jazz in the park

heather & russ, josh & jen, megan, eric & jack, me & burke

burke and his buddy jack, who is checking out his own nose! :)
Adam and I often wondered if we'd be able to do "normal stuff" once the Itsy Bitsy arrived. And while it is way trickier to get ourselves out of the house (I think we have 5 pounds of gear for every pound of Burke), we've found that normal life pretty much goes on with baby in tote. I mean, there are definitely pictures where Burke and I are both covered by a Hooter Hider, and it helps to have friends that are in the same stage of life (or at least ok with hanging out with babies and Hooter Hiders), and I am certain there will be days where a fussy baby sends us right back home, but so far our Pre-Burke and Post-Burke social life looks pretty much the same.
Last night, we joined friends for Jazz in the Park- complete with chocolate chip cookies, hummus and Sonic. The weather was perfect (Burke LOVES being outside) as was the company... lovely! :)



One of my favorite faces that Burke makes- hahaha!


Preppy McPrepster

With a name like Burke Gentry, and a mama who loves J Crew and Banana Republic, this little one is sure to see his fair share of polos... :)



the teensiest intercessor

I've never been much of a middle-of-the-night prayer warrior (I always fall asleep). But it is a TASK to keep the Itsy awake at night, and for some reason, me talking to him helps. To fill this 40-minutes-of-continuous-talking requirement, I've told Burke about the people and places I love, stories from college (including some you probably shouldn't tell a baby), stories from Europe, stories about remodeling our house, stories from my pregnancy. And I'll be honest- I ran out of material. Which left me with 40 minutes every night to fill with my voice. So a couple weeks ago, I began using that late night time to pray.

However, I realized a few nights in that I mostly pray for the same things over and over again... I've never prayed so much for my family, or for the missionaries we know... and now I have the little one to pray for. And still, I have plenty of time leftover...

All of this to say, I would love to use that time to be praying for your specific prayer requests! If you'll just send me a quick email (or even leave your prayer requests here on the blog if you want!), Burke and I will intercede on your behalf in the early morning hours. We can't wait to hear from you! :)



I gained about 30 pounds during my pregnancy. Most of that came off pretty quickly, and without much effort. However, there are 6 pounds left that just will not budge. So Adam and I are launching a "Get In Shape" plan for the next six weeks- complete with weekly goals, small prizes, and even bigger prizes at the end. I'll keep you posted on how all of this goes. :)


outfitted by jojo

onesie + khakis

little polo romper

alphabet onesie and striped pants

whale onesie

As I was looking through the pictures we've taken of Burke, I noticed a striking similarity. He wears something that we got from his Aunt Jojo (Jordi) almost every single day. She is super generous... and has great taste!


new wheels

Adam's way of contributing to next year's budget cuts: sell his car and get a scooter! :)

Since the dental school is only a couple miles from our house (and since denver has 300+ clear days a year), it'll be the perfect mode of transportation for him! And since it gets almost 80 miles per gallon gas mileage, he'll probably have to fill up... mmmm... once a semester?


the most unnatural natural birth

In celebration of Burke being 1 month old (can you believe it???) I figured that I'd write down his birth story before I start to forget the details. Sorry about the length! :)

Friday May 16, midnight-ish: I wake up having some pretty strong contractions, about 5 minutes apart. I don't even get my hopes up. I've had really strong contractions for the last 4 nights now, but each morning, they've spread out again. I hop in the shower for awhile, heat up a heating pad for my back, grab the exercise ball and settle onto the couch. I cannot get comfortable, even in between contractions.

5/17, 3:30 am: Adam, who has been checking on me periodically, is up for good. We decide to go on a walk to try to keep these contractions going. Yep, it's 3:30 am and we kind of live in the ghetto. However, the green belt by our house is totally empty besides us. It's a good thing, because I keep stopping to hold onto random things- railings, trees, Adam. We must look ridiculous. Oh yeah, and I start throwing up. Yuck. We head home and I get in the shower. Again. I think I took six showers last night. But it's the only place I am semi-comfortable.
5/17, 7:00 am: We head back to the park for yet another walk. There are more people out now, so I'm not quite so liberal with my expressions of pain. Instead of death gripping the nearest tree, I sit on various park benches during contractions. Not nearly as good.

5/17, 9:00 am: We still have a few things to pick up at Babies R Us, so we get in the car. Adam stops at Krispy Kreme for breakfast. I'm still throwing up (in the Krispy Kreme parking lot no less). Gross. At Babies R Us, I throw up in the aisle. I'm a little worried at this point- there is nothing in my stomach and everything that I eat and drink comes right back up, even water. I call the obstetrician. She says that if I am in labor, it'll be much easier if I am hydrated and could we please come to the hospital to get some fluids. Easier sounds fabulous at this point and we're only a few minutes from the hospital, so we head on over.

5/17, noon: I am feeling much better... still having contractions, much more hydrated, carting my IV around the mom-baby floor of the hospital to keep these contractions going (they're only a few minutes apart now). We're pretty sure I'm in labor (all those fake outs for the last few nights make us wary to call it that) and they give me a hospital room. We walk by our nurse and she asks if I've ever been told that I have sickle-cell disease. I tell her no. Weird question.

