Sunday, June 30, 2013

New Night; New Look

The little one is asleep, and bit of a creative spark hit me.


This blog was definitely due a makeover.  Pronto.

I changed the background and the colors, but I really like the fonts and the general layout of things.  I may play around with those later...if I get smacked with the creative spark again.

The Husband likes it.  At least that's what he said when he handed me my cherry limeade (that I was secretly dreaming of earlier while nursing but hadn't said aloud--he totally read my mind!).

What do you think?

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Jack's Modeling Debut

Two weeks ago, when Jack-Jack was just four days old, he had his first photo shoot.

Initially, we hadn't planned on having newborn pictures done.  The cost was prohibitive, and I knew that we'd be taking lots of pictures ourselves.  I just didn't see a huge need for it.


About six weeks before his due date, a friend from work emailed me letting me know that the gal (Jana) who voluntarily and so generously took Hadley's beautiful and priceless pictures in the hospital for us was looking for newborn models to give her the chance to practice with some new props.

I emailed her that day and volunteered our boy.  She accepted (awesome!) and told me the terms: Jack would give her the practice she wanted, and we, in turn, would receive a free session and ten photos of our choosing.  

Well, as you know, our boy decided to make his appearance earlier than expected, so I didn't know if the photo session would work out.

But, it did!  She even invited us to come on a Saturday (not the normal protocol).

So, the day after we got home from the hospital, we woke up early to head to her place.

I had to nurse him three separate times (each time to get him nice and happy and sleepy), but Y'all, she was sooo great and patient with him.

He peed on her twice.

He peed (and pooped once! Yikes!) on her props.

No sweat!

We were there for about three hours and left with the promise that they'd send us a link with the proofs soon.

Earlier this week, we received an email from Eric (Jana's husband).  I clicked on the link, and there were nearly 60 absolutely adorable shots of our guy.  How to choose just 10?!

Well, I did what any normal person would do.  I enlisted the help of The Bestie, my mom, and my sister.  They each sent me their ten choices.  I made choices of my own.  Then I made a list and compared.  I finalized my list and sent it to Eric and Jana.

And voila!  Here are the ten completely kissable shots we received.

Enjoy the kissableness!

P.S.  If you are in need of any kind of professional photography, please keep Jana and Eric in mind.  They are kind, professional, and incredibly talented!

**All photos copyrighted to Joy Rawlins via Eric and Jana Photography.  You must ask and receive permission to use any of the above photos for personal or professional use.**

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A busy couple of days = one exhausted momma

Well, hello.

I feel like I haven't posted anything in months.  But that could just be my lack of sleep and pure exhaustion speaking.

We had a busy weekend and last couple of days, so I thought I'd post before my mommy-brain took over, and I promptly forgot everything that happened.

Saturday, my parents drove into town.  Again.  Poor people.  They've gotta be so tired from the many trips they keep making here!

They went with us to our friend Leah's wedding.  Here are the three of us about to leave.

No children were allowed...but an exception was made for Jack :)  He was allowed to stay with my parents upstairs during the ceremony.  Here's what he did the entire time...

Right before the ceremony's can say it.
We know we look exhausted.
P.S. The ceremony was all kinds of gorgeous!

After the ceremony...
Leah and her mom bought him this cute tuxedo onesie! :)

 On our way to the ceremony...anyone noticing a pattern?

 At the reception...we look more awake...maybe it's because we were about to eat...or because the music was crazy loud!  Notice how I have a blanket on one side of his head and a burp cloth on the other? :)

During dinner...

The beautiful bride!

We stayed until around 10.  It was a long, but fun night!  Thanks Mom and Dad for coming with us and making it possible for us to be able to see Leah and Ryan get married!

Sunday we went to church and then had friends and family over for lunch and a fun afternoon.  The four of us watched a few movies and then hit the sack.  We had an early day coming.  

Monday morning, so very bright and early, we headed to the pediatrician's office for Jack's circumcision.  He was a trooper!  Here he is all bundled up after we got home, and I finally got him calmed down.  He was pretty clingy yesterday and really just wanted to be loved on, but I didn't mind :)  Though my tired eyes sure did want to rest!

Today we had another early morning.  We had his two-week checkup!  Big Guy now weighs 7 pounds 5.5 ounces and is 19 inches long.  :)  Yay breast milk!
Here he is doing what I wish I could do!

