Saturday, June 30, 2007

Hiking Around Harris Lake

Today we went on a hike around Harris Lake on the Peninsula Trail. The weather was beautiful for a hike and picnic and it felt great to be outdoors. We hiked about 2 miles through a beautiful mixed oak/hickory forest and a even the endangered long leaf pines. We saw plenty of wildlife along the way. The wildlife we saw today are some of the same critters that are in the books that Mom and Dad read to me. We saw ducks, toads, dragonflies, turtles and even a 5 foot red-bellied water snake. It was great to see them in their natural habitat.

Family photo lake side.

This is the yellow-bellied slider that we saw crawling out of a pond.

Relaxing after a picnic in the shade.

1 Month Well Check Visit

On Thursday Mom and I went to see Dr. Ramsdell for my 1 month well visit. The nurse weighed me, measured me and then compared me to everyone else my age. Once again it looks like I haven't slowed down when it comes to eating. I weighed in at 9 pounds and 3 ounces. I grew one inch (21") and my head measured 14-1/2".

I ranked in the following percentile for each of the 3 categories:

Weight: 9.3lbs. Percentile: 49%
Height: 21in. Percentile: 47%
Head: 14-1/2" Percentile: 45%


Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Things I do Best

Everything is OK! I'm all clean and ready to play!

"What Mom? I'm busy reading about what to expect."

"Hey Mom, just because we live in North Carolina doesn't mean you have to dress me up in Tar Heel blue! Dad, where are my TN orange bloomers?"

I convinced Mom and Dad not to go to Tennessee for the 4th of July. I am still trying to rid my tongue of this thrush and it has made feeding quite troublesome. If I am having trouble feeding when the plane takes off and lands then my head will explode from the pressure. I would need to eat during take off and landing to help equalize the pressure. I don't want everyone on the plane yelling at Mom and Dad because of me. So instead Mom and Dad have set up our hammocks and we plan to just chill out for the next few weeks. We are planning a trip to TN in August that will culminate with my uncle's wedding in Asheville. I Look forward to seeing you all in Asheville!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Weighing In At....

Mom and I took another trip to see the midwives today! I have been real fussy lately and eating has been a little tough. Mom didn't realize until we saw the midwives but I have developed thrush. It's not terribly harmful to me but it causes pain in Mom and white spots on my tongue and red spots on my bottom. It is caused by a form of yeast called Candida albicans. Mom and I are going to the drugstore tomorrow to get gentian violet, a natural cure used to fight off thrush. We should be all better for our trip to Tennessee next weekend.

While at the Birth Center I got to crawl onto the scales to see if I had gained any weight. I gained a total of 9 ounces and now weigh in at 8.7 pounds! I am growing so fast I may need Mom to start producing Breast Milk Light!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Fathers Day Weekend

This is my favorite book - Do you know where Sea Turtles go? The story is about a loggerhead sea turtle named Mrytle. When Grandma Jane got Mom and Dad this book she also adopted a turlte in their name. Our turtles name is Pearl. Pearl is a loggerhead sea turtle too. She weighs 300 pounds and is close to 3 feet in length! She was last seen near Sapelo Island, GA on February 23, 2006. I think she may have lost her tag because we haven't been able to follow her lately. You can see her travel routes and destinations here. All Loggerhead sea turtles are endangered so please join me in learning more about them and helping to preserve a place for them in our future! And keep a eye out for a turtle named Pearl.

Grandma came to town last weekend and gave me my first bath. I enjoyed the warm water, it even made me blow bubbles. Thanks, Grandma!

Mom & Dad got this dress while they lived in Panama. I guess they are glad they had me since it would look funny on a boy! The dresses are handmade Nagwas from the Ngabe Bugle community where Mom worked. I can't wait to visit them and learn about their culture!

Chillin' out on Fathers Day!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Great White Delivery

Mom and Dad have some of the greatest friends in the world!! Their friends knew they wanted to get them something useful as a gift to welcome me into this world and together they all went in on a freezer. How cool is that! I've heard Mom and Dad talking about purchasing a freezer for a while and I guess they must have overheard them. It was very thoughtful of them to think of us during this special time and give us such a great gift. You guys are awesome!

Mom and Dad already know what they will use the freezer for. They plan on making all of my baby food. They tell me it will be healthier than anything they could buy at the store. They are buying all of their food from a local organic farmer and thus they are supporting the local economy and they know exactly where all of my food comes from and how it is grown and cared for. I've heard that Brinkley Farms produces some tasty vegetables. Yum, I can't wait!

