Saturday, May 28, 2011

Pedicures, Patios, and Sleeping Babies

Yesterday my fantastic, wonderful, kind mother-in-law came over to watch Levi while I went and got a pedicure. My feet were desperate since I hadn't done anything to them since a week before Levi was born. It was so nice to know that he was safe and happy while I was out enjoying myself for a few minutes. I love being a mom, and I love my little boy more than I thought possible, but sometimes it is really nice having a little time for me.

Jason has had an interesting work schedule this week. He had a job interview on Thursday morning, joined us at Levi's doctor's appointment in the afternoon, and took Friday off. He and his dad have been working on making a back patio for us at our house. Right now they are out picking up the flagstone in town. It is going to be so nice to have a larger patio where we can entertain and hang out in the backyard. We have a porch right now, but it is pretty small and barely holds the table we have out there. We are going to have a Memorial Day get-together to break it in, so hopefully they get it finished! Shouldn't be too hard since they made so much progress yesterday.

In baby news, Levi slept for 5 straight hours last night! I thought I was dreaming when I looked at the clock at 3am (having gone to be at 10pm). He ate like a ravenous child then promptly went back to sleep. Ok, maybe not promptly, but once he was asleep he didn't wake up again until 6am. It was a great night and I feel much more rested than I have in a while. Should be a good day!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Settling In

As Levi sleeps I figure I should take this opportunity to write a short update. We are still doing well. He slept for 4 hours straight last night and Jason and I felt so refreshed when we woke up this morning after that! There is a huge difference between segmented sleep and straight sleep, just fyi. Levi only really got up once last night, then once early this morning, so that made a huge difference. And on top of that Jason got up with him at 7am so I could get a little more sleep. I feel like I have so much energy today! Too bad I can't get much done because the baby is sleeping and I don't want to wake him up. Hopefully I can get something done because our house is a mess.

Yesterday Jason went fishing with a friend, my dad, and my brothers. My fabulous mother-in-law came over in the morning so I could get some school work done. I have report cards to do and math tests to grade, so having her there to keep Levi occupied when he wasn't eating was a huge help. I even got to eat breakfast at a reasonable hour because she was there with us. She stayed until lunch time. I then got a shower while Levi was sleeping (not easy to do because he normally screams his little head off while I am in the shower, and sure enough, when I got out he was crying. It breaks my heart! I know it is OK for them to cry, and I knew he wasn't hurt or anything, but it is still hard to listen to.). My mom came over around 3pm so I could finish up my report cards, which I did. It was so nice to get those done! I have to bring them back to school on Wednesday completed, and I'm so glad they are done before Tuesday evening.

This week should be pretty laid back. Wednesday I am headed to school for a staff luncheon to say "goodbye" to the teachers that are leaving. I am not looking forward to seeing any of them go and they are ALL going to be missed. Thursday Levi has his 2 week checkup, although he will be 3.5 weeks old (his doctor is out of town). I know he is gaining weight, though, because I weighed him last Wednesday and he weighs 8lbs+. Yay for a growing boy! Jason is going to take off Thursday and Friday of this week, and he has next Monday off, too, so we get to have daddy home for several days. It is going to be so nice! I feel bad for always calling my mother-in-law to come over when I have to get something done, even though I know she really enjoys it, so having Jason home will help me be a lot more productive (hopefully).

OK, I think that is all for now. Here is a picture of our little man that I took last week. He keeps changing! I'm so excited to see what he is going to look like as he grows up, and to see what kind of a man he turns into. Mommy-hood is incredibly difficult, but so rewarding. I love my new role :-)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Two weeks old

Levi is two weeks old today. I can't believe I have been a mother for two weeks! It still amazes me that God has entrusted this little life into Jason's and my hands. He must know something I don't (duh) because I am completely ill-equiped without His help.

We are making good progress with getting into a routine. Levi will sleep for 2+ hours in his bassinet at night. During the day he either sleeps in his swing or his bouncer. He is doing great with breastfeeding and I'm looking forward to pumping so Jason can help with some of the feedings. It will probably be at least another week or so before I start pumping for real because I want to make sure I have a really good milk supply before I begin. I am going to talk to a lactation consultant about it tomorrow, so hopefully I can get a plan together. Jason took him outside for a while this evening when he got home to water some trees and our garden and he seemed to really enjoy it. That could be a secret weapon that we use on him when he is super fussy because going outside really seems to calm him down.

I feel like I am holding my breath for that horrible day where he is inconsolable and cries all day/night for no obvious reason. We have been so blessed thus far with how he has been, and no matter what I will do what it takes to make sure he is happy and comfortable, but I'm just dreading that first time. I'm praying for the strength to get through it when it inevitably happens.

