Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Splish, Splash!!

The time has finally arrived! All of Elijah's stomp has come off and has stopped oozing so today we progressed from sponge baths to a real bath. He absolutely loved his cool, new bathtub!! I was VERY nervous about it, but there was nothing to it and he made us so proud!! I was expecting him to start screaming the minute his feet touched the water, but he was as calm as can be. He wasn't a fan of getting his hair washed and getting lotioned up afterwards, but aside from that, he seemed to enjoy it.

I think we have a little water baby on our hands!!

Elijah in his own big boy hooded towel

The bath seemed to really relax him (until he got out). I can't wait for the next one and hopefully, he continues enjoying them! I'm hoping that they'll help him rest at night and get him in a nice little routine for bedtime.
Nighty, night, little man!!
Elijah sporting his PJ's and cool robe!

After a nice warm bath (AND a full belly or course)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

My First Mother's Day

I had a great day!! Just having Elijah here healthy is the best gift I could ask for, but family just gave yhe day an extra kick. It started on friday night when my Mom came over to watch Elijah for a couple hours so Todd and I could go out to eat. We went to one of my favorite places, Red Lobster and had a great time! I spent a lot of time worrying about our little man, but we both still enjoyed our time together. Unfortunately, the following night, I paid for all the garlic that I had. He REFUSED to sleep and kept me up all night. I think I had maybe 1-2 hours of sleep, if that, so the actual day of mother's day was rough... but things got better.

I received a card from Elijah in the mail and another really sweet one that Daddy helped him pick out :) They also got me a gift card for a pedicure at a nearby spa (much needed, I may add) and a digital frame for all of the pics were going to have of Elijah! I also got some really thoughtful gifts from my parents esp for my first mother's day. I felt so special!!

Although EVERYTHING was really appreciated and loved, the BEST of all came the nights that followed. Todd took over after feedings for the following 2 nights so I could catch up on some sleep and recoup. SLEEP!!!!! That HAD to be one of the BEST gift!!

I am so glad God has blessed me with the title of "Mommy" and has given us such a great little family!

A Day in the Life of Elijah

Although Elijah spends most of his time napping or sleeping, he usually has 2-3 hour time frame during the day that he prefers to be up. This is my favorite time! We have tummy time together, sing songs, play, or even dance!! Here's a few tummy time pics:

Thinking about it!

Buddy protecting his baby!

Buddy showing Elijah how to roll over:)

"Do I smell a poopy diaper?"

Yah!! Lift that head!! You did it!!

Just a few other pics I wanted to share:

2 of his favorite places to nap :)

Another favorite past time!

One of his many talents; making us laugh!'

Ah!!! A special father/ son bonding moment!!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Elijah's Many Firsts

Elijah's now 3 weeks and 2 days and I have so much catching up to do! Time is going sooo fast and he seems to be changing everyday! He is starting to get more vocal ( and I don't mean crying, LOL) and continues to smile daily, and seems to interact with us more. He is very strong and has been trying to lifty himself and his head for quite a while now. He's gotten really good at it and is able to keep it up for a couple seconds on his own already. He has so many different facial expressions and I'm so amazed at how alert he is! He is always checking out new things and seems to be scared that he will miss something if he doesn't. He discovered his thumb about a week ago, but prefers to suck on the entire side of his hand instead.

He's done so many things in his little life already. He had his first short outting to Walmart to pick up pics and absolutely loved the car ride and his ride in the cart. He also had his first photo shoot at Olan Mills. He did a great job there too, but got a little hungry towards the end and didn't like being naked on his belly for the shots in our hands. Fortunately, the photographer was able to get a few cute shots between his tears. To view the studio pics , go to:
*Olanmills. com and click on "Online store"
*Go to "Order status " at the top
*Go to "click here to view" above images of receipts
*Enter our last name and order number 9789194686
*Enter our email address (if you don't know it, leave a comment and I'll send it to you)
*Click on the 1st image and the others will be brought up
* Enjoy!

He attended his first church service when he was a week and a half and had a great experience. Todd and I were both very excited about having him meet everyone, but Elijah preferred to sleep instead! It was definitely a big change in the morning routine with a baby. Coordinating a perfectly timed feeding and getting both of us ready in time took more patience and a little more stressful than I thought!! Of course, he had to leave us a HUGE package in his diaper as we were walking out the door!

First day of church

Pastor Kaiser and his wife, Dana, at the hospital.

Another one of his outtings was to the mall and he got to try out his new stroller. Daddy was so proud to have him and refused to let me push! I can't believe I forgot my camera. It was so cute! Elijah slept right though the entire trip as usual and didn't have a care in the world.

His latest outting (and probably longest car ride so far), was to Mamaw's and Papaw's to socialize with them again and to meet his great grandma! He had his fussy moments (mainly my fault for him not having a full belly), but did a great job once again! He is so loved! Somehow, he managed to make quite a deposit while there and needed a complete outfit change!!

