Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Love Keeps No Record of...Rights.

Well, hello there. Glad you stopped in to see if I was being heretical.  I figured most of my readers are either long-time believers or current biblical scholars.  I had to get your attention somehow. Gotcha! Bwahahaha...that's my villian laugh.

I digress.

Looking back at the couples that I've had in my office, my friends' marriages, and even my own, I've realized yet another common thread that, often times, gets passed over.  1 Corinthians 13 is often quoted in premarital counseling, weddings, showers, and basically any other event where marriage is the focus. Verse 5 states, "it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs." So, advice-givers typically make the point of, "Don't bring up something your spouse has done in the past to use it against them in a current argument."  Pretty much all marriage counselors in the US will agree to that basic principle, believers or not.  Duh.

"Got that, Cari," you think.

But do you really?

See, I think we sometimes go about breaking this rule in a more subtle but just as harmful way.  I may not bring up a past offense in a...ahem...discussion with my husband, but I WILL start thinking of all the ways in which I have been right.  All the things I've done for him. The sacrifices I've made.  The times I did something I didn't want to in the name of "selflessness". In other words, I start keeping score.  But it's not a score of wrongs that he's "done wrong"'s a score of things that I've "done right."  This is no more God-honoring than the record of wrongs.  It puffs up pride. It is horridly self-centered, and it is in no way Christ-like.

In effect, when we choose to do this, we are constantly reminding our spouse that WE are the superior being.  You are telling them, "I am the better half of this relationship. You should be thanking me all day long. You will never be as good as I least until you do all of _______.  You can never win this argument because I hold all the trump cards with all of the good things I've done."

As if there is such a thing as "winning" an argument, anyway.

Friends, there is nothing wrong with loving and serving your partner.  In fact, you have been commanded to do so (and you've been commanded to do it respectfully).  You are to also cherish them. They are your best friend, your love, and your confidant.  However, the minute your pride starts keeping a checklist of the great things you've done (I've heard from my husband and his friends that this is particularly hard for men to avoid), you are no longer exhibiting the agape love that you have been called to. Your marriage becomes unbalanced, and the cycle of hurt and anger begins.

Protect your marriage, keep a list of the things the Lord has done for you. Review it. Memorize it.  You will not give grace to your spouse if you forget what you have been forgiven for.  Then, keep a list of how amazing your husband or wife is.  And, no, I don't care how long it takes you to make that list.  In the over-quoted words of Nike, "Just do it."

"When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom"
Proverbs 11:2

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Ticked Off Tinkerbell

When Addie was 3 months old, my sweet friend, Naomi, had come shopping with us.  It was Addison's first marathon shopping experience, and she handled it like a champ! A Disney fanatic  enthusiast, Naomi led me into the Disney Store.  On the clearance rack, we found the CUTEST little Tinkerbell costume (in the perfect size) and immediately formed a plan! Brad could be Peter Pan. I could be Wendy. Addie would be Tinkerbell. We could get a few friends to dress up as Schmee, Hook, and the Alligator that ticks (did he have a name?).  We would have the most adorable family/group costume ever!  Addie's first Halloween would just be an almost Pinterest worthy event!

*Fast Forward 6 Months Later*

While not chubby, my daughter is a whopping 90% in height.  She needed 12 month onesies for the length when she was 8 months old.  Let's concentrate on the days before October 31st.  I know I'm not getting Brad in tights for Peter Pan, so I settle for just a green shirt, tights, and a homemade hat with a red feather.  Supplies gathered.  However, we have a whirlwind of things happen that week (none bad, just busy).  My Wendy costume comes in.  It was super cheap on, and, well....I got what I paid for.  It was horrible.  It wasn't comfortable, proportional, or in any way cute.  Although it was (almost) floor length, it was static-clingy in some very unfortunate places.  I would've had to buy a long slip just to be properly modest.  I'm not buying a $15-$20 slip for a $7 ugly costume.   Not happening.  Oh, and my sweet daughter then acquires some congestion.  Teething? Allergies? Spite?  Who knows.  All I know is that she didn't have a fever, nor did it seem to make her feel all that bad.

All these things combined started shattering my perfect little Halloween ideal.  Luckily, I happened to be watching Duck Dynasty, and it hit me!  Why not be Missy and Jase Robertson? The only thing Brad needed in order to complete the costume was a beard!  I had a beautiful bridesmaid dress (yes, I said beautiful...thank you Kristin Galle) that is almost identical to the one the Missy wears in the opening credits of the show.  Brad will be in his comfort zone, and I get to wear a pretty dress. We'll just improvise and say that Jase and Missy have Tinkerbell for a daughter.  Who cares at this point, anyway?

