Friday, September 30, 2005

The WVU Hospitals staff and facilities were wonderful

Let me just take a minute here to post about how great the staff and facilities were/are at WVU Hospitals OB/GYN clinic and the labor & delivery floor at Ruby Memorial.

Kira was delivered by Lena Cerbone a midwife at the OB/GYN clinic and we were really happy with the care and attention she was able to provide us. We'd been told from day 1 that the OB/GYN doctors and midwives are somewhat short-staffed and that we might not have our baby delivered by someone we knew; however, she made herself available and stayed with us until the wee hours of the morning to bring Kira into the world. I also felt that her expertise made it possible for the delivery to go so smoothly with minimal tearing (I only had a very small tear, no episiotomy necessary) and discomfort to me. She also asked us if it was ok for a student to assist in the delivery, and I think his help also helped it go very smoothly. The student was a pediatrician from Russia who is at WVU retraining to become an OB. This was the first birth he assisted with, I guess, and Lena showed him exactly what to do. This photo is of Lena (right), Mindy and Ilayak(sp?) the student (Left).

The nurses were also WONDERFUL. During the labor during the day, Alicia helped us out a lot. She was there when I started having the intense contractions. She helped reassure me when they were doing the epidural (the first one did not take and they had to do it again.) That was scary - especially for someone who is in a lot of pain because at one point during that procedure you have to remain completely still. When you have severe back spasms occuring every few minutes, you're not totally sure you can stay still. Anyway...Alicia saw us through that before her shift was over. I am really glad she was there.
Alicia and Kira:

The epidural:

Mindy was the other nurse we had through the labor & delivery. She was there when we checked in and made sure we knew what was going on and we were ok through the night. The next night for the delivery, she helped me so much by counting during the pushes...this sounds like a small thing, but without that is would have been very difficult for me to know how long to push. She was very helpful and thoughtful and we really appreciated having her there.

With all their help, Steve and I felt like Kira and I were in very very good hands.
The room:

Monday, September 19, 2005

Kira's Blog

We are creating a blog for baby Kira, so we can post more just about her. =)

Her blog here:

Our new Baby!

Our baby girl arrived at 12:20 am on Sept. 16. Her name is Kira Jane Barnes-Marra and she was 7 lbs. 4 oz., 19 1/2 inches long.

"Kira" means light; sun in Latin, Persian and Japanese and "Jane" is just a nice, classic name - (according to the meaning I found it means: gracious, merciful, God is gracious in Hebrew).

She is a lot tinier than we were expecting, because Steve and I were both over 8 lbs., but then I was 2 weeks late. We had to stop and get an infant car seat because she was too small for the one I had researched and purchased that was "supposed" to be ok for kids 5 lbs. - 65 lbs. Oh well!

ANYWAY. We came home yesterday and I am (of course) exhausted, but were all doing fine. Steve finally got some sleep, so at least one of us can be sane this week. =)

We'll post more pictures here that Steve took. He has some really great shots, but he has to sort them first.

Friday, September 09, 2005

The Last Weekend

Today is the last Friday I'll have before becoming a mom. This weekend is the last weekend Steve and I will have before our lives change forever. What a bizarre feeling.

If the baby does not decide to make her way into the world before Wednesday, Sept. 14, I'll be checking in at Ruby at 9:00 p.m. that day, they'll induce labor and I will probably deliver sometime Sept. 15. That is my due date anyway, so, hopefully, all will go as planned.

I am definitely looking forward to it, but I'd be lying if I said there wasn't a part of me that will probably miss things as they are. It is time to move on to a new chapter in our lives though, and I'm excited about that.

However, more than anything, I am looking forward to seeing Steve as a daddy. I will be so proud to see him holding our little girl.

So - how do you spend the weekend before a life-changing event? Do you just take it easy? Do you do chores? Do you go out and have fun? I don't know. I'll probably want to do chores/get stuff ready and then just hang around.

But - if we do anything of note, I'll post about it later.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Jamiroquai, Napoleon Dynamite and Water

I forgot to mention that the water IS back on at home. Turns out we needed a new pump. It was pricy ($539.00 for the pump and labor), but the old pump was 15 years old and this one will last at least as long.

On another note I bought the new Jamiroquai album (Dynamite) from iTunes. I love it. I think it is better than the last one they had out in 2001 (A Funk Odyssey). It isn't as good as 1999's Synkronized.

There is just something about their music that makes me happy. I wanted to be sure to get the new album before the baby gets here, so I'd have some more Jamiroquai to listen to.

I was elated when I watched Napoleon Dynamite and "Canned Heat" came on for Naploeon's campaign-saving boogie for Pedro. That is one of my favorite songs anyway and it always makes me feel good. That scene is what made me like the movie - until that I was kind of ho-hum about it - it is a funny movie, but I spent most of it cringing and feeling sorry for the guy. But that scene changed it all because it was such a gesture of self-sacrifice for a friend.
I was really moved by it.