5/17, 3:00 pm: Nurse Kelly has the lab people redo my blood work. She says that my platelet count came back superlow and they just want to check on it. Nothing to worry about. We keep walking. I sort of want to get back in the shower, but don't ever ask if I can (something I'll regret later when they don't let me shower for 48 hours).

5/17, 5:00 pm: Dr. Chu and Nurse Kelly come in to tell us the results of the second round of lab work. My platelet count is still really, really low (42,000... the minimum level considered to be healthy is 100, 000). This could mean one of three things:
a) that pregnancy has caused me to have a really low platelet count... and that's it
b) that I have pre-eclampsia (high blood pressure)
c) that I have this weird illness called HELLP syndrome (basically an allergic reaction to the pregnancy)
They both reassure us that it is probably option A- that people with pre-eclampsia and HELLP syndrome evidence more symptoms than just a low platelet count and nausea and actually look pretty sick. However, they ask, could I please stay in bed for now, just in case? Because options B and C (especially option C) are sort of serious and they want to be sure that I'm not at risk of my liver exploding.

Now, our childbirth class instructor (the aforementioned Ellen who is really fantastic aside from her lies about breastfeeding being pain-free) encouraged us to rank order our priorities for labor and delivery. That way, we could pick our battles, so to speak, and focus on the things that really matter to us. Our final list of the things that were most important to us included: Adam being able to be there with me, no C-section, no epidural and no induction (in that order). I also thought that being able to move around, not being chained to an IV, and having access to a tub, shower and birthing ball would all be helpful (less important than our Top 4, but still on our list of priorities). So this news is not great news... staying in bed is NOT part of the birth plan!

5/17, 6:00 pm: Dr. Chu and Nurse Kelly come into our room- the room where I'm stuck in bed having contractions and looking longingly at the bathroom where I'm not allowed to use the shower- shoot! They both have pretty serious looks on their faces. Uh oh. Dr. Chu begins with, "I am so glad you came in to get fluids today." Really uh oh.

Turns out, I do in fact have HELLP syndrome. The Itsy Bitsy is just fine, but my body is having a really hard time being pregnant. They need to give me Magnesium Sulfate (from here on referred to as "the devil drug"), a central nervous system suppressant. They also need to break my water and give me Pitocin (the drug they use to induce labor) to counteract the devil drug, which slows everything down.

So I will be stuck in bed for my entire labor, with tons of IVs in and no option to move around AND my contractions will be superclose together and pretty intense because of the Pitocin. Awesome. I am starting to reconsider my, "let's-try-this-without-pain-medication" plan. But my dear sweet husband gives me credit for being way tougher than I actually am and still thinks that this is totally do-able.

5/17/08, 7:00 pm: They break my water, start the devil drug and start the Pitocin. Oh boy.

5/17/08, 7:30 pm: My contractions are pretty intense (thank you Pitocin) and there is only about 45 seconds between each one. Adam and I are trying to figure out how in the world we are going to manage this with me stuck in bed, tied to lots of little machines and IVs.

We finally find a system that works... I am sitting upright, uncomfortable as that might sound. When a contraction is about to start, Adam gives me fair warning (he can see them coming on a monitor) and then helps me relax by gently touching the areas where he sees tension (mostly my shoulders and my face) and rubbing the small of my back. I figure out that counting helps me. When Adam leaves to get me some ice (and is gone for more than 45 seconds), I realize how much his coaching is helping me- I am WAY less functional without him.

For the next 10 hours, it is pretty much a variation of the above- contractions every 45 seconds and Adam getting me through them. The contractions get more intense and painful as we get into the early morning, and I'm not really able to relax through them anymore, but gripping the sides of the hospital bed is a close second to relaxation. I am dilated to 9.5 cm for almost 4 hours at the end. That's frustrating.

The nurse and Dr. Chu recommend pain meds around 4:00 am so that I can sleep for an hour or two, but I've been in labor for 28 hours without them and would rather just finish this way.

5/18/08, 5:30 am: I've finally gotten the go ahead to start pushing! WOOHOO! Two hours later (after hearing, "One last push, Kirst..." about 10 times), little Burke is born. The whole time I was pushing (ok, really, for the last 9 months), I was wondering if this would be a little boy or a little girl, so to hear them say, "It's a BOY!" is one of the greatest moments of my life! Indescribable really... He is teeny tiny and perfect and I can't believe he's mine.

So, in the end, we got our top three priorities- Adam was with me the whole time (and oh goodness, I could not have done it without him), I didn't have to have a C-section and we didn't need pain meds. Now we can tell Burke, "It was a little tricky, having you. But you were totally, completely worth it!"



