Monday, August 25, 2014

Holt: 2 Weeks Old

I thought I'd give an update on our life with a newborn the past 2 weeks. (If you missed the Birth Story post, click here).

First of all, how has it been TWO weeks already?! It has been both the fastest and slowest two weeks of my life---I feel like we were in the hospital forever ago! It has been an adjustment getting used to our new normal, but I think we are starting to settle into some semblance of a routine. Praise the Lord that Daniel has been able to be home with us!

Mommyhood has completely derailed me--in an amazing way that I never thought possible. You really cant fully comprehend it until you experience it; this completely unconditional, all-consuming love for this little person that you helped create and carried for 9 months.

Sophie has done extremely well adjusting to having Holt home too. She completely adores him! If he cries, she comes running to see whats wrong. She is already protective of him and loves smelling him and being close to him. I am so proud of her! One of the sweetest moments was when we first brought him home--it was love at first sight for her.

We went for his 2-week checkup to the pediatrician on Thursday (the 21st). Love, love, love Dr. Wilkinson! Here is what's going on in Holt's little world:

Weight: 8 lbs. 11 oz. (not sure on the percentile?)
Length: 21 1/2 inches

Our boy is growing so much already! We don't go back to the doctor until his 2 month appointment--he will receive his first round of immunizations and this momma is already dreading that! It absolutely tears me up to hear him cry. So crazy how things change when its your own child--hearing other children cry has never bothered me, but my heart literally hurts when Holt cries.

Sleep: He has actually done really well. Most nights he sleeps 3-4 hrs between feedings and we have even had a couple where he has slept 5 hrs! We are trying to start a routine this next week so hopefully by the time he is a month old, he will sleep 5 hrs between feedings at night pretty consistently.

Favorite Things: Praise music--particularly the Sovreign Grace playlist on Spotify; his daddy--Holt loves it when D reads to him and he also loves it when he burps him; riding in the car--he has only ridden in the car 3 times, but he either sleeps or contentedly looks around; his playmat--now that he has more awake/alert periods we have been laying him on his playmat and he is fascinated with the mirror and all the shapes and colors.

Feeding: Feeding has gone better than I ever could've imagined (y'all know how I stressed over it). He eats like a champ. It gets a little exhausting for me at times, especially when we hit our first growth spurt at 10 days old and he ate every hour, but overall I absolutely love it. 

AND....I'll leave you with some photos of our handsome little guy :)

I love when he smiles in his sleep

first big boy bath

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Holt's Birth Story

I am so excited to share with y'all the story of my son's birth. It truly was one of the best days of my entire life! Let me start with the days leading up to Thursday, August 7th.

Monday, August 4th: We had my last doctor's appointment (see that post here) and decided to induce me bright and early on Thursday, August 7th.

Tuesday, August 5th: I rested ALL day. Literally. I think I maybe got out of bed to eat and go to the bathroom, but other than that I lounged around, watching TV and reading books. Plus, Daniel and I had our last date night to celebrate the final days of being a family of 2.

Wednesday, August 6th: At this point, I'm starting to get anxious and nervous with anticipation of the next day. My mom and dad, my grandmother (mom's mom), and my grandpa (dad's dad) all drove up to meet us for dinner. My other grandmother and my aunt (who took pictures for us!) also drove up later that night and stayed at a hotel close to the hospital. I maybe slept 2 or 3 hours.

