Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Mommy Life

I am adjusting quite nicely to life as a mommy. The first few days felt like a whirlwind because I was still physically tired from all the labor and still overwhelmed at the fact that I had a brand new human being to take care of. Will and I felt a little crazy the first few days because we weren't quite sure how the whole scheduling thing worked out for a newborn and how our lives fit into it... er... I guess how his life fit into ours. Last night was the hardest out of them all so far. I'm not sure if it was gas, a growth spurt, addiction to the pacifier, confusion on the time of day, or if we just genuinely have a party animal for a child... but he was up ALL night. Poor guy was crying crying crying and we didn't know why. Well, I guess we kind of did. He was hungry immediately after every feeding. So weird because he didn't do this during the day. He would eat his hand and cry. We are way more cautious about shoving more milk in his mouth because the day before we up'd his ounces from 2 to 3 and he completely spit up the entire thing. Not even kidding. It was sad. So, I guess last night we were just hesitant to give him any more. BUT, as soon as I did... he finally fell asleep (at about 6 am). He was so worn out...and so was I.
SO, so make things easier on ALL of us... I buckled down today and created a schedule for the little guy. More for my sanity than anything. I realized that the past week of having him home has felt a little chaotic because I don't even know when I can eat or shower because I feel like I'm feeding him or pumping all day. So, I think a schedule will really help me feel like I have a life and make him feel like he has some sort of consistency through the day. Plus, I've really been wanting to do babywise and I just finally decided to write it all out.
He'll be eating every 2.5 hours and he'll be awake for 30-45 minutes after and then will nap until the next feeding. This way, I'll know when he naps and I'll be a
ble to schedule out when I can shower and brush my teeth :) :) Haha.

Obviously I'm not going to be psycho about it or anything, because I know he's a baby and things change by the hour... but this is what we will try out for now.

As for breastfeeding, he still won't latch on. He gets angry and frustrated every time. I am still trying every day but it is definitely trying my patience, so please pray for us! It is hard to pump 20 minutes every 3 hours AND feed him every 2.5 hours AND try to breastfeed him all at the same time. I know it will be worth it in the end and I am so thankful that he is at least getting some breast milk in there.

We went on our first outing yesterday.... where to? Target of course. Mommy's favorite store :)

It just happened to be the coldest day of the year yet in Georgia. So windy and so cold... but we were happy to get out of the house a little bit. And the little guy slept like a champ the entire time.

Here he is all bundled up and ready to go....
He is so sweet! SUCH a good baby and so content all the time. Seriously, he really only cries when he really needs something... or when he's cold. He hates to be cold. But, he won't even cry to eat... he just makes these little grunts. It's adorable!

As for this week...
We have had company over almost every day since we got home. My parents were here, then my sister and her husband, and some friends from church. Now we have Will's dad coming in tonight, my cousin and his wife coming on Thursday, and Will's mom coming for the weekend. Sorry if I've been bad about returning calls and emails. I literally haven't had time to respond to all of them, but want to soon! Should be a busy week, but a good one!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Birth Story - From Laura's Perspective

This is a lot of detail and I do it mainly for memory purposes. I fully understand that not everyone will care to read this much detail haha.

It all began at 5:00 am on Saturday December 4th with just one contraction. That one contraction was a lot stronger than the others I had been feeling for the past couple days. I knew labor was on its way because for the past 2 days I had been having lots of cramps and just feeling a lot different. I sat up in bed quickly because it surprised me. I looked down and noticed that my water had broken. I stood up and there was another gush of water. Will looked over and asked if I was ok, to which I responded "um, my water just broke. Here it goes!". Will was so excited and jumped right out of bed. He started running around cleaning and getting everything ready for the hospital. We had been told by anyone and everyone that we would be laboring at home for at least 6 hours. So, we were expecting a real relaxed time at home for a while. Well, that didn't quite happen. We were immediately surprised when we started timing the contractions to find that they were consistently 4 minutes apart for an hour and were at least 45 seconds long each time. I was thinking the whole time "wow. These are really painful and really strong. I thought I was supposed to ease into this." We called the midwife and told her what was going on. She said to wait it out a little longer to see what happened. I was steadily growing really uncomfortable and my contractions quickly hit the point where I could not talk through them. We kept timing and they kept getting closer and closer together. By 8 am I told Will that we had to call the midwife again. Thoughts kept running through our minds of the people that we talked to and the books that we read that said that first time mothers never have fast labors and that we should stay home as long as possible. Will was hesitant to call the midwife at this point and I snapped at him and said "call her!!". We told her the situation. That the contractions were now 3 minutes apart and at least 60 seconds long. She quickly responded, "you're not up here yet?"

