Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Swim Lessons

Last week, Anna took swim lessons from the lady who is the Children's Pastor at our church. It was so nice to take the lessons at her house with Anna's other friends from church. I didn't get in the water with her, so she swam with Mrs. Christy and did great overall. There were tears at the beginning of the first day but they quickly went away as she started having fun in the water. She definitely improved over the course of the week and I'm looking forward to being fully recovered from having a baby so I can get in the pool with her! Especially since it is ridiculously hot this summer!

Patiently waiting her turn...love her little toddler belly that still has some chub.

Kick, kick, kick!

Putting her face in the water to blow bubbles.

Mrs. Christy called this move "ice cream scoops" so Anna kept asking to do it and got pretty good at doing it on her own.

The whole class that day: Anna, Noah, Lakoda, Andrew and Sophia.

Having fun with sweet little Sophia.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

1 Month!

This little angel has only been with us for a month, but it is hard to imagine our family without her. She is such a sweetie and we are all loving on her as much as possible. At her 1 month appointment, she weighed 12 lbs. 12 oz. and was 23 inches long. I told her pediatrician that I am still shocked every time I hear how much weight she has gained. I looked back at Anna's stats and she was 12 lbs. 11 oz. at her two month check-up. Haven has already outgrown some of her 0-3 month outfits. :( She is obviously a good eater and she is a pretty good sleeper too. She has started going down around 10 and wakes up between 3 and 4, then goes back to sleep for another 3 or 4 hours. If only I went to bed when she did, I would be getting decent sleep but when would I have time to blog???

She loves to be held and that is why I am not very productive these days. After Anna goes to bed, Haven and I have special one on one time (so does Daddy). I love that Anna wants to love on her so much, but it is nice to be able to nurse without a little helper right next to me.

She has just started smiling in the last couple days, but I haven't been able to capture it on camera yet...this is the closest I've come.

I just started giving her a paci and sometimes she wants it and sometimes she spits it out. Anna has become OBSESSED with pacifiers and always want to put one in Haven's mouth. I'm interested to see if Haven will eventually be a thumb sucker like her mama and big sis. Once when we were eating dinner and Haven started crying in the other room, Anna yelled out "Haven, suck your thumb!". She cracks us up!

Look at those rolls! I love that she is starting to look like the Michelin baby, but I have to be diligent about keeping all of her rolls clean. :)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

First Date

The day before Father's day was a very special first for Anna...it was her first official date with her daddy. As if I didn't already love Chick-fil-a for their family friendliness and awesome customer service, I really love it now! They hosted a daddy daughter date night and went above and beyond our expectations with the service and detail they put into it. I'm glad Brad took so many good pictures so I was able see how their big date went. Brad said that the oldest daughter was 21, which I think is precious. He told me that he had such a good time just enjoying Anna and felt like Chick-fil-a really honored the special relationship that fathers and daughters have. She is still talking about going to Chick-fil-a with daddy and seeing the horses. What a sweet memory for her to have.

She wore her pearls and even some of mommy's perfume.

Chick-fil-a had tablecloths, place settings and waitresses!

The date ended with a horse drawn carriage ride with her prince charming.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A Daddy and His Daughters

We were both 24 when we got married and while I know the thought crossed my mind that Brad would be a good father, I didn't spend much time thinking about children since it seemed so far down the road. Here we are 7 years later with two daughters, and I'm so thankful that God knew exactly what my girls would need in a father and is providing that through Brad. I can never say this enough...I'm so thankful for his hard work that allows me to be with the girls during these precious years of their lives.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Bug Hunt Birthday

Cousin Marcus turned two and to celebrate, we went on a bug hunt for his birthday! As you can see from the pictures, the kids loved their bug hunting gear that included a net, magnifying glass, and bug hotel. Gotta love Dollar Tree! Sweet Marcus has such an adventurous little spirit and is such a joy!

The Birthday Boy

Anna, with all her gear, running to find some bugs with the boys.

Big brother Lucas

Primo Diego

All the littles examining their findings.

On the hunt, we came upon this huge spider!

My sister's sweet family.

Adorable caterpillar made from a bundt cake. My sister found the idea on youtube.

I think Anna liked it. :)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Haven's Birth Story

This post will probably long and boring to most of you, but I wanted to remember as many details of her birth as possible!

My due date was May 16th and that day came and went with no signs of imminent labor. Honestly, I thought I might go into labor early in the morning on May 17th because Anna came the day after her due date and afterall, all my births were going happen the exact same way, right?...how wrong I was! Finally, on Sunday 22nd I started having contractions around 5 in the morning but they weren't very consistent. Around 9:30, Brad, Anna and I headed out the door to go for a walk hoping gravity would help speed up my contractions. It worked! At 10:20, we were one block from our house and my water broke with a huge splash so loud that Brad stopped pulling the red wagon and turned around to see. I immediately sat down and he went to get the car. I labored at home until about 1 p.m. and since my contractions 5 minutes apart and about 1 minute long for an hour (so easy to track thanks to my Baby's Coming iphone app), I called my midwife. We talked briefly and I told her I was comfortable so I would labor at home a little longer. After I hung up, Brad came in and insisted that we head to the birthing center and hand off Anna to his parents. Although I didn't want to go at the time, looking back I am so glad he made us leave when he did.