Here's some other pics that I'm just now getting around to posting:

Elijah with both Grandma's
Elijah with both Grandpa's

Life With a Newborn

WOW!!! Motherhood is........ sooooo much more than I planned. Just like there were moments during labor that I thought I couldn't do it any longer, there are those moments with being a new mother as well. These are the things that you don't think about and that people don't always talk and tell you about. You go in thinking that "O.K. I'm a woman, so these things are going to come naturally"........ well....... wrong!!! Sometimes it's that I just can't seem to calm him or figure out what he wants while at other times, I feel as if I can't make him happy no matter what I do. Other times, I feel as if my body can't go any longer or the pain of nursing gets to me. So..... it's not always easy, but is sooo worth it and by the next day, it's all over and is a bright new day.

I'd love to have a full 8 hours of sleep, but all in all, I think I'm adjusting pretty well. And the notion of sleeping when they sleep?? Ugh..... that doesn't quite work for me! There seems to always be something else that needs to be done and although I know that I SHOULD put that on the waiting list, I'd rather do it and get it done.The first week or so, he was eating and sleeping really well, but now he wants to nap WHILE feeding so things have gotten a little rougher. He doesn't want to sleep because he's hungry and he's hungry because he napping during feedings!! Very frustrating!! On top of that, he's in the midst of a growth spurt, so all he wants to do is eat!!! Between changing diapers and late night feedings, my nights are very tiring to say the least. At this point, I'm sleeping in his room with him. I'm so scared to leave him alone. Elijah started out sleeping in our room in a PNP, but when Todd went to back to work, I was taking him to to his room when he wakes to allow Todd to sleep, but soon I ended up just staying in there all night instead of going back and forth. Aside from missing being with Todd and being in our nice, soft bed, just staying in Elijah's room with him seems to work best for now. Of course, there are PLENTY of days where Elijah doesn't want to sleep or would prefer to sleep on us instead of in his bed and lately, those have been constant!!!

I think we are all doing pretty well. Aside from sore feet and being sore in the beginning, I pretty much felt back to normal a week or so after his birth and we began getting out for short outtings. The first week was and is a blur to both of us (mainly due to the sleep depreivation!) Todd's now back to work, but loves to spend as much of his home time as possible with Little Elijah and takes on diaper duty on his days off to allow me more sleep time. Isn' t that sweet? He is a great Daddy and loves the little guy to pieces! He sings and plays with him every day. He has definitely created a great bond with his face just beams with pride to have a son.

Buddy was a little antsy at first and wanted to jump at him to play, but now he's calmed down and just wants to sniff him. He seems very protective of him. He follows me wherever I go with Elijah and will sit right at your feet during his feedings. Snowball was my main concern while I was pregnant because I thought she'd constantly try to get in his crib and pack-n-plays, but as it turns out, she couldn't care less that he's here! She's tried to get in his bed a couple times, but after being told no, she goes on her way. They have both really surprised me in that the crying doesn't bother thiem at all! (LOL. All of those baby shows that I watched while I was pregnant must have de- sensatized them.) And of course, Jake is off limits for QUITE a while. Elijah will be able to admire him from a distance and the safety of a glass :)

All in all, motherhood has been great and I'm sure Todd would agree with Fatherhood being the same. Every day hasn't been easy, but everytime I see those eyes or that beautiful face, all the trials and negative thoughts go away. I can have a really rough night, but when morning comes and he wakes, that face just makes it all disappear immediately.

Elijah has been a HUGE blessing to us and I can't imagine things any different right now. I love being a mommy and can't wait to see what the future hold for us! We are beyond blessed and are truly thankful!!! It's crazy to think that we were/ are trusted with this fragile little life that relies solely on us! We are BEYOND blessed!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

My Birth Story

Childbirth is truly an amazing process and experience. After going through it myelf, I realized that it was NOT layed out the wayI had heard of and just like my pregnancy as a whole, I didn't get the textbook signs that birth was approaching. I had no bloody show, didn't loose my plug, wasn't dilating regularly, and I never experience the lightnening feeling. Here's my story.

I woke up at a little after midnight on the 21st because I had a little trickle. I immediately woke Todd and told him that today may be our big day. An hour passed and nothing much else had happened so I told Todd to go on back to sleep and that I'd wake him if anything else came about. I was not having any major contractions to time and was in no pain at all. I got up and had a small breakfast, got some last minute things done for work, and a few light chores around the house.

4:20a rolled around and still not much progress so I decided to lay back down. Almost immediately after laying down, I had a HUGE gush and my water had officially broken. Early on in the pregnancy, I had decided NOT to rush to the hospital until needed (ie. contractions pick up and timeable), so I woke Todd once again and we got ready and just waited..... and waited and waited. And knowing that I wasn't going to be able to eat the the hospital, I ate breakfast again (although I know I wasn't supposed to per the dr's). 5:30a rolled around and still pretty much nothing. Then 6:30 and 7:30 and 8:30a. I was starting to worry a little by then because I STILL wasn't having a lot of contractions and my water had been broken for 4 hours so after making one more stop for food, we arrived at the hospital around 9:30am.

It was confirmed that my water had broke and we were officially admitted around 10:30a. We made our phone calls and I was ready and looking forward to having Elijah here late that night. Boy, was I wrong!!