We quickly got our stuff together and headed for the door. I threw on my pajama pants and robe while my water was still breaking everywhere. I walked to the car as quickly as I could because I didn't want to have a contraction in the 30 degree weather. Will had already warmed up the car, so I was excited to get in. For the next 30-40 minutes, we took the drive to the Atlanta Medical Center and I've never seen Will drive so fast. He had his hazards on and everything. Hey, if there's one time you can speed... it's to rush your wife to the hospital when she's in active labor! I don't think we said many words to each other because I was so focused on the contractions and I couldn't wait to get out of the bumpy car.

We pull up to the Emergency Room at around 9:00 am and see another couple in front of us with a woman hunched over in pain. A woman runs out to our car and laughs because she says that we are the 4th person to come in in labor in the last hour. At this point, she is asking me questions and trying to keep my mind of the pain... she was such a sweet person. But I remember thinking that I really couldn't think of anything else besides the pain, much less making small talk with this nurse. She helps me out of the car while Will drives away to find parking. On the way from the ER to the 7th floor I had 4 awful contractions while leaning over in pain on this person that I had just met. My water is still breaking at this point and Will's sweat pants that I had thrown on were soaked. I just wanted to stop walking and be with Will. We get up to the nurse's station and there are 3 other women waiting for rooms in the hallway. I stand there for about 15 minutes (which seemed like an eternity) while they checked me in and while I waited for my room. Apparently they were overflowing with people that day. Will finally gets there and asks if I can have a chair to sit on. Here I am in the hallway with tons of people around me while I'm in the most pain of my life. They finally walk me over to my room and tell me to get in my gown. I had to be monitored first so that they could make sure that my heart rate and baby's heart rate were ok. I was so frustrated at this because it was only supposed to be a 20 minute segment, but they couldn't get a clear reading of it because I wasn't comfortable lying down completely. Honestly, the last thing on the planet that I wanted to do was lie down on my back while having these contractions. So, I was sitting up as much as I could and the nurse kept telling me that she couldn't get a good reading because of it. I was so frustrated at her thinking, "well, why don't you try it lady?" haha. Our nurse had several other patients because it was so busy, so Will and I were left alone in the room a lot.

Finally the nurse came in and checked to see how far dilated I was. I think she assumed I was in the early part of labor, but she asked me if I had any rectal pressure and I said yes! She quickly put on her gloves and found that I was already 5 cm dilated and moving fast. She also gave me the awful news that I probably wouldn't be able to have a water birth because they were overflowing with people. I wanted to cry at this point because I had been told so many times that I would be able to have a water birth and we even took a 2 hour class (for $30). "What do you mean I can't have a waterbirth!!??" I just kept thinking to myself... too much in pain to really make a fuss about it. My midwife walked in and told us that she was so upset that they couldn't let everyone get in the tub. She said "they shouldn't advertise it if you can't use it!" ... to which I agreed because I had spent the last 4 months thinking that that's what I would be able to do, and no one ever told me that there would be a chance that I wouldn't be able to.

