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Pregnancy Photos

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Last weekend before sundown we met a friend to take pregnancy and family photos. The same friend took pregnancy photos of Elaine almost two years ago at the beach and newborn Mason around our house and nearby park. For this photo shoot we drove out to More Mesa and enjoyed the beautiful and vast surroundings.

We will post the professional photos when they are ready, but in the meantime here are a few photos  I took from behind the scenes.

Countdown 2 more weeks!!!!!!!


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Ten Fingers Ten Toes

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Just to recap from the previous previous entry. Elaine said that she was ready to go into labor, ate some magic waffles, and her water broke around 530pm and we were off to hospital about an hour later. Sound good?

So that Sunday October 2nd, we arrived at the Emergency Room in Cottage Hospital and we made our way to the L&D (labor & delivery). Elaine declined the wheelchair and thankfully we had a guide to help navigate the hospital maze. While walking there Elaine wasn’t in too much pain, we were both a little giddy,and you could say that adrenaline was our friend.

Once in the L&D we met Karen, our super helpful nurse. She got us comfortable in room #5, gave Elaine great attention, and then said that he shift was ending in about 30 minutes but she would be back in the morning  if we were still there. We were a little nervous as we both liked Karen and didn’t want a dud for our next nurse. A little later we met Michele who would be our nurse for the next 12.5 hours. Not only was she funny, but she was on top of Elaine’s needs, listened to our concerns and plans, and advocated for our every need. As a whole the entire L&D staff were amazing but it was Karen and Michele that made our delivery feel so personalized and supported.

We were fortunate to have three visitors at the hospital that night: Elaine’s parents and an excited Juliana were there to provide some comfort and support before our rest and lights out time. As the evening turned to night Elaine and I had some good alone time filled with laughs, photo time, and frequent visits from Michele and the hospital staff.


The pain from the contractions began picking up as it became Monday and during a visit around 12am we learned that Elaine had gone from 4cm to 5cm. Yep, 1cm in almost 6 hours of labor when they want you to average 1cm per hour. After some deliberation, a heating pad, and a few sips of coconut water Elaine decided to have an epidural. It took about an hour for the anesthesiologist to arrive but the relief was present on Elaine’s face almost instantly. It was gone so quickly that as soon as they shut their door and the lights were off she began sleeping for a well deserved few hours. While Elaine slept I learned how uncomfortable hospital chair/beds can be and anxiously thought of what could be next.

Around 530am Elaine was measuring around 8-9cm and our room quickly began preparing for delivery. Tables were prepped, lights tested, the room arranged, and the on-call doctor was phoned about the expected delivery.  At 6:45am the time was now and Elaine went into amazing mode. Her pushes went into breathes and her breathes went into pushes. In no time we could see the top of his little, hairy head and he began to move his way closer into our lives.

Around 7am Karen, the nurse from the previous night, came and relieved Michele. Not wanting to leave right away Michele did her case logs in our room and ended up staying an extra hour off the clock to help and try to be around for the birth. All during of this time, Elaine continued to push, breathe, stretch, smile, and push. She amazed me with her composure and attitude. She was focused on the moment, continued to stay in the moment and never wavered.

What happened at 8:56am on Monday, October 3rd cannot be put into words. This makes it hard for a written blog, but I’ve tried over the last 12 days to put it into words and I haven’t gotten close to capturing the feelings, energy, and peace of seeing Mason Robert Watson being born. The process is indescribable; partially because I experienced feelings I had never felt before. Never have I been so proud of Elaine or loved her more. Never have I fell in love instantaneously on meeting someone. Never have I felt peace around so many distractions and felt time slow down so much. This was a new reality.

This was our moment- our moment as a new family.

That was the beginning of us. Many people helped us get here and I hope you know that you are appreciated and loved. I’d especially like to thank our parents for their support, love and showing us that the beauty of being parents. From beginning to end thank you! Love Mark

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times

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Pregnancy.  I’ve heard people say they have felt fantastic and gorgeous and glowy all through there pregnancy… and I’ve known people who have done nothing but complain about one thing or another since the moment they found out they were pregnant.

I think I’ve been lucky for the most part.  I didn’t have much morning sickness , zero heartburn, no leg cramps at night… I don’t get a complex when people tell me I look huge, because lets face it, I am!  So I escaped some of those big pregnancy woes that I hear horror stories about.  But, I also haven’t been too short of complaints.  You know… I ran across this line in one of the many books I’ve been devouring of late, “It is said that a woman births pretty much the same way that she lives life.”  Well, I have yet to experience the proof of that, but I’d definitely agree in terms of pregnancy.  I’ve had my moments where I’m happy as a clam, enjoying this new experience, noticing the subtle and not so subtle changes and anticipating the big moments to come.  I’ve had times where I don’t feel so fabulous… but hey, this is part of the deal so what else is there to do but flow with it.  And I’ve had, as Mark can vehemently attest to, many a time spent whining, crying, or otherwise obnoxiously expressing my dissatisfaction with my various states of discomfort.