So anyway...yeah - the new Jamiroquai album is really good. Take a listen or buy it. (Note: this is apparently not releasing in the US until Sept. 20 on CD, but you can order it anyway.)

Hurricane Katrina evacuees and West Virginia

The National Guard has evacuated 500 people from New Orleans to West Virginia. They've been taken to Camp Dawson outside of Kingwood in Preston County. That's only 20 miles or so from my house.

I know it is small comfort to those who have had their communities destroyed and their lives overturned, but we welcome you here in West Virginia.

Camp Dawson is actually right next to a community (Albright) that was nearly obliterated in a disastrous 1985 flood. The town of Rowlesburg is also nearby and was even harder hit in that same flood. Both are on the Cheat River - a young, fast-moving, dangerous river that came in and tore the communities apart. In Albright and Rowlesburg, they will find that people here can identify with them and perhaps help them through their grief.

I hope that even though they are far away from home they can recover and take some solace in the calm and mountainous beauty of Preston County. These last days of summer are perhaps some of the best around here. The nights and days are cooler than just a few weeks prior, but the trees are still lush and green. By the end of September, the trees will start to change to brilliant golds, reds, oranges and browns. The Buckwheat Festival will also take place at the end of September - it usually rains for it, but it is a nice small town festival.

Nothing can make up for what they have lost, but maybe their time here will help give them hope.

Friday, September 02, 2005

I love Steve(n) E. Marra

Today is our 5th wedding anniversary. To show you all how much I love this man, I'm going to share an e-mail that Steve sent me on August 5, 2005.

I cry each time I read it because it just illustrates how wonderful he is. I'd be lost without him. Thank you Whitney, for bringing him into my life.

Steve(n) Marra wrote on 08/05/2005:
Subject: Couscous.
Forgot to get it =(

What the hell else did we forget?



Anything else?



Wanna know a secret?

[waits for reaction]

C'mon, really!

It's a good one!


O.k., I guess it's not a secret at all. I just wanted to get your attention.

[smiles affectionately]

I love you, my dear sweet Sarah =)

Sometimes, I'm so happily in love with you as a person (*and* as my
best friend in the whole-wide-world) I grin. Then I feel this soft,
warm pressure from the corners of my mouth to the center of my brain.
It's not easy to describe =P

But it's a feeling I attribute solely to you =)

I've never felt so loved in my life, as when I'm with you.


No hurricane, but without water anyway

We've been without water at home since Monday morning (4 days). No - we weren't hit by hurricane Katrina - we just have something blocking the line from the cistern to the house - or the pump has crapped out. Since we live out in the country and there aren't very many people around who work on this kind of thing any more in the area, we've just had to make due until someone can come out. Today, hopefully, the guys who can fix it can actually figure out what it wrong. Steve's at home to help.

There is an inherent problem with the set up...we have no way to blow blockages out of the line, no way to drain the cistern, now ay to replace the pump without calling someone to come out to our place and fix it. I don't like that. We need to come up with a more self-sufficient way of dealing with these problems. What's the point of living somewhere like this if you can't easily fix things yourself? Well..there is more to it than that, but I think it is clear we need to improve our ability to deal with these kinds of problems on our own. We also need to make sure this stuff will work if the electricity is out. We need solar-powered pumps and we don't at the moment.

So it is kind of weird to not be able to take a shower at home. I've been able to stop by Todd & Amy's or my dad's place before I go home to grab a quick shower. It is actually kind of nice because it gives me a reason to stop by and chat for a little while. I don't do that enough.

This hurricane has really fucked things up. I am really surprised how out of control things are in New Orleans. This is unlike any post-hurricane period I've ever seen. I mean if it had simply blown in and the flooding hadn't occurred it might be different, but I have been really shocked to read how people are stranded with dead bodies nearby. I am also surprised that cholera and typhoid have not broken out yet because of that.

This web article was interesting to read about a Web firm in downtown New Orleans that is still hunkered down trying to keep their servers running.

The manager's blog is even more interesting, though because they have tons of photos of what is going on. Incidentally, they have photos of the only white people I've seen in footage of New Orleans in days.

I wonder if the media are just not showing white people and just being typical. I wonder if there are white people looting too if they just aren't showing it.

They have a somewhat different take on who the government types are dealing with the situation there, too which is apparently pretty awful. Sounds really bad.

I hope they can get this under control. I wish they'd just have sent the military in from the beginning to keep everything under control. Or do you think the fact that there weren't a high number of white people stranded in the city that they considered it important? Am I being too critical?

Anyway - I will say that I think if we didn't have the majority of out military - ESPECIALLY the National Guard (who is supposed to be at home to handle disasters like this) - in Iraq we'd have been able to keep it under control. But that is just my opinion.