So, there I sat in the bed... trying to get through as many contractions as I could while sitting. I started to feel really nauseous. I rarely ever throw up or have stomach issues but this was a different feeling! I had eaten half of a banana when I got up so that I wouldn't be starving the rest of the day. Bad idea, Laura. BAD idea. Suddenly, out of nowhere, I projectile vomited ALL over the bed and myself. The nurse wasn't in the room... so poor poor Will had to grab a bunch of towels and get me cleaned up. The smell was awful, and it was definitely the banana I ate that morning. He gets me all cleaned up and, 20 minutes later or so, I do it again. It was the worst because throwing up gets your body into such an uncomfortable place... not to mention I was having contractions at the same time. Each time I threw up, I felt the baby get pushed lower. It was so uncomfortable. My husband is amazing for taking care of me, even though he was gagging through it all. This was the only time that I cried during my labor. It was the beginning of the misery for the next few hours.

Well, my labor kept progressing whether I liked it or not....I had to keep trucking. The midwife suggested that I at least sit in the shower. It would have somewhat of the same effect as the tub. So, Will set up the birthing ball in the shower and I just let the hot water run down my back. It really did help! I didn't want to get out, but the dang nurse wanted to monitor me again (lol). So, there I went back to the bed. At this point I was freezing because I was still wet from the shower. Being cold made the contractions 10 times worse. So, my wonderful husband covered me up in my robe and tried to get me warm with tons of blankets. I was shaking out of control even when I was warmed up. The nurse said it was because I was getting close to having the baby. I have never seen my body shake that much. By this time, it was about noon and I was shaking uncontrollably for the rest of my labor. I hated that monitoring screen because it forced me to be stuck in bed when that was probably the most uncomfortable place for me to be at the time. The nurse left the room again and Will was great being a support to me. This was the point where I didn't want anyone talking to me or distracting me. I knew in my head that I was getting close.

The nurse checked my dilation again and said that I was about 7 cm and that I was in transition. Each contraction was like torture at this point, but I tried to keep a straight head. I was in so much pain that I kept falling asleep or passing out (not sure which) in between contractions. I wonder if this was God's way of helping refresh me since I was so worn out.
At this point, I looked at Will and said "I am so incredibly miserable. Would you hate me if I got the epidural?" and he said, "no, I completely trust you." So, I asked the nurse if she would get that going. I knew it would be a slow process, especially with all the other moms they had in. She drew my blood and said that they would be coming in soon. Well, an hour passed and I still hadn't heard of anything. Another guy walked in to take my blood and I told him she already did. He said, "well, unfortunately the nurse took the wrong ones." DANG IT! Now all I could think of was the fact that I would have to wait again for the results. Another hour passed... still no word. I was telling Will, "please ask the nurse where it is. I can't stand this anymore." I can't even put words to the pain I was in. I never thought my body could even go through that much pain.

My midwife walked in soon after and held my hand. She said, "you don't want the epidural. You are almost there. You're about to see your baby." She checked my dilation and I was about ready to push. She left the room for a minute and almost immediately I felt the urge to push. I told Will, "hurry! Call the nurse!" The midwife and nurse came in quickly and saw that the baby had made his way down. She said, "ok, let's get this baby out." I was sooo tired and so discouraged about how things were turning out... that I wasn't in the water, that I couldn't get an epidural, and that I still had to put in the strength to push. Each contraction became harder and harder (if that's even possible) and it got to the point where I didn't get any breaks because the baby's head was so far down that my body couldn't really stop contracting. I did feel the strong contractions and my midwife told me to wait until the peak to push. This was SO hard because pushing was the only somewhat relief I got to the pain. At least I was doing something now.

