Monday, October 29, 2012

Caroline's Birth-day Story

You'd think now that I have all this time on my hands, I'd be a better blogger.  But that certainly has not been the case and I will try to get better at it.  I definitely want to keep my readers well-informed and satisfied with plenty of pictures.   Social media like Instagram and Facebook are truly wonders of the web... providing a resource to spread the word and pictures like wildfire.  But, for documentation's sake (and the sake of my memory) I really need to discipline myself to blog.  So here goes... {wordy at first but a few pictures to reward you for hanging in there!}

After our "big" garage sale day with the Rainwaters, we headed home to relax and spend the evening in watching college football and being together.  Neither of us had no idea it would be our last night without our daughter!  Saturday night and early Sunday morning I did not sleep well.  I had "cramps" all night long and attributed them to the spicy chili I had for dinner and my sensitive stomach.  But when my 7:30 alarm went off and I began to get ready for church, I realized that those "cramps" very well could have been contractions.  I started to time the contractions with the pregnancy app I had on my iPhone and after about an hour I made a call to my doctor.  Dr. Nguyen was actually the on-call doctor at the time and we talked about my symptoms and contractions and how I was generally feeling.  It was about 8:30am.  She gave us the option to come in to the hospital or to stay at home a few more hours and see if the contractions increased in frequency and intensity.  We decided to wait.  We practiced some techniques we learned at our child birthing class, went on a walk, I took a warm bath while Jay helped me clean up the house, and made sure our bags were packed for the hospital in case this was "the real deal".

At about 12pm, my contractions were approximately 5 minutes apart, lasting about 45 seconds to a minute and had greatly increased in intensity.  They were very painful and I could no longer talk through them nor think about anything but the pain.  Mom called and was asking about them and quickly encouraged us to head to the hospital! ;)  We made another call to the doctor and he said to go ahead and come on in to get me checked out!  At that point, I think it became a little more real for me.  We notified some family to give them a chance to make arrangements for travel.  It took us about 30 minutes to prepare the house for our absence but we made it to the hospital  and got checked in about 1:00pm.  I worked through several intense contractions and the nurse was finally about to check my cervix only to tell me I was dilated to a 9.  WOW.  OK.  A NINE.  I guess those labor techniques at home really did work!  Neither Jay nor I expected me to be that far along in labor and we quickly realized that we would be having a baby that day!

The nurse called in several more nurses and staff to help with my IV, paperwork (our Maternity Care Coordinator meeting was scheduled for Monday!), and labs.  I was extremely focused on my contractions and hardly remember the bustle of the "crowd" in the room.  The next thing I remember is the sensation like I had to push and feeling my water break.  The nurse checked my cervix again and I was fully dilated.  Both Dr.  Heit (the on-call doctor) and Dr. Nguyen (my OB) were on their way.  At that point, I realized it would be too late for the epidural and began to prepare myself for a natural birth. All I remember from then was a lot of commotion, squeezing Jay's and another nurse's hands, breathing, trying NOT to push, waiting for ANY doctor to show up, telling the nurses "I HAVE TO PUSH", the nurse saying "Go get Dr. Piquard!", being able to actually push, the nurses encouraging me and finally feeling the relief of giving birth to my daughter.  It was 2:08pm.

After the delivery, everything was a blur.  I remember seeing and talking to Dr. Nguyen, being stitched up (that's all I'll say about that except that it was probably more painful than labor), holding Jay's hand, hearing our daughter cry for the first time and thinking "Wow, I just did that." :)

I am so grateful for the labor and delivery experience that God allowed me to have for many reasons.  His provision and blessing was upon me the whole time and I could not be more thankful for a healthy pregnancy, a full- term baby, a quick and natural delivery, beautiful daughter and loving husband.  Giving birth is truly a miracle and my heart is overflowing with gratitude and humility.  I praise God for allowing me the privilege to bring His creation into this world and love and care for her with all my heart.  
"Social media" announcement

Weigh-in immediately after birth

Face to face meeting! 

First bath.  Didn't like it then, doesn't like it now :)

Under the warmer

OK, so I realized that probably wasn't enough pictures for you...  But I've been blogging for over an hour and I promise I will post some more!  Until then...