At our visit to the pediatrician today, we found out that burke weighs 7 lbs 3 oz!
You don't know how thrilled Adam and I were to hear this news... The little bug has had some trouble getting back to his birthweight, so we've been on a kind of crazy feeding schedule that involved lots of feeding, pumping, supplementing, waking him up in the middle of the night and just not much sleep. To be more specific, never more than 2 hours and rarely more than an hour and a half at a time. Which translated into many, many nights in a row with only 4-5 hours of sleep. It's been a rough few weeks.
But tonight, friends, we are allowed to let him go for 3 and a half hours between feedings. AND, we only have to supplement on an "as he seems hungry" basis... which essentially gives me an extra 4-8 hours a day. Glory! We are absolutely, deliriously thrilled (and heading out to celebrate with queso and margaritas)! HOORAY!


father's day

Since this is Adam's first Father's Day, we are still trying to figure out some great "celebrating dad" traditions. This year, Burke and I went with the old stand-bys- breakfast in bed and presents (a used baby Bjorn that I found on Craigslist [thanks for the idea Deb!] and a gift card to Outback). Oh yes, and the ever-important card with 10 reasons Adam is the best dad in the world!
We also got to hang out with BOTH of our dads today... we went to Colorado Springs for lunch with Adam's parents and my dad flew in this evening from Idaho. We really are so blessed to have such fantastic dads to look up to and celebrate today...
To all you other dads out there- Happy Father's Day!



The dads plus Burke and Jack

George Owen and Burke

Two of our close friends were due within a week of me... While we were all pregnant, it was so fantastic to have Megan and Heidi around to ask questions and commiserate with about morning sickness, wild emotions, maternity clothes, etc.
Now, with all three Littles here on the outside, I am so thankful to have these girls to walk with through this new season of being a mama... And Burke has two little friends- George Owen and Jack! :)



I was sitting in the waiting room at the obstetrician's office a few months ago when I saw IT in a magazine- the diaper bag I have been searching for. I took down the details so I could order it online at home... "Ramalama Ava" in chocolate brown. I got home, typed the much-sought-after bag into google, and got some very disappointing news. Did you know that diaper bags can cost $390.00? Apparently, I am a champ at finding the most expensive leather totes out there. Even worse, now I had The Perfect One in my head and everything else paled in comparison.

Enter my wonderful brother-in-law, Drew... While he was at a leather tannery in Fez during his trip to Morocco last week, he found, bought, and hauled home the most perfect diaper bag EVER. Even better than Ramalama Ava. And definitely not $390.00! WOOHOO!
I tried to get Burke excited about it this morning, but he was much more interested in trying to find his fist to suck on... we'll work on "appreciation of beautiful things" later.


burke hearts keadryn

The refrain in the Gentry house for the last few weeks has been, "Gentle... gentle, Keadryn... gentle." But it isn't because she has been rough with Burke on purpose- just the opposite actually. She ADORES the little bug... whenever he's around, she wants to kiss him and hug him and hold him and rock him and crawl into his car seat with him. It is absolutely precious. She is going to be a darling big sister in a few months!


sun tea & limeade

During the summer months, if you opened the fridge or freezer at 1805 Western Ave. (the house I grew up in in Farmington), you could be certain that you would find certain items. Chicken salad (light on the dressing, heavy on red grapes and walnuts), frozen blueberries, grapes and bananas, juicicles, grillables like brats or burgers, watermelon, sun tea and limeade. Lots of sun tea and limeade.
In my house now, if you open our fridge in June, July or August, you can often find many of the same items. But you will certainly find iced tea and limeade. I love mixing the two together... it is the perfect summertime drink! And apparently, I am not the only Ludwig who continues to love this slight twist on the Arnold Palmer. In these last few weeks, mom, Jordi and I have drained more than 20 gallons of tea and limeade. LOVE THAT STUFF! :)

pain management

my little voracious eater... all parts sweet and innocent here :)

In our childbirth class, every week we played a couple rounds of a game called, "Breastfeeding Fact or Crap." Basically the point was to extol the fabulous benefits of breastfeeding (which is sort of funny since there were only three couples in the class and all of us had already decided that we would breastfeed, so it's not like anyone needed convincing).

Sometimes as I feed Burke in the middle of the night, I remember one particular round of this game. The screen read, "Breastfeeding: Fact or Crap... Breastfeeding hurts!" Of course, all of us chanted, "Crap!" in unison and our instructor, Ellen (incidentally a local La Leche League leader) outlined why pain in nursing is one big myth.

But that was a lie! It DOES hurt! Alot! My sister assures me that this painful part is temporary and that it'll get better... In the meantime, I'm a little bitter about receiving faulty information.

In all of this, I have found one benefit of my 30+ hours of labor and delivery. During that Saturday/Sunday, Adam and I tried pretty much every pain management technique we'd heard of... and I found several things that work pretty effectively for me. So now, when Burke is voraciously attacking me, besides reminding myself that he is a sweet and precious baby that doesn't know how much he is hurting me, I start counting. Yep, counting. I don't know why it works, actually... maybe it gives me something else to focus on, or maybe it makes me feel like there is an end in sight. I know it sounds basic, but right now it's getting me through the 40 minute feedings. That and crying. Again, Jord said this part will be over soon. I hope so!

0-3 months?

Currently, our little peanut's wardrobe pretty much consists of the premie onesies that his auntie Jordan and auntie Kiji bought him. I decided to try pairing one of these onesies with a pair of shorts labeled "newborn- 0-3 months." As you can see, 0-3 months clothes are still just a little big...