I pushed for a LONG 3 hours... no breaks, with the WORST contractions. There were not only contractions, but so much pressure. The baby's head was basically stuck for 3 long hours. Will said he could see his head for 2 hours. Everyone kept saying, "he is almost out!" and then I would have to push 60 more times. Then they'd tell me again. I started to not believe people and just keep going.
This was THE hardest thing I have ever had to do. I truly had to perservere in every sense. There was no turning back and there was no one to help me. For all 3 hours, the midwife was trying to get me in different positions to move the baby down. It took so much energy, but I just wanted him out. She had me on my back, she had me on the toilet, she had me on my hands and knees. She also had me holding onto handles to get more power and at one point tied up a sheet and had Will hold it at the other end to help me push. With every push, I felt my face swelling up with blood... but I knew that I wouldn't be able to get him out unless I did. The look on my husband's face for that 3 hours is something I will never forget. He was crying and kept kissing my head telling me that I was doing a great job. I couldn't focus on anything else but the pain, but looking back, I remember every face that he gave me. He hated seeing me like that. I kept saying "help me!" and "God, I need you!" and I could see that Will was praying over me. The midwife, the nurse, and Will were all there holding my legs up for those 3 hours. I know they were working pretty hard too.

FINALLY, after I was literally about to die (or what I felt like was death), the little guy's head comes out right after "the ring of fire" that I had heard so much about. That was the least of my pain though because it was so short and I knew that once I hit that point, it truly was almost over. I felt that burning for about one minute and his head was out. Then, with the same contraction, I pushed and his body was out. At 5:22 pm, Micaiah Gabriel was born into the world (with a major conehead) :) and weighing 8 lbs 2 oz, 21.5 inches long, with a huge head of 14.5 cm. No wonder I couldn't get him out!
I was more overwhelmed and worn out than I've ever experienced. I couldn't even focus on the fact that I had a baby now. I was so glad that the pain was over!! It was the only time in life that I wasn't able to cry out of pain... because it was TOO painful. What a weird thing to experience. They set the baby on my chest while Will cut the cord. I couldn't see the baby because my eyes had swollen so much from the pushing. Will said that he was just watching my face puff up. I seriously looked 200 pounds heavier. I kept saying that I couldn't see, so they put some cold wash cloths on my face while they cleaned the baby. I was looking around, almost feeling like I wasn't in reality. I saw Will holding the baby and smiling while the midwife got the placenta out and started stitching me up. I laid there for about 45 minutes while she put my stitches in. At this point, any pain was nothing in comparison to what I just went through.
She kept looking at me with these eyes of sympathy and held my hand and told me how proud of me she was. I knew she meant it. She then told me that the baby was a persistent posterior. They had told me a month before that he was in posterior position, but then later said that he was turned. She said that she didn't want to tell me because I would probably feel discouraged. She was the one that told the nurse to not let me have the epidural because she knew it would immediately lead to a C-section. Posterior births are the number one reason for C-section because of exactly what I went through. They are the most painful because the baby is constantly pushing on your back from being turned the wrong way. Also, the widest part of his head is the part to come out... not the narrowest like normal births. This is why it took him 3 hours to come out, and about 150 pushes later. I don't think she realized that it would end up going like that. She even said during the pushing part that she couldn't believe he still wasn't out. She gave me a big hug and reassured me that it was over. All I could do was have a sigh of relief.

They let me spend some time with the baby, but I was still so overwhelmed that it was hard for me to connect with him. They put me on a wheelchair once I was stitched up and started taking me to my room. My mom and dad had gotten there 20 minutes before the birth, so they saw us in the hallway and came running up. I still could barely see anything with my swollen eyes. I didn't know what I looked like, but I saw my reflection in a window and could tell that my face was huge. They got me situated in bed and gave me my little guy. I got some time to snuggle him and visit with my family. I was SO glad that it was all over!! I kept thinking that I was going to have another contraction and was scared... but that's just because my body had been doing it for last 12 hours.

I felt fine, I was just sore and tired. My parents went out and bought some dinner for Will and I and it was so awesome to just relax in that room. They left so that Will and I could sleep... but, unfortunately, I had people in and out of my room all night either checking me or the baby. I didn't sleep one wink. I think it was also because my body was so high on adrenaline. I was so tired but couldn't sleep.

The next day, my parents brought us breakfast and we hung out and watched some movies to try to get me to relax. Will followed the baby wherever it went for testing, which was comforting. I finally got some time to bond with the baby and quickly fell so in love. He was perfect. He made me melt right away.

