Thursday, July 22, 2010

A baby story

pics by Lavenda 
Wow, it has already been three weeks since Annalise was born.  I had no idea how hands on she would be during the day.  This girl is not a sleeper during the day but thankfully she does sleep for 2-4 hour intervals at night.  It's still earlier in the morning and she's asleep so I'm going to try and type out the birth story...

Annalise estimated arrival date was June 22.  However, that day came and went without a hint of an oncoming delivery.  My first Braxton Hicks came 7 days later on the dawn of June 28.  That day I was a little panicky and had that rush of adrenaline that makes you clean the house, pack your bag for the hospital, and make sure everything is in order before a baby comes.  Although other than the early morning contraction no other contractions came along on Monday.  In order the help me pass the time, Lavenda invited me over to hang out with her that afternoon and do a little shopping at IKEA.  By Monday evening, the house had been cleaned and more groceries bought "just in case".

On Tuesday, June 29, at 3am in the morning I started having contractions that came 13 minutes apart.  As much as I wanted to wake Jared up and tell him.  I also thought I shouldn't since it might be a long labor and he would need his sleep.  But as soon as the first alarm went off I was telling him about the contractions.  At 9am that morning I was scheduled to see the doctor.  The news I got was neutral.  Or at least that's how it felt to me.  I had finally started to dilate and was somewhere between 2-3.  I was told not to hold my breath though because with the contractions that far apart, they may stop all together.  If they stopped and the labor didn't progress, I would be induced on July 1 at 12am.  Jared let a few people at work know what was going on but I didn't want to jinx the whole thing so I didn't tell anyone.

The contractions stayed at 13 minutes apart all day.  I took an hour long walk right before lunch.  It was good for passing the time.  When Jared got off work at 4pm that day, I convinced him that I needed to climb stairs.  We had heard during our birthing class that it was a great tool to progress labor.  I would have climb them indefinitely because I wanted it to work so bad.  Good thing I have a level headed husband when it comes to me.  After an hour he convinced me that I need to conserve some energy and we needed to walk the mile back home.  We enjoyed a cup of Skinny Dip chocolate yogurt on the way back.

When arrived back at the house my contractions started coming closer together at 8 minutes apart.  Yay!  Climbing stairs really does work.  About an hour later our friends Kim and Phil dropped by.  They got to see when the labor was 7 minutes apart and really starting to make me stop and breath during them.  I used the birthing ball for the majority of the time while I was at home.  Dancing with Jared also seemed to help ease the pain and help me focus on breathing.  Without a doubt breathing is the key to getting through the contractions.  Jared was the perfect partner.  He would suggest new positions, keep me focused on breathing, and then help me relax between the contractions.

At 2am the contractions were about 3-4 minutes apart.  You can go to the hospital when they are 5 minutes apart for an hour.  We wanted to labor at home as long as possible though.  The hospital is only 4 blocks away so distance and time getting there wasn't a factor.  By the time the contractions came at 2am I was already getting tired and feeling ready to go to the hospital but we needed a sign.  That sign came with my water breaking at 2:30am.  Of course my water broke when Jared just happened to go put all of our stuff in the car.  He was so sweet.  He took the water drenched clothes and washed them off before we headed to the car.  While we were walking to the car, I had a contraction and labored on the birthing ball in the middle of the sidewalk.  Jared actually took a picture.  It was a memorable moment.

It's 3am when we check into the hospital.  Our room could almost pass for an over sized hotel room.  For the first hour, I labored in the hot tub which was great.  The hardest part about being at the hospital and laboring is that they would have me lay in bed every so often for what seemed like 30 minutes to monitor the baby.  I felt like every time I had lay on the bed the contractions would get farther apart and yet feel more intense.  It was miserable and really wore me out more than  anything else.  The nurse got in touch with my dr. and the dr. told them to put me on pitocin (a drug that quickens labor) at 7am.  At 6am the nurse checked me and I had only dilated to 4.  It was a breaking point for me.  I was so tired (even falling asleep between contractions).  Also once I was on the pitocin I would be bed ridden for sure.  So I did what the majority of women have done before me and called for the epidural.  I have no regrets.  I honestly went as long as I could before getting the epidural.  Jared was extremely worn out too.  While I was getting the epidural, I had two contractions and my legs were shaking like crazy.  Jared was holding one hand and my nurse was holding the other.  At last the epidural was in and taped like mad to my back and the numbness started to take over.

At 7am there was a shift change with the nurses.  I have to say that I think I had the perfect nurse for laboring and the perfect nurse for delivery.  They really made the whole hospital experience a positive one.  I expected to labor in numbness until that afternoon.  But when Jen came to check on me at 11am I had dilated from 4 to 10 in just 4 short hours.  Short because I was sleeping that whole time.  Hallelujah!  Jared had left the hospital  in order to take our dog out.  He walked back into the room just as Jen was telling me to call him.

