Thursday, January 29, 2009

Life With a Newborn & More Pictures

Well, Elyana Ruth is now 11 days old! Hard to believe how much our life has changed in less than two weeks!

I love being her momma so so much! She is a precious little bundle of joy! She has been an amazingly easy baby! She has had some needy times, of course, with lots of holding and hourly nursing, but mostly she is the most sweet and content baby with the happiest disposition! Jonathan and I adore her! He is the most amazing daddy - he can put her to his chest and calm her into a peaceful reverie, and he is always ready to scoop her up and play with her. I always knew he would make an amazing father, but it's so beautiful seeing it in action.

True to form, even on his 10 days of paternity leave, he could not be idle! Since my mother was in town for 7 of those days, and taking care of meals and household chores, Jonathan took the opportunity to work on installing flooring in our new sunroom, so it's now useable! It is gorgeous! He's back at work today, and I miss him terribly. True to the love/hate relationship with the military, we learned he's being sent to Nevada for 2 weeks in February. *sighs* I don't even want to think about that yet!

Our little girl hates being unclothed! We finally gave her the first bath, and she really screamed up a storm! Fortunately, I gave her some skin-to-skin time and nursed her into a calm peacefulness after it was all over. I'm certain it was forgotten about 5 minutes after that, thank goodness!

I prepared myself for breastfeeding to be really hard, since most of what I heard was how difficult it can be, how you have to be really committed to it the first few weeks until momma/baby learn how to get it right, and about all the problems that can occur. I am so blessed to say Elyana has been a terrific nurser! We haven't had one single problem. God has been above gracious with that, because I really read up and expected a battle. I have enjoyed it so much, and love nurturing my little one. It amazes me that I can sustain her and help her grow, that God has enabled my body to do that. It's also a precious thing to be able to calm her right away with comfort, closeness to me, and nourishment. I love breastfeeding my little girl!!!

So without further adieu, I'll leave with some pictures. Lots more to say, but she's rousing from a nap and I still like to sing/talk/play with her too much while I nurse her. I know I'll multi-task eventually, but these first few weeks are too precious to use that way!!!

Elyana's first bath! Thank God for Jonathan's help!

My angel sleeping...

My wonderful mom and dad with their 3rd granddaughter!

Elyana will "kiss" her daddy's nose. It's adorable!

Jonathan's already getting her education started!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

More Pictures of our Daughter!

Well, it's been too many days without an update! I have been sooooo unbelievable happy as a momma! These have been the very happiest day of Jonathan and my life together, because it's taking the joy of us together and adding something to it! Having a daughter is so amazing. I never ever get tired of just staring at her face. I can't believe she's ours! The days go so blissfully and happily with her. She is such a good baby, she has been perfect at sleeping and has been a champ at breastfeeding too. She has some wakeful nights, but I can't believe I've been honored to get the priviledge of providing for her every need right now. This time is so, so precious.

We went in for the 3 day pediatrician visit and everything was great with Elyana. The pedi asked how it was being a mom and I replied, "The best thing in the world." To which she said, "Oh good, you must not be exhausted." I didn't even think of that! I have been blessed with lots of energy. I was tired and took a nap the first two days, especially when she got up a lot one night. But other than that, I've been feeling great. The recovery is painful (very, at times) and uncomfortable, but that's understandable. I've been trying to type up the long version of her birth story! I find myself distracted with just being with her and holding her. I'll hold her for hours at a time, just so I can look at her and marvel over every perfect part!!!

So, Jonathan and I are doing amazingly. My mom is here now, making great meals and taking over over necessities for me so I can just enjoy the baby. Jonathan gets 10 days of paternity leave, as a new thing the Air Force has passed. It's so wonderful!

So let me close with some pictures of our princess, and some videos. Isn't she a doll?????

One day old! Just about to leave the hospital!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Baby Pictures!

Well, a little over 24 hours later an we're home!!! Elyana Ruth came into the world after 35 hours of labor, but naturally!!! She weighed (get this) 7lb 13oz, 20 and 3/4 inches long!!! Yes, after all the fuss on Friday about her being small and all that! Jonathan was amazing - I would not have continued on natural childbirth without his encouragement and clear-headedness at all the times I needed it! There were some awesome times where God really intervened. I cannot even begin to convey how much I believe the prayers that started after our appointment last week and that went on while we labored really were heard and answered. I am in the process of writing the birth story, which I will share on here.

I will give a sneak preview. My labor contractions started by waking me 5:30am on Sunday morning. I labored at home until about 8:30pm, when we headed to the hospital. There was never a "this is it" moment, or a surety we weren't going too early. But went we did. I was 4-5cm dialated, but with contractions 60-70 seconds long and ~3 minutes apart, so we did what we thought best. In retrospect it made the night very long and uncomfortable for Jonathan (at least at home he could have really slept in his own bed for a few hours!). I did not need heavy coaching during all that time, although he was coaching and helping me from the very beginning.