We left the hospital after being there only 24 hours after delivery. My midwife got us out as soon as possible because she knew I was so worn out and wouldn't be getting much sleep there.

Now, here we are, at home and as happy as ever. I am so thankful for this blessing that God has given us! I can't even describe the love I have for him! It's truly amazing and it must be a glimpse of how much God loves us.

My recovery is going great and easy. The stitches cause me some pain, but it's really not too bad. For the first 3 days or so, my face was still super swollen. I cried when I saw it the first time. I have never seen myself look like that. My eyes got black and blue and when you would touch my skin it would crackle. It was the weirdest thing. I think it is because I had pushed so much blood up in my face and neck. My arms and back were super sore from the hard workout I had just done. But, other than that, things have been pretty easy. I am finally starting to look like myself again and starting to feel good. I have already lost over 20 pounds and am feeling lighter than ever! Haha.

Micaiah was SO worth the pain... and it was so great to see and look back on how the Lord carried me through. He didn't let me die, even though I was certain I would. He made the day fly by as fast as it could for me. I think my periods of going in and out of consciousness were really his way of loving on me. He was there. I know that Micaiah's birth was not normal and was hard, but I keep telling myself that other births won't be that way. Right now, I am terrified to go through that again... but my midwife reassured me that it won't happen again.
Even if it did, this little boy is the biggest blessing we have ever received. If something I went through was unjust in God's eyes, He will repay me 7 times over and I believe that He has already done that. He protected me from getting a C-section (which would have been a way worse recovery and would have possibly threatened other deliveries). He gave us a perfectly healthy baby who is SO good and has such a sweet temperament.

God is so good in every way. Thank you Jesus for carrying me when I couldn't stand on my own!!

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Birth Story of Micaiah Gabriel

Hey Everyone, Will Stern here.
I'm here to tell the birth story from my perspective, because we both agree that I will be much more aware of the details. Here we go.

5am, Saturday, Dec 4th (the day before the due date).
I had been lying awake for about 10 minutes, which never happens at 5am for me. I suddenly noticed Laura's breathing change. I asked if she was awake and ok, she replied "My water broke."
A strong contraction had broken her water, and immediately, 60sec contractions started 3 minutes apart. We called it in to our midwife and began labor at home.

With 2.5 straight hours of contractions only 2-3 minutes apart, we knew that that 45 minute drive was going to be longer the more we waited. We called in again and were told it was good to come in to the hospital if we wanted. We packed up and headed in. The trip in went well - there's no traffic on a Saturday, so the only thing we had to deal with was Atlanta drivers not moving aside for a speeding suv with hazard lights on. Laura was far from happy, but was doing great, and the Mercedes and I were enjoying driving 90, turning the 45 minute drive into 30.

We check in. Laura's frequent and strong contractions hit her 4 times between car and the 7th floor. We get a room quickly and she finds that she's 5cm already. Things are moving along nicely! She labors for a few hours, while they take the mandatory 20min fetal monitoring strip. Everything looks good, so she's cleared to hop in the shower. We get her on a birthing ball in the shower, and ahhhhhh...this is more like it. Still VERY tough, but much more manageable. An hour later, we find out the bad news that there are so many births happening today that there is no way we will be able to have the water birth tub we had so looked forward to. Apparently, they forgot to mention that if the staff is over a 1 to 1 ratio, they don't allow water births. Our midwife is angry, and Laura is...well...contracting harder than ever.

Laura has done amazing. However, without a single one of those rumored 8 minute breaks you get in-between contractions, labor has taken a huge toll on her. She looked at me and said "babe, this time I really can't do it anymore. Will you hate me if I get an epidural?" "I absolutely trust anything YOU choose" I said without hesitation. Laura (and I) had really wanted to go without induction or epidural for a multitude of reasons, but I could see that things really were tough, and there's no way I, the husband just sitting on the chair, was going to say no. She had made it past at least 2 hours of "I can't do this anymore" and this time, she meant it. The nurse drew her blood to get the prelim epidural tests going. We had 45 minutes until the epidural would be here.

