Monday, July 23, 2012

Lucy is 4 Weeks Old!

My baby girl is 4 weeks old today! Time flies when you're having fun! 

Happy 4 Weeks Lucy Marie! 

You didn't have a 2 week doctor's appointment since your doctor was on vacation. Instead, you had a 3 1/2 week check up. You weighed 8 lbs and 11.5 oz (50%) You were 20 3/4 inches long (50%) and your head  size was 14" (45%). Just like your Gigi says, "practically perfect in every way." Now, I have to test my patience and wait all the way until 2 months to have you measured again, until then I'll probably try my method of weighing myself with and without you - just to make sure you are growing okay! 

This past week was my first week alone with you and I had so much fun with you! The first day scared me a little bit because you vomited twice in a row all over yourself and me! That scared me a little bit and I was worried you might be sick and might get dehydrated. That day (Monday) and Tuesday you weren't quite yourself and were more fussy and cried more than normal. I of course Googled tons of articles trying to figure out what was the matter and fortunately the signs all pointed to the fact that you were fine - just demonstrating some normal newborn tendencies. Overall you are extremely healthy. The one thing we are dealing with right now is a blocked tear duct in your left eye. Apparently this is extremely common in newborns and the best way to treat it is by just removing the sleep that forms in your eye and massaging around your tear ducts as often as we can. We hope that this problem resolves itself because it is so sad to see you with eye "boogers" all the time! :( 

Last week on Thursday, we started to try to put you on a sleeping schedule - so that you would take your naps, eat, and play at the same times each day. This journey deserves a post of its own - so stay tuned! 

In true Georgia form - it has been VERY HOT recently. I love going on walks with you, but I have been trying to be careful not to take you out when it is much over 80 degrees. You don't mind your baby carrier as much as you did at first and now you pretty much just fall asleep in it. I do use the pacifier sometimes on our walks if you wake up and get upset - and that pretty much guarantees a happy cry-free walk. 

Here are some more things I have learned about you over the past 4 weeks: 
  • You were very strong from the get go and love to crane your neck all around when we are trying to burp you - you even did this when you were only a few days old at the hospital! 
  • You make tons of funny faces - your dad and I have shared so many laughs because of your funny faces! Every day you have at least one new one that we haven't seen before! 
  • You have long fingers and feet - so we are already planning a future piano career for you - just kidding! 
  • Everyone always comments on your hair! Apparently it is quite rare for an infant to have so much of it! It is so soft!!!
  • We have seen some of your adorable smiles. At this point, we aren't sure if they are on purpose or not, but we love to see you happy! 
  • You spend most of your playtime on the piano mat that Nana and Papa got you. You just discovered how to hit the little play animals with your hands on your own yesterday! 
  • You are a really good eater and have been from the get go. You are normally finished within 15 minutes of feedings. Sometimes you eat so fast though that that I have to stop you and force you to take a break so you don't spit it all up! 
  • You like to be burped for a long time after you feed and need to be help upright for awhile too. You also like being over someone's shoulder so you can look around and take in the view. 
  • You are very mesmerized by ceiling fans, I always catch you staring at them. 
  • You were in newborn diapers for your first 3.5 weeks and have recently transferred over to size 1. 
  • You are still in newborn clothes, but are quickly outgrowing them. You hate having clothes pulled over your head, which I why I recently bought some more outfits with buttons all the way down the middle. 
  • You eat every 3 hours during the day and 4 hours at night - although these times have decreased a little recently - I think you are in a growth spurt! 
  • Your dad makes sure that you have tummy time every day. You normally make little fussy noises during the whole time - but normally don't cry until you have kicked around and held up for your head for awhile. One of these days hopefully you will enjoy it! 
  • You hated having your washcloth bath by the kitchen sink, but on Sunday we gave you your first bath in the tub and you really liked it! You liked the feeling of water underneath you.
  • Finally, we have SO MANY nicknames for you - Boo, Baby Boo, Lucy Boo, Squirm Wiggles, etc. etc. etc - many from Jason that I can't remember. 
Lucy - we love you so much. You have brought so much joy to our lives over the past 4 weeks I can't imagine what else is in store! You are such a sweet baby girl - we couldn't have asked for a more lovable daughter.

