Tuesday, July 31, 2012

It's been 3 weeks!

Where did the time go? I cannot believe its been 3 weeks since KJ has come into our lives. It seems like the days have all run together. I guess when you have a newborn and are up every couple hours of the night, when life completely revolves around the non-stop feeding & changing of your baby, you sort of lose track of what's going on with the rest of the world. But we are still here! Trying to figure out how to be parents!

I am SO thankful my husband has been off work for these few weeks of the summer to do this WITH me. I would be much more overwhelmed, lonely, and stir-crazy if he wasn't home! So the two of us have just been completely CHILLIN (and this past week, watching the Olympics non-stop!) My mom left a week after we got home from the hospital, and it was wonderful having her help around the house and with KJ. My body recovered pretty quickly, and I was able to move around more easily basically the day after we got home. I feel almost back to normal now! SO thankfuL!

The first week we were home, we took KJ out a few times and tried to continue being social, not wanting to seclude ourselves and disappear from the world like some new parents do. But after a week and a half, KJ started getting more fussy and possibly sick, and we were worried we were trying to do too much with her. The doctors say not to take a baby out til after 2 months. While I wasn't about to sit at home for 2 months straight, I DID realize that taking her out at one week probably wasn't wise.
KJ's first walk around the block

At our 2 week Dr appointment

Panera outing

Frozen Yogurt date night
 SO, these past 2 weeks we have tried to limit our outtings and be more careful of germs and too much stimulation for our baby girl. We have WELCOMED visitors, though, because I, for one, cannot sit at home all day every day with no social interaction or nothing to structure the day around. So THANKS for those who stopped by to meet her and visit US and even bring us a meal! That has been SUCH a blessing! (The times during the day where KJ is asleep and lets me put her down, I have NOT been motivated or had the energy to clean our house or cook much at all, so THANKS for those already-cooked dinners! Husband especially appreciates it!)

Best friends, Josh & Brit

Auntie 'Nenna' and Uncle Kyle came to meet KJ

Sweet Rachel & hubby came to visit!

Of course Nana and Papa's visit was WONDERFUL and we are so glad to have 'Lolli and Pop' close by!

We are obviously enthralled with our little girl and still just stare at her all day, watching her make endless goofy faces and trying to learn what she's like and what she needs.

She really does sleep almost all day (with a few fussy spells and a few minutes of  awake time here and there).

LOVES sleeping on dad's chest

 Arms above her head is a favorite sleep position

Laughs and smiles in her sleep
Love when the lower lip comes out

She already likes sleeping in our bed best
 The problem has been that she will NOT go down at night. She may be dead asleep during the day where we can't even wake her up if we try (and we REALLY do try!) but the second we lay her in her crib at night, she CRIES and fusses for hours. It is EXHAUSTING. Once we DO get her down, she sleeps pretty well, getting up every 3 hours or so to feed. It's just those hours at first, usually 9pm-12am...she looks like this!

Other than that, though, she has been great and we are SO thankful that she is healthy and that she eats well. (She gained almost 2 lbs in her first 2 weeks of life, which is very rare- they usually lose weight during those weeks). Her cheeks are getting chunky and her little belly is poochin out :). She is STRONG, too! Always lifting her head to look around and trying to stand up when we hold her up on our laps. A future athlete for SURE :)

Anyway, nothing too exciting to write about, considering our daily discussions revolve around dirty diapers (UNBELIEVABLE how many diapers she goes through!) and when the next time to feed is...but we LOVE being parents, are SO GLAD we are in it together, and are trusting the Lord with each new step of how to best care for Kennedy. THANKS for your prayers and for reaching out to us and supporting us! Pray for me being home all day with her as Kent goes off to work this week...I'm a little nervous about how to make my days feel productive and more structured. I don't want to feel lazy, anti-social, or completely wrapped up in every move KJ makes...but am asking the Lord for help to continue to reach out to others, use the gifts He's given me, and be a blessing.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

KJ's Arrival-the birth story

We wanted to write down all that happened the past few days while it's still fresh in our heads and hearts! If ya'll want the cliff notes, feel free to scroll to the bottom because I'm about to give you the play by play!