Much to Laura's dismay, still no epidural, and no breaks longer than 2 minutes. Our midwife, Margaret has finished her other 2 births and is now in our room. She checked Laura and said. "You don't want an epidural...you're 8cm. You'll be pushing any minute!" And any minute it was. 5 minutes later, at 2:00, the pushing began, and what followed will stick with me my whole life.

Laura's pushing lasted 3 straight hours. It was over 120 pushes. Micaiah was a persistent posterior, meaning he started by facing up instead of down and STAYED facing up instead of down. This is the #1 cause of being taking in for a c-section, because the babies head turned this way will often be too large to make it out...especially for a first baby. After 1 hour, we began seeing Micaiah's hair. He moved as slow as molasses for push after push after push.

What I saw in my wife for these three hours went so incredibly far beyond anything I could have ever dreamed she had in her. She couldn't stop, she didn't stop, and she just decided she wouldn't stop, for the longest 3 hours of my life, and certainly of hers as well. With the baby stuck for over an hour, our amazing midwife, Margaret, pulled out every trick in the book to keep him moving. It took an hour of me pushing one knee almost up to her shoulder, with the nurse pushing the other. As he got further, it took even more, so she tied knots in either end of a sheet, and had Laura and I play tug of war while she and the nurse both pushed her knees. It was a miniature eternity, but Laura somehow was able to push only harder as time went on.

In the third hour, her pushes got so strong that her face swelled up twice the size of normal, until she literally looked 200lbs heaver like a contestant just arriving at the biggest loser ranch. To be quite honest, I almost lost it during that hour. I got to the point where all I could say was "God have mercy." In the moment of that prayer, he made more progress than the last 30 minutes combined.

FINALLY, he made it around the dreaded curve and was out in 2 pushes. He was healthy as could be, perfect as could be, and poor Laura was too tired to even notice ANYTHING but the fact that it was over. What will almost certainly go down as the most difficult day of her life was now complete.

Our boy was 8lbs, 2oz., 21.5" long. That 80th percentile head of his clocked in at 14.5in when it finally made it out. Margaret saved us from almost certain c-section.

In the aftermath, Laura walked out the next day feeling tired and sore, but great. Her swelling was mostly gone already, and is totally gone as I write this. Biggest Loser Laura was left behind in the hospital. Micaiah is definitely the most peaceful baby either Laura or I have seen. The moment he gets that one thing he was crying about, he goes back to his peaceful self within seconds.

God is more amazing than any of us will ever deserve.
This is the story of Micaiah's birth...if any men ask, you can summarize in man-eze by saying. "10 fingers, 10 toes, he came out with a Mohawk."

Friday, December 3, 2010

39 Week Appointment

We went to the midwife again yesterday. I was so looking forward to this one because it was the first time they would check me for dilation and effacement. I was dying to know what kind of progress we had under our belt.
Well, so far I am 2 cm dilated and 80% effaced. 2 weeks ago, the other midwife had said that I was probably already pretty well effaced and 1 or 2 cm dilated. Every time I go in, they comment on how low he is too. So, basically... we have no idea when he will decide to come, BUT it's good to know that he's well on his way! He is in perfect position and locked in... ready to come out!! Whenever they feel him, they say that his butt it sticking out really far. I constantly have a huge lump on my left side where the little guys rump is sticking out. It is the cutest thing ever. I feel him stretch out his whole body... he arches his back and his butt stick out and I feel his feet on my other side. I LOVE IT!! He is so big.... he takes over my entire stomach at this point. Not much room in there anymore!
I was a little bummed after my appointment yesterday because they added a new midwife on staff and she saw me this time instead of my regular midwives. I guess I was anticipating seeing one of the midwives who knew me well and who had been seeing me often on the appointment right before my due date. But, oh well! It was kind of strange to see someone who knew nothing about me at this point and knew nothing about my past appointments. She was nice, but I LOVE the other midwives... they are hard to compete with. Plus, they spend so much time answering all your questions and making you feel like a friend... not just a patient. That's why we love them so much. Anyway, I had a mild breakdown on the ride home from the appointment yesterday :) haha. I've had probably 2 others of those... Will says I'm allowed at least 10 more. Ha ha. He is so patient with me.
This week has been really hard (just in my own brain). No one else or nothing else is making it hard on me. Not even the baby. I feel so blessed that I am having a healthy pregnancy and that the baby is doing great! It's just the battle in my mind that's got me stuck. I am trying SO hard to just remind myself of God's word over me every day and His promises. He has promised me so many things over this pregnancy, and I have to repeat them to myself to remember that HE is faithful and HE knows what He's doing. My prayer still continues to be, "God, let YOUR timing be done." Even when it's hard on me haha.
Anyway, prayers for strength during this time would be much appreciated. I'm just ready to be in the next season.