I'll close with my first Iphone video of Lucy during her playtime today - expect many more of these!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Lucy's Third Week of Life

Monday - Lucy Turns 2 weeks old!  Jason worked that morning, and came back for lunch when Randy had to leave. We went on a walk, but it was kind of hot and I think that it made Lucy act weird for the next few hours. She had projectile spit up that freaked me out, so I fed her really slowly the rest of the day - and resolved to not take her outside for walks when it was that hot anymore. That night, Jason found out that he passed his test at around midnight! Steph and Kristina came and brought us lasagna.

Tuesday - Jason and I went on a walk that morning. Spent the morning telling everyone that Jason passed his test - calling some people and texting other people. Jason was so relieved. We went out to Bonefish that night to celebrate. Went out to Old Navy that day.

Wednesday - Jason and I went on another walk. Then I went to the Social Security Office and waited a good two hours trying to get Lucy a SSN- had to go back and feed Lucy, Jason got the hospital records, picked me up, went back to the SS office, then went to Old Navy and His office to get his new badge. Jason and Ruth went grocery shopping while I cleaned the house - came back and we took Lucy to the pool party and to drop off Steph's sunglasses. Then came home and hung out - watched Bachelorette/Mythbusters, etc. Jason got his PT license number today, so his boss called and told him that he could start work as a real PT (at his new increased pay rate) on Thursday!

Thursday - Jason's first day of work! Yay! He was super excited and we were excited for him! I went back to the Social Security office and left victorious with a SS number for Lucy. I came back home and emailed HR with the info to get Lucy added to my health insurance plan. That night, we had leftovers and went out to Brusters for some ice cream.

Friday - Jason again went to work and Ruth and I went on another morning walk with Lucy. Lucy at this point has slept through all 4 of our morning walks! We then dressed her up like a little cow and met Jason at Chickfila for Cow Appreciation Day! Her outfit won us a free meal and we decided to all dress up for next year. That night, Ruth made us pork chops that were delicious and we finished off the night by going to the Christian bookstore to buy a rhyming book of bible stories for Lucy, some children's music, and David Barton's DVD set American Heritage that was 50% off!

Saturday - we got up bright and early and packed to leave for a day at the lake house. We had lots of fun with my family and the Baaremans and Lucy got showered with a lot of love from all four of her grandparents! We all went in the boat and swam a little while Ruth got some last minute time watching Lucy. That evening we drove back to Skype with Michael and Angelyn. Lucy was a very good baby that day and slept during all the car rides perfectly!

Sunday - we ventured to church for the 2nd time and went to Simmons Hall this time. It was fun to introduce Lucy to some of our friends that hadn't met her yet. The comment that we get over and over is - "Look at all that hair!" We got home from church and played with Lucy some, then went out to get our Costco membership! That afternoon, Lesley Anne came over to take some photographs and unfortunately, Lucy decided to be VERY fussy/crabby during the entire time! I think/hope that we got a few good photos so I can send out her baby announcement cards! Here's a sneak peak of the photo shoot...

Lucy's Birth Story - Part 2

So after laboring from about 11:00pm to 4:00am at home, I finally lost my nerve and decided I would rather be at a hospital. Jason had tried to convince me to keep going, since we both knew it would be easier to labor at home, but I told him that they were getting to strong for me to feel comfortable at home. I remember while we were leaving I had a contraction while we were gathering up our bags, one while I was on the deck, and a few while we were driving. They were strong enough at this point to stop me in my tracks. To get through the contractions I basically just had to stop everything I was doing, and focus on breathing. Luckily , since we hadn't had a substantial dinner that night, Jason had thought to have some cereal before we left the house and we had plenty of snacks with us. It was really funny after when we returned to the house from the hospital on Wednesday to see the house as we had left it. Jason's cereal bowl was still on his night stand, the exercise ball was in the middle of our room, dishes were left out, etc. haha

