Thursday, July 31, 2008

Elizabeth Rose has arrived!

We are so excited to announce the birth of our beautiful baby girl, Elizabeth Rose. She was born Monday, July 28th, at 5:03 pm weighing in at 8 lbs and measuring 19" in length. She has stolen our hearts! Sophie has kissed her hundreds of times already and keeps saying, "I just can't help it...she is so adorable!"

Elizabeth's birth story began late Sunday evening. I was having contractions all night, but I didn't really pay attention to them since I had been having contractions for the last two weeks. Clint and I stayed up late doing housework (we were both "nesting" and preparing for Elizabeth's arrival). Then at 1:30am, I told Clint that I thought we should start timing the contractions. Sure enough, they were 3 minutes apart. We timed the contractions for the next two hours and they remained consistent so I called my parents at 3:30am to come to the house and watch Sophie. It was time! We went to the hospital around 5:30am. The contractions were still 3 minutes apart, but not very intense. I was dilated to a 4 when we arrived. We started getting discouraged around 8:55am after a conversation with our midwife. I had not progressed any further and we were thinking about going home. Then 5 minutes later, at 9:00am, my water broke. We knew then that we were having a baby. The contractions immediately became much more intense and I began hard labor. I dilated very slowly throughout the day and the contractions became very difficult to get through. I was committed to a natural childbirth with no pain meds or medical interventions so I continued to work through the contractions, but I almost gave up. I finally entered the transitional stage of labor between 4:00pm and 4:30pm and was ready to push very soon after that. Elizabeth was born with just a couple of pushes at 5:03pm. Thank goodness because after 16 hours, I was exhausted! There are really no words to describe how I felt when I held her for the first time, but there was a rush of many emotions. I cried out of relief and joy and love and amazement. She is very special to me and Clint and symbolizes new life in so many ways for us. She is truly a blessing!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

1 week left!

Thanks so much for all of the encouragement and great ideas I received after my meltdown last week! I was feeling stuck...I knew I had a lot to do, but I couldn't take the steps to get it all done. When I allowed myself to just breathe (thanks Carrie and Faith Hill), relax for a minute and just let it all go, I was able to get so much accomplished! At this point, I am ok with any task that is left unfinished. I know what is truly important is simple love our new baby that we will soon be holding!

This week, Sophie is the one that needs the extra encouragement. She is so perceptive and fully aware of the natural changes that will come with her baby sister. She has been very weepy and attached to me and seems to be going through some kind of grieving process for the time and attention that she feels she will be losing. It just breaks my heart. She is so sweet to reassure me that she knows she will have to share my lap with someone else now and that is ok with her, but I know she is struggling. She has expressed that she is afraid I will forget about her or not have enough room in my heart for her and her baby sister. I try to tell her all the right things and I am spending some extra special time with her now, but I understand why she is feeling that way. The truth is that I share some of her mixed emotions because change is hard even when it is a good change. When I married Clint, Sophie and I were blessed by the new family that was created and we have shared even greater times together than I could have imagined because of that change, but it was still hard at first. I know that the same will be true with the addition of baby Elizabeth and we have so much to look forward to (except the stinky poopy diapers as Sophie says)! :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

2 weeks to go!

We are going to have a baby very soon! Many emotions are stirring in our house including a new one this morning...fear? Am I allowed to be a little bit scared the second time around? I hope so because when I realized this morning that we could have this baby any day now and I am two weeks away from the due date, I felt a tinge of fear or maybe it is anxiety! I guess it is just one of the many emotions racing through me.

