Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Graham's Birth Story!

I'm not sure where to start with this post.  Graham's birth day was the most beautiful experience of my life.  I don't want to forget any of it so I'm hoping to capture all the details here.

I had a c-section with Sawyer and while making sure he arrived healthy was the most important thing I couldn't help but feel a little cheated afterwards.  I just felt pressured that day and I felt like the c-section wasn't 100% necessary.  But all that mattered was I got my healthy, beautiful boy.

But, when I found out I was pregnant again I knew I wanted to try for a vbac.  And I knew I needed to find a doctor who not only performed them but was also very supportive of them.  So, I did a lot of research and found an amazing doctor who I loved from the beginning.

Dr. Thompson encouraged me the entire time and never even talked about a c-section.  He also gave me tips on helping with my weight gain which in turn would help the baby not get too big and increase my chances of a vbac.  He told me a month out that Graham was getting big (he later admitted he was trying to "scare" me a little) but it worked because I pretty much cut out all sugar I could (sugar goes straight to the baby).  And he also said that an induction during the 39th week is your best chance for a vbac as long as other conditions are favorable (dilation, cervix thinning, etc.)  After I started making some progress on my own we scheduled my induction for 8/22 at 7:30am.

I was a ball of nerves leading up to this day for a couple different reasons.  And a lot of the reasons had to do with Sawyer actually.  I didn't want to be away from him and I wasn't sure how he would handle everything.  Let me just say all of that went perfectly.  He did so great and our family helped out so much.  We couldn't have done it without them!

 A picture of Keith and me heading out the door Monday morning.  Emotions were high.

After getting checked in and all hooked up.  They started the pitocin around 9:00am.  My Dr. came by around 10 and checked me.  I was 2cm and still 80% effaced.  He went ahead and broke my water and told us to prepare for a long, boring day.  But it would be a fun night and we would have a baby!

I couldn't have done it without my best buddy.  Keith was so supportive and awesome the entire day.

Our little family of 3 - but not for much longer. 
We could only have 4 people back in the room while I was in labor.  So, everyone took turns coming back and visiting.  I didn't do too great taking pics during the day but everyone was just hanging out and time actually seemed to go by pretty quickly.

They measured my contractions internally which is even more important with a vbac because too much pressure can cause your uterus to rupture and not enough pressure and you won't progress any.  Well, I was convinced my contractions weren't measuring right because they hurt!  But according to the screen they were barely registering.  The nurse told me that several things can affect the way they measure on the screen, like if they baby gets on the tube, etc.  But by about 11:00 they had picked up and I was in some pain.

My Dr. gave the go ahead to get the epidural whenever.  "No points for pain" were his exact words.  But my nurse advised me to wait until my cervix made any kind of  change just to make sure my labor wouldn't stall.  And I was committed to a vbac so I toughed it out until she checked me again at 12:00pm.  I was only 3cm and 100% effaced but that was some change so she ordered the epidural.  I didn't need to be told twice I could get it!  She ordered it but they didn't show up until about 1:15 -- by this time I thought I was going to die!  I had forgotten how painful contractions were.  I even made the comment on the way to the hospital that morning that I thought I could do without the epidural if I needed to.  Someone please slap me if I ever say anything that stupid again!

It took an hour to kick in.  It didn't take right away so I had to get a boost and then it only took on the left side so I got another boost.  Finally after another hour of agony I was pain free. Praise the Lord for epidurals.  Hopefully I'm not scaring anybody.  It hurt but it was so, so worth it.

Graham's heart rate was good all day so that was very encouraging.  He was still really high so they had me laying on my sides and rotating every hour or so to try and help push him down.

The nurse checked me at 2:00pm and I was between 4-5 cm.  I was slowly but surely making progress.  The Dr. came by at 3 just to see how I was doing and decided to check me again.  I was shocked when he said I was almost a 10.  Shocked but thrilled!

My nurse got the room all set up and at 3:45 I was ready to start pushing. 

The room felt very intimate during this part.  It was my Dr, the nurse, Keith and my mom (who played photographer and did a great job).  We were talking and cutting up and it was just really laid back.  Everyone was so great and so encouraging.

There was a little scare.  His rate started dropping and my Dr thought he might have to use the forceps to quickly get him out.  But it picked back up and stayed steady so he thinks he was just a little stressed passing through my pelvic bone. 

I pushed for 1 hour.  Graham was born at 4:45pm.

There are no words.  I seriously can't describe how it felt.  Creating, carrying and then giving birth to your child is a miracle. 

He was perfect!

I love Keith's face.  He had the same look with Sawyer.  He is the best dad!

Graham was immediately placed on my chest and I got to hold him for a long time.  I didn't get to hold Sawyer until an hour after he was born so this felt amazing.  I also got to nurse him right away and he latched on like a pro!

Daddy comforting him while he was getting cleaned up.

Keith holding him for the first time.