Looking back on the past several months… it’s most definitely been the best and the worst of times!

Biggest Pregnancy Complaints:

  • Body Aches.  This was something that I knew was coming in theory… but never contemplated the extent to which a 30 pound belly can effect your ability to do so much! Walk for instance! I used to walk everywhere.  To work, to the grocery store, to friend’s houses, to get coffee.  Now, anything above four blocks makes me extremely hesitant, because I know the result will be swollen feet, sore legs, incredibly tight hips and that oh so lovely shooting back pain.  Bending to reach something on the ground takes stable positioning, breathing and planning.  Rolling over in bed, something I took so much for granted pre-pregnancy, is now a slow, joint wrenching, grunt-filled process.
  • Hormones. These are no myth folks.  I have experienced more weeping, irritation, and irrational sensitivity during this time than EVER in my life before.  I don’t have much more to say about that except that I love and adore Mark for his patience and love and that he deserves the biggest shout out possible in the world for living through these crazy hormones with me.  I know it’s supposed to simply be chemical… but I really feel as though at times, my emotional capacity to process and react is reduced to a two-year-old level.  So part of me wonders if it’s nature’s way of preparing us for toddlerdom.
  • Sleep.  Or lack thereof.  This is the one that has become more of a problem as the months pass.  And has only really been terrible for the past couple weeks.  But seriously.  I have been dreading the time when I go to bed.  Because sleep has become so difficult. There’s the general body discomfort, which keeps me tossing and turning (ever so slowly)… the constant bathroom trips that interrupt my sleep… and my crankiness and frustration at my lack of sleep makes it even harder to settle back down again.  Although, last night is the first time in a while that I’ve slept for a glorious 11 hours, and was able to fall immediately back to sleep after my three middle of the night bathroom trips.
Biggest Pregnancy Loves
  • The growing belly.  Yes it’s caused several aches and pains… but come on, our baby is growing in there!  To watch my changing shape and know all the development and amazing changes that are happening on even a daily basis to change our baby from a few little cells to a living, breathing, blinking, kicking human!  It’s really a pretty phenomenal occurrence in such a short period of time.  (Plus… some clothes just look cuter with a bump)
  • Baby movement.  Another thing that, while uncomfortable at times, most of the time just takes my breath away.  Especially recently, I feel like he’s just ready to bust his way out of there.  Where he’s hanging out, his kicks and head butts and little arm swims are just so distinctive that I really do feel sometimes, like I can reach down and pick him up.  I can’t wait to have that wriggling, squirmy baby in my arms.
  • Enforced pace change.  The flip side of not being as physically adept during this time… is that I’m forced to slow my pace with everything.  If I rush things too much at this point… discomfort and grumpiness ensues.  Getting up takes time, walking has to be more of a stroll, even eating needs to be done with a little more awareness (or else my lime sized stomach fills up without my noticing and I’m stuffed and unable to move).    So the slowing kind of lends itself to more of a paying attention.  Noticing things around me, inside me, and necessitates an attitude of acceptance to all these bests and worsts that make up this crazy, lovely whirlwind of change we’ve had this whole year.
PS. My niece, Kerrey, had a dream that he was born exactly on his due date (which is tomorrow).  Let’s see if she’s got a little psychic in her…Baby Belly Silhouette

Ever So Slowly

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It’s a strange weather morning here.  Calm and still most of the time… and then every hour and a half or so there will be a few minutes of gusty wind.  Where Ruby will jump up to be closer to me and you can hear potted plants falling around the neighborhood and doors slamming shut by themselves and wind chimes tinkling and the clouds will race in billows to get to the other side of the sky.  And then it will all be still again, and Ruby will go back to being mostly concerned about her morning nap.

So here we are… 3 days and counting till the due date… but the due date is starting to feel irrelevant because I very much doubt this baby will want to come out by Monday.  What a comfy little life he must have in there, huh.  Although he has dropped significantly! Check out the belly now…

Belly 29 weeksSeriously protruding.  It looks like I’ve grown a ton, but it’s really just the dropping that makes it look so much rounder.  So each time I go into the doctor… they say things are progressing… but not to the point where labor seems imminent yet.

By the way, this photo was taken during our trip down to LA on Monday, our 29 week mark… which was such a fun day/night and felt almost like a mini babymoon.  Another little last hurrah.

Observatory Picnic

We had breakfast in Santa Barbara at Jeannine’s before driving down to LA, courtesy of a gift certificate from some fantastic friends 🙂  The Getty was a bust, since we didn’t realize they were closed on Mondays… but we ended up at the Griffith Observatory, which has some pretty great views of Hollywood, famous sign and everything.  A little strolling, a little picnicking on the Observatory steps, a little napping back at the hotel room, some Thai food dinner, and then a REALLY AMAZING Bon Iver concert.

Even the baby enjoyed the concert, and made it known by dancing in my belly pretty much non-stop for about three hours!  He’d kick real powerful during the more upbeat songs, and sort of slowly swirl and groove during the slowly songs.  And he had a pretty consistent rhythm on the downbeat going on.  Maybe he’ll be a drummer?

