Sunday, September 28, 2008

First Trip to Sassy & Grandpa's House!

Well, Brett marched in on Thursday and said "let's go to Tyler", so we just packed up and left! Of course it now takes us 4 hours instead of 30 minutes to "pack up"- gives a whole new meaning to 'spontaneous'. We had a great time and Eden was a charm as always. We all went to eat at "Jakes" for dinner -which is now under new ownership and is EXCELLENT for any of you Tylerites reading this- loads of fun. Saturday we had little early birthday celebration breakfast for Brett who turns thirty-something on Oct. 7 and after Brett picked out a new golf bag (happy birthday from Mom & Dad), we headed home... It is nice to be back to some "normal" activities.

As a quick update, Eden has been pooping on her own every two to three days now- Praise the Lord! We have also started some "sleep training". Nights are still a little rough, but improving- today though, Eden put herself to sleep for a nap just beautifully- yeah!!!

Sassy & Grandpa (Brett's parents), Eden and
Garrett (our nephew)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Poop in Progress...

Isn't she beautiful...look at that precious Cain nose.

I meant to include this pic from the hospital long ago. Our great friends T.O. and Candace gave Brett that shirt.

We took Eden to the GI specialist on Friday and she said what we already suspected- that Eden is probably normal and that we should just continue our current pattern. She did prescribe Lactulose to see if that increases her frequency. If any of your babies have taken it, I would love to hear how it went. She wants to see us back in 10 weeks and if we are still having problems, she may order the diagnostics for Hirschprung's disease. The absolute best part is that Eden decided it was time to poop- right there in the doctor's office. I think the doctor wondered if we new what we were talking about!

Because we were already up in Hurst, we decided to drive over to Plano/Frisco and spent the night. We stayed at this new hotel at the shops at Legacy in Plano called Nylo. It was one of those places that was trying really hard to be super fancy, but just kind of missed it. It was really modern and just pretty interesting- the walls, ceiling, and floor were all unfinished concrete and the plumbing and ducts were all exposed- interesting- super comfy bed, though, which is the MOST important thing to us. You can sort of tell from the picture below. We had lots of fun, but I think next time it's back to our staple Westin Stonebriar.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Growing Up Already...

Gotta love that boppy...

Thank you Moore Family for my swing...I love it
and so does my Mom because I take my best naps in it!

Look what I learned to do Mom!

Well Eden is 3 weeks old and it feels like she's been with us forever! What a pleasure... She is loving her baths, and she will sleep for 2 hours at a time on her own... still working on it. Pooping is still a problem. For the past 10 days she only goes every 4 days when I give her a glycerin enema (one of the many pleasures of motherhood- but I really don't mind). She doesn't seem the least bit uncomfortable- thankfully- and when she does go it is nice and soft- no constipation. We are going to see the gastrointerologist a week from today. The pediatrician wants us to make sure that it isn't Hirschprung's Disease which is where a portion of the colon lacks nerve cells that stimulate it to contract. It's a little tough to hear the word disease in reference to your 3 week old... There is a greater chance that Eden is just what they call a 'normal variant' (no disease)- I prefer the term 'extra special'. I must declare from the rooftops, however, that today while shopping at Target with our very special friends Katie & Johnna- Eden pooped on her own! I have to admit that I cried a little bit! Of course, the moral of the story is that shopping really can cure anything... In all seriousness, thank you Lord!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Week 2 and Playing Catch-Up

Every day just gets better doesn't it... Eden is wonderful. She will now nap on her own but still needs to be next to Mom to sleep more than an hour overnight...we're working on it. Bath time is MUCH better. She won't admit it, but I think she even likes it a little bit. Thank you moms for all the great advice. One tiny hiccup- Eden doesn't poop! We are going on 41/2 days with nothing. I know that is common for breastfed babies but not usually this soon. She has no signs of constipation- thankfully. Her doctor is going to consult a GI specialist today to get some input, because we are both a little stumped. Anyway, please pray for poop!

Birth Story-

I know for many (or most) of you birth stories are a little like dog stories- only interesting if it's your own- but for any of you who are strange like me and love all the details I wanted to finally take the time to tell about Eden's arrival. I'm sure you'll want me to just get to good stuff already, but these are MY precious details- so bear with me and feel free to skim to the end!