I hear my boy stirring in there, so I'll end for now.  Maybe I'll get a nap in today!  Fingers and toes (and anything else that can be twisted) crossed!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Stats and a Few Pictures

My parents have been in town since Friday evening. They were sooo helpful, with both chores around the house and with the baby this week!  They left after lunch today, but they'll be back on Saturday to sit with Jack when the five of us attend a wedding that evening.

Now for a few Jack stats, mostly for my memory, haha.

Jack weighed 6 lbs. 2 oz. at birth.
The day before we left the hospital, Jack-Jack weighed 5 lbs. and 14 oz
This past Monday, my parents, Jack, and and I went to Jack's first pediatrician appointment. He weighed 6 lbs. 6.5 oz!  In just four days, he gained 8 oz!  While there, they did a blood test to check his Bilirubin levels. In the hospital, he was a bit jaundiced.  Unfortunately, the levels came back a bit high--14.6. So, we had to go back the next day to have them tested again.  If they were higher, we'd have to check them again the next day. If not, we'd be able to wait to check them at his 2-week appointment. 
My dad and I took big Jack back on Tuesday, and this time he weighed 6 lbs. 7.5 oz!  They tested his levels (which is a miserable blood draw from the heel).  It was 13.7! Yay!

The Holter monitor results weren't conclusive (a benign rhythm seemed to be present), so we will go back to see the pediatric cardiologist in three weeks.  Please pray that he decides not to do another Holter monitor and that everything looks much better!  

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A Week in Pictures

Birth Day

1 Day Old
For the life of me, I can't find any pictures from this day! How did that happen??

2 Days Old

3 Days Old

4 Days Old

5 Days Old

6 Days Old

One Week Old!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Jack's Birth Story

Here's a picture of the big guy catching some rays as I type.

This blog post is sub-titled:  The story of how my birth plan was scrapped and then almost completely put back in place

Or alternately titled:  How God answered my prayers over and over.  Why should I be surprised! 

Or also known as:  The best day ever

What a difference a week makes!
Here is the account (or at least what I recall) of last Monday morning and the 21 hours that followed.  Although it won't be much, I would like to say here that I will be telling about some pretty gory stuff. My point is not to gross you out but to share honestly my birth experience.  It would have helped had I known some of this stuff beforehand :)

A little before 4:30 that morning, I awoke to a gushing sensation.  I thought that maybe incontinence had finally struck, especially since I had been going to the bathroom 4 and 5 times a night.  I ran to the bathroom only to discover a great amount of blood.  I called to The Husband, and he came running.  We were both terrified, me sobbing and praying aloud, and him wondering what to do.  I asked him to call 911.   Not five minutes later the ambulance arrived.  The technicians were thorough and asked lots of questions.  They loaded me up, and we began the long drive to the hospital.  And, I do mean LONG.  No sirens and speeding for my ambulance driver.  Nearly 45 minutes later, we arrived in the labor and delivery section of the hospital.  They took me to the same room I had been taken the last time I went into pre-term labor.  They began to monitor the baby and me.  Each time I went to the restroom, I saw that I was passing more blood clots.  I was so, so scared.  The monitored showed that the baby was fine and that I was having contractions (which I had started to feel in the ambulance).  My in-laws met us up at the hospital, and mother-in-law came in at some point to sit with me while The Husband drove back home to get our bags.  He had grabbed them on the way out of the room, and then promptly left them in the living room on our way out of the house!  Hah, poor guy!

The doctor arrived maybe an hour later to check me.   I was at a 3 or 4.  She reassured me that the blood was a normal sign of labor.  That was definitely something I was NOT prepared for.  I thought I'd have contractions (which I would feel long before having to go to the hospital) or that my water would break telling us it was time to go.  I had no idea that massive amounts of blood clots could possibly come pouring out of me.

After a while, I was moved to my own room and continued to experience contractions.  They were strong but not difficult to talk through.  An hour or so later, the doctor came back and said that when she finished up some surgeries, she would come and check me again.  If I hadn't progressed, she would break my water.  I was a little scared when she said that.  Up til then, my birth plan had still been hanging tough!  But, if she broke my water, I would not be allowed to walk around and they might have had to start an IV, and I definitely didn't want that.  My dream delivery included many things, but the main things were no IV (I was okay with them starting a Hep Lock), to be allowed to walk around, no induced labor, to be allowed to progress naturally, no pain meds (including epidural), and to be allowed to eat and drink.  They had already nixed my eating and drinking plan...though I could have ice chips, and I already had the Hep Lock placed by one of the EMS techs.

