Monday, May 28, 2012

GMG Week 2 Recap

Scripture passages for the week:
Proverbs 31 : 10 - A wife of noble character who can find?  She is worth far more than rubies.
Proverbs 12 : 4 - A wife of noble character is her husbands crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones.
Proverbs 18 : 22 - He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord.
Proverbs 19 : 14 - Houses and wealth are inherited from parents, but a prudent wife is from the Lord.
Proverbs 31 : 11 - Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.
Proverbs 11 : 28 - Those who trust in their riches will fall, but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf.
Proverbs 28 : 26 - Those who trust in themselves are fools, but those who walk in wisdom are kept safe.
Proverbs 16 : 20 - Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers, and blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord.
Proverbs 28 : 25 - The greedy stir up conflict, but whose who trust in the Lord will prosper.
Proverbs 29 : 25 - Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.

I felt like the Lord was really trying to teach me to trust in Him this week.  I've had a challenging week at home, and I need to learn how to turn towards God when I get frustrated.  As a Proverbs 31 woman, my husband should be able to trust me to maintain our household when he can't, and he should be able to trust me to maintain it with a calm and level-head.  Drew should be able to trust me to make the best decisions for our family.  I also need to exhibit noble qualities as a Proverbs 31 woman.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Annelise's Birth Story

I had a doctor’s appointment on Thursday, March 29th.  We had already discussed doing an induction that evening.  Dr. Manas didn’t want me to go too far past my due date.  He did an internal check at the appointment and I was only a fingertip dilated and not very thinned out.  Dr. Manas left the exam room to go call the hospital to see what time I should check in.  He came back in with the bad news that the hospital was full and that I wouldn’t be able to get induced.  He told me to go home and report to the hospital at 6:00 PM on Sunday, April 1st. 

Drew and I went back home and tried to enjoy our last few days before we would become parents.  Admittedly, I was pretty bummed that I wasn’t going to be able to be induced that day.  I had been looking forward to meeting my daughter for so long and now I had to wait even longer.  Before we knew it, it was Sunday and time to head to the hospital.

We checked into the hospital and were immediately taken to my birth room.  I changed into the gown and got into bed.
Since we were the only ones on the floor there to have a baby, (There were a couple of other ladies there for monitoring.) I was bombarded with a bunch of nurses.  There were three nurses and the on-call obstetrician that came into my room and they all started doing something.  One started hooking me up to the monitors, one was working on paperwork, and one was starting my IV.  While all of this was going on, the on-call OB was asking me questions.  I was overwhelmed to say the least.  One of the nurses was taking my vitals and my blood pressure was extremely high.  They were a little concerned since I hadn’t had high blood pressure throughout my pregnancy, but they chalked it up to the number of people in my room and that I was a little nervous.  It came down a little the second time they took it, but they were still going to watch it.

Starting my IV was quite the ordeal.  I could tell that the nurse was either nervous or new as soon as she started.  She began by putting the tourniquet on my right arm and searching for a vein in my forearm.  After a few minutes, she found one and injected the Lidocaine.  As soon as that happened, she lost the vein.  She decided to move down to my hand and began searching for a vein there.  She found one to use, and injected the Lidocaine.  After waiting a minute or so, she inserted the needle for my IV and blew my vein!  I have never had a blown vein before, and let me tell you, it hurt!  A LOT!!!  That nurse gave up at that point, and another came and began to start the IV on my left hand.  She managed to get it in place without any trouble.  Unfortunately, now I was stuck with an IV in my left hand.  I’m left handed.  Big bummer!

After some time, my night nurse, Micki, came in to insert the Cervidil.  She did an internal first, and I was dilated to about one centimeter.  She inserted the Cervidil, and I had to remain in bed for two hours.  The countdown started at 7:50 PM.  At 9:50 PM, after being told I could get up, I sprinted to the bathroom as fast as I could!  A pregnant girl’s gotta pee!  I tried to negotiate getting off the monitors and walking around in the halls for a little bit, but I was told that wasn’t allowed and that I could only travel as far as the cords to the monitors would allow.  It wasn’t far!  I paced for a few minutes, then decided it just wasn’t worth it, and got back into bed.  We watched a little TV and I dozed some.  Drew slept, and noisily snored.