So my due date was Saturday, July 7th (with a 'second' date of July 10th) and we were HOPING baby would come even a week early!  Because of a few reasons, my doctor thought it best to go ahead & schedule an induction for Wednesday morning, July 11th if the baby didn't come before then. We were PRAYING she would just come on her own!

Here is what happened. Monday July 9, at 3am, I started having contractions. I began timing them to discover they were about 5 minutes apart! It wasn't super painful, just very tight and uncomfortable. I knew it wasn't braxton hicks because I'd had those before. So, I laid in bed for the next 1.5 hours timing them, wondering if it was for real. The pain didn't increase, but they stayed consistent. I was starving at 4:30am, so i tiptoed out the door and into the kitchen for some cereal and my husband wakes up and joins me. 

As we ate our cereal, we talked about our game plan. I was skeptical because the pain wasn't very bad, so we decided to try to go back to sleep and see what happened. I woke up at 7 and the contractions were much more sporadic, so we decided to carry on as normal, HOPING the baby would come even later that day!

My mom (who came in town that Saturday) and my mother-in-law and I had plans to get a pedicure that day since we were trying to kill time while waiting on baby. (I was getting contractions about every 7-10 minutes at this point.)We grabbed lunch at chick-fil-a and went to the mall to walk around some. We all had a weird anticipation, thinking this might really be happening soon! It was hard to pretend everything was normal. 

At the mall, we went in all the baby stores and MAY or may not have bought even MORE cute little clothes for KJ. 

THIS was what Kent picked out for her from Finishline! He was SO EXCITED!

Later that afternoon when we got home, the contractions came again, a little harder, about 5 minutes apart! Here is me having contractions. Yes, I look way too happy to be in TRUE labor. 
We waited them out, but by the time we got to an hour, they had spread back out again, and eventually stopped! We were disappointed! But I had a doctor appointment the next morning at 11:45, so we hoped when she checked me, she'd at least see some dilation had happened and that we were making progress.

Last belly shot

Kent reading me a children's book as we wait on the Dr, trying to make the mood more light hearted.

Tuesday morning comes and nothing had happened, so we headed to the doctor, hopeful for progress. When she checked me, although I was almost totally effaced, there was still ZERO dilation. She couldn't even check to see if the baby's head had dropped, because it was that tight. Not looking good. This, however, gave me a little reassurance that induction really might be a necessary step, so we planned on checking into the hospital that night at 8pm for them to start me on Cervidil to 'ripen' my cervix and get things rolling. 

My dad drove in to Memphis from Chicago that day and got there an hour or 2 before we had to head to the hospital. I was SO glad to have him here for all of this.

We had a minor hiccup when we got to the hospital. They didn't have me on the list. There was a mistake with scheduling and they didn't have a room for me (for awhile anyway) and were pretty rude about it. I was SUPER discouraged and frustrated. I was already so nervous/anxious/overtired/tired of waiting... Kent's whole family had showed up to support us and now we all had to wait for a few hours in the waiting room. I just wanted to get it over with. It took me awhile to adjust my attitude. God KNOWS how much I struggle with impatience, so he would test me in this a ton during this pregnancy and delivery. 

We finally made it in to the room. Mom and dad came in and prayed for us and we said we'd call in the morning as soon as things started happening. I was scared but so excited!

They hooked me up to so many things. an IV that hurt like crazy for hours and kept me up, things constantly beeping and buzzing...random contractions happening...it wasn't looking like sleep would happen. At 1am they finished getting me all ready, and at 4am they woke me up to shower and get ready to start the Pitocin.