Thursday, August 7th: Daniel and I woke up at 4 AM in order to be at the hospital by 5 AM. It was so surreal waking up that morning, knowing it was my last time to wake up pregnant.
 5:00 AM--arrive at Labor and Delivery, get checked in, sign paperwork, etc.
 5:30 AM--the nurse I LOVE starts my IV. We discuss how sad we are that her shift is almost over and she won't get to see my baby being born.
6:00 AM--she checks me and I've had no change since my last dr. appt (2.5 cm and 75% effaced). Then she starts the Pitocin to get my contractions going.
 6:45 AM--my Dr. comes in and breaks my water. Y'all. I seriously disliked the feeling of my water breaking. TMI, but it felt like I was peeing myself over and over and over. Ew. The contractions really start to pick up at this point. Think of the most intense cramp you've ever had and then multiply that by at least 10. That's where my labor pains were centered and they were coming every 2-3 minutes. Luckily, my mom and Daniel were in there helping me breathe through them. They were so intense, I felt nauseous and I didn't really say a word for about an hour and a half.
8:20 AM--the nurse comes in to check me and I am a 4 cm--yay! I immediately request an epidural.
9:10 AM--I FINALLY receive it! I completely understand now why women say they want to marry their anesthesiologist. The epidural seriously changed my life.
9:30 AM--I feel the full effect of the epidural and my mom and Daniel tell me I'm a completely different and happy person!
10:50 AM--I very suddenly got nauseous and ended up being sick. It hit me like a ton of bricks. No fun.
11:30 AM--I get checked again and am still a 4 cm. So, I send Daniel and my dad to Chick-fil-A right across the street for them to eat some lunch. My mom and I reassure them that nothing will happen while they are gone--I mean, I've been at a 4 for three hours now.
12:00 PM--Holt's heart rate starts dropping. I can't personally see the monitor because it's behind a cabinet. BUT, I can see my mom's face. I can tell she is trying to be calm, but that something is seriously wrong. Three nurses come into the room, check me (still a 4 cm), put me on oxygen, and start flipping me from side to side, trying to move him around and get his heart rate back up. I start FREAKING out--in my head I'm imagining the worst possible situation and that we are going to have to do an emergency c-section to get him out. Plus, my husband isn't in the room!
12:20 PM--The nurse decides to check me because she thinks the monitor is indicating that his head is getting compressed during contractions (this indicates he has moved lower into the birth canal). She tells me I am an 8 CM and COMPLETELY EFFACED! She calls my doctor to let him know. Mom calls my dad and Daniel and tells them to get back to the hospital ASAP.
12:35 PM--Daniel makes it back into the room!
12:45 PM--My doctor comes in to check me and see what's going on. As he is checking me, he asks if I feel any pressure or an urge to push, to which I respond "No." THEN, he says, well that probably means you won't feel it, so let's start pushing. I am shocked and say, "You mean right now?!" He says, "Yep. You're complete. Let's get this baby out." WHOA. They start disassembling the bed and getting everything ready for Holt when he arrives. So, with my mom and Daniel's help, I start pushing! They lowered the dose of medicine in my epidural so that by the time I actually pushed him out, I didn't feel any pain, but I felt the pressure. I pushed for exactly 32 minutes.
1:17 PM--I'M A MOM! As soon as I saw him, I started bawling. They put him on my chest and I just looked wide-eyed at Daniel and said, "I just had a baby!" He was the most beautiful baby I had ever seen. And I was completely shocked that he had my blonde hair!

My doctor starts sewing me up (I got a 2nd degree tear---not bad for how big of a baby I just birthed) and they take Holt over to clean him up and weigh him. We asked my doctor how much he thought he weighed and he guessed 8 1/2 pounds. You'd think he had done this before because Holt weighed 8 lbs. 5 oz and was 21 inches long! We knew he was measuring to be a bigger baby, but whoa! I am SO thankful we did not wait another day (can you imagine??). After the doctor finished with me, we tried breastfeeding and he instantly latched on! So a HUGE thank you to all my prayer warriors out there---this was so important to me and I am happy to report we have been extremely successful.

The labor and delivery experience I had was truly amazing and if I had to do it all over again, I would do it the exact same way. Overall, I labored for 7 hours from start to finish. Can't beat that--especially with a first baby. The Lord definitely had His hand over all the events of that day and I am so incredibly grateful for this blessing He has bestowed upon us. It truly is the most amazing miracle I have ever experienced.

My Aunt Linda had the opportunity to capture the whole day on camera! So, OF COURSE I want to share a few of the moments with you (any excuse I have to share photos of my adorable little family, right?).

Our last picture as a family of two

Such a big, healthy boy!

The first time Daniel got to hold him

The first time my parents saw him

Words cannot express the love I felt the first time I saw this face

He has hair! And lots of it :)

Sweet little baby feet

The photographer getting her chance to love on him

My dad, his dad, and Holt. We have not had a boy in the family since my cousin Will was born 20 years ago.