Since it was practically the middle of the night when we were driving to the hospital, there was no one of the road. We also had to go into the Emergency Room entrance since the main hospital wasn't opened yet. I had to fill out all the paperwork while having contractions - not fun! At one point I had to take a break from standing at the counter filling out paperwork and sit down to breathe through a contraction. We were the only ones in the waiting room at the time though - so we got help the minute we walked in the door. It was cool to get to fill out paperwork for the first time on behalf of Lucy - it started to really feel real at that point. As we walked past the security guard he said "Congratulations" - kind of funny since I was probably wincing through contractions at that point. I remember asking Jason "What % chance do you think we have to staying here?" And he said "50/50" which was NOT the response I wanted. I was like "I think my contractions are strong enough to stay" and he was like "I hope so!" Sure enough, when we got to the labor and delivery area, they took me to a room and told me they would have a nurse check me out to see if I was far enough along to be admitted to the hospital. When they left, I was a little upset and thought to myself - "Of course I'm ready to be admitted to the hospital - why else would I be here?" The nurse checked me out (also not comfortable...I've come to believe that the while checking of the cervix thing is great preparation for  childbirth - haha) and told me I was 2 cm dilated and 70% effaced (I think I'm remembering that right...) they then called the doctor to see if I could stay and he directed us to walk around the hospital for about 2 hours to see if that would cause the labor to progress.

At this point, Jason and were both extremely exhausted - especially me (I might add) since I was the one going through contractions this whole time!) but we were both determined to stay in the hospital too - I couldn't imagine anything else more disheartening than having to be sent home. Luckily I had brought some tennis shoes with me and we started our two hours of walking around the labor and delivery wing. I would tell Jason if I felt a contraction coming and we would both stand along the wall, I would lean into him and breathe through the contractions. He would often ask if it was easing off and I would either nod my head or not. He was a great companion during the whole thing - I really couldn't have done it without him. Plus, at about this point I started to get REALLY emotional and would half cry and ask him to pray for me, or tell him that I was nervous. Like I wrote in my other post - praying was also what got me through the whole fear of the unknown and the discomfort of the contractions. I am so thankful that I can pray to Jesus anytime and that he comforted me during the entire 13 hours of labor!

Walking did progress the labor and the contractions were getting stronger and closer together. I remember taking a break to eat a Zone bar and although it tasted good it def. made me feel queasy and I promised myself I wouldn't try to eat anything else. Jason took a little cat nap hear and there since he was so tired. At around 7:00am they checked me again to see if walking had done anything, and sure enough our efforts had paid off! I was about 3 cm dilated and 100% effaced, plus the doctor said the baby was very low - I was going to be able to stay at the hospital!!!!

When the new shift of nurses came in, the conversation came up about the fact that I would probably have the baby that day, and that if they needed to, they would progress the labor with pitocin. That was the one thing I was sure about - I didn't want pitocin to speed up my labor! So I asked if they could progress the labor by breaking my water instead. The next thing I knew, my doctor was in my room (at this point it was after 8:00am) and she had a crochet hook thing to break my water. It felt SOOOO weird - it didn't hurt, but it felt like she was popping a giant water balloon inside of me. She said that it was hard to break it since the baby's head was so low, that she had to go around the head to pop it. Once she did, some water gushed out of me, which was also a super weird feeling. They told me that the baby's head acted like a cork, which would cause the water to stay inside of me and gush out periodically as I moved around, sure enough, through the rest of the labor, water would sporadically come out - it felt SOOO weird! During the time I also told them that I wanted an epidural but that I could probably last a little longer. Well a "little" longer apparently was interpreted to be like 2 hours since I asked for it around 7:00am and didn't get it until after 9:00am. They put an IV in my arm (another first for me), and took some blood (apparently had to be done before I could get the epidural). I remember during those two hours of waiting I kept asking Jason what was taking so long. He asked the nurses and they told him they had to do my blood work first. It ended up being a good thing that I was left to labor for two more hours after they broke my water before my epidural, because it allowed the labor to continue to progress pretty quickly. I was sitting in bed at this point, and my contractions were stronger than they had been but weren't really increasing in frequency. I remember Jason and my nurse trying to convince me to get out of the bed to get the labor to go faster and I was like - it is going plenty fast and hard enough! I don't want it to go any faster, until I have an epidural - lol! However, I will say that although the contractions were really painful, and I wanted each one to be over as soon as it began, they weren't like the unbearable pain I had been expecting them to be. They were bearable, I just remember thinking "I'm so tired, how am I going to be able to push unless I have a break before then?"