The Husband made it back by 9, and my parents arrived between 10 and 11.  The picture taking began around this time.  Using the photos to jog my memory, I'll tell the rest of the story in the captions. (I can't believe how big I was!)
The Husband watching my contractions (bottom squiggly line) and the baby's heart rate (top line) on the monitor. 
The Husband being his entertaining self.  Me trying, unsuccessfully, to read a book between contractions.  I kept reading the same paragraph over and over.  I gave up after a while.
Mom and me
My sweet friends Tina and Leah visiting 
Everyone watching me breathe through a contraction 
They let me walk around.  Check out my AWESOME hospital gowns!  Yes, gowns, plural.  I had to wear one backwards so I wouldn't flash people as I roamed the halls.
My wonderful doctor watching my contractions.  By this point I was a 7 or an 8. They decided to break my water to try to speed things along, so after this point, I was confined to the bed.
They let me eat jello!!  I was soooo hungry, and I begged them for some.  It made me happy :)

Here's The Bestie filling out paperwork.
Friends waiting to hear word.

You'll noticed the waiting lasted quite a while.

Watching my contractions on the monitor at the nurses' station.
Standing outside my room waiting to hear something.  This was taken about four hours before he was born.
Still watching....from this point on, I was in very hard labor.  My pain was incredible.  I didn't realize it would get worse.  I still had not had any pain meds or an epidural.  I would cry if any of that was mentioned as an option.  Around 11pm, my doctor said that I could not progress any further.  She said an epidural would give my body a chance to rest...I was beyond exhausted.  It was a struggle to keep my eyes open, and between contractions, I was falling asleep.  I was worn out.  I agreed to the epidural.  Contraction after contraction would hit, and I couldn't understand what was taking the anesthesiologist so long to get there.  I was begging for him to show up.  I started getting angry at him, haha!  My body was trying soooo hard to get me to push, but she said I wasn't dilated enough.  With everything in me I held off on pushing, but I just couldn't.  My doctor could see that, so she said to go ahead and push when I felt the urge.  So, I did.  From a little before midnight to right after 1am, I pushed and labored and passed out in between contractions.  During this time, she checked me again, broke my second bag of water (it was like the flood gates had opened...good Lord a lot of fluid poured out of me!), and then looked at me after one terrible contraction.  She said, "I know I dangled the carrot of an epidural in front of you, but his head is right there.  I think you can do it.  It's time to push."  And, for that hour I knew what the word labor truly meant.  I couldn't think.  I couldn't open my eyes.  Everything was a blur.  During the contractions, all I could think was, "I'm dying.  Please God help me."  Jack's heartbeat stayed strong the entire time until the end.  They lost the pulse (and I think it concerned my doctor), and she told me I had to push with everything I had left.  So, I did.
At 1:11am, after 21 hours of contractions, 4 hours of hard labor, and at least an hour of pushing, our boy, Jack Campbell, arrived.  
I longed to stare at him, but my vision was pretty crazy.   All I could do was smile and hold him as I shook with exhaustion and hunger and thirst.  But, I did it.  We did it.  And, it was a "we" thing.  If The Husband and The Bestie had not been there, I don't know what I would have done.  They were my source of strength.  They encouraged and love on and held my hands.  They were rock-solid.  Even now, I'm thanking God for those two amazing people.  I wanted to give up; over and over I said I couldn't do it anymore.  If it weren't for them, I don't know what would have happened.  
Best.  Day.  Ever.
Someone asked if I would do it again.  No pain meds.  No epidural.  A week later, a healthy baby boy, the pain subsiding more every day, I can say, that, "Yes, I think I would."  Did I think that my time had come and that Jesus was calling me home?  Most definitely.  Do I remember every moment with clarity?  I do.  Is the pain etched into my brain?  No.  All that's left is the knowledge that I did what women have been doing for centuries, and I have a beautiful, bright-eyed, completely sweet baby to look at, to give kisses to, and to spend quality time at all hours of the morning nursing.  I joked the other day that we had had LOTS of bonding time the second night we were home.  He was up tons wanting to nurse.  But, I LOVE it.  All of it.  He's just great.  I couldn't ask for more.