I was a classic "putterer" case, in Bradley-speak (realizing that myself, by Monday morning when I was only a 6-7cm dialated). My midwife had taken the weekend off entirely, and turned her cell phone off. I knew this was the case, and it did not matter because Jonathan was entirely what I needed. We had awesome nurses that were so so wonderful (another God-send), but they pretty much left us to labor ourselves as Jonathan had it well in control. By 12 I had the urge to push, and 12:50 started after the doctor came by and checked the baby and me. Let's just say after an hour and a half, the baby had moved further back! And the doctor started giving us a lecture on trying pitocin, possibly an epidural, and the moving to a c-section if those failed. He was ready to go and called me "failure to progress" (seroiously, after only 1 1/2 hours). He even told me "some babies are too big to come out this way, and have to be born c-section!" And after everything on Friday we'd just heard! Jonathan and I knew we should continue, as the baby had been doing awesome on the fetal monitor with every contraction.

Let's just say, an hour and a half later, Elyana Ruth came into the world! Another doctor delieverd (yay) and it was amazing! I'll give lots more details later, but I am undoubtably aware that God heard so many prayers and brought our daughter in the world safe and according to our desires!! We are so so overwhelmed with this little girl. She is precious and hardly cries at all and is just beautiful. Here are a few shots...

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Baby Update

Got an update on yesterday's appt. The ultrasound went well, although the overall appt wasn't terrific.

Baby measures about 6lb8oz, which they said was smaller than they like (they want more like 7lbs, but honestly this sounds fine to me). Her gestational age is measuring about 36wk5days when I was 39wk2days. So a bit behind, but again the midwife said I could genetically be programmed to have small babies (as a side note, my sister has had both 8lb+ babies, but both Jonathan and my mom are only 5ft tall and have had smaller babies). The amniotic fluid level was 8.2, which my reading says it should be between 5-20, but varies day-to-day based on my liquids consumed, u/s tech's mesurements, etc. They ordered a NST (non stress test) on the baby which went fine.

The hard part was they used all this info to tell us that when a baby isn't growing "great" inside they like to take it out to feed it. :) So they wanted to talk about inducing me on Wednesday (my due date, ironically). Both Jonathan and I were not convinced the baby's health or safety is really even slightly in jeopardy here, so we are not real open to that. They have me scheduled to come in Tuesday for another NST, but they did "schedule" the induction for Wednesday night (just in case the NST went really poorly, for example). I felt very anxious and all of a sudden like I had this clock ticking away against me! Jonathan was such a help in holding the line and standing up for what our plans are to try. We just don't feel peace that it's the right time to induce, when given no concrete/compelling reasons yet. We are open to it if the baby were at all in distress, but we just don't think she is. We'd like to be a week out from my due date before considering inducing.

Please join us in praying for her to maker her arrival soon - on her own! - and that we would have wisdom with any decisions we have to face, that we'll hear God and know His will.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

It's a New Day

So, specifically Lisi, Susi, and Lindsay, thanks girls for the words of encouragement! I needed them. I knew I shouldn't worry, and that no matter what, it comes down to an issue of trust in God taking care of me and Baby Girl. Spending time in prayer and specifically confessing my weakness in this area and asking for faith has changed my perspective. Wordly methods of not worrying (looking at statistics, pushing it out of your mind, etc) are a fleeting and failing attempt. But God is gracious to answer when we ask something that's His will anyway (like not worrying!).

I also know that you guys are right about measurments being different between doctors. This dr had never measured me anyway. Plus, the baby could have dropped, since he neglected to tell me the baby's station (it was minus 1 last week). Anyway, good stuff to remember. My sister Karen went over her records with me and she went from 39cm at 39wk to 37cm at 40wk with her 2nd baby. And delivered a few days later. *grins*

I've been vascilating between getting things done, and just not feeling up to anything more than daily necessities (work, laundry, meals, etc). Maybe it's because everything is hard when you're this big. :) I did deep-clean the bathrooms yesterday with the hope that it'll be the final time before the Big Day. I have not pre-made or frozen any meals: I am unmotivated! But the freezer and pantry are well-stocked with staple items.

My work so generously gives me 6 weeks of paid maternity leave, which I am so so grateful I will get to use. Jonathan and I plan for me to continue working as long as I can, because I love my job and it's truly a huge blessing for me and our family. I doubt I'll get 40 hours a week in anymore, but 30 would be nice. My mom is coming down here as soon as the baby is born, so I get her here for an entire week!! I can't wait for that, simply because I love spending time with her.