For the delivery, I had two helpers; Jared and Kim.  I had asked Kim before if she wanted to witness the birth.  She didn't know they would put her to work and have her hold one leg as Jared held the other all the while I was pushing.  I loved the delivery part.  I couldn't feel a thing so why wouldn't I?  haha.  I asked for a mirror and Jen brought in a huge mirror so I could see the birth.  It was amazing!  The mirror helped me to push more effectively.  It was incredible to see the progress.  Here again they had to tell me when to push because I couldn't feel it.  Jared was beside me counting and making sure I pushed for the right amount of time.  So half of my pushing was done with my nurse Jen.  The last half with the dr. on call that day.  It took 45 minutes total but honestly felt so much shorter.  The last image I have is of her head popping out, pushing half a second, and them placing my beautiful baby girl on my chest.

We had 2 plus hours admiring our little Annalise before they put the eye drops in her eyes.  Even then, they did it in our room under a warmer.  So she never left our side.  After I nursed her for the first time and things had quieted down.  Jared had his own kangaroo bonding time with her.  Kangarooing is a term they use for skin to skin time with baby to help with bonding process and to get babies to nurse.  I'm sure there are other benefits to kangarooing as well.  We still use it three weeks later to help calm her stomach.  One detail I would hate to leave out is how enamored I was at her cute little baby bottom.  It was the cutest thing in my hand.

She's growing and changing everyday.  We have had a few eating issues.  We think she has a sensitive stomach.  For now I'm cutting out dairy so hopefully that will help.  I think in a few more days we'll be able to know for sure if its the dairy upsetting her stomach.  For most of this I've written with one hand as she sleeps in my arms.  But as long as she's getting the sleep she needs I'm happy.  I hate seeing little dark circles around her eyes.  Other than that things are going well.  Jared's great at making her copy his smile. I've yet to catch it on camera but they are very sweet moments.  She loves being walked around, taking baths in her tummy tub, and laying on her changing table looking at a white wall and black lamp pole.  Jared jokingly says I walked too much with her when I was pregnant because she doesn't like to be still.


Friday, July 9, 2010

Jason Wu

This is a Parisian inspired look by Jason Wu.  However, if you take away the hat it looks very Korean chic to me. What do you think?  Either way I do love the proportions and style of this outfit with the classic black heel. 

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

It's a girl!

5 days old

On June 30 Annalise Lydia Ray was born.  She weighed 7.7 lbs and was 20 inches long.  Things are going great so far.  My hands have been full as I get the hang of breastfeeding and getting her weight up to par.  Which as of today the doctor was very happy with her weight gain since Sunday.  I will try to post when I can but I imagine the next few weeks that post will be a little inconsistent.  You will probably be seeing updated baby pictures more than anything and the baby story.

Aren't those baby Ugg boots just the cutest!  Her Gigi (Jared's mom) brought them from Australia.  Jared's parents are in the States right now and currently in Portland for the next few days.  Yay! 

Monday, June 28, 2010

Hanging out

Baby Ray is still hanging out and enjoying the comforts of the womb.  In spite of the torturous waiting Jared and I filled our weekend up with fun stuff around Portland.  We finally went to the Saturday Farmer's Market.  I was in heaven with all that fresh fruit and vegetables.  When we were living in Dallas, we went to Shakespeare in the park and were thrilled to learn that Portland has one too!  The only thing missing from our picnic was a glass of wine.  Theater on the lawn and wine just seem to go together.  We also got to explore more of Washington Park and all the beautiful roses in the garden there.  So, if labor doesn't start on its own by Wednesday.  They will induce on July 1st.  Either way, sometime this week, we'll have a new addition to the family!          

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Portland Art Museum

Arch at Agate Beach by Terry Toedtemeier

Friday night me and Jared enjoyed the beautiful summer evening stroll to the Portland Art Museum for their first "Free Fourth Friday Night" of the summer.  The biggest perk of living in uptown Portland is the ease of walking around here.  I think I walked a total 6-7 miles yesterday!  That fact is kind of funny to me (especially being pregnant and overdue).  We only got around to viewing the works in Building1.  By the time we finished there, I didn't have the energy to go through the modern art in Building 2 and walk back home.  So we grabbed a bite to eat from a local food cart and made our way back home with the summer breeze in our face.       

Friday, June 25, 2010

Messy Bun-How to

I've decided to grow out my hair again.  I can't wait until I can put it into a high bun.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


This morning I met with a bride getting married in September over an iced passion tea from Starbucks.  I can't wait to get my hands in her gorgeous hair and do her wedding makeup!  I just love September weddings.  

Annalise is still not here so today I'm giving myself a pedicure, one toe at a time.  The OPI nail polish I bought is pink and called 'Your a pisa work'.  I think I bought it for the name.       

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Hair color and Pureology

Well the official due date has come and gone, still our baby girl isn't making any signs of wanting to join us yet.  And yes we are trying everything to induce labor naturally.  So today's plan to keep my spirits high is to color my hair.  Before I color my hair, I desperately need some new shampoo.  I'm going to a salon wholesale store to pick up a bottle of Pureology.  All their shampoos are 100% vegan, has zero sulfate, and uses an antifade complex.  