The day of Halloween, I find a long hair and beard set at Target (note: they put their stuff on sale the DAY of Halloween)...only, it's a dark blonde color.  After some trimming and creative use of mascara and spray paint, Brad had a perfect beard that only gave him a slight buzz that night.  I guess we'll blame his candy consumption on the munchies???  Although last minute, everything was falling into place.  Until 5:30 rolled around.  Brad and I were semi-assembled to be at the church at 5:45, but Addie hadn't woken up from her nap.  So, we waited until the last possible minute and woke her up.  We paid dearly for this mistake.  Not only was she very angry with the fact that we had woken her up, but she hated Brad's newly acquired beard.  Enter: The most ticked-off Tinkerbell you will ever meet.

The night was still a blast, as we both Trick-or-Treated and collected food for the local schools.  When we walked into church,  the room burst into laughter at the sight of Brad Jase.  One of my sweet GA's even exclaimed, "Mrs. Cari, you look BEAUTIFUL!!!" To which, I responded "Thank you, Sara," with my face beet red.  Little girls love glamorous dresses, ya'll.  Unfortunately, hardly anybody in the area around the church knew who the Robertsons were, and several just thought Brad was a really creepy guy wearing camo.  Here are the pics.

Checkin out Dad's new beard

Seriously, who is this guy???

Jase Pose

Still Not Happy

Pretty close, don't you think? I'm sure this would make a great meme...

Happy Halloween! 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Addie Claire- 9 Months and Life Lately

 It's hard to believe that October (my favorite month) has come and gone! The Holiday season is approaching which means two things to me (at the moment).  1. Time to get crafty 2. Time to make the most of the couple of months we have left in New Orleans! 

I'm so excited about Addie's first Christmas!  We're not going to be able to go full-out with decorations at home this year because of limited space and being in the moving process.  I think we might do a felt tree like the one found here.  I am NOT playing keep away all day with Addie and a real Christmas tree in our small living space.  I can see Little Miss Sneaky Strong Will winning that battle at least a couple of times.  No, the real tree will have to be enjoyed at my parent's house.  However, I do plan on incorporating as much Christmas as I possibly can this year with other little projects and items.  I am definitely making this ornament...I've been waiting to make it before she was even born! Of course, we'll have to substitute with pink glitter...and a really big ornament girl definitely inherited my foot size.  

But, before we get to Christmas, let's catch up on the past couple of months.

Addison Claire: 19lbs. 29in long (Approximately 50% for weight and 90% for height)
Loves Books and Cheerios
Claps Hands...even when angry:)
Has 2 Smiles. One Sweet. One Cheesy.
Favorite Toy is a Pink Penguin from the Aquarium
26ish ounces of milk a day, 3 solid meal and will eat ANYTHING
Says "Dada" and "Baba"(Bye Bye, I think)
Has taken as many as 11 steps in a row!
Crawls on hands and feet (not knees)
Takes 2 naps a day (1.5-2 hrs. each)
Will not perform on command.


San Francisco in September 

One Happy Daddy on top of Maggie's Peak, Lake Tahoe

First (HOT) trip to the zoo.

Visit from the Givans and their sweet baby Graham!

Guess What?  There are now 3 mommy's in this picture!
Congrats Michael and Ashley!


Second Zoo Trip

Baby Blues

First Baby Crush: Hudson

Visit from the Goldmans and Lily Joyce


4th Anniversary Dinner at Ralphs on the Park

This pumpkin is not nearly as impressive as the big one, apparently. 

It is not that I neglect socks in these pictures, but that she pulls them off in the car. 

More New Mommy Moments

-Walking around humming tunes found only on your daughter's favorite light-up toy remote
-Your sweet husband then telling you that you need to get out more
-Learning to feed the child naked
-A new hatred of Daylight Savings Time
-A love/hate relationship with teeth, baby leggings, and walking
-Taking a swig out of her sippy cup because you packed her water, but not yours.
-Forgetting to eat because she ate and that counts, right??? 
-When your child looks at Duck Dynasty on the tv and says, "Dada!" Seriously???
-Finding the angry baby pictures the funniest. 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Summer? Fall? Summer? Fall?

 ...Aaaand just like that, summer's gone!  Okay, summer's not really gone, seeing as how it stays in the 80's/90's until mid-October.  In fact, I usually experience quite a bit of ambivalence this time of year.  The day that Starbucks releases their Pumpkin Spice Latte is one of the best days of the year.  It's pretty much a holiday in this house.  However, the continuance of intense heat and mosquitos beats down on my "Happy Fall Ya'll" high.  This year will be different!