Friday, October 26, 2012

Our Whirlwind Weekend

Well, as most of you have heard... we had a baby!  There are so many pictures to share and stories to tell that I'm a little overwhelmed but I will get to them all as soon as possible.  :)

My plan was to blog about the fun weekend we were going to have/had this past weekend since my last day of work was the 19th.  It started with a fun farewell party/baby shower at KTI on Friday evening.  Lindsay and Katherine were so gracious to plan and throw this fun little party for me!  I left KTI with bittersweet emotions, but knowing that we all had a bright future ahead!  Saturday our dear friends, the Rainwaters, hosted a garage sale at their house with all our stuff!  We had planned to have a garage sale before our baby girls arrived and it turned out to be a great day for it!  We all said it was a great success because we were able to spend some quality time together and get rid of some junk we had collected in the four years we'd been married.  {I have pictures of all these things that I will post as soon as I can get them loaded on my computer}

Aaannndd... our weekend ended with a bang because I ended up going into labor early Sunday morning and we had ourselves a little baby girl by 2 in the afternoon!  Wow.  Who knew we would have such a busy and eventful weekend?  God did!!!  And we trust that His timing could not have been more perfect for us.  We made it home from the hospital Tuesday afternoon and have settled into a good routine this week.  We have felt so much love and support from our dear friends and family and could not be happier.  We're sort of on Cloud 9, I think, and haven't really come back down...  WAY MORE to come soon. ;)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Caroline's Completed Nursery

The last two weekends Jay and I have been enjoying the weather, each other, great friends and making final preparations for our daughter's arrival.  As I am typing this out, I can feel her kicking and squirming and can see my belly bulge from side to side.  :)  It's pretty amazing and I finally feel "ready" to meet her and bring her home!  Our Creator definitely knew what He was doing when He designed a 40-week pregnancy and I know He's been working in my heart to prepare me a little more each day for motherhood.  I love knowing His timing is perfect and that Jay and I can trust in Him wholeheartedly for the arrival and with the life of our baby girl.

But now that I am 37 weeks and Caroline is considered full term, we, of course, have made and are still making the necessary preparations.  With the help of so many loved ones, my wonderful husband and fantastic friends who so graciously showered us with gifts, Caroline's nursery is complete.  :)  I couldn't be more happy with the way it turned out and I hope she feels like it is a safe haven for her sweet dreams and play time.  Here are a few pictures... enjoy!

Antique door frame-turned-cute-and-hopefully-useful-decor-item

Hanging bookshelf from Vintage Market repainted and so cute!

Old ice cream parlor chandelier courtesy of Christopher and rocking chair from Rob & Billie

Refurbished rocking horse and DIY light switch cover

Crib and Moses basket (hopefully we'll have a good sleeper on our hands!)

Fun banner from the baby shower

Finally got the recovered cushions back!

We also had some time today to put in the car seat!  Caroline is so lucky to have Jay as her daddy.

All ready to go! :)

This week is my last week of full-time work and I can't believe it!  I also have weekly appointments with Dr. Nguyen now and will hopefully update you later this week with a few more pregnancy tid-bits and a belly picture!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Blessed Baby Shower Weekend

This pregnancy journey has really been something else and now that I am 36 weeks pregnant I can say that I'm about ready for it to be over.  I can honestly say that I am a woman who has not necessarily enjoyed being pregnant.  Don't get me wrong, it is an amazing miracle - this growing a baby inside of you, thing - but, I can say that it is tough work and not so hunky-dory the whole time.  Anyway, enough of my rambling (I'm sure you'd rather not read about all my complaints since I haven't blogged in over a month)... I really did want to get some pictures up of my Kansas City baby shower.  I was overwhelmingly blessed by family and friends alike who came to shower me and Caroline with love, encouragement and gifts.  It was definitely a humbling and joyful experience.  Caroline is one lucky girl to have such an established support system ready to welcome her into this world!  My wonderful and dearest friends Heather, Mackenzie and Rachel graciously hosted the shower and really did a fabulous job!  I am so thankful to have such loyal and true friends who are such servants and wanted to celebrate me in this way.

Sweet hostesses - Mackenzie, Heather and Rachel

My mother-in-law and Mom!

Four generations!  Grandmother, Mom, sisters and Caroline!

Beautiful diaper cake Rachel made

Sweet wishes guests filled out for Caroline

Heather did amazing on the food!

Delicious purple punch

Serving up breakfast!

Guessing the answers to the questions Jay answered previously - a fun game!

"Future Razorback" onesie from Rachel

During the gift opening, I got so hot I had to take my boots off.  Only one problem... my had swollen up so bad that the zipper busted!  Allison was trying to help me out of them!

Monogrammed burp cloths!

Jessica drove all the way from NW Arkansas to come to the shower - she got Caroline the sweetest gowns... so cute!  What a sweet friend.

Jennifer and her daughter Faith made this adorable ladybug themed "baby carriage" full of diapers and baby goodies for Caroline!

Covenant Chapel women

Wonderful family who came from Arkansas and Oklahoma

Gifts!  So blessed :)

Homemade sugar scrub for my precious friends!

Caroline's nursery is almost 100% complete and I will absolutely be posting pictures of it as soon as it's done!  Only 28 more days to go and we will be welcoming our daughter into our little family!