At about 2:00 AM, my contractions started to pick up.  There were some that I would have to breathe through, and some that weren’t painful at all.

I decided that I would get an epidural before Dr. Manas came in to break my water and start Pitocin.  Since it was early in the morning, and that’s when all the surgeries get scheduled, I didn’t want to want an epidural badly and have to wait for it for a length of time because the anesthesiologist was in a surgery.  Drew had to put a mask on, and we both got hair caps.
Getting the epidural was painless, however, it was difficult to sit with my back rolled out for such a long time.  It was also starting to get very warm in my room, so I told Drew to fan me with a folder.  He kept forgetting to fan me because he was so interested in watching the anesthesiologist administer the epidural.  I was thankful that Micki was there to help hold me in the proper position.

It didn’t take long before my entire lower half was numb.  Dr. Manas arrived sometime between 6:30 and 7:00 AM.  He broke my water, inserted an internal monitor, and removed the Cervidil.  I felt nothing!  God bless epidurals!  Pitocin was started around 7:30 AM.

Before the Pitocin was started, Micki was in the room with my new day nurse, Melissa, and they were going over everything from Micki’s shift.  Drew and I were chatting with them also.  I felt something fall off the bed and let them know that something had dropped.  Melissa turned around and said, “Oh my god, it’s your leg!!”  She immediately grabbed it and put it back on the bed.  I had no clue!  I felt nothing!!  It was the strangest thing to not feel it at all.  I realized that I was sitting a little close to the right side of the bed, and I wanted to move more towards the center.  As much as I told my brain to tell my legs to move, there was just no moving them!  It was such a weird sensation!

After that excitement, I decided to take a little nap.  It didn’t last long because Melissa came in at 8:30 AM and had me roll over to my left side because Annelise’s heart rate had dropped.  I laid there for a little bit and it came back up.

Around noon, Melissa did another internal check.  Dr. Manas had told me when he broke my water that I would probably only be about two to three centimeters at that time.  I told him that he was crazy, and that I would be much further than that.  I was five to six centimeters when Melissa checked me.  However, someone (Drew?) overheard her on the phone with Dr. Manas and she said that I was seven.  So, I was somewhere between five and seven centimeters.
During the afternoon, people started arriving to keep us company; Drew’s parents, my mom and sister, and Kristen, our birth photographer.
Kristen immediately started snapping away.  I continued to labor.
Labor was pretty easy, thanks to the epidural, but occasionally I would have to push the button to administer more.  My contractions were close together and pretty strong.
Having a decent contraction
Everybody had a great time watching the monitors, especially Annelise’s heartbeat.  Her heartbeat would increase whenever Drew came into the room and spoke.  She was already a daddy’s girl!
Dr. Manas called to see how I was doing

Around 4:00 PM, I was starting to feel my contractions more, and they were making me nauseous.  I let the nurse know and she gave me something in my IV to help with it.  I ended up throwing up though.  I knew that I had to be getting close to the end at that point.
Dr. Manas arrived around 4:45 PM and everybody got set up for me to start pushing.  I had agreed to allow two student nurses and a student EMS technician to be in the room during delivery.  I started pushing around 5:00 PM.  Pushing was hard, and I got so out of breath.  I could feel immense pressure when a contraction started and all I wanted to do was push.  I got four pushes in with each contraction.  As soon as the contraction went away, I would beg Drew for some ice chips.  It was so hot in that room!
I was having trouble getting Annelise under my pubic bone, and after pushing for an hour, Dr. Manas started telling me that I would probably need some help.  I really didn’t want him to use forceps to get her out.  I was getting so mad at myself and tried to use that anger to push her out, but it wasn’t working.  Drew could tell that I was getting exhausted and told me that I wasn’t a failure if Dr. Manas had to use the forceps.  I reluctantly agreed.  Dr. Manas told me that he had to call some more people in the room, a NICU team and a pediatrician, and to keep pushing through my contractions.  He performed an episiotomy.  I must have made myself mad enough, because I was able to push her under my pubic bone with that next push.
A few more pushes later, and Annelise was born at 6:27 PM.  Dr. Manas made a comment as she was coming out that “she was solid and she might be 8 pounds”.  That’s not something that you say to a woman pushing out a baby!
Annelise was immediately placed on my chest and she was so beautiful.  She was crying as Melissa rubbed her with a towel.  Drew cut her umbilical cord.
Melissa put Annelise in a clean towel and she quit crying and laid in my arms.  I was crying and Drew was teary eyed as we stared at her in amazement.  I remember counting her fingers and toes and saying that she looked just like Drew.
After a little bit, Melissa took her over to the warmer to get checked out.  I got stitched and cleaned up during this time.
Annelise weighed in at 7 pounds 10 ounces and was 20 ¾ inches long.  She was brought back over to me and I simply stared at her in amazement.
It was hard to believe that she was actually here after everything that we had been through.