The anestisiologist arrived 9:00 and I was nervous about how it would feel, but honestly, was mainly excited about the prospect of the contraction pain going away! I had a death grip on both of Jason's hands during the entire process, and it went very well. The anesthisiologist explained to me that since according to my nurse that my labor was progressing quickly and I was "going to have a baby by lunchtime" he was just going to give me a single larger dose of the epidural instead of hook me up to a flow of the drug that I could press a button to increase anytime I wanted to (like they use for longer labors). At that point, I really didn't care and was just happy that the epidural worked on me - it hadn't really been 100% effective for some of my friends. With the epidural, I couldn't feel the contractions anymore really, but I could still kind of feel (and even wiggle) my toes. At that point, I finally got to lay down in the bed and relax, and even got to experience something else new - a catheter (TMI?) Luckily, I couldn't feel that either!

Only labor shot - after the epidural!

So from about 9:30-12:00 I just relaxed in bed and watched the news. The epidural did work on my right side a little bit better than my left at first, but the anestesiologist helped fix that. During the epidural, I was able to relax and watch some TV. It felt wonderful to just take a break from the contractions! My back did start to hurt pretty bad during the end of the epidural, but I really couldn't complain given the fact that my body was experiencing such strong contractions. It was weird to think about what was happening to my body and not being able to feel it. I just kept checking the baby's heart rate to make sure she was okay. I was so blessed with the fact that my body did everything it was supposed to and progressed just fine through the contractions to 10 cm without pitocin! Praise God! Because I had just had a single dose of the epidural (which the doc told me would last a little over 2 hours) he did come back to give me another dose.

I will mention that at about 8:00am I emailed my work (this must have been right before I got my epidural) to tell them that I was in labor and would probably have a baby that day! Also, we had called my parents when we went to the hospital (around 5:00am) to tell my mom to go ahead and drive to Augusta. It was a good thing we called when we did, because by the time she packed her bags for the whole week, got the kids ready for the day and arranged childcare for the week, she got stuck in Monday morning Atlanta traffic! During the entire labor, I kept asking Jason where my mom was in her travels. Turned out that she barely made it in time for the pushing-  which started at around noon - and that was after driving 100mph on I-20!!!!

At around 11:30, I started to feel a lot of pressure and felt like the baby was about to come out- little did I know, it would take a LOT more work than that for the baby to come out! The nurse had positioned me sitting up in bed during the last hour or so to let gravity help with the labor. At this point, I knew that the pushing was coming soon and that I would feel some of that - the anesthesiologist had told me that in order for me to be able to push effectively, I would feel some of the pressure of the pushing. I was pretty nervous about this - since it was just so hard for me to fathom pushing a baby out of me! The whole time I was on the  epidural, I was praying for the baby to be healthy, and for the pushing to go well (and prior to the epidural, my prayer had been for the epidural to work!).

Finally around noon, they called me doctor, and my mom arrived! I was so happy to see her and happy that she would get to experience Lucy's birth. It was weird because my mom and Jason were just so excited when we were getting ready to push, and I was so nervous, scared, freaked out of my mind! Thank goodness for prayers that calmed me down!

The pushing was harder than I thought it was going to be. I think that some of my epidural had worn off since they had thought my labor was going to be faster than it was, but needless to say I definitely felt pain during the pushing- worse pain than the contractions. The pushing just felt like pushing, but in between the pushing, the pressure is what was painful. I know that I probably didn't experience anything like those who do a natural labor, but what I felt during this part of the process def. convinced me to never have a baby naturally! I pushed for about 30 minutes, then my doctor told me that the baby was bigger than they thought she was going to be! That made me a little nervous, because I was afraid that if she didn't fit, they would have to do a C-section on me. But instead, my doctor did an episiotomy on me. I didn't feel it, since I was pushing Lucy out at the time, but I def. felt the pain of the stitching up afterwards.

