Thursday, January 31, 2013

My baby's crying!

What? We got a baby that cries? Go figure!

The first 2 weeks with our baby girl were exhausting, but quiet. Perhaps that was her gift to us...not crying. She was such an angel! She only fussed a little when hungry or needed a diaper change, and we were very happy with our calm no-crying baby.

And then one night everything changed! 2 weeks after she was born, she started crying.
And kept on crying no matter what we tried to do!
For the next few weeks, sweet pea proceeded to have these crying fits that lasted anywhere from 20 minutes to 2-3 hours!

Now, I've been around babies enough to know that they cry sometimes, but this seemed different. She was so upset, and everything we did just seemed to make it worse!
She developed quite the scream and would sometimes get so worked up that she wouldn't be able to breathe well. As a new parent, this was overwhelming and scary. We didn't know what was going on with our sweet baby girl!
We thought maybe she was sick...and prayed that she wasn't colicky. 

It broke my heart. I felt like a bad mom. Shouldn't I automatically know what was wrong? Several times, I was so upset myself that I would just cry right along with her. It was terrible.

Finally, we started to take notice of when she was crying and what helped calm her. I realized that if she was really in pain (like gassy or colicky) that it wouldn't all of a sudden go away when she fell asleep. 
After a couple weeks of this we were finally able to piece together why our baby was crying so much. 
She was tired but wouldn't let herself fall asleep! She fought sleep so hard to the point of sheer exhaustion!

Every time I put her down during the day it seemed she would start up crying again. When she would finally fell asleep, it was usually right on my chest and she would wake up when I moved her. Finally, I decided I needed some sort of baby carrier so I could get things done. 
I bought a Moby Wrap and it has been AMAZING!
It swaddles her real tight which calms her and helps her relax so she can fall asleep while still being close to her mom.

We still haven't quite figured out how to help sweet pea get to sleep and stay asleep, but it's a process and we are figuring her out!

One thing that we just recently started is from the book Happiest Baby On The Block. My friend Megan from The Mrs and a few other friends had told me to try the 5S's. They are: 
1. Swaddling
2. Side (putting your baby on their side)
3. Shhhing (or some sort of white noise)
4. Swinging
5. Sucking

My hubby and I watched this video together to help us put the 5 S's into practice.  
We had gotten halfway through the video when we took a break to eat dinner. During that break, sweet pea started to get fussy so my hubby jokingly told me to SSSHHHH right in her ear like the guy does. I laughed but did it just like the guy on the video did. I don't know what happened, but her eyes closed and she fell asleep, just like that!
It freaked us out. 
Jimmy said he was worried I had cast a spell on her!

It does seem to work unbelievably well! So if you are a mom looking for ways to soothe your crying baby, I highly recommend watching the video and trying the 5 S's. 

Yes, our baby still cries, but we are finally figuring out how to understand and help her. I guess it's all part of being a new parent!
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Colossians 3:17 
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

{Guest Post} What's better than being a mother?

I'm so happy to share with you another great guest post. Today Katherine from Proverbs and Pacifiers shares with us her thoughts on motherhood. I love her heart for her hubby and kids. Thanks Katherine for sharing your heart with us!

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I still remember the day when I finally realized I would never be a figure skater.

Growing up sports didn’t interest me much, but figure skating was the exception. I never thought of skaters as athletes; they were performers. I loved the beautiful costumes, the fun music, and most of all the standing ovations at the end. I always imagined going out on the ice, giving the performance of my life, and having adoring fans clap and sing my praises while throwing flowers at me.  I could almost feel the Gold Medal around my neck!

It wasn’t until High School that I finally realized that I was too old to start figure skating. In fact, I’m pretty sure I flushed my Olympic career down the toilet at the age of 5 when I quit gymnastics because I didn’t want to miss Story Hour at the local library. Couple that with the fact that I’ve never donned a pair of ice skates, and it’s pretty clear that my dreams of a Gold Medal were just that, dreams. 

