong. But now, now I think he's got it! He's so proud of himself when he sings the song for me. And I love the way he sings it, so I ask him to sing it a lot. I'll shoot video of him singing it sometime soon. I'll even try to post it so everyone else can enjoy it too!

You might remember that we had a lot of issues when we first sent Braeden to day care with state mandates for stuff. Most of the issues had to do with breastfeeding and how much the state mandated had to be in a bottle. Well, the state has stayed pretty much out of our business for the last couple years until now. Turns out there's periodic testing that the state does. If they've done it before, they haven't told us about it. But this week, someone from the state came in and tested each kid and we got a copy of the completed form when they were done. I love tests (I know, I'm weird), so I was very excited to have the results of Braeden's first test.

They asked each kid to recite the alphabet and then circled how many letters he got right in the right order. He got them all! They tested to be sure he could recognize each of them visually and he did! He was able to count to 10 and he correctly identified all the colors they showed him. He pointed to all of the body parts they asked him about except for his ankles, throat, chest, and shoulders. The weird thing here is, he totally knows where his shoulders are and points to them frequently, so I don't know how he missed those. His teacher told us he was the only one in the class to know all his letters, numbers, and colors. He can't cut with scissors but he can follow two-part directions. (Not something we see him do much at home, but it's good to know he can!) So, I feel pretty proud to have such a smart kid!

Anyway, I think this should be enough to tide people over for a while. I'll do my best to type up the posts I write in my head rather than just think about them.

To strip or not to strip, part two

Turns out I shouldn't have wasted my time thinking through the pros and cons of stripping the membranes because I learned at my appointment that there's no way to strip the membranes of a woman who is only dilated one cm.

One cm, you say? But there's no way you're still only dilated one cm. That's where you were last week.

Ahh, yes. And that's where I stayed ALL WEEK LONG. Well, to be fair, Tanya generously spotted me another half centimeter, but still. No progress on that front. She did say that last week when she touched Baby P-G's head, it sprang back up and this week it didn't. Meaning, he's really settled in low in my pelvis. He's not going anywhere.

And that's the key, he's NOT going anywhere. Not when I'm still only dilated one cm.

So, no movement, no stripping, but an otherwise fine appointment. Blood pressure was 120/70 and the baby's heartbeat was 135 beats/minute. Lower than usual, but still in the normal range.

On my way out I made an appointment for next week. The receptionist asked when I wanted to come in on Wednesday and I told her I didn't care because certainly I will have had this baby before Wednesday comes around.

Monday, December 10, 2007

To strip or not to strip

That's the big question this week on everyone's mind. Mine, mostly, but everyone seems to want to know what I'll end up doing. And truthfully, I have no idea.

I've read posts from other women on message boards relating their experiences with membrane stripping. It's no guarantee that you'll actually go into labor. I've read about women going back for a second round with still no success.

Mat was talking to a colleague about it this morning. She had her membranes stripped with her second child and was in labor in less than 12 hours. Don't you love that my husband was talking to a female colleague about this?? He's so clinical and so comfortable with all things scientific and medical, but it still always amazes me how willing he is to go there with anyone.

According to Tanya's nurse, she stripped the membranes for two patients last week and both went into labor within 12 hours.

So much anecdotal evidence, but I guess it all comes down to my gut and what I feel like Thursday when I go in for the appointment. Stay tuned.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Baby P-G Update

I saw Tanya this morning for my 37-week appointment. My blood pressure was great at 120/70 and the baby's heartbeat was perfectly normal at 145 beats/minute.

She checked me and I'm dilated 1 cm (which really means nothing at all, so there's no reason to get excited about that) and about 70% effaced which just means that my cervix is thinning out in preparation for labor. Baby P-G has also dropped down low into my pelvis, another sign of preparation. It also explains the pressure I feel and the really low back and hip pain I've been having for the last few days. Tanya could feel the baby's head. (Sorry if that's gross, Mark...are you still reading this?)

I've been having Braxton-Hicks contractions every day but with no regularity at all. Also perfectly normal and responsible for the hint of dilation I've got and the effacement. Actually having one right now. If you're wondering, they feel like someone put a belt around my belly and is tightening it very slowly then releasing it quickly when the contraction stops.

I go back Thursday for my 38-week appointment. Depending on what Tanya finds during the exam, I could opt to have her strip my membranes which can have the effect of bringing on labor within a few days. It really depends on my status as of the appointment and my own comfort level. I might just be ready to have this baby sooner rather than later, but we'll see what happens over the week and how I feel then.

Sunday, December 2, 2007


Baby P-G has had two lovely showers in the last couple weeks with family and friends. The Gendles threw us a shower on Sunday, November 18 (Mat's birthday) at Pete and Carol's townhome in Davidson. They served us a very nice meal and gave us lots of wonderful presents. Pete and Carol gave us the snap-n-go stroller base we wanted (like the one Emily has that I've been envying for a few months now) and a number of the supplies we need to feed the baby when he comes. Mark and Jenn gave us everything we would need to bathe the baby--hooded towel, washclothes, bath wash, and lotion. Joe gave us the mirror that allows you to see the baby in the rear-facing car seat when you look in your rear-view mirror. Such a great invention! And Chris and Jenn and Brian and Lois gave the baby the play gym mat. I can't wait to put Baby P-G on the mat when he's old enough and watch him stare entranced at the toy bar!

This past Wednesday Lisa and Melisha organized a great shower for Baby P-G at the office. They had made great food and my friend Ethel made a cake that looked like an old-fashioned pram and decorated it with lots of blue icing. They got balloons including one that had a teddy bear balloon inside. Braeden LOVED it! And Baby P-G got some great presents! Very cute clothes, a super-soft blanket, lots of supplies like butt paste, bottles, teethers, washclothes, a hooded towel, and pacifiers. We got these adorable socks too! My first Elon boss, Pat House, had given Braeden a set of Trumpette socks at my shower for him except there were a dozen pairs of striped socks that came packaged in an egg carton. Braeden wore them for more than a year, so I know Baby P-G will get a lot of wear out of his sneaker socks!