I went to the doctor on the morning of Tues 8/19 and she told me I was 80% effaced but not dilated at all. She suspected Eden would arrive around her due date of 9/3 and told me I would be officially 'full-term' (38 weeks) the next day (8/20). That late afternoon Brett and I went and had 'maternity' portraits done thanks to an incredibly sweet gift from our friends Bryan and Jennifer. Toward the end of the session I felt a little achy and more tired than I had ever been. We went home and I could barely peel myself off the couch until bedtime (I made an exception for an incredibly healthy dinner from Chicken Express)- still just achy below my belly-button (not unusual for 38 weeks pregnant). Around midnight I noticed the achiness was coming and going and I had the fleeting thought that these could be contractions- but no, it was still a bit early and after all I hadn't had my nesting phase, diarrhea, an energy surge, braxton-hicks or any of the other 'omens' of labor, and all those books MUST be right! By 2a.m, the achiness had turned into burning that was definitely regular and intermittent- I got up to go to the bathroom and lost my mucus plug. That's when I first thought- this could really be it.

I went to the sofa because I was way to uncomfortable to sleep. True to my personality, I got my stop-watch, pen and paper, and extra pillows so that I could strictly follow the instructions from all the 'birthing books' I had read (they hadn't been exactly right so far, but one's gotta have a plan!). Again, true to my personality I didn't wake Brett- after all, what could he really do at this stage and at least one of us should have a good night's sleep. So, the 'pains' got stronger and gradually closer together. Just an aside- I expected contractions to feel like a strong muscle cramp- not so for me. They felt like bad burning indigestion only low in my abdomen- strange I know.

So, about 6am I heard Brett's alarm go off and I went in and told him I had been having contractions all night. It was just like a movie- in the fog of sleep he said 'oh really', then his eyes jumped open and he flew out of bed and said "We're having a baby today-Gotta get ready!"

He made sure I was comfortable and was able to time the contractions and then he got to work- unsolicited no less. He picked up the entire house- garage cleaned out, nursery set-up finished, everything! He even called the cleaning lady from the office and arranged for her to come clean while we were gone. He was amazing.... such a good one.

According to our plan, we left about 1pm to head to Fort Worth. It seems really funny now, but we stopped at the office so I could get payroll done and get a deposit ready- then we drove through the bank to deposit everything. We saw a friend who worked at the drive-thru window and I am sure she thought we were crazy running errands while in labor. I just stopped to breathe with every contraction and worked in between. Off to Fort Worth...

We got a hotel room in FtW to wait until 'time' to go on to the hospital. The doctor (and all my precious books) said to wait until the contractions were 4 to 5 min apart, at least 1 min long for at least an hour. Well, my contractions were 1min long practically from the beginning and they would vary from 5 to 9 minutes apart- so no rush. After all, I didn't want to be turned away from the hospital for not being far enough along... Brett got us a little food and we were ready to just wait it out. We figured out that my contractions got closer together if I moved around, so I commenced to pacing. Still not consistently 5 minutes apart, I decided to take a quick shower
(I knew it may be a while before the next one). Ladies, the moral of the story is that if labor seems a bit draggy, take a shower! Oh my, a HUGE contraction hit and lasted for - no lie - 3 minutes! I was frozen, couldn't do a thing... Brett had to get me out of the shower, dry me off, and put my clothes on. He even tried to wipe mascara off my face- funny picture now, not at the time. Again, heck of a man I've got.

Needless to say, off to the hospital ASAP! Got there (thank God for valet parking- literally), got checked in. The nurses weren't nearly as panicky as we were- it was as if they had seen this all before. I had to answer very important questions like what kind of vitamins I took and when I saw my doctor last- still with contractions on top of each other... Now I am well aware that all the questions serve a purpose, I just REALLY wanted someone to make sure there wasn't a baby coming out of my body. The contractions slowed down a bit and then the nurse finally checked me. Now my fear was that after everything, I would be dilated to like a 4- well, not so, I was at an 81/2 already! The nurse was shocked and asked if I had waited so long on purpose.

The next little bit is kind of a blur. I was sad to find out that my doctor wasn't on call. They paged the guy who was, wheeled me into the L&D room, and then we just waited. About 30 min later, the doctor came in and I was still at an 81/2. He broke my water, but apparently I wasn't progressing fast enough for him, so he told the nurse to give me some pitocin. Now, even in the fog of labor- decisions made about me, right in front of me, and not discussed with me don't go over very well. Brett and I piped in and finally agreed to allow the smallest possible dose of pitocin because Eden's heart rate was a little high.