Once my delusional ideas of being an Olympian were laid to rest, I jumped from one career choice to another. In college I went from wanting to be teacher, to being a counselor, to being a lawyer, to being completely lost and confused! I felt like I was constantly at a crossroad in life and just kept wasting time making u-turns!


It’s just that when my 2nd grade teacher told me I could be anything I wanted to be, I thought she meant I could be everything I wanted to be (delusional or not!). It’s a minor distinction with big consequences. I’ve spent most of my life pursuing multiple careers, hobbies, and goals, and I’ve always been disappointed because I just can’t do everything.

At some point, I had to choose which direction to go, which path to follow, which dreams to pursue.

I choose Motherhood. It doesn’t have the same ring to it as “Gold Medalist”, but I’m okay with that. If you had asked me in high school or even college if I could see myself as a stay-at-home mom, I would have given you a resounding NO! I’ve always loved kids, but I worked too hard getting straight A’s not to put that education to good use. 

But then something amazing happened: I met this little boy.


He has the sweetest smile, and the cutest little giggle God ever created.  And he needs me.He needs me home to rock him to sleep, to play with him, to change his diapers, and to keep him safe. It wasn’t until I became a parent that I really understood the magnitude of what it means to raise a child.  This little life depends on me to love him, to nurture him, and disciple him. All of my big dreams and career goals pale in comparison to the calling of motherhood. 

So no, I won’t be winning a gold medal anytime soon, and I probably won’t be out in the business world making a name for myself either. Instead, you’ll find me at home loving my husband and caring for my son. And really, what could be better than a life of relative obscurity, changing dirty diapers and wiping little noses?

Nothing. Absolutely Nothing.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Mommy Moments Link Up

Hey mamas!
We did great with 73 link ups last week! I love all of the birth stories, baby updates, and great mothering advice. It is all super helpful....when I find the time to read it:)

This week, I'm especially hoping for some tips on getting my sweet baby to fall asleep...and stay asleep. If you have a post (even an old one) on that topic I would love to see it linked up. Otherwise, leave me a comment and let me know your best tricks for putting a feisty baby to sleep!

The most viewed link from last week belongs to Megan from 115 Danville and her birth story post which you can check out here if you didn't get the chance last week! 
Way to go Megan! Just look at her beautiful baby girl Reese. Isn't she precious! 

Let's keep celebrating all of these new babies with a big Mommy Moments Linky Party! 

 To link up, just...

1. Follow Host: The Life Of Faith 

2. Link up your post!
Post can include anything related to mommy-hood, children, homemaking, pregnancy etc. If you aren't a mom yet, feel free to link up your preparation for motherhood, your journey as you try to conceive, or even a post that would be encouraging to the other moms in the party!

3. Add the Mommy Moments button to your post or blog so everyone knows where you are linking up!

4. Explore some of the other posts in the link-up and say hello to some new blog friends! 

5. Tweet or Share the link up on Facebook so we can all make even more friends!

The Life Of Faith
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P.S. I will be having a new guest host every week! Want to be a guest host of the Mommy Moments Blog Hop? Send Faith a message at farmprincess14{at}gmail{dot}com. We would love to have you on board!
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Colossians 3:17 
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Fierce Woman Review and Giveaway

Fierce Women: The Power of a Soft Warrior  -     
        By: Kimberly Wagner
Every life you come across today will be affected by you in some way.
Will it be for the good?
Or will it be for the bad?
Too often we as women do not realize the gravity of our influence. God created us with strength that can be used to destroy, or build up. How will we use it?

From the time I was a little girl, my parents have always talked about my "strong will". It's that fire inside of me that likes to be right, do things my way, change the people and circumstances around me to fit my agenda, and never give up when I really believe something. My parents even warned my husband before we were married...talk about embarrassing!