The pushing was very much like running a marathon. The hardest part about it was that I had to push as hard as I could even though I was super tired from all the contractions and from not sleeping much in the last 36 hours!!!! They kept all yelling at me - "Push harder Laura! You can do it! We can see her hair! She is almost here!" over and over again, I pushed and pushed - it seemed like they kept telling me she was almost here, I would push as hard as I could, and she wouldn't come out! That is when my doctor stepped in, cut me, and she was born with the next push! I remember that in between the pushes was just as painful as the pushes themselves, and I was motivated by almost being done!

With that last push, her head and body came out and they placed her on my chest. It was the most amazing experience of my life! I looked at her and said "Is she breathing?!?" They all laughed because she was crying and Jason said "Of course she's breathing, or else she couldn't cry!" I looked at her face and saw that she was completely perfect and healthy in every way and felt so relieved. They then took her to do her tests and clean her up. Then I had to endure the stiching up (not fun). I also had a death grip on Jason at this point. I remember all the adrenalin had caused my teeth to chatter uncontrollably, and Jason kept asking if I was cold. But I wasn't cold at all, I was just overcome with the adrenalin/emotion of everything. The doctor said that was normal.

After all her testing was complete, I got to hold her, all clean and alert and I fed her for the first time and she was a pro already! I just couldn't believe (and still can't believe) the miracle of life that I had just been able to experience. Every single part of the process was more than worth it for my beautiful baby girl. We love her so much and are so thankful to God for leading us through a healthy pregnancy and healthy delivery. Thanks be to God! :)

Here are some pics from her birth day! June 25, 2012

Lucy's Birth Story - Part 1

Lucy is three weeks old today - and it is really the first chance that I have had to sit down and write out her birth story!

Lucy surprised us by coming a week early! Since I was about 39 weeks pregnant, I was beginning to get those questions - "Are you SOOOO ready to have that baby?" - I remember responding that I hadn't gotten to that point that so many women talk about when you are just desperate to have the baby. I figured that that wouldn't happen until I was over 40 weeks pregnant. I figured that I could make it one more week before I started complaining too much. However, even though I wasn't complaining when questioned about it, there was no doubt that I was ready to not be pregnant anymore - it was getting kind of annoying being so big, having such a limited wardrobe, and feeling like I was carrying about a bowling ball in between my legs -haha.

In the time since she was born, I frequently think back to that weekend before she was born - the last week of our "normal" lives. On Friday, I completed a regular work week. That night we met up with friends to go to dinner at Takosushi, however, before we went to dinner, we went on our obligatory walk through the neighborhood. You see, since at my job I sit down all day, at the end of the day I am normally desperate to move around a little. Luckily Jason is normally a willing companion - especially that week since all he had done the whole week was sit down at home studying for the board exam. So after our walk - we went to dinner with James and Mary Beth - spent lots of time talking about babies - since they are having one too! Afterwards, Jason and I went to Brusters for some ice cream and even ran into my coworker Bill from MAU.

On Saturday we just cleaned and organized our house. We cleared out some stuff from the guest bedroom and put it into plastic bins under our bed since I knew my mom and Jason's mom would be staying with us soon. I know that we swiffered too - just can't remember anything else from that day!

On Sunday, we went to church that morning and I decided we needed to go out after church and buy stuff for our hospital bags. That took a few hours. Then we talked with some Mormons who we had a met a few weeks earlier. They were at our house from about 6-8 pm. I also remember talking to my mom and sister on the phone and telling them that if we didn't have the baby by Monday, June 2 - the day of Jason's board exam, I was going to get induced on the 3rd - since I knew that Jason wouldn't have to work that week because he would be waiting on getting his score back. I really didn't want to get induced, so I prayed a lot that by God's grace I could go into labor naturally before my due date. Before the Mormons got there, we had cleaned the outside of our cars. Once they left, I begged Jason to help me vacuum and clean out my highlander because I wanted my car to be spotless for the baby once she arrived! - I guess this was the cleaning frenzy that everyone warned/told me about! That night we weren't very hungry since we had had Papa John's pizza and chocolate cake for lunch! We didn't have much of a dinner - which wouldn't have mattered much - except for the fact that I was about to go into labor!