Well, God is so gracious in every way. Eden's heart rate almost immediately got high enough to be a concern so they had to stop the pitocin and had me lay on my left side. I realized that I had stopped relaxing during the contractions, which I knew was critical for labor to progress. The doctor told me he would have to restart and increase the pitocin as soon as her heart rate went down or if it didn't, he would have to "take her fast" which I presume meant a c-section. Now, I was willing to do whatever I needed to protect Eden, but dad gum it I hadn't gone this far to lose control now! So, I made the decision to try with every ounce of my power to relax during the contractions and move things along. So, with every contraction- only by the Grace of God- I forced myself to stay relaxed and I prayed for that sweet girl to move down where she needed to be.

Brett watched the monitors and her little heart went down to a normal level, as I kept concentrating. Now at this point the contractions were pretty bad and I finally reached a point that I really didn't think I could do it anymore. As I was saying that to Brett, my body began pushing on its own- I kid you not... Brett grabbed the nurse and sure enough we had made it to a 10! Praise God! I give Him full credit for giving me the strength, protecting Eden, and getting her down where she needed to be. After all, He invented this process- right!?

Just like I had read, hearing it was time to push renewed my strength! We were in the home stretch now... Oh my, I remember my Mom saying that she remembered birthing babies as just being really hard work- I was totally unprepared for how right she was! Pushing out a big 'ol baby is just as difficult as it sounds. I was pushing with all my might and felt like NOTHING was happening. The nurses kept telling me I was doing great and moving her down. I believed them until I felt like I had pushed for an hour (actually about 10 min) and the nurse declared she could see about a half dollar size of her head. Seriously! There was no way I could keep up this pace to push out a whole head- I mean I thought we should at least be seeing some little eyes or something! Well apparently that's not exactly how it works...

Two big pushes later, I had again reached the point that I thought- I'm done, I can't do it anymore... I was completely exausted. All of a sudden the nurses declared "you did it!" and they backed away from the table, flipped on the surgical lights, threw up some stirrups, and put on surgical gowns and gloves. Brett likes to call that moment 'lights, camera, action'... We were both like, I did what!? I wasn't sure if they noticed but the BabyGirl was still very much inside of me. One of the nurses said "you are ready to have your baby". I thought- "are you kidding me? What exactly have I been doing for the past 20 hours?" Well, apparently you push with the nurses for a long time until the baby's head moves below the pelvic bone so that it can't move back up between contractions. Then it's just a couple of pushes later and the baby is out... That's exactly how it happened. Three pushes later and Eden was here!

She immediately let out a wail and I have never known relief like I felt at that moment... never. The doctor warned me she had a little cone-head, but oh my word, that poor child looked like she was wearing a dunce cap cocked to the right side. I know that their little skulls are made to do that, but it is bound to cause a headache! I found out later that the goofey doctor had also cut her little head when he broke my water- apparently quite common, but irritating nonetheless. She was the most beautiful baby I had ever seen- ever. The same goofey doctor was about to cut the cord when thankfully Brett piped in and told him he wanted to cut it. They wrapped her up and put her on my chest and she immediately quit crying- wow- no words for that moment.

Brett went with the nurse and Eden to the corner to finish cleaning her up. Brett got to put on her first diaper and I could just hear him saying "oh my gosh, she is so strong". In the meantime (forgive the gorey details), the doctor commenced to delivering the placenta and the 'repair' work. Now that was the part I was really unprepared for. It actually hurt more than anything else. I had lost all composure by that point- strength was totally gone- so I wasn't exactly quiet about my discomfort. The doctor actually said- "I'm sorry, I'm not used to doing this on someone without an epidural". Really. Really.

It's hard to see in the picture, but I had pushed so hard that my vision was blurry, my face was swollen, and my face and neck were covered in tiny red 'freckles' from all the broken blood vessels- wow. All things told, it was an amazingly difficult and wonderful experience. I have to say that was one of those incredible times when I was faced with something I really didn't have the strength to endure and God revealed His strength at precisely the right times. I wouldn't change a thing and have absolutely no regrets. For anyone reading this who has not had a baby, I want you to be encouraged. As difficult as certain moments were, with God's grace it is absolutely possible. After all, women have been doing this for thousands of years... God bless 'em all!