I was excited to read Kimberly Wagner's book Fierce Women, because I knew it would apply to me. I knew it would be good for me. Boy was I right! I learned so much about how my "strong will" or "fierceness" as Kimberly puts it, is actually a good thing when used in the right way!
 
Kimberly Wagner's book Fierce Women is a challenging and inspiring book that every woman should read. Kimberly addresses the "fierceness" of women and how we can use our strength as "an asset or a detriment in marriage". 
We are taught by our culture to use our strengths to get ahead, no matter what the cost even if it means emasculating the men in our lives. We may not even realize the damage we are doing!
Rather than just giving a list of rules and a 'quick-fix-it' approach, Kimberly challenges the heart issues and how true change must begin there. 

"True joy is only attained when our hearts beat with God's desires, when we love His will more than our own, and when His desires fuel our desires."

One of the things I appreciated about Fierce Women is that every chapter is grounded in scripture. Kimberly is not spouting off her own wisdom, but allowing the power of God's word to challenge her readers. 
"Strong women are His idea" says Kimberly, as she gives countless Biblical examples of fierce women including Eve, and the Gentile woman with the demon possessed daughter.

Kimberly also shares her own stories of how she failed in her marriage to be a fierce woman who built up her husband and instead greatly intimidated him until he stopped trying to be a godly husband! Her own experiences make the lessons she shares much more real and applicable. She shares of the misery her marriage was when she was trying to fix and control her husband and the joy that followed when she surrendered her desires and agendas to Christ and used her "fierceness" to build up her husband rather than criticize and belittle him. 

Fierce Women helped me realize the influence I have as a woman and inspired me to use it wisely to build up my marriage, family, and society as a whole. I hope you will check out Kimberly's book and be inspired as well!

Here's a chance for you to win your very own copy.
 Enter and spread the word!
a Rafflecopter giveaway 

Have you entered the giveaway to win $1000? If not, here's the link! $1000 GIVEAWAY!
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Colossians 3:17 
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Win $1000!

Welcome to Hello Winter $1000 Cash Giveaway!

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Winter blues? We’ve teamed up with the most amazing group of bloggers to bring you a $1000 cash giveaway to cheer you up this winter.

So tell me, what would you do with an extra $1000 Cash?

Giveaway ends February 24th, 11:59 pm EST.
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{Guest Post} Comfort & Release

Hey there! I'm excited to introduce a new friend of mine who is here to share some of her motherhood experiences with you today. I personally love the connection she makes between her daughter surrendering to sleep and our own spiritual walk with Jesus as we surrender to Him. I hope you enjoy it as well! Here is Mikah...

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Mikah is the joyful wife to her husband, Joey, and the excited (slightly exhausted) new mommy to Eleanor. When she is not chasing her newly mobile daughter around the house (and keeping her away from the stairs!), she writes children's sermons for her church, posts about her life and thoughts on WithAllJoy.com with her husband, and crafts and reads in any spare time she can get! She and her husband are passionate about family worship, teaching an unfiltered Gospel to our children, and equipping families (especially fathers) with tools to lead their families to life-long relationships with God.
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Lessons learned from my daughter in the early hours of the morning

It is late, pitch black, but the sounds of the party downstairs still break through the thin barriers of our dark room. We are so happy to be with old friends during the day, but nighttime, as the only parents in the group, is a struggle. Our little social butterfly has finally surrendered to sleep when, bang! “Happy New Year” rings throughout the house. Body tenses, eyes snap open, a whimper turns into a pitiful wail that speaks volumes of her exhaustion. I lift my warm, heavy bundle who, somehow, still fits perfectly against my chest. As I settle into bed, she struggles against the restraints of comfort, wanting to fast forward to morning, to action. 

I wonder how often I too overlook, wish away, the comfort and security gifted to me by the One who knows my needs best in favor of more entertainment, more drama, more noise. With blankets surrounding us, my little girl begins to settle. She has everything she needs: warmth, tenderness, the rhythm of a heart that loves her so. Almost released to sleep, nearly trusting in the arms that encircle her, she jerks awake in favor of consoling herself with an old habit.  