All photos, with the exception of the first two, are compliments of Kristen at Photography by Kristen.  

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Being Vulnerable

I'm going to open up and be vulnerable, which is pretty rare for me to do, and I've certainly never really done it here.

I really wish that I had a best friend.  A best girl friend.  A friend that I could call up and talk to about anything and everything.  A friend that, while she has her own life, would make time for me on a regular basis.  A friend that cared about me just as much as I cared about them.  A friend who would celebrate joys with me, and cry tears with me, and laugh together until our sides ached.  A friend who could understand that sometimes I have bad days too, and need someone to talk to about it.  A friend who I could make memories with.  A friend who would trust me with all her secrets, and let me confide mine in her.  A friend who understands that they just have to be themselves, and lets me be myself.  A friend who doesn't have to impress me.

I have really been struggling the past couple of weeks.  I feel so lonely lately.  In fact, I feel even lonelier now that Annelise is here than I did before she was born.  I used to be such a homebody, and perfectly ok with that.  Now?  I find any excuse I can to get out of the house.  Even if it's just Annelise and me running to Sam's Club for some diapers.  It helps to break up the monotony of the day.

Don't get me wrong, I have friends.  I just don't have a best friend.  I don't have a close girl friend.  It takes a lot for me to open up and trust people, and I keep myself pretty guarded.  When I was dating my ex, his mom and I got into a huge fight one day.  She said to me, "People don't really like you, they just tolerate you".  Ever since that day, I built a wall around myself and it's very hard for me not to shield myself around people.  I don't know if she meant what she said or not, but it was said.  So, there must have been some truth to it.  And it hurt.  And it still hurts and it's been years, probably around seven years.  I probably come across as stuck up to people because it's hard for me to open up.  I've tried very hard to open myself back up, but it's such a struggle for me.  I'm so self-conscious.

I blogged yesterday about the Proverbs 31 Bible study that I'm participating in.  I'm praying that God makes me a better person.  I'm hoping that this will help.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Proverbs 31 Woman

My good friend, Lindsay over at Designer Wife, asked a couple of weeks ago if I wanted to participate in a Bible study that Good Morning Girls was starting.  This course was going to be all about Proverbs 31.  I thought it sounded extremely interesting, and I've been wanting to do a Bible study.  So, I, and some other women that I know, formed a group and we've started learning all about the Proverbs 31 woman.

Last week, I read about King Lemuel's mother telling King Lemuel how to be a good ruler.  There is also an ebook that goes along with the Bible study.  The ebook talked about whether or not the Proverbs 31 woman is for real.

Proverbs 31 is a chapter that gives women a lot to strive for and live up to.  Some women may be offended or discouraged by the verses that are written.

I think that this study is going to be good for me in this season of my life.  I've settled into my role as a wife, but there is always room for improvement.  Now that I've taken on a new role as a mother, I'm struggling with everything that that encompasses.  And, admittedly, I've lost some ground in my role as a wife.  It's all par for the course, but I want to get back on track.

I hope that through this study and prayer, God can teach me how to be like the Proverbs 31 woman.  I was recently told by a "friend" that I'm always angry and that I'm toxic in their life.  That hurt.  I'm not sure whether that "friend" was just speaking out of anger or if she honestly and truly believes that.  Either way, it was said, and I'm the type of person that would rather hear the truth that have things kept inside.  So, I'm obviously need to work on being a happier person around the people that I surround myself with.  Now, I'm no longer going to be surrounding myself with that "friend" due to some other circumstances, but she definitely gave me some things to think about it.