Today is the last day of deer hunting season in GA, so Jonathan will be out in the cold trying for that last doe or buck. After that he's got some rabbit hunting lined up, which I've always enjoyed doing. But for now, done are the days of scentless washing clothes and climber stands in the back of the car...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Drs Appt

So, this is the first appointment I'd say didn't go so well. My midwife was at a delivery, so for the 2nd week in a row I didn't get her. *sighs* But that's no big deal. The big deal was that I went from measuring 36cm at 38 weeks to 35cm at 39 weeks. I always measure 2cm behind, so that's not a worry since,at ultrasounds the baby's measurement have been spot on exactly. But losing a cm in a week? So I'm 3cm off? Not so good. The doctor's immediate response was to tell me he wanted an ultrasound later this week. They need to check the baby's growth and the amniotic fluid level. I know it's just to be cautious and as a safety thing, but it of course made me a bit upset. I never of problems like that when you get this far! Baby Girl is still very active, so that's a good sign. Anyway, it just wasn't great, although you all know I love any chance to get an ultrasound. I set it for Friday morning so J could come, but I'd be happy for her to get here in person before then!

I also had a +3 protein in my routine "sample" they take every week. Which would have been a worry if I'd had significant swelling or hightened blood pressure. But my BP was 100/60, which it is every single time (they took it twice). I have a tiny bit of swelling, but hardly noticable. I fit all my shoes and my rings are as comfy as ever, blah blah. But sill - they want me to monitor the BP later this week by taking it at CVS or something. So it's a potential bad thing, since it could indicate pre-eclampsia. *sighs again*

And honestly? I just want the baby to start coming and get here healthy and ok. I don't want things to worry about that I don't have control over. I know, this will be a struggle even when she's here, so I may as well learn to lay it down each day in prayer now and submit it fully to God in trust that He can take care of her better than I ever will - whatever that will mean.

I was still 2cm dialated, as I was last week, and went from 50% effaced last week to about 80%. Doesn't mean anything about when she'll come, except that things are going in the right direction. Always nice. So when you think of it, you can join us in praying for Baby Girl to stay healthy and come at the right time. We ask that every day.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Holiday Times

Well, the holidays are over and we're back in Georgia. We had such wonderful times with all of our family and friends. Living away definitely makes you value and cherish everything you get to do together. I made it to Starbucks three times with my mom, sisters, or sister-in-law. :) I did not take near as many pictures as I usually do, mostly because I got very wrapped up in just visiting. Here are some pictures below.

Also, I know everyone wants to hear how the baby progress is going. I'm 39 weeks on Wednesday! It's an exciting time, but also a pretty uncomfortable one. Baby really dropped about 2 weeks ago, and a few nights a week I just cannot sleep long I am hurting so bad. There is no good way to brace the weight of my stomach that I've found, with materials or pillows or whatever. Baths are soothing on the muscle aches at least. Baby Girl seems content in there, but we are finally, finally ready for her arrival. Hunting season ends on the 15th here, which I'd like her to come after so that Jonathan gets every day he can to hunt, and so that the car can get a deep clean from all the boots, stands, mud, guns, corn, you name it that have been mucking it up so bad these past months! :)

I did have about 11 hours of contractions on Friday, that I precisely timed & wrote down for about 2-3 hours. They came between 4-7 minutes apart, but no more than 25-35 seconds long. They were painful, but not terribly so. I could smile between them (rather than needing to be prepared for the next one), and they did not take my entire concentration to get through. We'd hoped it would turn out to be more, but by the next morning when they'd subsided, I re-read the emotional map of labor and other parts of the Bradley book, and was confident my body was actively working on getting the baby here, but had decided to wait some more. I definitely stayed at the 1st emotional signpost (excitement) and so it was pretty empowering/good for Jonathan and me to re-read this all after the fact and know what to anticipate, and understand what we'd gone through. Pretty exciting. Since I desire to labor at home and go to the hospital later (to avoid time-pressure by staff and potential unnecessary medical intervention), there wasn't even a question of leaving the house yet, so it felt good and in control.

Anyway, more later after my appointment today. And I want to post my now-completed birth plan for your viewing pleasure. :) But now to pictures!

Granddaddy at the Christmas table! He was pretty happy!

Daddy donned an apron and did dishes! It was too hilarious seeing him like that not to snap a photo!

Stuart and Carter got into a cool whip fight... It was... memorable. Mom was pretty upset at first, but once everything was cleaned up, she laughed. She is amazing!

Daddy and Mom

Daddy and Carter

Shiona Marie - what a little pixie!!! She loooooooooved opening presents! She opened anything in sight!

Crystal and Noah

Mary and Mom

This Christmas, Grandma and Grandpa spent the night with us all at the Wilsons. It was super fun having Christmas Eve dinner and Christmas morning/breakfast with them!

Here's a photo Carter took & edited of Karen and me over Thanksiving. We are 20 weeks apart, so I was 32 weeks, she was 12. It's exciting to know these cousins will be so close in age.