 At 8am, my doctor came in to check me but nothing had happened. I was having contractions pretty often starting at 5am, but they were bearable. I just wanted to see some progress! The doctor basically forced open my cervix enough to break the water, hoping that would get things rolling. She came back a few hours later and nothing had progressed...so she forced my cervix to open to a '3'. She thought if she could get me past there, things would progress. At this point my contractions were coming strong and fast. I wanted to wait as long as possible for the epidural because I heard until you are a '4', the epidural can prolong labor. But by 11am I was in too much pain to wait. I mean, it was HORRIBLE. I couldn't recover from one contraction before the other would hit, and my body was so tense and shaking from the pain. I was in uncontrollable tears. The hero of the day, the anesthesiologist, finally made it to our room, and had the hardest time giving me the epidural because my body was SO tense. But finally...SWEET HEAVENLY RELIEF! The doctor even thought maybe if my body could relax, it would start progressing on its own! We were PRAYING it would! The nurse checked me soon after and I was barely a 4, and somehow the next time they checked me I was BACK to a 3! This was not looking good! We called on our prayer partners to intercede because the nurse had said to be open to the idea of a C-section. So while I was in SUCH relief from the epidural, I was anxious and discouraged about a C-section. Well, God was working, and somehow the next time a nurse checked me, I was a 5, totally on my own. An hour later, I was at a 7! And an hour later, I was a 9. My nurse was amazed and called my doctor. Things were happening fast! It was almost 8pm at this point, and my parents and Kent's parents all came in to pray with me and rejoice with me! We were going to MEET our DAUGHTER!

 It was the first time I could actually see the end in sight and things got very REAL that I was about to HAVE a baby girl! I was still nervous about the pushing, but ready to get this over with and hold my daughter!

The nurse told me to do 3 practice pushes, pushing for a count of 10 each time. But after one practice push for 3 seconds, she says, 'STOP! You are doing great! We have to wait for the doctor or you'll push her out too soon!'  I was so happy that I was a good pusher...the sooner the better! Well, the doctor wasn't coming so the nurse finally let me start pushing without her (what are doctors there for anyway? the nurses seem to do everything!) Halfway through the pushing, the doctor shows up and keeps cheering me on. 40 minutes later, a head of dark thick hair makes an appearance! They showed her to me and I thought, "That is MY child!?" I couldn't believe it!

But she wasn't making a sound...I was so worried! She had fluid in her mouth and lungs they had to get out so they worked on her in the room for a few minutes until FINALLY I heard a little gurgle and tiny cry. Praise the Lord! She's okay! In my grogginess from all the medicine, it was like an out-of-body experience as they placed her in my arms. I tried to feed her, but considering she could barely breathe, feeding wasn't quite on her mind. Our families came in to meet her and Kent's bro took a bunch of AWESOME pics.

The whole time I felt like I was floating and it wasn't really me in the room. I was starting to feel REALLY nauseous and sick, and hated that I couldn't connect with the moment and with my DAUGHTER! Once they brought us upstairs to recovery, the nurse gave me something for nausea and as the feeling started coming back to my body, I felt SO MUCH BETTER. Kennedy nursed and did GREAT, and we really got to bond. 

Anyway, the next 2 nights, Wednesday and Thursday, are a blur...felt like I had been at the hospital for a week! But all in all, we saw God answer SO MANY PRAYERS and are in such awe of Him. We had the most AMAZING nurses-nurses are angels!!! and they made the recovery so much easier. We were ready to head home Friday and thankful my parents would be around for the weekend to help us care for her and enjoy her. The last few nights have of course been rough, but it is SO worth it and we already can't imagine life without her! GOD IS SO GOOD! Thank you everyone for your prayers! Come visit our little girl soon!

-Had random contractions from Monday-Tuesday July 10-11th but labor didn't progress
-Checked into hospital Tuesday night to get induced,Pitocin (starts contractions) Wed 5am
-Doctor broke my water at 8am, but we saw zero dilation for hours and hours
-Contractions get unbearable by 11am...HELLO HEAVENLY EPIDURAL!
-After MUCH prayer & fear of needing a C-section, dilation starts around 1pm & by 8pm I'm at a 9!
-Doctor barely makes it in time for the baby to come! 8:52pm Kennedy Joy enters the world! 6lbs 15oz  21 inches long and HUgE feet like her dad! We are in LOVE! YAY!!!

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