I'm going to try to do a reflection and recap post here on the weekends about what I've studied during the week.  Feel free to join the study and, if we're Facebook friends, let me know that you are doing it and I can add you to our group.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Ready For Dinner

I heard Maya walk into the dining room this afternoon and typically that's her cue to me that she wants to go outside. I walked around the corner and this is what I saw.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

First Mother's Day

I really don't know how I can formulate into words how special today was for me.  I have dreamt of being a mother for years and after countless tears and heartbreak, my wish came true this year.  Annelise is such an amazing blessing to me.  I love how she is starting to interact more and will talk to me and give me some huge grins.  I am so glad that I get to spend everyday with her and watch her grow.
Drew and I went and visited our mothers today also.  We started out at my mom's house.  We had printed out some of Annelise's newborn pictures and put them in a collage frame for them.  They both loved them!
My mom just loves Annelise to pieces.  She is usually sleeping anytime we go over there, and the first thing my mom does is start trying to wake her up.  My mom had Annelise over her shoulder after we took this picture and Annelise started waking up and bobbing around for a boob.  Hilarious!

Annelise and I went to a girl's night out dinner with my mom, two of my aunt's, and my cousin's girlfriend last night, and everyone was practically fighting over holding her.  I love that everyone loves the little lady so much!  My mom was on cloud 9 because I brought a bottle along and my mom got to feed her.

After we gave my mom some time with her granddaughter, we went over to Drew's parent's house.  Drew's grandma was there and we all ate dinner together.
I'm kind of disappointed that I didn't get a picture of all of us ladies.

I think that the onesie pretty much says it all!  I had a great first Mother's Day and I can't wait to celebrate many, many more.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Newborn Pictures

We took Annelise to have her newborn pictures taken a week after she was born.  Her and Kristen are pretty much BFFs at this point.  All of the following photos are courtesy of Kristen at Photography by Kristen.  Have I mentioned yet how much I love her and her images?  Well, I do!  I am so in love with the way that these turned out.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Secret Keeper

Drew can't keep a secret to save his life.  Our first Christmas together, he gave me my gift two days earlier because he couldn't stand to keep it a secret.  For my birthday two years ago, he gave me my gift a week early.  It's absolutely adorable that he gets so excited about something that he has purchased for me.

So, my first Mother's Day gift was no exception.

I was sitting in Annelise's room nursing her last Thursday, and the doorbell rang.  I threw a blanket over me and went to see who it was.  It was the UPS guy, who had a package that I had to sign for.  That never happens.  However, he was sweet enough to blurt out to me that it was from Apple.  Thanks guy, you suck at keeping secrets too!

I called up Drew and told him that I just had to sign for a package.  He practically screamed at me not to open it.  I told him I wouldn't it, and left it sitting on the entryway table.  It sat there the whole weekend without him paying any attention to it.  I was pretty shocked.

Today, as soon as I got into the shower, I heard the doorbell ring again.  There really wasn't much I could do about it, given the state that I was in.  Once I got out, I noticed that there was a paper on the window stating that FedEx had tried to deliver something and that someone could go pick it up after 6:30 PM.  I brought Drew the paper when I went to pick him up from work (I had a doctor's appointment to go to.) and told him he could pick it up if he wanted.  He did so, and walked in the door after work with another box.

After dinner, he walked into the room with the boxes and a card on top, and told me that Annelise had told him that she wanted me to open my Mother's Day gift early.  I just started cracking up laughing.  After some heckling, I gave in and opened the boxes.
Drew bought me (us) a new iPad 3!

Happy Mother's Day to me!  Don't worry, I share.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Hitting the Bottle

It was a big night for Annelise.  And for Drew too.  Tonight, Drew fed Annelise with a bottle for the first time!

I attached myself to the pump this morning afternoon, and pumped for the first time.  I was so proud because I was able to get about 3 ounces!

I stuck the milk in the fridge and waited until tonight to make her first bottle.  Annelise was starving while she was waiting for it to warm up, so she wasn't a very happy camper.

She wasn't very crazy about the whole bottle idea when Drew first sat down with her.  However, once she realized that she could get some milk from sucking on the nipple of the bottle, she decided to go with it.

Drew originally made her a bottle with about 2 ounces in it, and she ate that pretty quickly.  He made another bottle with the last ounce and she ate about half of that.  I'm so proud of her!

Hopefully Mama will have a full night's sleep sometime soon!