We arrived at the birthing center around 2:30 and I was so looking forward to getting in the big tub and settling in for a water birth. The student nurse-midwife met me there and checked my cervix a few minutes later. When she said I was at a 6, I was relieved that I had already progressed so far. My relief was short lived because the next words out of her mouth were "BUT that is not a head I'm feeling". She called the midwife who showed up 5 minutes later and she confirmed that Haven was breech. I was silent...I was shocked...I did not see this coming. I knew that meant I would immediately have to go to a hospital for a C-section. I told myself that I needed to just stay calm for Haven's sake. I did not want to progress to the point where she would start coming out.

My midwife called the hospital that was my first choice and told the charge nurse our situation. She advised my midwife not to send me there and said that she would not trust the hospitalist on duty to cut her open and perform a C-section on her. She totally overstepped her bounds by telling us this information. I am so thankful that God protected me from going there. Next, my midwife called the doctor that she typically refers patients to if they have to be transferred to a hospital. He was on call that weekend but did not answer his phone or call back quickly. He was at a hospital that would have taken at least 30 minutes to get to and I didn't want to risk driving all the way through downtown Dallas while in labor with a breech baby. My midwife told us that she had transferred patients to the Medical Center of Arlington with good results. My sister-in-law had delivered there just 7 months before and it was only 15 minutes away so we decided to head over there. Brad remained cool, calm and collected and got us there quickly by running a few red lights. :) Thank you God for directing our path!

I went straight to triage and the nurse who checked me said I was now past 6 cm. She knew I was coming from a birthing center and she told me that her daughter was studying to be a nurse midwife at Baylor. They then wheeled me into another room to get me prepped to go to the operating room for the C-section. My labor and delivery nurse came in and was talking to us about what to expect and asked if we had any requests. Let me just say that she was AWESOME and God was so gracious to let her be our nurse. She happened to be the nurse in charge that day and she told us that she was seriously considering entering the nurse midwife program at Baylor next year. I was somewhat worried about how the hospital staff would react to us coming from a birthing center and showing up at their doorstep, asking for our baby to be delivered immediately and safely. God gave us two nurses who were supportive of midwives!

I was all prepped and ready to go to the operating room but there was another C-section happening so I had to wait...and wait...and wait. It seemed like forever because I was laying in a bed having pretty intense contractions that were close together. When I was that far along with Anna, I labored all over the place and walked and moved around to distract myself from the pain. I was just praying and asking God for His peace to rest on me and to help keep me calm. I knew that C-sections didn't take long so I wondered what was going on! Turns out, the lady who was having the C-section was having problems with her blood clotting. The hospital had two operating rooms but only one anesthesiologist on the weekends, so they only had one room open. Our awesome nurse got them to open the other operating room so everything could be ready to start when the anesthesiologist was done with the other C-section. Finally, after waiting in the bed for over an hour and a half, they wheeled me in. Our anesthesiologist happened to be the chief of anesthesiology of a group of 56 doctors and graduated from Harvard...I could not have been in better hands! After 17 minutes in the operating room, at 4:47 p.m. little Haven entered the world...butt first! :) I did not believe the nurse when she said Haven was 9 lbs. 0.5 oz because Anna was only 7lbs. 7 oz. She would have been hard to push out! (As a sidenote, I know some people consider a breech birth to be a normal birth and there are midwives and doctors who deliver breech babies vaginally. Brad and I had briefly discussed what we would do if our baby was breech and both agreed that we would opt for a C-section. We didn't research it very much because we didn't think there was a need. After doing research after Haven was born, I learned that vaginal births for a breech baby over 8 lbs. is not advised. It is hard to estimate the weight even with a sonogram, so trying to deliver Haven vaginally could have lead to complications.)

At many hospitals, after a mom has a C-section, they wisk the baby away to the nursery for several hours before returning the baby to the parents. I was very concerned about this because I wanted to be able to nurse and bond with Haven right away. Our nurse allowed Brad to take Haven to a labor and delivery room and then I was able to join them about 15 minutes later. Haven was alert and had no problems nursing and we were able to spend about an hour with her until they took her to the nursery. This was one of the things I was most thankful for.

We could not have asked for Haven's delivery to go any better under the circumstances. We had wonderful staff at the hospital who took great care of us. The surgical tech even told me that my C-section was the smoothest breech C-section she had ever assisted with. As Brad and I reflected on everything, we were so thankful that we live in the US and can drive up to a hospital and get such a high level of care immediately! As well as things went and as overwhelmingly grateful as I was to be holding Haven safe in my arms, as I was processing things I couldn't help but start thinking about the what ifs. God needed me to hear something. The volunteer who wheeled me out of the hospital came to get me and it came up that Haven was breech. She told me that their family friends lost their breech baby the day before Haven was born. They had a C-section scheduled but turned the baby a few days before. She didn't have all the details, but somehow the cord was caught around the babies neck when she turned and when they went to check her heartbeat, they could not find it. I immediately burst into tears, crying for the family that lost their precious baby and crying at the thought of that happening to Haven. My sister asked "why would she tell that story to a post-partum woman?", but like I said, I was meant to hear it. I stopped thinking about the what ifs and just rested in knowing that everything happened as it was supposed to for us. I'm not sure why God would allow Haven to be born healthy and not the other baby...but, as I learned from a Francis Chan teaching, who am I to think I have a higher sense of justice and morality than the One who created me. I firmly believe He works all things together for our good...somehow.