I had recently signed up for Amazon Prime so that we could get discounted diapers delivered free to our house. With Amazon Prime we got some free online streaming videos. So that night we both sat down to watch an episode of "How its Made". It was while watching this that I had my first contraction. My doctor had recently described contractions to me like strong period cramps or in her words "Period cramps - except 100 times worse" haha. I hadn't experience any labor signs up until that point, but during my doctors appointment that week, she had told me that I was about 1 cm dilated but had increased to 50% effaced from the previous week. I wasn't sure that they first contraction really was a contraction, so I just looked at the clock to see what time it was  - about 11:00pm and forgot about. But when we were getting ready for bed, I felt a similar pain, then again once we were laying in bed. So at this point they were about 10 minutes apart. It was with the third contraction that I decided to tell Jason - "I think I just had a contraction - and this is the third one I've felt." Even though we had spent the day buying things for our hospital bag, I hadn't actually packed my bag yet, so Jason asked - "Well, do you think we should pack our bags?" and I said no since I didn't know if they really were contractions that I was feeling, and that I could pack later during early labor - since that can normally go on for quite some time.

I started to try to go to sleep, and then was surprised by more and more contractions, closer and closer together. I had remembered from our childbirth class that there were some phone apps to help you time contractions, so I downloaded the top rated one that I could find and started tracking my contractions as I tried to fall asleep. Well, needless to say, I couldn't fall asleep with the discomfort (and distraction) of the contractions, so I started reading some blogs on my phone and even read an interview with David Platt's wife discussing her 2nd pregnancy! After probably 5 or so more contractions I told Jason that I was going to pack my bags. We turned all the lights on and packed together. I think it was about 12:30 at this point. I remember having a few contractions even while we were packing. And I even had to pause and stop packing during them. I remember it crossing my mind that I might not be able to work the next morning if the contractions were going to disrupt my sleep this much!

After we were finished packing, I just laid there through probably another hour or so of contractions - just timing them myself. Jason was unable to sleep at this point to - with the excitement/nervousness in the air! Finally I think around 2:00am, I decided it was hurting worse laying down, so I sat up in bed and Jason got up with me. Eventually we go out of labor guides, got dressed and I bounced up and down on the exercise ball. At this point, they were getting more painful and were about 5 minutes apart lasting about 50 seconds each. Jason would hold my hand while I was breathing strongly through each contraction. I kept setting goals in my mind, like "Make it to when your contractions are 4 min. apart before going to the hospital" or "Make it to 5:00am before going to the hospital." I remember that there were a few contractions that were oddly long or short which kind of messed up the averages that my phone app was trying to make. Like just when my contraction were going to average about 4 min apart each, there would be a longer pause than normal between them. At about 4:00am I had a much stronger contraction that scared me into leaving for the hospital. Jason tried to convince me to last a little bit longer, but I said I wanted to go because I didn't want to be trying to check into the hospital having even stronger contractions than the one I had just felt!

To be continued!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Lucy's First Week of Life

I'm writing this down for little Lucy - because I love to hear my own parents talk about the week that I was born. I want her to have more than enough details about the week that she changed our lives forever!

Monday - she was born at 12:23pm on June 25, 2012. Right after she was born, Jason rushed off to get Chick-fil-a for all of us. I remember not being the least interested in eating - but I knew I had to eat so I would have energy. All I remember from that day is holding her, feeding her for the first time, taking some video and photos of her, and having some visitors. My dad drove Lucas and Stormy all the way from Atlanta- and then they drove right back - just to see Lucy the day she was born. That meant a lot of me.

My dad meeting Lucy for the first time! 

 A tired dad with his new baby girl

Also, Paul, Shannon, and Christian brought us some Panera Bread for dinner - by that point I was a little more hungry - but still could only eat half a sandwich. It was so crazy for the tables to turn and for them to visit us for the birth of our child - just like we had done a year before when Christian was born!