A body must remain rigid and alert to calm itself, but the thumb eventually falls out. In that moment, with manufactured security gone, there is a choice – does the body awaken, muscles groan, to retrieve that old safety net or does the body finally succumb to the security and comfort of its surroundings and choose rest? 

Do I continue to work doggedly, wearing myself thin, to feel confident and secure or do I choose to trust my Father asks me to just give it all to Him? 

 My greatest fears, my daily anxieties are so small in His great hands. In the final moments of my fatigue, I wonder why I did not just surrender earlier.
Old habit. 
 The filthy rags of my security blanket have never been able to cover me, but the desperate need to find solace in an immediate, visible security is too great. But there is a Promise, a fulfillment He provides that is so great that even the shadow of His Cross can cover all doubt and insecurity. 

And so I rest. Like my daughter, I finally let go and allow myself to fall into loving arms. I trust the heart of the One who surrounds me with His presence.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Baby Update-1 month!

My baby girl is a month old today! Can you believe it?
In some ways it flew by as I watched her go from 7 to 10 pounds and grow some adorable chubby cheeks. 
In other ways, it feels like Sweet pea has been part of our family forever! 
I can honestly say, it has been one of the happiest months of my life. 
I love getting to know my baby girl!

I wish you all could meet her! She makes the most adorable faces and has the prettiest smiles! Her yawns are the most contagious you've ever seen and the little noises she makes just melt my heart. I love it the most at the end of a long day when she lays her head on my chest and lets out a high pitch sigh. 
I love her!

Age: 1 month
Height: 21.5 inches 61.39 %tile
Weight: 10.06 pounds 83.37 %tile
Head: 15.16 in 98.27 %tile (She's got a lot going on up there!)

Milestones: She has been holding her head up since day one, but is gaining more control every day! She also responds to us when we talk with little noises and even the occasional little smile. 

Sleep: She hates sleeping. HATES it! Who knew? She cries every time she starts to fall asleep, like she's afraid she's going to miss something. Sometimes it takes a good hour to get her to fall asleep. I'm definitely looking for tips and advice in this area so if you've got any, please share them!

 At night she usually goes on average from 2.5 hours to 3.5 hours and then wakes up to eat. I enjoy the time with her, but I'm definitely looking forward to sleeping more than 2 hours at a time!
She's the most adorable little thing when she's asleep. She likes to be swaddled but have her arms free and up on either side of her head. I can't help but smile every time I look at her like that. She's so stinkin' cute!

Best Moment: I don't think I can pick just one moment...I enjoy so many moments with my sweet baby girl. She makes me smile so often with her cute little faces and the things she does! Some of my favorite moments are seeing her with her daddy. He is so good with her!


Worst Moment: There have been several terrible moments when she is crying and I don't know why. We think she has acid reflex because it seems like her belly is hurting her. We haven't quite figured it out yet.

Another terrible, but funny moment was right before her one month checkup. I was out in the car feeding her before we had to go in when right then and there she had a world record blowout! It went through her clothes and even got on my clothes! I've never seen anything like it. I'm talking up her back and down to her socks! Needless to say, our doctors visit started out a little rough. Good thing I had this spare outfit:) 
Look at that innocent face...she would never!

Health:  We did have a scare with her belly button bleeding around 3 weeks but it all turned out fine. She also has a little rash on the side of her face but from what I've been reading, that's pretty common. 
Overall, sweet pea is a very healthy little girl and we thank God for that every day!

Eating: Hanging in there with the breastfeeding. It's much harder than I realized it would be, but she's apparently doing great and definitely getting enough because she gets chubbier every day!

Things I want to remember: 

*Sweet pea already loves looking at books. Maybe it's the English teacher coming out in me, but I started reading to her from the very beginning! She either looks up at me as I read to her, or she looks at the pictures. It's one of my favorite parts of the day. I read out of her little picture Bible and then one or two other books every day!

