Baby, Greg & Morgan, Personal, Thoughts

sophia ruth bartos

Sophia’s birth was entirely unlike what I was planning. This is just a fact, not a complaint… as I hold my beautiful baby, nothing matters except that she is here.

Her story begins with my water breaking at 9.30 on Wednesday night. Finally. We drove to the birth center an hour later. For the next few hours, I labored quietly in a lovely room there. Around 7am Thursday morning we switched to the birth pool, and by noon, I was fully dilated. Unfortunately, it wasn’t easy to push Sophia out, even though she was already quite low. As the afternoon continued, we tried a variety of different positions and techniques, without further progress. By 7pm it was getting close to 24 hours since my water broke, and we had to consider the option of transferring to a hospital. At 9pm we decided it would be best to transfer while Sophia and I were still in good condition… the midwives were checking her heartbeat every few minutes to make sure it stayed strong.

When we arrived at CMC Pineville, the hospital was locked down with a “code pink,” but after a few minutes they unlocked the doors and let us in. Although I’m a huge advocate of unassisted childbirth, I opted for an epidural because my body was exhausted. The epidural gave me a chance to rest for about an hour before starting to push again around 1am. Two hours later, Sophia was born, and we couldn’t have been happier to see her! She leapt into the world, making up for lost time, and greeted us with loud cries from a set of surprisingly powerful lungs. Our little girl was completely healthy, even after being poked and prodded for so many hours during labor. It turned out that the cord was wrapped twice tightly around her neck, which might have been part of the difficulty giving birth.

We marvel at what a work of art she is, so carefully formed by our Creator… truly the greatest blessing we’ve been given in this world.

I am still finding out how many people were praying for us during my long labor! Those prayers were incredibly effective – I have no doubt that G-d’s strength was the reason we made it though the entire time to a successful delivery without serious complications. He gave me endurance far beyond my capacity. There was a moment when I felt like G-d wasn’t listening, just because things weren’t working out the way I wanted, but He was in control all along… and His plan is perfect, far better than mine.

I love my baby! She fills my heart with love and gratitude for such a gift.


Baby, Greg & Morgan, Married Life, Planning, Thoughts


Still pregnant.

Alternating between wild elation {ANY DAY NOW!!!} and depressed frustration {WHY is it taking so long to have this baby?!} on a day to day basis. Maintaining a stable emotional level is not as easy as one might think at 41 weeks of pregnancy. Even though, really, I know this little berry will come at just the right time, the uncertainty is still tough! Especially when we have to start talking about options for how to proceed next week {41 weeks + 5 days is the unofficial cut off}.

Waiting is actually incredibly helpful… I’m so ridiculously excited about meeting this baby girl that I’ll be thrilled when labor starts, instead of nervously anticipating the pain ahead. {grin}

Greg used the expression “single parents” to refer to us recently, as in “This could be the last party we go to as single parents!” which I thought was hilarious, since we’re married… and it ended up being hard to describe our current state! Childless parents doesn’t work, because we kind of have a child… and a married couple is close, but technically we’ll always be a married couple… so we gave up and decided it doesn’t really matter anyway. {grin}

Ready for a quiet day tomorrow, savoring peaceful moments with my wonderful husband…


I shall thank Adonai wholeheartedly, for I have completed nine months of pregnancy, and Adonai has thus far helped me and rescued me from evil mishaps that can strike a pregnant woman and her fetus. O Beneficent One, Whose compassions are never exhausted, I therefore beseech You for mercy that You sustain and support me when Raspberry comes to be born, and grant me strength when I give birth to her. Please Adonai! Sustain me that I may be saved, preserve me from sorrows, such that the baby emerge from me for peace, life, and relief. May there not be in her nor in any of her limbs any damage or deficit – neither mishap nor happenstance, neither illness nor affliction, neither pangs nor pain, neither plague nor sickness. Prepare milk in my breasts to nurse her, and grant me the favor of raising her for Your service and Your reverence. 