Tomorrow should be very interesting. It will be the first time I am going to try to get ready to go to town without any help here. Every time someone comes while I shower and get ready he just sleeps the whole time, so I am hoping that is how it goes tomorrow. I actually have to "be someone" tomorrow as I have a doctor's appointment, mommy support group, lunch with a friend, then I'm going to school to pick some things up and pay a visit to show off Levi to some of the people I work with. I hope I can handle all the time away from home, and I better make sure I have everything in order first thing in the morning so I make it to my appointment on time. Say a prayer for me if you think about it because I am going to need all the help I can get tomorrow morning!

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Last night Levi slept in his bassinet! He woke up to nurse and he woke up once or twice other than that but Jason was able to rock him right back to sleep. It was amazing that Jason and I both got to sleep at the same time and in our room! Until now we have been taking turns staying in the living room because he wouldn't sleep except on one of us, and we didn't want to keep the other person up. It worked so great and we are hoping it stays this way from now on (and hoping it wasn't a fluke). He is asleep right now in his swing which has given me a chance to get laundry going and to do some straightening up in the nursery, something that hasn't happened since he has been home because he has had to be carried everywhere or he wouldn't sleep. It's a good day.

I have found that through this journey (so far) I have done more praying than I have ever done in my life. Don't get me wrong, I completely believe in the power of prayer, and I prayed constantly through my pregnancy for this little boy, but there is something about him being here and me having to take care of him that has forced me to trust God and to constantly ask for his help. I have had a few emotional evenings and frustrating moments (mostly with feeding) and i would not have made it through those very well without prayer. God is so faithful and He is reassuring me that He didn't make a mistake by giving me this precious gift to take care of. It's true that you don't know what love is until you have a child. It's still unreal that he is actually ours to raise and take care of, and we are still fumbling through the days. I pray every day that God gives me the wisdom and knowledge and skills to raise Levi to be a God-fearing man, and that he comes to know Christ at an early age. I'd appreciate your prayers for that as well! Thanks so much and I'll try to keep updating as new things happen!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Sleep deprived

Everyone always tells you how much babies sleep. They don't tell you, however, that they always want to sleep ON SOMEONE. This is the case with Levi. He only sleeps well if he is being held, making it very difficult for the person holding him to get any sleep. He is doing better and is actually starting to sleep other places, so I hope we are making progress, but this has definitely been the hardest part of being home. He is feeding extremely well and is only 3 oz away from his birth weight. He was down 7 oz on Friday but is creeping back up. He has until Tuesday to gain the rest of his weight, and I don't think it is going to be a problem!

My mother-in-law has been an absolute saint. She comes over around 9pm every evening so Jason and I can both get some sleep, then she goes home around 1am (or 2:30am as was the case last night!). I don't know how we would do it without her, but I do know we would both be a lot more tired. She comes over almost every day to watch him while I shower or nap or clean or whatever else I need to do. It is going to be a sad day when that isn't happening any more. Hopefully Levi will let us all get into a little bit of a routine so she doesn't HAVE to come over all the time, but she can just come when she wants. We'll see I guess.

Other than the sleep issues everything is going really well. I have an awesome baby boy and I'm trying not to take that for granted. He doesn't stay up for all hours crying. He eats and makes plenty of dirty diapers. And he is absolutely adorable on top of all that :-) God has truly blessed us by giving us this precious gift and we pray every day that we can raise Levi to love the Lord as much as Jason and I do. We would appreciate your prayers for that as well. Thanks! More pictures to come soon.

Monday, May 9, 2011

New phase

Jason has gone back to work, starting today, so I am on my own with Levi. Actually, that isn't quite true because I am getting so much help from my mother-in-law. She actually stayed until 1am this morning to take "first watch" with him so Jason and I could get some sleep. I don't know what we are going to do if he doesn't start sleeping on his own because I don't want to have to rely on her to do that very often, but I'm so grateful she was willing to do that for us. He is starting to be a more independent sleeper and will actually spend more than 30 seconds in his swing to sleep, which is a huge milestone. I'd love to get him to the point where he can sleep in his crib or bassinet, but I am going to take these small victories. He is really an easy baby, so far, and continues to eat well and just be content, in general.

Here are a couple of pictures so the world can see my handsome man. I think he looks like Jason...

Friday, May 6, 2011

Levi is here!

Our baby boy was born on May 3, 10:40am. He was 7 lbs 11oz, 21 in long, and has a full head of dark hair. I wanted to have a natural birth, if possible, and that is how it worked out. In fact, we made it to the hospital at 9:30am and he was born an hour later, so whether I wanted meds or not there was no time. My parents, Jason's mom, my sister, and of course Jason were in the room when he was born. I thought I only wanted the moms and Jason there, but by that point I didn't really care. I couldn't hear a word anybody except Jason was saying to me because they put oxygen on me and the mask was really loud. But, he is here an healthy, so I guess I did ok!

The whole story:

Sunday I had some labor pains starting at about 6am. They weren't very organized or intense, but they were definitely contractions. Then I took a nap at 2:30 pm and woke up and there were no more contractions at all. I was so frustrated because I thought it was time, and then nothing.