Mom will also pump extra breast milk and store it in the new freezer for times when she's not around and I'm hungry. This means that I can take Mom's milk with me to school when I start late this summer. Dad wants to save some for himself so that the next time he gets sick he can drink it instead of taking medicine. I've heard that breast milk can help get rid of warts, pink eye and even ear infections. All you need to do is place three drops of breast milk in the ear and voila! I'll get back to you on that in the case that I get an ear infection or Dad comes home from the Museum with pink eye.

So, I'd like to thank all of those who purchased the freezer for us. Not everyone could stop by for "The Great White Delivery" so only a few are pictured. From left to right are Jody and Melissa, and then next to Mom is Celia. Not pictured but here in spirit are Celia's husband Bronson, Caitlin and Cullen, and Jim and Amanda. Thank you all for such a wonderful and thoughtful gift! You guys rock! I can't wait until you get to babysit for me!

I would also like to send out a very warm and heartfelt thank you to all of Mom and Dad's other friends, co-workers and family who have all given so much. The three of us would not be where we are today without all of the extremely generous gifts and warm wishes. So many people have reached out to us and we truly feel blessed.

Thank you all!!


Maya, Mom and Dad

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Tipping The Scales With A Little Pee-Pee

Mom and I had our first trip together out of the house today. It was the first time Mom got to drive the car and I think she enjoyed getting out of the house. I liked it because I got to see all the midwives and nurses at the Birthing Center. They are such great people over there and they really know how to make me feel comfortable. Mom brought everyone on staff a jar of homemade strawberry jam to show her appreciation for all they did for us. I gave them my own little gift but I think they preferred the jam.

The midwives wanted to know how much weight I had gained since my last visit. Mom tried to tell everyone that she knew I was gaining weight from all the diapers she changes. I do drink a lot of breast milk but I didn't know I drank that much. The midwives and my pediatrician say that I should be gaining anywhere between 1/2 to 1 ounce a day. Well I blew that out of the water! I gained 12 ounces in 8 days!! I like to think it has to do with all of the great food my grandparents made for my Mom over the last week! They really took good care of us.

Heather told me she needed to take off my diaper to weigh me. I would have told her that that wasn't the best idea but I can't really talk. (I can write but they wouldn't give me a keyboard) Just as she asked me not to pee I let it all go! I just don't have the ability to hold it in right now. I'll learn soon.

After they cleaned up my little gift the midwife said to Mom that I must really be getting all three courses at each feeding. She explained to Mom that each breast contains 3 courses; breakfast, lunch and dinner with a little dessert. The breakfast course, also called foremilk, last for ~5 minutes and is blueish in color. Foremilk contains lactose and proteins but very little fat and mainly quenches my thirst. Lunch is also ~5 minutes and provides a little more protein and nutrients but its dinner that is most important. The dinner portion, also called hindmilk, provides me with the most amount of fat which is my main source of energy. Sometimes I fall asleep while feeding so Mom has to tickle my feet or the back of my neck so I stay awake and finish my dinner. I guess she has done a good job since I gained so much weight! Thanks, Mom for all you do to keep me eating healthy and allowing me the opportunity to grow big and strong!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Can I Get A Pedicure With That Cord?

My feet sure do look rough! I guess that comes with the territory, uh? If you spent 9 months swimming in a Jacuzzi your feet would look the same too! Instead of a pedicure Dad has been biting my nails to keep them from scratching my legs and face. The Midwives told him to bite them rather than cut them for fear of cutting them too close.

It looks as if my cord has stopped beating. Did you know that newborns receive about 50% of their total blood volume from the placenta and cord after birth. The cord also drains important antibodies, iron and oxygen to the newborn for several minutes from the placenta. If Dads are instructed to cut the cord too early they could be depriving their infants from these vital nutrients. Dad and Mom made sure my cord had stopped pulsating before cutting it. I am kind of glad they didn't choose the Lotus Birth method. I would hate it if I had to sleep with Mom's placenta until my cord fell off.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

My Magical Toadstool

Paw Paw and Grandma Jane came to visit me this weekend and brought me a wonderful birthday gift. I really like it but I can't believe what they did to me. I mean look at me. They took off all of my clothes and placed me on top of my magical toadstool for an Anne Geddes photo shoot. I sure hope our neighbors weren't watching.