Otherwise, life is FANTASTIC!! Literally couldn't be better. Will and I are constantly amazed at how our lives got to this point and how the Lord took such good care of us through it all. We cry on a weekly basis just thinking about the goodness of Him and praising Him for pulling us out of so many things when we didn't have the strength to do it ourselves. This is the most overly abundantly blessed season of either of our lives!!
Since I'm not really able to go to church at this point (since my feet swell up so bad), Will and I had our own church service last weekend. We put on one of the worship services from our church in California, and literally worshiped for an hour and a half together in our living room. After about 2 songs, both of us were crying our eyes out because we felt the joy and release of the spirit in our home SO strong. It will probably go down as one of my most favorite memories with Will and God. If you haven't experienced Bethel worship, you should really check it out. These people are so pure in their hearts and worship, that you immediately feel led into the presence of Jesus. It's like Jesus just LOVES to be around when they start worshiping. Here's a video from Bethel and one of their songs on their Bethel Live CD. Will and I can't stop playing this CD because it is SOOO filled with the spirit. When you listen to it, you just want to cry. I feel like that's how it will be in the full presence of the Lord when we get to heaven.... we won't be able to stop crying because of the joy in our hearts spilling over.
Anyway, all that to say that we LOVE our church!!!!!

Thanks everyone for ALL your prayers surrounding us and our baby. Thanks for all the encouragement. I have such awesome family and friends!!!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

One. Two. THREE Christmases

(I have no idea why this post is underlined, and it won't let me fix it....oh well)
We will officially be celebrating three Christmases as a married couple this year. I love Christmas time. I feel like it puts so many attitudes in the right place and gets people in the right thankful mindset. Well, that is if you're not one of those who is running around like a Chicken with your head cut off, stressing about what mall to go to on Christmas Eve. Ugh. That's the worst. I've learned my lesson the hard way. Putting all shopping and nonsense aside, I always love Christmas for its ability to let me recognize how thankful I am for God's goodness that past year. It helps me put my focus on people that I love and memories that I am fond of. It puts ALL focus back on family, which is a rare thing now in our culture. Will and I are determin
ed to forever make Christmas what it is supposed to be about... our savior's birth. That is a HUGE deal!! We don't want to do the whole santa thing. Our kids will know about him, just like they'll know that cartoon characters aren't real. But, we want them to really appreciate and take time to think of who Christ is and what the day truly means. We want to do a birthday party type thing. Every year, make a birthday cake for Jesus. Sing some worship songs. Give each other gifts out of a heart of wanting to appreciate the people in our lives that God has so richly blessed us with. I don't want the American spirit of Christmas to pollute what it is really supposed to mean.
ANYWHO... here we are. Our little family. 3 Christmases, and many many more to come!!!

2010 Christmas:

2009 Christmas:

2008 Christmas:

25 Reasons...

I LOVE being pregnant and I am so blessed to be. Just purely for documentation later, I am going to make a list of all the reasons why I am excited for pregnancy to be over.

1. To hold my sweet, precious little boy (obviously)

2. To see my husband interact with the baby as a dad. This will make me want to cry, I'm sure.

3. To bend my abs. You know... when I get up from bed. When I'm stuck on the couch because I can't figure out a way to get out. That will be so nice.