*Sweet pea loves lights, especially Christmas lights, so it was perfect that she was born right around Christmas! I just put up some pink lights in her room and whenever she's cranky, we take her in there and she's mesmerized!

 *When she's looking at something that especially fascinates her, she makes the cutest little face. Her eyes get really round and she pulls her lips together in the tiniest "o". We haven't quite captured it's full effect, but here's an idea:)

*Sweet pea also loves her bath time! I put the little space heater in the bathroom to warm it up and then give her a little lotion massage afterwards. Who wouldn't love that? I love it too because she smells so yummy afterwards:)
Here she is after her first bath!

*We tried tummy time last week. Here's how it turned out!

*Everyone says that sweet pea is one of the most alert babies they've ever seen. She is always looking around and seems very observant! That might be part of the problem when it comes to trying to get her to go to sleep!
*Her favorite place to sleep is right on my chest with her head above my heart. Sometimes that's the only place she will sleep. When I try to put her in her swing or bassinet she wakes right up. Little stinker:)
*We are still learning to trust God with our daughter The first week she was home with us, we must have taken her temperature at least 50 times. Her breathing really freaks us out! We were not prepared for the way newborns breathe. She stops and starts and then breathes really fast! Her poor daddy has stayed up several nights just to make sure she keeps breathing. 

There are just so many things I want to remember about this past month. I have been trying to cherish every moment...even the tired ones in the middle of the night;)
Our baby girl is so full of personality already and there isn't a day that goes by that she doesn't bring a smile to our faces. We are so blessed!
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Colossians 3:17 
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Mommy Moments Link Up!


Hey mamas!
 I (Faith) am back as your Mommy Moments host!!! A big thank you to Megan for taking over for the past month while I've been busy with my sweet baby girl. She did a great job! It was nice to take a break, but I'm happy to be back. 
I can't help but share another picture of sweet pea! I will have a one month update coming soon, but for now here she is at her last doctor's appointment. Isn't she getting chubby?


So many babies have been born the past few weeks. Have you seen our very own co-host Sarah's sweet baby girl? Aislynn Grey Benson was born at 9:22 PM on January 12. She weighed 8 pounds, 13 ounces and was 19.5 inches long.
Congratulations Sarah, she's adorable!

Let's celebrate all this baby love with a big Mommy Moments Linky Party! 

 To link up, just...

1. Follow Host: The Life Of Faith 

2. Link up your post!
Post can include anything related to mommy-hood, children, homemaking, pregnancy etc. If you aren't a mom yet, feel free to link up your preparation for motherhood, your journey as you try to conceive, or even a post that would be encouraging to the other moms in the party!

3. Add the Mommy Moments button to your post or blog so everyone knows where you are linking up!

4. Explore some of the other posts in the link-up and say hello to some new blog friends! 

5. Tweet or Share the link up on Facebook so we can all make even more friends!

The Life Of Faith
<div align="center"><a href="http://the-life-of-faith.blogspot.com//search/label/baby" title="The Life Of Faith"><img src="http://i1114.photobucket.com/albums/k537/faithkonrath/mommymomentsbutton.jpg" alt="The Life Of Faith" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

P.S. I will be having a new guest host every week! Want to be a guest host of the Mommy Moments Blog Hop? Send Faith a message at farmprincess14{at}gmail{dot}com. We would love to have you on board!
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Colossians 3:17 
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

{Guest Post} The Calling of Motherhood

Hi, all!  I am Bernadette, aka, the Barefoot Hippie Girl. Barefoot Hippie Girl is my blog persona pouring out the unconventional but conservative side of myself.

Thanks, Faith, for sharing your space with me here today. It is a privilege.