I was checked as soon as I was admitted and I hadn't progressed any since my appt.the prior week; I was still only a fingertip dilated. A little before midnight rolled around and still not much progress. I think I was around a 4 by then. Unfortunately, my Dr wasn't on call yet and when I met the one that was, he was not what he seemed to be when I met him at the office. He was extremely negative and was really pushing an induction. He explained that I could likely need a c- section as well because of the risk of infection setting in since my water had broken. Well, I had done my research prior, and I refused the induction but agreed to have them regularly temp me to catch a temp spike signaling a problem. He said I couldn't be up out of bed either. At that point, I was very disappointed because it seemed that so many things that I had wanting in my birth plan were going down hill. ( I had the IV instead of the heplock I wanted, I couldn't move out of bed, and he was already talking c- section and/ or induction). Luckily, I was VERY fortunate to have a great nurse that reviewed my birth plan and really advocated for me and was able to get me up and at least allow me to work on the birth ball. She agreed to not even mention the "e" word (epidural) to me and check me only intermitently as I requested.

Hours passed and still not much progress. I was only dilating maybe 1 cm every 2 hours if that. 3 am rolled around and I was a 6-7 dilated and there was mention again of an induction, but again, refused it. My thought was if baby is fine, why rush him when he's not ready? I think it was around this time that contractions began picking up and becoming a little more painful. I was able to sleep between and even through some contractions and used my birth ball as well. It really seemed to help in the beginning, but after being awake for so long, I just got to the point where I just wanted to stay in bed. With Elijah being as active as he is, he was still moving a lot and they couldn't keep him on the monitor so they had to place one on his head internally around 6 am.

Noon rolled around and I was finally a 10 and ready to push!! I was so exhausted from being up so long, I had a really hard time pushing and was to the point where I wanted a c-section or them to use forceps or the vacuum. Todd especially, as well as Tess (our doula) and my Mom were great at keeping me focused and reminding me of what I really wanted; a completely natural childbirth with very limited interventions, esp. forceps and vacuum. God had it all planned out to allow it that way as well; Elijah wasn't low enough to use them even if they were needed at the time so I really HAD no choice and had to do it. After pushing for quite a while, it was thought that he was face down instead of face up and that was making things harder for me. His heart rate was also dipping with contractions so I was given oxygen. I continued to push for over 3 hours when my Dr recommended a low level of Pitocin because she said I just wasn't getting the close contractions needed. I agreed and it was administered minutes later, but at 3:44 pm, before it had time to fully flow through and take much of an effect, Elijah made his grand appearance! Everyone says that he opened his eyes before he was even entirely out! Todd cut the cord and the room was filled with tears and excitement. It was the best feeling in the world!

The monitor that was on his head left a little scar, but it isn't very noticeable and will be even less so as his hair grows. His head was also angled as he tried to make his entrance so it was a little bruised as well. He was very alert and is just prefect. He was 6 lbs 13.7 oz, 20 in long, and scored an 8 and 10 on his apgars. He was 6 lbs. 9oz when we were discharged.

Jaundice set in the day we were discharged, but it wasn't bad enough to keep him. Instead, he was on a billy blanket all weekend and had daily blood draws to check labels. As always ,the Lord was looking after him and he was cleared of it the monday following his birth.

So, in a nutshell, I had a 35+ hour , pain med free birth and a perfect little angel to show for it!!
I wouldn't change anything about the entire experience! With Todd and everyone present during delivery, everything went great! Although there were a few things that couldn't be followed on our birth plan, all of the most important points were met and I was able to have the birth that I wanted. Natural birth was all in God's great plan and I'm so glad that he gave me the strength and support to get through.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Elijah's 1 Week Old!!

I can't believe so much time has already passed since Little Elijah's arrival. He's now a week and 2 days old and still as prefect as can be. Although it's said that they can't smile at this stage (intentional, responsive smiling), he's seem to be practicing more and more every day. He makes me melt when I see him grin! He's a great eater and although he has his nights, he sleeps pretty well too. It's taken a little getting used to getting up every few hours to feed him, but it is all so rewarding and worth it.

It's amazing to see how much change can occur in so little time. His eyes seems to be more gray now than they were at birth (they seems to have a bluish tint at first) and his eyebrows are starting to come in a little darker. He has discovered his thumb, but prefers to suck on his entire hand instead and his personality seems to be coming out more and more everyday. I'm so facinated with him and everything he does and every change he makes. I can't believe we were so blessed.

One of the funniest and most surprising things about him is that he won't let you miss a poopy diaper! Not because he cries, but because he will wake the dead while doing so! I guess he gets it from his Daddy, LOL.

Although Elijah is here, I still can't believe we have a baby. This little 6 lb being came from inside of me! I still feel like he was placed under my bed at the hospital and pulled out at the last minute like some kind of magic trick. Birth is such a miracle and so unreal. We are SOOO thankful and blessed to have him here safe and sound.

Here's are a few pics of our handsome man at a week old.

Got Milk????

Too sleepy to burp!

AHH!!! Doesn't it make YOU melt?