Keith went and got Sawyer so he could meet his little brother.  Here he is taking a peak and checking it out.  He didn't really pay him much attention at first.  But over the last couple of days I think he's figured out that Graham is here to stay and he has been so sweet.  Wanting to hug and kiss him and love on him.  Melts my heart!

First shot of our new family of 4!

Graham never left our room, which was also different than with Sawyer.  They bathed him right in our room.  With Sawyer they took him to the nursery to clean him up.

Getting his hair washed and enjoying it.

These moments are so precious.  Nothing like the feel and smell of your new baby.  I was soaking it all up.

A group shot.  We are so blessed that (almost) everyone was able to make the trek out to be here for this special day.  All in our matching "Graham Day" shirts!

The entire day was surreal.  I keep replaying it over in my head because I don't think it could have gone any better.  I wouldn't change one single thing about it.  I prayed for this day, for Graham, for his arrival for months.  God truly answered every single one of my prayers and I will forever thank him for it!

I also want to add that a week later and I've already forgotten about the pain.  Amazing how that works!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Proudly Introducing...

Graham Marshall
6lb 12oz
20 inches

And absolutely perfect.  We couldn't be more in love!

I'll be back as soon as I can with a ton of pictures and a birth story.
Thank you God for this precious baby boy!

Monday, August 22, 2011

A letter to Graham

Dear Graham,

Today is finally the day.  We have been looking forward to meeting you for so long and now it's finally here.  We have spent months trying to imagine what life will be like once you arrive and we are so excited to finally start this chapter. 

I have enjoyed every second of being pregnant with you.  It is such a miracle and one that I have not taken for granted.  I've loved the closeness we've shared -- all the hiccups, pokes and jabs along the way.  One of the best things about being pregnant is that you are never alone.

I know you are going to be the perfect addition to our family.  I hope you always know how loved you are and how very much you were wanted.

Come fast, baby boy.  We can't wait to meet you!

I love you,

Sunday, August 21, 2011

A letter to Sawyer

Dear Sawyer,

Tomorrow you will become a big brother and will no longer be the baby.  This is an exciting time for our family but I hope you always know how very special you are.  You are my first born -- the one who made me a mommy and you have taught me more than you will ever know over the last 18 months.  And you have brought more joy to my life than I ever thought possible.  I can only imagine how it will be with you and your brother.  My heart may explode!

I know this new role will suit you so well.  You are so loving and kind and Graham is lucky to have you to look up too.  I pray that the two of you will be best friends. I pray that the two of you realize very early on that family is the most important thing in life.  And I pray that you always, always know how very much I love you.  I will always be your biggest fan!


Saturday, August 20, 2011

39 Weeks

The final belly shot!

How far along? 39 weeks today 
Total weight gain/loss: I didn't go to the Dr. this week so I'm not sure.  I'll weigh Monday morning to get a final number -- I'm thinking around 35-37 lbs. total.
Stretch marks? no - woohoo!
Sleep: okay...trying to enjoy what I can - I've actually taken a few naps this week which has been nice!
Best moment this week: Loving on my sweet Sawyer!
Movement: still moving some - his movements now shake my entire belly.  And he still gets the hiccups once a day!
Food cravings: nothing really.
Gender: Boy
Labor Signs: A few more contractions - nothing consistent!
Belly Button in or out? out, out, out!
What I miss: being able to snuggle Sawyer without a big belly in the way.
What I am looking forward to: meeting my sweet boy!
Weekly Wisdom: Blah, idk
Milestones: 2 days!

I can't believe it's almost time - I'm so excited!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Baby #2 {the story of finding out}

Before we welcome baby #2, I thought it only fitting to share the story of when we first found out another little one was on the way.
I don't think it's any secret that I love babies and want lots - 4, to be exact.  So, after having Sawyer, Keith and I knew we didn't want to wait a long time before having another one.  But it wasn't something we talked about all the time either.  But since I was nursing Sawyer, it took quite a while for my body to get back to normal (read between the lines here).  November to be exact.  Well, after that month we decided to just "see what happens".  I think we were both expecting it to take a couple of months....

So, that was Nov. 23rd to be exact.   Well, Christmas was approaching and I still hadn't gotten that little monthly visitor.  So, I actually took a pregnancy test on Christmas Eve and it was negative.  I thought this would be a great present for Keith - I never even told him I took one.  I just chalked it up to my body still not being regular yet.  No big deal.  Who gets pregnant the first month they try...twice?!

Well, we get through Christmas and all that busyness and traveling home, etc. and I didn't really think anymore about it.  Then it was Dec. 30th and still nothing.  We were leaving a week later for the National Championship game so I really needed some confirmation - one way or another.  So, I told Keith that there was a possibility but I had already gotten a negative test so it was really unlikely. 

Keith pretty much demanded that I take a test right then.  No waiting until the morning like the test suggest!  So, to the bathroom I went.  For some reason, I was so nervous but really thought it would be negative.  So, I sat the test on the counter and went out to get Keith.  I actually made him go look at it while I was videoing...just in case.