Faith, if you haven't already (there has been a rash of Christmas babies in my neck of the woods), you will soon join the ranks of the highest order...Mothers. You will join the likes of Eve, and Sarah, and Hannah, and Mary, and Lois, and Rahab, and Ruth, and Katrina Luther, and Susanna Wesley, and Me =), and..... The list truly does go on and on. Some were great mothers, and some not quite as good.

But, that's the thing, when you become a mother you find out just how weak and helpless you are. When your baby is feverish and you don't know why. Or when their heart is broken and you are trying to fix it. Or you are simply trying to raise them without them needing hours and hours of therapy.

Bow down thine ear, O Lord, hear me, for I am poor and needy. (Psalm 86:1)

I cannot tell you how many times I have approach the Lord in prayer, literally at the end of my rope, hands empty and needing filled.

Parenting is a very humbling venture. I am so glad to serve the all-powerful God, who promises to enable me. Even in parenting.

Prayers becomes a Christian parent's secret weapon and source of strength. Not only do we pray about parenting, we learn to lean on God on our kids' behalf too.

There are many things you can pray for your children. Some are small things-like teeth and fevers. Some are bigger-like potty training. Some are huge-like life decisions. Here is a list of huge things I regularly pray for even now with youngish kids.

That...

1. My child will believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior from sin early in life.

2. My child will love the Lord their God with all their heart, mind, soul and strength. And love their neighbor as themselves.

3. My child will have friends who love God with all their heart, mind, soul and strength.

4. My child will find favor in the eyes of their authorities-teachers, bosses, government.

5. My child will not love money, but will be generous and unselfish in giving.

6. My child will seek to serve the Lord in whatever way He calls them-big or small.

7. My child will have a global outlook, and a love for the unsaved.

8. My child will marry someone who loves the Lord and wants to serve the Lord with them.

9. My children will be each others' best friends.

10. My child will get caught whenever they do wrong.

11. My child will grow as a Christian and be kind, compassionate, patient, truthful, strong.

12. My child will have good role models, and be a good role model.

That is quite the list. If you prayed it everyday for your child, or children, it would take quite some time. I have found it helpful to split it by months or even weeks. I pray for their salvation daily. The others I tend to rotate especially as needs become more obvious.

Parenting and mothering is a high calling. Maybe the highest calling. May God grant you grace and wisdom as you embark on this journey.


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Mommy Moments

Welcome back to another week of Mommy Moments!
This week is our first official themed linky party!

Have you all seen the What I Wore Wednesday link up?
This is very similar, but it's "What Baby Wore!"
As moms, we aren't always motivated to get dressed and take pictures of ourselves, but we certainly enjoy taking pictures of our children in a new outfit or two! Last week was Christmas, and I'm sure all those babies out there got a few new duds.

Not that any of us need an excuse to dress up our wee ones, but in case you did... Here's your chance!

If your baby is on the way, you can play, too! Show us what baby will wear! Maybe you've had a shower or two and you wanna show off those outfits?? Have you picked out what your bundle will wear home from the hospital? Show us! WE all love baby clothes, eh? So, get creative!

Let's see them!
Of course you can still link up your other mommy posts too. We love to see those every week!
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Let's get this party started!

1. Follow 
Host: The Mrs
and our guest host for the week is Tiffany from Little Gems



2. Link up your post!
Post can include anything related to mommy-hood, children, homemaking, pregnancy etc. If you aren't a mom yet, feel free to link up your preparation for motherhood, your journey as you try to conceive, or even a post that would be encouraging to the other moms in the party!

3. Add the Mommy Moments button
to your post or blog so everyone knows where you are linking up!

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4. Explore some of the other posts 
in the link-up and say hello to some new blog friends! 
5. Tweet or Share 
the link up on Facebook so we can all make even more friends!
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Colossians 3:17 
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Sweet Pea's Birth Story

It's my birthday today, and what better way to celebrate than to share with you the story of my daughter's birth!
I honestly don't know where to begin. I feel like I could write a book about everything that took place. 
It was awful and amazing.