That night, my sister got there to visit as well. That night, Jason and I stayed in the room with her. I was a little nervous about this, but knew that I had my little remote control so I could page a nurse if I needed help. At this point, I was still in recovery from the childbirth, and really didn't leave the bed at all that day. I remember that every time she made a peep in the little plastic box that they had her in, Jason I would both sit up in bed (for me that meant using the remote controlled bed to propel myself up- haha) to see if she was okay. At one point, she started screaming and we couldn't get her to stop and called the nurse to rescue us by keeping her in the nursery for a few hours. When she brought her back to be fed, they said that she had thrown up a little bit - poor thing - so that was probably the reason she was crying so hard.

Tuesday - That night they did the hearing test on her, that day my mom and sister were with me the whole day and Jason returned to studying. My mom, my sister and I took the chance to take lots of photos of Lucy since she was only a day old. We also had quite a few visitors: Stephanie and Kristina from work, Charlotte (Jason's friend from Ecuador trip), Elizabeth - Jason's new boss, Wares, Fentons, O'Neals, and Megan from our small group. We got a cute little carraige with candy in it from Megan, Flowers from MAU, Flowers and balloons from my Mom.

Wednesday - We brought her home this day - took her first bath - and received flowers from Wier Stewart, and flowers from Baaremans. By Wednesday I was super ready to come home. It was so surreal to have our little baby in our home! Within an hour or so, our house was baby-fied with the pack n' play assembled in and set up in the middle of our family room! Our house hasn't been the same since and I love it that way!
My awesome labor nurse Deneen! 
 Getting baby ready to go! 

 Driving home! 
 At home for the first time! 

 First bath at home! 

Thursday - me and my mom went to Target and Babies R Us to make some returns

Friday - my mom cooked up a storm, and also cleaned the entire house - I wasn't much of a help since I was still recovering and mainly taking care of the baby.

Saturday - my mom left around lunch time, I was with the baby by myself for a few hours - then Kristen and Ben came to visit - it was about 106 degrees that day - and approx 100 degrees inside of our house too! That night we had Chili's take out together. This is the first day that I started to feel like I was recovered and back to my normal self.

Sunday - Kristen and Ben had stayed the night in a hotel so they came back over that morning to hang out with us. We just relaxed, I took a shower, dried my hair and even put on makeup for some photos! But of course, Lucy at 6 days old was the true star of the photos. They left around lunch time and Jason and I had our first time together as a family. And what did we do? The norm - watching tv online - Next Food Network Star - that sort of thing! It was lots of fun though and we had little Lucy just peacefully swinging on her swing in front of us.

This week was amazing. Every time I look at her, I thank God for the precious gift he has entrusted to us. She will forever be his child, but I'm so thankful for the gift of calling her mine!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

My Little Miracle

During my whole pregnancy, I kept telling people that it was hard to believe that I was going to have a baby!  Even towards the end, I said that if I ended up with a baby at the end of everything, I would be in complete and utter shock because of the huge miracle it would be. Even before I was pregnant, everything about having a baby was been so hard to believe. How is it possible that such a perfect little person could grow inside of me for 9 months, be born into the world, and grow into a person that is a reflection of Jason and me?

My whole life I have dreamed about becoming a mom. For almost my entire life, I have wished that one day I would get to experience the joy of having my own children. I have prayed countless prayers that I would be able to get pregnant and have a baby. Being the worrier that I am, pre-pregnancy, I thought a lot about whether I would be able to get pregnant or not. These thoughts and worries resulted in many prayers that we wouldn't have difficulty getting pregnant. I remember before we started trying, I thought a lot about how I would respond if I had problems. Would I be able to adopt and be happy? Would I go on fertility treatments? I prayed that God would give me the strength to surrender to his plan and will for my life - whatever it may be - having biological children or not. However, the first miracle I experienced in this whole journey was that we were able to get pregnant fine. It was a huge answer to prayer, and I remember thanking God the moment I saw the positive test. I remember crying silent tears of joy and thinking "God, are you really this good?" He has been so good to me and Jason throughout this whole process that all I can do is stand in awe of him and give thanks. I know that many people struggle with this part of the process and my heart has always gone out to them. This process has taught me that everything regarding fertility, pregnancy, child-birth, etc. is completely 100% in God's hands. That's why whenever I have a friend struggling, I know the best thing to do for them is pray - pray that God will accomplish his will and purpose for them in their lives and to give them the strength to trust in him through the ups and the downs.