4. To be able to shave my legs like a normal person. Heck, it will be nice to just be able to SEE my legs.

5. To not be so sensitive about every comment about the pregnancy. I understand people don't get it... but I'm ecstatic to no longer have the "wow your belly is big" or "is that baby here yet" comments. I have definitely learned all the things to NOT say to a pregnant woman.

6. To not burn up all the time. Especially to not sweat at night. It's so weird!

7. To not get on the scale and every time be way heavier than the last time. I understand there is a baby growing in me... but, wow, that's a lot of weight!

8. To finally recognize myself in the mirror. From what I understand, all the swelling goes away and my nose will not look like a clown nose anymore.

9. To be able to walk places without my feet hurting right away and swelling up like balloons. I seriously don't even remember what that is like. Will had to remind me that it is not a normal way of life.

10. To not wear maternity clothes. It's a love/hate relationship, really. I miss just shopping for normal things... and not worrying if they will fit over my belly.

11. To be able to curl up on the couch and just automatically be comfortable (without a thousand pillows supporting me).

12. To be able to hug my husband without a beach ball in between us.

13. To pick something off of the ground without feeling like I just lifted 100 pounds along with it.

14. To be able to make dinner in the kitchen without sitting on a chair to do it.

15. To not get frustrated at those people at restaurants who are all taking up the chairs and sofas while waiting for a table, completely oblivious to the 9 month pregnant lady who has been standing there for 20 minutes. Much worse, the people that run to get the empty chair without offering it to me. Oh the nerve.

16. To not have my identity in my belly. That's all people talk to me about.

17. To not have the stares everywhere I go.

18. To enjoy a movie (or anything else for that matter) without having to pee 20 times during it.

19. To be able to sleep on my stomach (or any other way I want)

20. To work out. Just to run... I don't even remember what it's like to run.

21. To eat whatever I want without my esophagus burning up.

22. To walk normally.

23. To do a karate kick, a spin, and a flip... if I so please :)

24. To have a back that is not constantly yelling at me to sit a different way.

25. To be able to sit through a whole church service without my legs getting numb and my ankles swelling to the size of Montana.

This is all mainly a joke, because I know this all comes with the territory. BUT, I thought it'd be fun to reminisce later and see that it was all really not that big of a deal (even when I feel like it's all consuming my life right now). Pregnancy is a funny thing. It's like you are SO excited about what's going on and what is to come... while at the same time so miserable in your own body. Well, I've really only been miserable for the past week or two. You don't realize the every day things you take for granted. I am convinced, though, that this is God's perfect way of preparing a mother even further for motherhood. I have never been more ready! 9 months of pregnancy really is a good amount of time. You go back and forth from, "ahhh, I am SO not ready" to "get this baby out of me before I die!" haha. Me being uncomfortable will make the whole experience that much sweeter when it's here.
And, no... baby is still not here (if you didn't catch that already). He is loving his cozy little private suite in there. I don't blame him. If I could live permanently in a hot tub surrounding me while I don't even have to think about eating or breathing... I might consider it. Every day it gets closer and closer. I am having way more contractions... and I'm glad that my body is preparing before the big day. God knows exactly what he's doing with that as well. I have been woken up by a few of them because they hurt. I am also noticing a bunch of other signs that I am already in pre-labor. So, get ready folks... because he is coming.
We have our midwife appointment today. I am so thankful for that because I would love to know what progress he is making, if any. We are going to pack our bag completely and take it with us just in case. Since the hospital is about 45 minutes away, it would be a bummer to go home and get it when we don't have to... if they tell me that I need to stay for some reason.

Anyway, thanks for all your prayers and excitement to see the baby.
I just ask for no comments on if the baby is here yet, or when he is coming. I know it's tempting, but this sensitive pregnant lady can't handle them at this point. I know it's my own emotions that have me there... but right now, I need encouraging words and words to keep my mind off of where I'm not. :)

Love you all!!