This absolutely melts my heart. Every. Single. Time.

Headed home as a family of 3!
Introducing Sophie to her baby brother. It was love at first sight.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

39 Weeks

Well, it's Week 39 AND WE ARE HAVING A BABY TODAY! It's weird to be typing those words! On one hand these 39 weeks have felt like a lifetime and on the other hand, I feel like we just found out we were pregnant! Starting today, my life will never be the same.

Let me recap the past week:

I celebrated my 25th birthday last Sunday. My prayer the ENTIRE pregnancy was that I would not have Holt on my birthday. Yes, it is purely selfish. I really didn't want to share my birthday because I knew from that point on, it would never be "my" birthday again. I wanted my own day and I wanted him to have his own day. Again, 100% selfish. But, that's how I felt. LUCKILY, he cooperated! And my husband gave me the most wonderful birthday! He woke me up with breakfast in bed, gave me a beautiful new necklace, we went to church, and then he surprised me with our families showing up in the afternoon to celebrate with cake and gifts! One of the best birthdays I've ever had--surrounded by the people I love most in the world (not to mention the weather was amazing--probably the coolest birthday I've EVER had).

We went back to the doctor on Monday and got a fabulous report. I've dilated to 2.5 cm and am 75% effaced. Holt's heartbeat looked great and he is what they call "engaged" in my pelvis (meaning he's locked, loaded, and ready for delivery :p). My doctor then talked to us about the option of inducing. He told us that if I wasn't dilated or effaced at all, then it wouldn't even be an option at this point. However, since I have progressed some AND we know he is measuring to be a bigger baby, he was comfortable with going ahead and inducing if that is what we wanted to do. He also explained that the only risk involved with deciding to induce is that there is typically a higher rate and chance of a C-section--but that is generally with women who start at zero dilation and effacement.

Now, I know that a lot of people are anti-induction. And up until about 6 weeks ago, I counted myself among that group. However, over these past 6 weeks, we have discovered I'm carrying a larger baby and my body has been contracting now for over 3 weeks. Plus, at this point, I know my child is 100% fully developed--the only thing changing in there is that he is growing larger by the day. The hubs and I have weighed all the factors and prayed over this decision and both feel confident and at peace to go ahead and induce.

SO, we scheduled to induce on Thursday, August 7th--TODAY!

I am so excited yet extremely nervous of the unknown. I've never gone through labor before and honestly, I'm completely terrified. But, I know millions of women have gone before me and done it, so I can too! I can't wait to meet my son face to face! Please be in prayer with us today over a couple of things--

1) a smooth and safe delivery
2) that Holt and I will be able to breastfeed successfully (this one is extremely important to me)

I can't wait to introduce you to my son!

How far along: 39 weeks
Stretch marks: NONE
Sleep: It's been kind of up and down this week. I've woken up several times a night with contractions, but I'm always able to fall right back to sleep.
Best moment this week: Soaking up these last days of it just being my husband and me. It's so surreal that our lives are about to change in such a drastic way.
Miss anything: I'm so excited that I'll be able to sleep on my tummy again!
Movement: Oh yeah. It's fun to guess which body part we think he pokes out.
Food cravings: Nothing intense. It's been a lot tougher to eat this week in general--I just get so full so fast and most of the time I"m real indecisive because nothing sounds good.
Food aversions: Nope
Labor signs: Definitely the real thing today!
Belly button in/out: It has stayed in the entire pregnancy! *happy dance*
Rings on/off: On--completely shocked that I"ve been able to wear them the whole summer
Happy/Moody: Mostly EMOTIONAL---especially knowing we get to meet Holt this week!
Looking forward to: MEETING MY SON TODAY!!
Baby development: Fully cooked and ready for delivery :)

Monday, August 4, 2014

Nursery Reveal

I've been promising to reveal the nursery for a while now and I am so excited to finally be able to! We are finished! I absolutely love how it turned out and can picture the days and evenings to come-- laying little man in his crib, rocking him, reading books, etc.