I'm actually going to try their Dandruff Scalp Cure shampoo.  I have chronic psoriasis so maybe this will help calm it for a little while and be good for my color.  In my long experience with psoriasis, I'll find a shampoo to work but it only does the job for a month or two before I become immune to it and have to find another shampoo.  The cycle is never ending.  Wish me luck! 

Update:  I had no idea Pureology was so expensive, $19 a bottle at wholesale price!  I expect a huge difference in performance.  

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Willy Vanderperre photo

There's something about this photo that grabs my interest.  I just can't put my finger on it.

Monday, June 21, 2010

The paper boat prints

These cute little prints by The Paper Boat would be an adorable addition to the nursery corner.  And so appropriate for living in Portland.  The second print (pet cloud) uses the same colors that are dominant in the nursery.  I still want to get some pictures on the wall behind the crib but other than that I'm happy with the way the nursery corner has turned out.  Updated pictures of the nursery corner to come in a few weeks.

I apologize for my lack of updates last week.  I'll do my best to post this week.  My mind is a little preoccupied with the impending birth.  She's officially due tomorrow but that seems highly unlikely.  Thanks for stopping by!      

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Jared+Alisia mini video

A cute mini video of me and my man during our maternity shoot with Kim+Phil Photography

Friday, June 11, 2010

Maternity Love: Jared&Alisia

Kim+Phil photography were so sweet and came to do these maternity photos in our Portland neighborhood.  I really wanted these photos to reflect who we are as an expecting couple in love.  They did a great job at capturing that vision.  When I see maternity pictures I always want to know how far along she is.  So for those of you like me, I'm almost 38 weeks along in these pictures (40 weeks is the official due date).  I can't wait to look back at these pictures in 5, 18, 30 years from now and remember this past year in our life and how God has sustained us.        

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Stylized Engagement-Sneak Peek

Recently, I did hair+makeup for a stylized engagement shoot with photographers Ashley Forrette & Arron Courter of The Pancake Studios in Portland, OR.  It was so much fun; even thou it started raining literally just as we started shooting that day and it did not stop!  Tara and Jesse were such good sports about it and I think the rain just fed their energy.  This picture was taken at the SE Portland food carts.  More pictures to come!     

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


I'm obsessing over peonies.  Every time I go for a stroll in our neighborhood, walk past a local flower shop or Whole Foods I'm ogling these flowers.  When I lived in China, I would see paintings of peonies everywhere but I don't remember seeing them up close and personal.  Now I get to admire them all the time.  Peonies were even used in the floral editorial shoot.  I don't know about you but beautiful things in nature make me happy.      

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Portland Florals Editorial

These pictures are so dreamy.  Lavenda captured Hanna's beauty and the light so well.  Rebecca Westby's styling abilities are amazing.  The clothes on Hanna are actually in Rebecca's private closet and she hand crafted the floral head pieces.  For me the head pieces add the perfect touch in this editorial shoot.  Of course, I'm thrilled about how her makeup and hair came out too!   

So I hope your week is starting off on a good note.  It was a really busy weekend for me.  On Saturday I got stuck in traffic for at least 2 hours.  I still don't know why it was so backed up.  That evening we met with Kim+Phil and did a couple's maternity shoot!  Sunday morning we headed out very early to Bend, OR to hang out with Jared's coworkers and family.  We also had fun playing disc golf.  Yesterday was spent at doctors offices, getting new tires for our car and grocery shopping.  I'm definitely looking forward to a few days propping my swollen feet up.   

Friday, June 4, 2010

Rain Boots

Those black and white polka dot rain boots are by Nomad are calling my name.  A couple weekends ago Jared's Portland Aussie Rules Football team played against Seattle's team.  All the women from Seattle were wearing cute rain boots.  I'm not exaggerating either.  But I hardly ever see anyone from Portland wearing rain boots, even though it rains nearly as much.  It just goes to show you that sometimes fashion trends only hit in certain cities.   

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Floral Editorial Preview (behind the scene)

A behind the scenes look at a recent floral editorial shoot I did makeup and hair for with photographer Lavenda Memory, stylist Rebecca Westby, model Hanna Thomsen, assistant Nick Wilson.  We started off at Lavenda's place with hair and makeup.  Then headed over to the McMenamins Edgefield grounds for the backdrop. 

Restyling hair and makeup can be a challenge in between wardrobe changes.  You have to do it fast, efficiently and creatively.  Sometimes hair just doesn't do what you want it to and you have to come up with something else on the fly.  Of course with Lavenda and Rebecca's eyes it made it a lot easier to achieve the looks we needed.  In the last picture, you can see that the hair and makeup changes took place from the back of an SUV.  I can't wait to share the gorgeous pictures with you sometime soon!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Bridesmaid Dresses


Do you know anyone searching for bridesmaid dresses?  What stands out about this Shabby Apple line other than just pretty dresses are the nicely cut sleeves and that the dresses are available in plus sizes as well.  The cost of the dresses fall somewhere near the middle at $128 and have 9 different colors to choose from.  Good luck dress hunting!          

Related Posts with Thumbnails