The toadstool used to belong to Paw Paw many years ago before he gave it to my Dad. My Dad took it to college where it became the hit of every party. When my Dad left for the Peace Corps he stored it in Paw Paw's attic hoping one day to retrieve it and restore it. Papa nearly threw it out but Grandma Jane came to the rescue. She hit the fabric store and together they went to town restoring it to the Magic Toadstool it is today. Thanks Paw Paw and Grandma Jane, I can't wait to show it off when I go to college!

Here is a link to a photo that Anne Geddes took. I wonder if she would be interested in my photo?

Friday, June 8, 2007

My First Doctor Visit

Yesterday I got to go see Dr. Ramsdell. She's great! Mom and Dad had a lot of questions for her and she provided them many answers to help put them at ease. Mom and Dad are a little upset with me since I have really kept them up the past two nights. Dr. Ramsdell helped them understand that I have still not fully developed my diurnal schedule but told them of several ways to help me make the switch. Since I can't go outside on my own she told them to take me out into the sun more often. My body needs to produce melatonin in order for me to make the switch. So I need more sunlight to increase my levels of melatonin. This will also help lower my bilirubin. The best part is that I just like being outside and this means we get to spend more time in the great outdoors!

Dr. Ramsdell checked me over from head to toe and gave me a perfect score. She stuck some funny contraption into my ears. I'm not really sure what she was doing? Maybe she was checking to see if I had any brains? Well of course I do! Mom drank fish oil throughout the pregnancy and this really helped to increase my brain development. She says she is still drinking it so that I can continue to get the Omega 3 oils through her breast milk. I'm glad she is drinking it and not me. After all, she calls it fish pee, YUK!

I get to go back and see Dr. Ramsdell on the 28th for my one month check-up. As much as I like her I hope I don't have to see her until them. I really want to stay healthy so I only have to see her when I am well!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

The Proper Alignment

I am resting so much better now that I saw the Chiropractor. She gave me a complete checkup and found nothing wrong with my bones, spine, symmetry or cranium. Whew! It was tight coming out of mom! My body was squeezed and squeezed through the birth canal and my skeleton took a beating from each contraction. Did you know that my cranial bones are pushed on top of each other so that my head can be pushed out? Once I came out I began to scream which is what helped to bring those bones back in place. Dr. Bell checked to see that my bones were properly aligned and they were! She also hung me upside down by my feet. It reminded me of when I was inside my mom where I spent most of my time upside down. She checked to see if my left side was symmetrical to my right side and again, perfect! Even my spine was in perfect shape. She didn't have to adjust anything!! My Dad was a different story though.

When I saw what Dr. Bell did to Dad I am glad I didn't need any adjustments! Wow, it looked like Dr. Bell was a professional wrestler as she started to power drive Dad. I heard what sounded like fireworks and then Dad had a look on his face like he had just been dropped off a 2 story building right on his back. And when she snapped his neck I thought she broke it! Dad has a mild form of scoliosis and needs more work so I am going back with him on Monday. I think Mom will get worked on too. She feels good enough now to let people touch her.

Grandma leaves tomorrow. I enjoyed having her down! She really helped Mom and Dad with some of the chores around the house and giving them a break so they could eat and take naps. She has a long drive ahead of her so I hope she takes the memories and good times we shared this week with her. Thanks, Grandma! I know I had fun, what little time I was awake!



Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Response to Any Guesses?

I'm surprised no one guessed what it was. It was my umbilical cord that fell off on day 7. Doesn't it look like one???

Monday, June 4, 2007

In the arms of Grandma!

Grandma came into town last night and I was able to meet her for the first time. I must be the luckiest girl in the world! I have 3 Grandmothers and 3 Grandfathers!! I haven't met everyone yet but they are coming soon.

It's great to have Grandma here. She is running errands, cooking and helping around the house so Dad can take care of Mom. Mom is slowly getting better. She took me for a walk today for the first time. We only went to the mailbox and back. We almost didn't make it that far. Dad had to hold Mom the whole time and we took several breaks. It was the first time Mom has been out of the bed in 7 days.

Mom was getting frustrated with her health. She keeps seeing Dad and Grandma carrying me around and realizes she hasn't been able to do that. She just wants to bond with me and realizes she doesn't have the strength to do so. I want her to know that we are bonding even though she doesn't think so. She feeds me every time my stomach growls and for that I am very thankful! She is my life line and I really want her to know that I am grateful for everything she is doing for me! Thanks Mom! You're the best! I am looking forward to more walks when you get better!

Resting up for my first chiropractic visit tomorrow!