I had been having contractions all week and knew it was only a matter of time. So Friday evening, when I started having stronger and more frequent contractions, I got excited and called my friend Lorinda to describe what I was feeling to her. 
She told me it sounded like tonight was the night I was going into labor! I didn't get my hopes up though because I had thought the same thing several nights that week. 
To help get my mind off of the discomfort, hubby and I played a few games of Halo.
Looking back now, I laugh at how we chose to spend our last night!

I finally decided to try to get some sleep and had only been in bed for a little over an hour when I felt something weird happen inside. Somehow I just knew my water was breaking. I had this phobia of my water breaking on our mattress and getting everywhere, so I ran to the bathroom and sure enough, my water broke! It was the weirdest thing!
I yelled "Jimmy my water just broke" loud enough to wake him up and he came running over to the bathroom. We both got really excited! There's really no way to explain the feeling of knowing you are about to have your baby!

We called the doctor and were told to go to the hospital. Now, I did not realize that when your water breaks...it's not just a one time gush. It's rather obnoxious when you are trying to get things together for the hospital! But we finally managed to get everything together and out the door by about 2:00 AM!

When we got there, they stuck me in a tiny room to make sure I was really in labor. They wanted to give me an IV but I opted for the saline lock as my plan was to have a natural birth. The nurse ended up sticking me 5 different times before actually getting a vein. I still have bruises from where my veins busted!

Once they determined that my water really had broken (like I already knew), they moved me to a room and informed me that my doctor was on vacation so I would have the on call doctor. They also told me that he wanted to start me on pitocin right away.
I was ticked!
First of all, I love my doctor and secondly, I had only been there 30 minutes and this doctor who hadn't even been in to see me wanted to start me on pitocin?
Not a chance!

I told the nurse I wanted to wait on the pitocin and see if my body could do what God designed it to do on it's own! It took a while, but by mid morning, I was having pretty regular contractions, about 3-4 minutes apart. I was so blessed to have the most amazing nurse. She was all about helping me have a natural birth. It was like having a Doula there! She told me not to let the doctor pressure me into anything, but do things the way I felt was right. She was so encouraging and very helpful the whole time!

Now at this point, I was pretty tired having not slept all night not to mention I was starving because I hadn't eaten anything since dinner the night before! But no, I wasn't allowed to eat or drink anything. I think that made my labor and delivery harder than it had to be. Fortunately I had honey sticks that I brought along with me and I snuck a few of those in between contractions. Definitely a smart choice!

By about noon I was like 4 cm dilated and I thought my contractions were pretty painful. 
Ha.
They only got worse! 
I had done my research and thought I was pretty prepared for the pain!
Turns out no one can really prepare you for that kind of pain. 
Not even remotely.
Every time I thought the contractions couldn't hurt any worse, they got worse!
I used a birthing ball and did my best to relax and breathe through each contraction. It was physically the hardest and most painful experience. 
I eventually got to a point where breathing just didn't do the trick. Even though I swore I would never be one of those women who is moaning and acting crazy, by about 7 cm dilated, I was crazy and didn't care. It hurt so bad! 

My poor hubby was probably more traumatized than I was, but I couldn't have done it without him. He stuck with me the whole time rubbing my back and putting pressure on my lower back during the worst parts of the contractions. It helped a lot. He said he was pushing so hard he thought he broke his hand at one point!

As the hours ticked by, I thought it would never end. I was praying out loud and asking Jesus for strength to get through each contraction. Every now and then I would glance at one of the bible verses that I had with me and take a little phrase from it to get me through the next contraction!
When I look back on it all, I can't really brag about anything I did, but God gets the glory for filling me with His strength and giving me extra energy to make it through nearly 24 hours of labor!