I don’t know if it comes across as well in this video… but, man, does he have some powerful movements now.  My belly gets warped into all kinds of shapes depending on where he decides to hang out.  And you can see how dramatically he rolls and shifts, just from looking! It still trips me out sometimes just to sit still and watch my belly move.

So we’ll continue to wait, and keep you updated if anything new and exciting happens! Or maybe even if anything silly and little happens.

Here is a little gallery of more LA photos, if you’d like a hipstamatic tour:

Notes from this Weekend

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All week we’ve been looking forward to this weekend.  Although I suppose if this little babe arrives after his due date, it won’t officially be our LAST weekend before parenthood begins… But we’ve been reserving it for ourselves anyways just in case.  A take it easy weekend.  An enjoy each other weekend.  A combination of conscious lounging, tying up projects, and fun outings that we may not be able to do for a while.

Our weekend is probably happening in that order actually.  Yesterday Mark had a huge allergy attack and spent most of the day sinusy and sneezing and eventually holed up in bed trying to nap it away (well… napping with one eye, watching football with the other).  I did some yoga, lots of reading, a little Netflix watching and some Tomato Carrot Soup and Lemon-Basil Macadamia Nut Pesto making!  That was our day of excess lounging.

Tomato Carrot soup

Today is shaping up to be the project day, with hopefully some lounging still inserted into parts of it.  And we’re super excited to spend the day and night in LA tomorrow for a long awaited Bon Iver concert, and possibly some Getty going.

I also wanted to show off our mostly finished baby room because not only is it our most decoratively put together room in the house… but it’s so colorful and breezy that I just want to stay in there all the time!  There’s a few empty spots on shelves I still want to fill, some scattered diaper cakes in the middle of being disassembled, and a low table under the window that I want to make a cushion for and turn into a bench…. but other than that… it’s pretty set and looking good!

Baby RoomBaby Room

And here’s the me and the baby belly… a couple days ago, at 28 1/2 weeks!

Post 38-week baby doctor appointment newsflash

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This little boy has started to drop!  Just a couple of inches… but hey, that’s the first step right?  I’ve started to feel what I think might be itty bitty completely irregular and greatly spaced out potential contractions.  One of those odd, unfamiliar kind of sensations low in my abdomen that make me suspect it’s a contraction… but how in the world can you know for sure because the feeling is slightly different for everyone, you know?  Like when I first thought I was feeling the baby move months ago… but wasn’t quite sure if I was just mistaking general tummy grumbling for the real deal.

However, my cervix is still closed… so our doctor guessed that he probably wouldn’t make his exit for at least another couple of weeks.

38 week doctor's appointment

So surprise surprise, the little boy currently taking up residence in my belly is most likely going to be late.  But that’s good news for us.  We still have things to do before the big arrival.  Important pre-parenthood activities… like a Bon Iver concert, some movie tickets and restaurant gift certificates to take advantage of, plenty of book reading and Netflix watching and some quality Santa Barbara/Carp time with my parents who are coming up in a week and a half!


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I know that for most people, Saturdays are the treasured day of the week. Signaling the weekend, and comfortably packaged between Friday and Sunday, there’s no need to get up too early, no need to go to bed too early. For most people. For the past few years though, I worked in a restaurant, and then I was a massage therapist. Saturdays, just another work day, have not been my favorite day for quite a few years now.

But now… I’m sitting in bed this morning with a cup of coffee, and some apple butter slathered sourdough toast. Mark is reveling over the Hawkeye game in the living room. And I have no plans for the day but to hang out with my niece Kerrey when she comes into town for the weekend.

Saturdays are sweet again.

What I love most about my home is who I share it withMark talked about our pregnancy photo shoot already… and I’m glad he snapped those few shots as a little sneak preview. It was really a gorgeous little corner of the beach. Not very many people, beautiful blues and a sunset whose light just seemed to linger until we were ready to leave. And it was fun! Like Mark said, we’re both a little nervously awkward during things like this… wanting more direction than we’re usually given. But once she started snapping photos… for me it was a flashback to our wedding day. Something seemingly more exposing like a photo shoot can sometimes narrow into an intimate little moment just between the two of us. Yes there are flashing cameras, and outfit changes, and new directions on how to pose… but then there’s pauses and the locking of eyes and the incredible awareness of the huge change that is about the take place in the form of something so small. Then it was a ceremony. Now it’s a tiny baby.

I did have to do a double take when I saw Mark’s post yesterday. 17 days!? Is there really just 17 days left?!

Well… give or take… because he’s showing no signs of wanting to come out yet. But I’ll tell you, for the last two and a half hours of last night, he was dancing, or boxing, or just having a good old time pouncing on various parts of his surroundings. Which just happen to be my insides. Several bathroom trips had to be made because of his breakdancing moves on my bladder! I wonder if this active of a baby while still inside my belly is any indication of how active of a baby he’ll be when he makes his appearance…?

Better enjoy our lazy Saturdays now.