A few things before we get started:

1) I never had a theme. I more just wanted to incorporate an eclectic mix of color and texture.
2) We are pretty simple people. Neither the hubby or I like a bunch of clutter or things that don't really get used just laying around. Therefore, we don't have a lot of "stuff" in the nursery.
3) Please excuse the iPhone pictures--I know they are not the best quality and I apologize
4) I'll do my best to explain where everything came from
5) I hope you enjoy seeing the oasis we have created for our littlest love :)

View from the hallway

The bookshelf displays books, maternity pictures, and our childhood treasures

Up close and personal look at the curtain fabric--LOVE it

Paint:  "Harbor Town" by Benjamin Moore
Crib: Bonavita Hudson Lifestyle Crib (my brother and sister-in-law graciously gave it to us)
Crib Bedding: Handmade at Bevy's in Conway
Dresser/Changing Table: Bonavita Hudson (also from my brother and sister-in-law)--I spruced it up with chalk paint, wax, and new knobs from Hobby Lobby
Rocker/Recliner: Best Chair "Bilana" ordered from Pickles and Ice Cream in Little Rock
Pillow: Handmade by my grandmother
Curtains: Handmade at Bevy's in Conway
Bookshelf: mine from when I was little--I spruced it up with the same wax from the dresser.
"HOLT" artwork: Handmade by me
Mirror: Already had it
Cross-stitched artwork (above dresser): Daniel's mom hand-stitched those the year he was born. I also applied a wax coating to both frames.
Wooden initials and caterpillar: Kitchen Store in Conway

Friday, August 1, 2014

38 Weeks

Here we are at 38 weeks! Truly never thought I would make it to this point after contracting for TWO and a half weeks, but he is still quite content in there! It's ok because I know it's best for him to keep cookin' and continue growing stronger and healthier.

Apparently, Wednesday nights are his party nights because we went BACK to the hospital this week too! I started contracting at 9 AM Wednesday morning and they were between 2-8 minutes long throughout the day. I had a handful of contractions that lasted 5 minutes or more and were so strong it was like my belly sucked in and I had a white ring around my belly button. Plus around 6 pm, they started getting more intense. So, to be on the safe side and make sure that little man was handling everything ok, we went ahead and went up to Labor and Delivery.

I got the most amazing nurse this time (which made ALL the difference) and she completely agreed that I did the right thing in letting them check the baby out. She told me I had made a tiny bit of progress since going back to the doctor on Tuesday (he said I was the same dilation, but about 60% effaced) in that I was a loose 2 cm and at least 70% effaced. So yay! And she told me that Holt looked absolutely wonderful---whew! He had a great heartbeat and he was moving around so she said she felt confident that he was handling everything beautifully (that's my boy).

We were there for 2.5 hours and she let me walk the halls for an hour of that (yay!), but we didn't make any progress. Plus, after 2 hours, the contractions pretty much completely stopped and he was doing martial arts or SOMETHING in there for the last half hour! So, back home we went and the waiting game continues. I told Holt (jokingly, people) that I was going to spank him as soon as he came out for teasing me and making me contract for 14 hours (this time) without any results.

My poor husband. Y'all, please pray for him. I know he is so exhausted---especially since the last 3 Wednesday nights we have been at the hospital and haven't gotten home until after midnight. I love him to pieces. He has been so supportive and loving throughout this whole ordeal and I know he is just as anxious as I am to meet our precious boy. He is going to be the BEST father and I can't wait to watch him experience fatherhood.

How far along: 38 weeks
Stretch marks: None
Sleep: Wonderful. I typically wake up a few times a night with a contraction, but nothing consistent.
Best moment this week: The hubby and I went on a date last weekend--we played putt-putt golf and got snow cones. It was so fun!
Miss anything: I'm really trying to soak up these last days of pregnancy. Like my best friend told me, I only get to be pregnant with Holt ONE time, so I'm trying not to wish it away.
Movement: Like a Mexican Jumping Bean
Food cravings: Nothing super intense--but I still am loving PopTarts.
Food aversions: None
Labor signs: yeah, just a little
Belly button in/out: in
Rings on/off: on
Happy/moody: generally happy
Looking forward to: MEETING MY SON
Baby development: Growing like a weed and is the size of a small watermelon