At about 7:30 PM, I started to feel like I needed to push during each contraction. I was so happy because that meant the end was near and I was going to meet my baby girl!
The only problem was that the doctor had gone home and was over 20 minutes away. The nurse told me to hold off on pushing as long as I could, but it was nearly impossible! Finally we just went for it, and I told my nurse she could deliver my baby (I liked her better than my doctor anyways)! The doctor got there just in time for the last few contractions as I screamed and pushed with everything I had in me.  I delivered her sitting up so I actually saw her being born. It was the craziest thing to watch and something I will never forget!

Before I knew it, my baby girl was in my arms and as I looked down at her, she opened her tiny dark eyes, looked at me and smiled. Jimmy saw it too! It was the most surreal and amazing moment of my life. I can't explain it. After 9 months of waiting, praying and wondering what she was going to be like, I was so happy to be holding my baby girl! Even covered in all that birth stuff, I thought she was the most beautiful baby I'd ever seen. I will never forget that overwhelming feeling of love I had for her in just the first few moments. I was a mommy!

The pain of the doctor stitching me up and delivering the placenta didn't even phase me because I was too busy admiring my baby girl!
They eventually took her from me to weigh her while her daddy stood guard over her!
Minutes later we were taking our first family photo and I got to work feeding her before all her family and friends came to visit!
Jimmy was just as happy as I was for our baby girl to be here! He has been an amazing dad right from the start. sweet pea, you have no idea how much your daddy loves you! 

Jimmy's family and some of our friends had been waiting most of the day Saturday for our baby o be born, so after I finished feeding her, they came in to see her! She is lucky to have such awesome family and friends who waited all day to meet her.

We had visitors most of the day on Sunday, but on Christmas Eve, we got to spend time some good family time together in the hospital. I was so excited to get home and spend Christmas with our baby girl!

Things went a little differently than I hoped, however. All day on Christmas Eve, I had been feeling very weak, I assumed because I had lost a lot of blood and just needed to get my strength back. Every time I stood up, I got really dizzy and then got chills so bad I had to lay back down. I told the nurse several times during the day how I was feeling, but they told me it was normal hormones!
Finally, just as we were about to leave the hospital and head home, I got another round of terrible chills! Jimmy told me to call the nurse and ask her to take my temperature.
 It was 102.6.
They immediately assumed I had the flu, took my daughter from me and gave me a mask. 
For a few hours, I was not allowed to hold my daughter except to feed her and then I had to wear a mask. It was the worst feeling ever. I was a mess with tears rolling down over that mask, worried that I was going to get my daughter sick and upset that I couldn't be with her.
It took forever, but we finally got the flu test results back and it was negative. I was happy to hear that, but also knew that meant I probably had some sort of infection.

They stuck an IV in me again and started me on antibiotics while they drew blood and ran a bunch of tests to determine what was going on. 
Christmas Eve was a long night with my fever spiking to 103 before it finally broke early Christmas morning. My poor hubby was beside himself, worried for me and trying to take care of our day old daughter. I remember him praying for me when I was fighting the worst of the fever. 

God answered his prayers because although they never figured out what sort of infection I had,  my fever never came back, we were able to head home Christmas day about 5PM with a bunch of antibiotics and supplements to help me get my strength back. 
Even though I didn't feel the greatest, I was so happy to be home with my family and celebrate Christmas together. 
It was definitely a Christmas we will never forget!

It has taken me a little longer than normal to recover from my extra loss of blood plus the infection, but it has still been a wonderful adventure getting to know our daughter. It amazes me how much she has grown in just 2 and a half weeks! I don't want to take a single day for granted. 


No, it hasn't all been easy adjusting to breastfeeding, not sleeping, poop everywhere, and trying to understand what my  baby wants. She still gets her days and nights mixed up and I'm running on adrenaline most days.
 But I wouldn't have it any other way.
I love her little smiles, I love the way her hair stands up straight in the back, I love being the one that she wants when she's crying, I love watching her sleep, I love it when her little hand curls around my finger, I love just cuddling with her and soaking it all in.  

Most of all, I love that she's my daughter and I'm her mommy.
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Colossians 3:17 
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

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