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Beanie: Abstracted

2 Days old.
Loving all the juicy bits of this little lady.


Big Brother. (哥哥)

1 Day Old.
Meet big brother.

Zozie can't keep his paws off of her.
It's a double edge sword sometimes.
The fine balance in wanting them to get along and keeping the baby safe from her own sibling!  Alotta lovin' and kissin' going on, true love at first sight.
Guess there are worst things in life than this...

Creeping up on her.
Guchie, Guchie, Guch!
Whoa...Watch the head!
Got her...
Here's your birthday present!

No, she's ALL MINE!

Knuckle Sandwich??

Good Job Mama..thank you for my baby sister...


"Girl" @ 0536

Today, our girl arrived @ 0536.
A ripe gestation of 40weeks, to the day.
Chances of being born on your DUE DATE?
< 5%.  Unlike the other 95, we apparently hit the jackpot.

Physically & mentally, it's been a long journey.
One full of twists and turns that tore down my solid wall of presumptions and comparisons.  A fine lesson in NOT expecting anything while expecting.

Zozie's birth story has been told many times throughout the years to myself and to others.  No cravings, no morning sickness, no real fatigue.  Pregnant?  Most people couldn't tell from behind.  My little basketball in the gut went with me everywhere.  Eventually, I gave a perfect Hypnobabies birth with a midwife, un-medicated.  
Caught him myself, standing.  
My natural birth story was a badge of honor which I wore proudly.

Having no other experience, I found myself unknowingly expecting this pregnancy and birth to be nearly exactly the same as my last.

THAT...was my mistake.

She made me wait...
With each passing day over 38wks, I was disappointed.
Again, and again, and again.
(This is when Zozie came, right?)
"Today is the day!" I kept telling myself.
Nope.  Nothing.  Nada.
I eventually realized much of the let downs were self imposed.
My comparative mind consumed me.
Eventually, time just broke me.

2 days before birth, I finally gave up, and gave in.
I gave in to the reality that this was a separate life.
One with it's own time.  One with it's own path.  One with it's own mind.
Even if I created it, it did not belong to me.

Then the "waves" came...
My body waited for my surrender and sent in the troops to deliver the final blow.  My water did not break, but my labor kicked in, full force.  I lulled at 4cm for days, trying to cope with the relentless waves that came every 5- 7mins for over 30hrs.  Once admitted, I walked the hospital halls breathing, focusing, and trying to find strength to continue the journey.  I finally realized that I was plain out of gas.

Maybe I'm older now, maybe I have an older child... for whatever reason, I was just really tired.  Unwilling but surrendering, I asked Dalee if he would be terribly disappointed if I accept the epidural this time.  He looked back at me with sincere kindness and shook his head.  Deep inside, I knew I was actually asking myself that question, and more so, desperately trying to answer it with as much kindness to myself.

I was not the type to give up...no, not me.
I can take the pain, I can do this...again!  Go natural or go home!  I searched for my self-Hypnosis, nothing.  I looked for my inner calm, blank.  I found none of the strength I possessed with Zozie's birth.  Who am I?  Where did I go?
Another wave.  Just waves.
Seriously questioning my own self definition, I finally let go.
She is NOT Zozie.  

"We'll give you the shot in 20mins, dear..."  said the nurse.
All I heard was "7 more contractions".
That was a sign.

With IV's & tubes hooked up everywhere, my hopes for another "natural childbirth" faded as I drift off to a 3 hour nap.  The pain melted away as the numbness progressed from my waist down.  On the monitor, my waves were now overlapping and crashing into one another.  I registered none of it.
Then...my unexpected miracle happened.

Her water broke @0135.
On it's own.
This triggered active labor, on it's own.
I progressed from 5 to 9cm in less than 3 hours, while napping.  (Whaaa?)
The numbness started to fade and a strong pressure pushed down below.
The ongoing waves returned, but I'm now ready.  Following my body, I just went with the waves.

Relax...don't resist.
Folding and bending into the pressure, I saw dark circles eclipsing each other in my mind before my eyes flashed open.  It was as though the universe was expanding down below me.
I knew she is here.

Repeatedly, I told the nurse of the baby's arrival, but perhaps since I was now too calm, my warnings were ignored.  Finally, she looked down and with a loud gasp, rushed out of the room yelling for the midwife.
"I need you in here STAT!!!"
Apparently, the baby's head was already half way out, up to her eyes.  With one obligatory push, she came slipping out like a bar of soap, less than 10 seconds flat.  They barely got their gloves on to catch her, and I could barely contain myself from laughing at it all...

She actually birthed herself.  
My most natural childbirth to date.
Expect nothing, and you will get everything.

@0546, 10 mins later.

Hello Beanie.
We are proud to introduce our newest addition to our LAB.


Fabulous at 40!

40 Weeks, that is.
Come out baby, come out!
(Don't think that green shirt can stretch much more.)



A side of Saturn in our kitchen?
Mad Scientists Dalee & Zozie experimented with colors and eggs this afternoon.  Single colors were combined into a primordial soup of chroma.  You can get some pretty funky results with this fun activity!

Back to "Old School" egg coloring for Easter.
No plastic shells, no candy.  Just a coloring kit and a dozen eggs.  It's such a versatile medium, the egg never stops to amaze me...or Zozie.  We've done several fun OVO Presentations, and are always ready to discover more.  Dalee not only created the beautiful eggs, he also created the beautiful photos below...

Chinese + Egg Hunts?
Growing up, it always grossed out my Chinese immigrant parents when I would insist on coloring real eggs and hiding them for a hunt in the back yard.
You may ask...What's wrong with that?
Well, it just didn't make any sense to them that you would boil perfectly good eggs, dunk them in really artificial coloring, throw them into the dirt, then pick them up again, just to peel and eat them.  All the while, the eggs were not refrigerated and could be out all day.  It just wasn't appetizing to them.

But, C'mon...
all this coming from people who enjoy "Century Egg" or Pídàn (皮蛋).  
Also known as perserved egg, hundred-year egg, thousand-year egg, and millennium egg.
Ok, just by the name, you get that the eggs are probably left out for a REALLY LONG TIME.  This is a Chinese delicacy made by preserving duck, chicken, or quail eggs in a mixture of clay, ash, salt, lime, and rice hulls for several weeks to months.  Result?  A dark green grey yolk smelling of sulphur and ammonia, while the egg white becomes a dark translucent brown jelly....yum...wait...yum???

As for us, at the end of the day, it was great to see Zozie so excited just to peel and eat an egg that he colored.  We skipped the "tossing it in the dirt part".  Guess the Chinese thing did rub off on me alittle.  And I guess I do also enjoy the flavors of the Bizillion-Year-Egg, jelly yolk and all.  Either way, eating the egg WAS the prize, for me and Zozie.  Now that's a sweet reward inside a shell...with alittle extra protein.


artist at work.
my prize!