Well, because of that I decided not to go on my field trip on Tuesday to Santa Fe. I got everything squared away with my sub and she agreed to go on the trip for me. I went to work on Monday, got everything else squared away for when I was eventually going to be gone, and didn't have a single contraction all day. People kept saying how surprised they were to see me at work, but I was still almost a week away from my due date, so no biggie. I went home a little frustrated that I hadn't had any more contractions but I tried to take it easy and just wait for God's timing for the baby to come. Went to bed at 9:30, then...

3am- I wake up to horrible stabbing pains in my belly. I knew pretty immediately it was a contraction, even though they felt way different then the contractions I was feeling on Sunday. Sunday they felt a lot like cramps. Tuesday they felt a lot like stabbing, sharp lower belly and upper thigh pains. I managed to stay in bed for an hour before having to get up to go walk around. Jason decided to get up even though I told him he didn't need to. By 5am we had decided I was, indeed, in labor, as the contractions were about 7 minutes apart and they lasted about 1 min and 15 sec, or so. Jason emailed in to work and let them know that he wouldn't be in that day, and I decided we should start getting ready for the imminent trip to the hospital that we would be making later that day.

7am- we called our families and let them know that we would probably be going to the hospital that day, though we didn't know when. The contractions were staying pretty consistent, not really getting much closer, but they were getting stronger. Jason's mom decided to come over and help me out. My parents were planning on going to Santa Fe for an errand (an hour away) and even after finding out that I was in labor they still thought they had enough time to go, and we agreed, so they made their plan for the day.
I found that laying down was completely out of the question- I had two contractions while laying down and the pain made me throw up. So, I found a comfortable position in one of our chairs and just hung out there. Jason was awesome about helping me through each of the contractions and reminding me that the pain would be over in a few moments. We were a little curious about why the contractions weren't getting much closer together, at this point from 5-7 minutes apart, still lasting a little more than a minute, but decided we should get ready to go to the hospital.

9am- We are finally ready to leave and got things prepared in case we were going to be at the hospital for a while before he was born. I was starting to question whether I could make it through without medication of some kind. At the moment, though, there was nothing I could do about it except make it though each of the contractions, one at a time. In the car I only had three or four contractions, which just reinforced the thought that I would be in labor for quite a while longer.

9:30am- We make it to the hospital, I have a contraction in the car right when we got there then I thought I could make it into the building because it shouldn't take 5 minutes to walk in. Well, how wrong I was... I got out, had a contraction. Walked 10 steps, had another contraction. Walked 10 more steps, had a contraction, and my water breaks. It was INTENSE. I was having them every 30 seconds (it felt like) and they were REALLY painful. Two people stopped us in the hallway to ask if we were OK. The first time we said yes and that I could make it. The second time I felt like I had to push the baby so she went and got me a wheel chair then hurried me upstairs.

9:45am- I get up to triage and they get me into a gown, have me sign my forms, and take me in to a room to a bed. I get checked and I am 8cm dilated. 8 cm!! No wonder they hurt so bad! They asked me if I wanted any meds to help with the pain. I was wavering so I asked how long they thought it would be before the baby was born. She said, "not long, but if you want meds now is the time." I said I would pass, but then told Jason that I think I did want them. They monitored me and the baby for a while, I'm not sure how long, gave me my wrist bands, then wheeled me off into the delivery room. Jason called my parents, told them NOT to go to Santa Fe, and also my sister.

In the delivery room (I'm not sure what time it is at this point) they hooked me up to monitors and the contractions are still coming on strong. I was feeling more and more like I need to push. I asked if I could push if I felt like it and she said yes, but not too much because we needed to wait for the midwife. After the midwife got there it was all a blur. They said the baby's heart rate was a tiny bit distressed, so they put something under one side of me. I put on the oxygen mask and then all I remember is pushing until he was born. He was born at 10:40 am. It was insane!

I guess his cord was tied in a knot, which must have happened a while back because he was too big to move around that much towards the end. They asked me if I wanted to feel his head after his head was out and I said "nope." LOL. They placed him on my chest when he came out and all I could feel was pure relief and joy. It was amazing. Jason cut the cord, they cleaned him up a little bit, and then I just got to cuddle with him. We finally were able to tell everyone what his name is and everyone loved it! I can't even describe every emotion that I felt that day, but it all ended in complete joy. He is so perfect with the most precious face, everything was worth it. Not to mention, all the pain and discomfort went away the second he was born, which was amazing. (It would soon be replaced by new pain and discomfort, but it didn't matter at that point.)

My plan was to have a natural birth- check!
My plan was to NOT have a party in the delivery room- close.
My plan was to rely on God to get me through every part of this experience- sometimes it was hard, especially when the pain was at it's worst, but He was so faithful to me through it all that now I know He didn't leave my side the whole time.
My plan was for Jason to have a positive experience- check! (I think)
My plan was to give birth to a beautiful, healthy baby boy- double check!

There is a whole lot more I could write about the hospital stay and the days after, but I will leave that for another time. God is good. I have an amazing husband. My family is so great and supportive. Our baby boy has joined us and now we begin a whole new adventure!