Adonai, hear my voice when I call, be gracious to me and answer me. Hear, Adonai, and favor me; Adonai, be my Helper! May the expressions of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart find favor before You, Adonai, my Rock and my Redeemer.

-Artscroll Ohel Sarah Women’s Siddur, p. 1005, my adaption

Baby, Greg & Morgan, Married Life, Thoughts


Day 3 of the Raspberry watch…

Had an appointment with Leigh today, and everything looks great! I am feeling really good. The days are going by pretty quickly, and as I get things done I keep thinking “wouldn’t have had the chance to do this if we’d had a baby last Sunday!” The instructions are to stay well-fed, well-hydrated, and well-rested until labor starts. Easy. {grin}

Decided I am not nearly miserable enough to try any drastic methods of self-induction {like castor oil}. I can at least wait until 41 weeks, and even then we’ll see. So ready to hold my baby though!! {& see if this whole nursing business is going to be as tricky as it sounds…}

Appreciate the continual encouragement from friends… I’ve had some really sweet messages and emails!

Recent conversation-
Greg {politely}: “Sweetie, there’s a knife in the dishwasher with the blade pointing up… do you know who might have put it there?”
Me {innocently}: “Probably Raspberry.”
Greg {horrified}: “You can’t blame an unborn child!


Note: so far, Raspberry has not been a Purim baby nor a Pi baby… still a chance for the Ides of March tomorrow, and after that looms the annoyingly green shadow of St. Patrick’s day {which would be totally fine, of course, because it’s my mom’s birthday}.

Baby, Greg & Morgan, Planning, Squicciarini family


Still waiting… {grin}

Finished my labor book today! It has a bunch of visually motivating pictures, with room for journaling thoughts during labor if I feel like it. A huge thank you to Julianna, Christine, and my mother-in-law Jeannine Bartos for showing they cared by taking the time to select + contribute pictures for me! Meanwhile, Mary has made me a 4-part playlist on iTunes, starting with energizing songs for the initial stage of labor and concluding with sweet, softer music for when the berry meets us. {!}

The amazingly friendly people at Trader Joe’s have sent me a lovely pink orchid in celebration of Raspberry! {via Julianna, who has been doing my grocery shopping} LOVE it!

Spending the rest of this evening with my darling husband, still just the two of us…


Baby, Greg & Morgan, Planning, Squicciarini family


Raspberry Day!

As I suspected, we didn’t get to meet Raspberry today. {sigh} I was hoping she might be among the 4% of babies who arrive on their due dates… but that’s ok. Greg made this such a fun day for me though! We cooked and cleaned together, took a walk around the park and a nap, had lunch al fresco, and spent the evening at my parents’ house where Julianna had planned an entertaining girls’ night. In between all this was Twitter chatter about how I was doing. {grin} Thankfully there weren’t any emails of inquiry, although it was a treat to get a few messages from far-away friends! {please don’t email to ask if I’ve had the baby yet. When I do, it will be posted right here, and until then, it only increases the feeling of impatience!}

Needless to say, I am so EXCITED about the week ahead!

baby trivia…

  • we have a stuffed monkey sleeping in Raspberry’s crib, dressed in a white onesie.
  • Greg has never changed a diaper.
  • whenever I do important things like taking a shower or vacuuming the house, I think “this could be the last time…”
  • I put up a shelf the other day, to hold wipes & stuff, and then it fell off the wall while I was showing it to Greg later.
  • I have started to wear the same black yoga pants every day, which is something I had promised myself would never happen. {but they are so comfy…}
  • now that the due date has officially passed, we’re starting to hear all kinds of ideas about encouraging labor to start! Apparently my in-law-in-laws, the Spurlocks, claim broccoli is a fail-proof method {eating it, I mean}. Right now I’m all about letting things take their course naturally, but as the week goes on I may change my mind about that. {wink}


Baby, Greg & Morgan, Married Life, Squicciarini family, Wedding


Tuesday was our highly anticipated one year anniversary {3.6.12}, celebrating 365 blissful days of married life. This anniversary has been such a “high” point: we are delighted with each other, our life together, and especially the blessing of a child. I hope subsequent years are as good as this one!