Once I was pregnant, I felt like God had proven himself so trustworthy - that he was worthy of my complete trust no matter what. However, being the fallen human being that I am - I fell to having doubts and worry about all aspects of pregnancy. Would I have a miscarriage? Would I be able to meet this baby that I was carrying inside of me? Would I be able to deal with the loss of a child I have conceived and already begun to love? Again, these worries resulted in countless prayers- asking God for a healthy pregnancy, believing that everything was 100% in his hands, but still worrying about what his plan for me would be - what if God's plan didn't match up with my hopes and dreams? Again, God taught me so much about trusting him through my pregnancy. He taught me that even though I felt completely helpless and out of control, he was taking care of the baby inside of me - growing her as she needed to grow, developing her as she needed to develop, and no matter how much I worried, or thought about the process - I had 0% control of the situation. All I could do again was pray that God's purpose for my life would be accomplished, that I would give him the glory no matter what the outcome, and that I would "cast my cares upon Him." There are so many verses that comforted me during this time. This one in particular stands out:

"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." - Philippians 4:4-7

This verse, and many others in the Bible taught me that my worry did not glorify God because it was a sign that I was not trusting Him. In order to glorify God, I needed to let the peace of God dwell in my heart. Looking back, God has been so patient with me. Even though he has proven himself time and again in my life, and even though I still fought with worried thoughts, He stayed near to me throughout the entire pregnancy, kept me and the baby completely healthy, and most importantly taught me so much about his character, love, and trustworthiness during the process. 

Towards the end of the pregnancy, I started to feel a little more confident, trusting that God would bring me to the finish line with a healthy baby! However, then there was one last thing of course that I was tempted to worry about - the childbirth! I had heard many stories about things going wrong at the last minute. I was pretty surprised at how little I was concerned about the physical pain I would experience, and was instead worrying (again!) about if my baby would be healthy or not. Again, God was there right beside me to calm my fears. I again surrendered to him that his plan for me (no matter what it was) was the absolute best for my life - and that his plan would be accomplished no matter what - so therefore, I had nothing to worry about other than keeping my mind focused on him throughout everything. 

We were a little concerned that my due date of July 1st might conflict with Jason's Board Exam on July 2nd. Our worries included - Would Jason be able to be there for the birth? Would I go into labor during the exam? Would Jason be able to concentrate during the exam knowing that I might be going into labor during it? Of course, God proved faithful yet AGAIN when I went into labor almost 39 weeks early on Sunday night - June 24th. Even though it was a little scary to begin labor - we were really excited knowing that Jason would be able to be there for the entire thing! 

I will go into more detail about the actual birth in another post - but I just wanted to take this opportunity to publicly praise God for the way he was with me during the entire childbirth process. Being a first time mom, I obviously had some fear of the unknown. What would contractions feel like? How would I handle them? Would my epidural work? ect. etc. However, from the moment the labor began to the time Lucy was born, to even the recovery from the delivery, my Lord and Savior has been right there beside me. It has been SO cool to feel him so close to me. From the very beginning I made it through my contractions by praying to Jesus for strength, energy, and peace. He answered all of my prayers in such an amazing way - I will be forever grateful. At a time when I could have felt so alone - I felt just the opposite. Jesus was there through every moment of pain - comforting me and giving me the strength I needed. I rested in the fact that he knew the outcome of the delivery and that he was 100% in control of the entire situation. I felt his love and comfort surround me during those 13 hours like I never have before. 

Finally - the greatest miracle of all was when she was born. When I looked at her for the first time, I saw countless answered prayers that I have prayed through my entire life. Still, every morning when I wake up and look at her, I see a living picture of the miracle of life and God's faithfulness to me. He is so good, and he is indeed a friend that sticks closer than a brother. I love my Jesus more now that I ever have and praise him for this gift of a beautiful healthy daughter that he has given to me. All I can do now is give him the praise every day for her life - something I will never come close to deserving. He is so good - I will never be able to understand. All I can do now is thank him and give Him my life. 


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...