I am crying tears of joy and excitement regularly now and this morning, I cried a few tears of anxiety as I am feeling a little overwhelmed. I am not afraid of the labor or delivery...I feel prepared for her actual birth, but it is the logistics surrounding the birth and bringing a newborn home that are creating this anxiety today. We have not taken a hospital tour or even finished packing the hospital bag and I still have not finished the birth plan. My house is not as clean as I would like it to be, her new baby clothes are not washed, her bedding is not washed, and I still have not purchased a nursing bra or nursing pads! I seem to have forgotten that my boobs are about to overflow with milk! I know these are just little details, but I am usually a lot more on top of these things as a Type A personality. I can not believe that I have not organized and color coded every item in Elizabeth's closet in preparation for her arrival yet! Maybe I just have to let that stuff go this time. I was overly prepared for Sophie's arrival with lists posted everywhere and had three bags packed and in the car months prior to her birth. I laugh at myself and how crazy it is that I am so "unprepared" by my personal standards for this birth. God must be trying to teach me a little something because it can not just be coincidental that the two women (my mom and my mother-in-law) that I was counting on to help me with these details will be unable to help out! My mom fell and broke two bones in her wrist and arm and had surgery last week and will be recovering for the next 6 weeks minimum and obviously will need some extra help herself. And Clint's mom will not be able to travel here in the days or weeks following Elizabeth's birth either. How will I do this without the moms? I guess I will be forced to "wing it" some which is a little terrifying for me, but at the same time a great way to force myself to depend on the Lord for his provision!

Thanks for letting me get this off my chest via the blog posting and please forgive my crazy pregnancy rantings. I do feel better now and my husband will be pleased that I did not dump all of this on him when he walks in the door this evening from work :).

Monday, July 14, 2008

Happy Birthday Clint-y!

Clint celebrated 35 years yesterday! I think he was hoping for his baby girl to come out and join the party, but I guess she wanted her own birthday! We had lots of fun showering Clint with love and a few gifts and birthday cake, of course. Happy Birthday honey! We love you!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Cleared for Birth!

I am 37 weeks now and officially "full term". We had an ultrasound again on Wednesday to confirm that Elizabeth is still head down and she is! We have been cleared to go ahead with a natural birth...YAY! We literally prepared for months for this birth so we are very excited to welcome our baby girl as naturally as possible. She could come any day now and I am having contractions every day so I will keep the blog up to date with news of her arrival.

Monday, July 7, 2008

The Belly at 36 weeks

Here are a couple of "up close and personal" shots of the baby belly...

Side view
My mini mountain view when I look down :)

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Independence Day!

This year, I tried to teach Sophie some history about this special day when we celebrate freedom for our country. She is learning the Pledge of Allegiance and the "Star Spangled Banner" which has been a challenge because of the new vocabulary words and the deep meaning behind them. I even learned some things that I didn't know before! When we arrived at the celebration, Sophie said, "it's like a huge birthday party with carnival rides and bouncy things and games and popcorn and fireworks (in a high-pitched squeal, of course)!" Well...yeah...kinda like a birthday party:). I'll have to go to the library next year and get some good books about Independence Day. Anyway, it was a great celebration. We went to Lake Benson in Garner this year and it was really awesome. The NC Symphony Orchestra played and the carnival for the kids and the fireworks show were equally amazing! This will be an annual event for our family!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Deep Sigh of Relief...

...and a few tears of joy, of course! This morning, Elizabeth turned head down! I woke up at about 4am and had a couple of contractions and had more this morning around 10am as I was trying to get ready to go to our ultrasound appt. I could feel her moving around a lot and was praying that she was beginning to make her move head down. When we went to our appt. an hour later, the initial assessment by the nurse was that the baby was still in the transverse position. We had our ultrasound about 30 minutes after that and to everyone's surprise, Elizabeth's head was all the way down where it should be. What a relief! Thank you for all the suggestions on ways to turn a baby and all of the prayers that were said. I did try some exercises and I went to the chiropractor and had the Webster's technique done twice. But most importantly, we have been covered with prayer and I believe we received our answer in a huge way this morning!

We will have another ultrasound next week just to make sure Elizabeth is still in the right position to allow for a safe, natural labor and delivery, but I am not worried at all. I have a great peace that comes from knowing that this is in God's hands!