We gave the anniversary a French theme, which included “Le Breakfast” at Le Peep, an attempt at {pregnant} Parisian style on my part, watching old movies set in France, and a truly gourmet dinner cooked by my husband {wild mushroom crêpes, potatoes au gratin, endive salad with champagne pear vinaigrette, & chocolate mousse… superb!}.

I couldn’t believe how many people remembered the day… merci beaucoup to everyone who sent us congratulations! My family actually called to sing us “Happy Anniversary” {which I’m pretty sure is a song we made up…}, and our friends on the Twitterverse tweeted anniversary greetings throughout the day. Greg & I had agreed to skip gift-giving, intending our anniversaries to be more about time with each other, but he surprised me with two pretty cool presents! One was a fun little Bodum French press, fitting perfectly with our theme, and the other was a cool Elfa system from the Container Store {solving the serious problem of how to organize our pantry now that it holds a washer & dryer}. Greg is, in short, the most thoughtful husband I can imagine! How could anyone not envy me…

I can hardly comprehend that tomorrow is March 11, Raspberry Day. I have small hope of the berry coming on her due date, but who knows? Greg is off from work tomorrow so we can spend the day together and take our minds off the imminent birth of our daughter. {grin} We will be keeping this site current with updates about what’s going on in the next few days.


Baby, Greg & Morgan, Squicciarini family, Thoughts


Well, I’m 39 weeks pregnant today. {!!} That’s more accurate than saying “1 week to go!!!” because we all know babies rarely appear on their due dates. {grin} However, my husband generously took the day off from work next Sunday to spend it with me, so it would be pretty convenient if Raspberry was born on schedule.

In the last three days, I’ve had the following comments from strangers:

“Don’t have that baby right here!” {while walking in the park}
“You’re all baby!”
“That baby’s ready to come!”
“Must be pretty close – you’ve definitely dropped!”

Thinking back over the pregnancy, I have to marvel at how truly wonderful it has been and praise G-d for that! I’m amazed at how He has taken care of me along the way. It has literally been the perfect pregnancy – every single check-up was a good report about my blood pressure, weight, and health + Raspberry’s heartbeat, size, and position. The nausea I had in the first couple of weeks was so slight I can’t even bring myself to complain about it, and since then only two “issues” have come up: the first was when a test of my hemoglobin came back surprisingly low at the end of December, and we needed to quickly bring it up in the last two months {I’ve been taking a few supplements, with absolutely no bad side effects or problems absorbing the iron, and my last blood test showed a safe hemoglobin level!}; the second issue was a sudden onset of sciatica in the middle of January, which lasted exactly two weeks and then left as abruptly as it started {I can only assume the berry was shifting positions around that time}. Although sciatica was tough to deal with, in G-d’s timing it coincided with Madison Hackett’s visit here – and I think we developed a deeper bond as friends because of how supportive + encouraging she was as I hobbled around. {grin} So that was really a blessing!

Speaking of Madison, we have decided {after careful consideration} to give her the position of an honorary aunt for Raspberry. So the berry has Aunt Julianna, Aunt Christine, Aunt Mary, Aunt Adriah, and Aunt Madison. {Five! That’s a bunch.}

Anyway, I don’t know why the whole experience has been so good… perhaps this is G-d’s encouragement to have more children. Or maybe the hardest part is yet to come. {grin} Greg is SO excited about the actual birth – he has been eagerly reading The Birth Partner and Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way in preparation for his important role. As I start to get nervous, he is growing more confident. Again, this seems part of G-d’s plan… Greg is just the right person to get me and my famous “low pain tolerance” through the physically demanding work of natural childbirth. {hug!}


In breaking news, my parents just called to say they bought a Pack n’ Play {Eddie Bauer, of course}. Rumor has it Julianna will be crashing on the couch while her bedroom is turned into a nursery for the grandchild/ren. {grin}