Well, he looks at it with his back to me and starts laughing.  He turns around and I immediately said "it's negative, right" and he turns it over and shows me -- PREGNANT.  I was SO excited.  I started jumping around and we were both laughing and hugging.  All on camera.  It was great.  But we were really surprised.  So, Keith thought we should take another one so he ran to Walgreens to buy more while I snapped pictures and started thanking God for this miracle. 

Obviously, the second test showed the same result.  And we even woke Saw up from his nap to tell him he was going to be a big brother!  So, no big to do with me telling Keith but it was so fun to have him be a part of the "finding out" process.  I'll never forget it!

God is good!  Having a baby is such a miracle and I have loved experiencing it twice.  But being a mommy is so much better.  I'm ready for round two!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

quick update

The official countdown is on!

We have been enjoying our week.  We've had lots of family time and it's been so nice.  Sawyer had his 18 month check up yesterday and it was good.  One of his eyes has been a little red and watery and she thought it might be a touch of pink eye - she wasn't sure but to be safe with the baby coming we started drops and it already looks so much better.  Trying to get the drops in his eye is a challenge!  Other than that he is completely healthy and thriving and we are so thankful!

His official stats:
weight - 26 lbs. - 52%
height - 32 inches - 50%
head circum. - 19 inches - 65%

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

38 Weeks

How far along? 38 weeks
Total weight gain/loss: Last week at my Dr. appt I hadn't gained any - which was exciting.  I'm hoping I can close out this pregnancy with a 35-37 lb. weight gain.  We'll see...
Stretch marks? still none
Sleep: not so good.  I'm getting up 3 times a night to pee and it's just getting harder to get comfortable
Best moment this week: Spending a really low key weekend just the 3 of us and knowing it was the last one.
Movement: he feels pretty cramped in there but he's still moving and groovin'
Food cravings: Fruit Loops and ice cream...not together!
Gender: Boy
Labor Signs: Some really irregular contractions but I think he's pretty snug!
Belly Button in or out? out, out, out!
What I miss: sleeping comfortably, bending over, walking at a normal pace, I can tell I'm nearing the end!
What I am looking forward to: My mom gets in town Thursday and my Dad, Kathy, Shan & the girls and Keith parents all trickle in this weekend...so exciting.
Weekly Wisdom: Blah, idk
Milestones: Just getting closer and closer to meeting my sweet boy!

I had a good appointment last Thursday.  I was still at 1cm and 80% effaced.  My BP and his heart rate were good.  Everything is fine.  I actually don't have to go back this week.  I'll just see him on the 22nd to have a baby.  So exciting!  

Friday, August 12, 2011

The nursery...finally!

Let's start with just a few before's.  This is the dresser we bought off of Craigslist.  It's an awesome sturdy piece but needed some TLC.

Getting ready to paint -- with a little helper.  Finding a shade of gray is hard.  Like 4 samples and 2 paint jobs hard.

But eventually we got the gray right so we moved on to the accent wall.

Trying to measure out a chevron stripe proved to be a little harder than you think.  But luckily, I am persistant and Keith is good with math so we finally got it.

And it's finally finished.

Okay, I'm going to do my best to link back to where everything came from or the tutorial I used to make it.

Chevron Fabric - Michael Miller - ordered from here - it took me a while to find it.  Obviously this was the inspiration for the whole room!  Love it!  The other fabrics (gray linen and white minky) are from Joann's.
Dresser - Craigslist $60 - but then a lot of love poured into it by Keith.  Thanks Keith!
Crib - Graco Lauren from Wal-Mart -- thanks Dad & Kathy.
Cornice Boards - already posted about here
Bassinet - we used it with Saw - just changed some things.  It originally came from JC Penny and my mom made the bedding.  Thanks Mom!  He will sleep in this in our room for the first few months.
Coming home gown - made by my Mom -same one Saw wore home.
Large Frame - Keith made with molding from Home Depot and we spray painted chicken wire and stapled it to the back -- I can't remember where I saw the original idea of a chicken wire frame but they are all over the internet now.  Love them.  We'll add more pictures/fun stuff to this as time goes on.
Big letters - ordered from  here - great customer service by the way.  And then I used fabric from Joann's and mod pog to cover them.
Pennant Bunting - paint samples from Home Depot (I'm sure this is frowned upon) cut into triangles and just sewn together.  I saw this idea originally online somewhere too.  Super cute and free!
Rocker - a very special hand me down from my great grandmother Dawson.  I'm pretty sure my granddad was rocked in this rocker!  We used it in Saw's room too.  So special that all my babies will be rocked in this chair!
End table - ordered from Amazon here -- great price and I like that it has a little drawer.
Crib Bedding - made by my Mom -- and I helped a little.
Changing pad cover - made using this tutorial
Frames are from Goodwill and painted
Art - designed using picnik and this tutorial
Pinwheel mobile - made using this tutorial

Whew, I think that's mostly it.  Thank God for the Internet or this room would be pretty sad.  I love how everything turned out and I can't wait for him to be here so I can show him his special room!  And of course, there will be  a few more things added once he's here.