Tomorrow Dad and I are going to the chiropractor to get our bodies in line. Mom can't go because she is still under the weather. Ms Debra Bell is awesome!!! You should check her out here. She used to work on Mom when I was inside so that her hips and muscles would align properly for me to come out. Hopefully I can keep going in order to help me get my nervous system and bones aligned properly too. I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow.

Any Guesses?

Any guesses? I dropped it yesterday and it fell into my diaper. My dad thought it was my first hard poop but I had to tell him no. Mom says the photo makes it look like a mushroom? Silly parents!

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Quote of the day

Birth is not only about making babies, birth is about making mothers.

Barbara Katz Rothman
In Labor

Another Sleepless Night

Last night was rough on Mom and Dad. I didn't get much sleep and I was sooo hungry and poor Mom had to keep feeding me. I know its rough on Mom since she is so sick right now. I am really praying that she is better soon. I really look forward to hanging out with her - laughing, smiling and just bonding. Mom is still having trouble walking but her birthing area is getting better. We saw the midwife yesterday and they said everything looks a lot better and they don't think they will have to evacuate her. She still has some hematomas (sorry Mom!) but she is progressing. She did bust a few stitches but they think they will granulate over time. We get to see the Midwives again and a physician on Tuesday.

Mom lost quite a bit of blood after I came out. She is taking iron pills to elevate her iron levels back to normal. Dad is cooking up a storm too. He is cooking lots of red meat and dark green veggies that are high in iron to help her bring her levels back up. It smells really good! We also have some really good friends Celia and Bronson who have been bringing food over and running errands. Our neighbors Ed and Susan brought us Italian two nights ago. Mom said it was really good but let me tell you, garlic flavored breast milk is not really appealing, although Dad said it wasn't that bad!

I would post more pictures today but I don't have any. Since I kept Mom and Dad up all night we pretty much slept through the day. Dad did take me on a walk through the neighborhood. He says I need a lot of sun to help ward off jaundice. It was a great walk, I pretty much slept the whole time. Tomorrow they said they are going to wake me up more often during the day so that I can begin to get on the right sleeping schedule. I am so used to sleeping during the day and being awake at night. When I was inside Mom she would go to work and walk a lot and this would make me real sleepy. I would then be up while she was trying to sleep. She used to beg me to stop kicking while she was sleeping but I don't think she understood how small her belly was. It was pretty tight in there.

I am so excited for tomorrow. My Grandma is coming to visit. She is driving down from New York to visit. She will help Mom and Dad with all of the chores around the house. I can't wait to meet her.

My tummy is growling so I better get off and wake up Mom. Let's just hope Dad left out the garlic in tonight's dinner!

Friday, June 1, 2007

A visitor in the night

Dad found this Carolina Wolf Spider (Hogna carolinesis) yesterday crawling out of my room and into the bathroom while Mom was taking a sitz bath. It didn't really scare me since I like spiders and knew he wouldn't harm me. I just didn't want to make it mad so it would bite me. Dad took it outside and let it go in the woods. He told me it was a good spider since it eats insects and large crickets. This is really good for us since we have a lot of crickets around the house. Even though we are in a drought and our garden really needs water we didn't kill it.

Did you know that this spider is the largest wolf spider in North America. Dad tells me he usually finds the female wold spiders in the garage with their eggsacs on their backs. The females can live for over three years. Wow, what an amazing critter!!

This is my story

My name is Maya Dorothy Herring, daughter of Brad and Tia Herring. I was born on May 28, 2007 at 12:34pm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. I was 7.9lbs and 20" at birth. I gave my mom a hard time coming out as my head was a little on the large side! I get that from my dad, he's kinda of big headed! I didn't mean to cause Mom so much pain but I am really glad she gave birth without medications!! I wouldn't want any of that in my system since it is so immature and delicate. Mom went through a lot and for that I am really thankful!

Just yesterday I got my first taste of breast milk and it was yummy! I love it so much because it makes me strong and healthy! I am so glad that my parents are choosing to raise me on breast milk. Moms milk is making me so strong that today I crawled for the first time. I know you are thinking I am crazy but I really did, sort of, crawl. Dad put me on his stomach and I used my powerful leg muscles to push myself all the way up to his shoulders.

I was told yesterday by the nurse who came to my house to check up one me that I will be a musician when I grow up . She said that after looking at my fingers and commenting on the way I constantly move them in a finger picking style. I think it would be fun to be in a family band!