Brad and I are planning a vacation to San Francisco/Lake Tahoe at the end of September (the point where you start praying for cooler weather to arrive).  I worked there for a summer back in college and have been so excited to show Brad the breathtaking result of mountains colliding with sparkling water.  This will be our last vacation before we head overseas, and we wanted to make it count.  Hopefully those pesky wildfires will decide to disappear within the next month!  On a serious note, the fires are horrible this summer.  The church/daycare/after school program I worked for is having to keep the kids inside at all times because of the dense smoke in the air...not cool.  In the South, we don't often have to deal with fires on that level, but they are devastating.  Our prayers are definitely with those out West.

I digress.  I haven't done an update for Addie in a while, and I know that, if I don't do it now, I won't remember this stuff in just a few months!


-6 Months: 16lb 5oz
-7 Months: 18lb even....Can you say "What up solids?!"  Apparently, they're treating my girl very well!


-6 Months: 26 1/2in
-7 Months: 27in...Still around 50-75% for height.  Short for our family!

Head: She's staying in the 90-95%...that's actually a good thing.  As long as it doesn't grow percentage-wise, we're still good!


6-8 oz bottles at 7, 11, 3, and 6:45
Solids at 8, 1, and 6..There's nothing she's refused, yet! I've even included spinach, squash, parsnips, and rutebeagas (sp?) in some of her stuff.  She's made a few "ugh" faces, but she's never spit it out.

I make my own baby food using the Nuk.  I'm not a mommy who believes that my child is going to be poisoned by a packet of Gerber-something every now and then, but I do like knowing what's in her food. Plus, it's cheap, and it's easy!  I love this little contraption, and highly recommend it (especially if you're like me and don't have a food processor, therefore having to buy something, anyway).


-This kid is ALWAYS moving!  It's no wonder she eats so much.  We can barely change her diaper, because she insists on "barrel rolling" every time.  It's a feat!  The week that she turned 6 months, she learned to pull up, crawl, sit herself up and lay herself back down.  It was quite a week full of creative baby proofing!  We have what we affectionately call, "The Baby Corral."  It is formed by or L-shaped sofa, and we've boxed in the other 2 sides with other furniture and various baby gear.  It works for now, but I have a feeling that she's going to learn to push them out of the way sooner than we would like.  As it is, I'm guessing she will be walking by 9 or 10 months at the latest.  We can already see the motivation and the wheels turning!


Bottom left and right have just peaked out! She got teeth way earlier than I did, but around the same time when Brad did...slow down, Baby Girl! But they do make her smile just that much cuter:)


Chewing on anything, particularly tags. Red solo cups. Apples and pears. Shoes and feet (which is funny, because I HATE feet!).  Being tickled (under her arms) and hung upside down. Standing...she rarely sits down for playtime. Dogs...any dog.  She thinks they are really fun toys. She seems to get a real kick out of pulling on tails and long hair.  Thank goodness, we have VERY patient puppies in our lives! Dr. Brown's pacifiers are about all she'll take. She loves strolling just about anywhere.  And, she loves people, in general.

Brad and her Uncle Ben took her to Cabela's a few weeks ago, and she made friends with every man behind the gun counter.  Can't you just see a bunch of grown outdoorsmen talking in a high pitched voice, telling her how pretty she is? Hah!


Not much really.  She is getting a little fiesty when we try to give her medicine that she took easily before.  She doesn't like when the doctor looks in her ear.  She is unpredictable in the car.  On the way up to Arkansas, she was an angel, but on the way back...not so much. Overall, though, she's pretty happy-go-lucky unless she's really, really hungry.  Hmmm...I wonder which parent she got that from?

Silly Girl

"Try it again. See what happens."

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Addie- 4 Months

It's been another whirlwind of a month!  It's becoming sort of a trend these days...I'm guessing we are just making a whirlwind of a life:).  That's ok, because it's a crazy and fun one. Well, mostly...

I have a small knot in my stomach even typing this.  I'm sure I'm overreacting, but it's my first "my baby could possibly be sick in kind of a big way" incident.  Addie has been all over the place on her growth charts...she's varied from 25% to 75% back to 50% in length.  She has maintain a pretty constant 50-75% in weight...Woot (14lb 6oz)!  But her normal little 40-50% head circumference has now jumped to 90-95%.  Why is this a big deal?  Because a jump that large my indicate a condition called Hydrocephalus or "Water (CSF) on the Brain".  Symptoms include large spurts in head circumference, bulging veins, irritability, feeding and sleeping issues, enlargement of the softspots, delayed development, and downcast eyes. The doctor didn't say she had it, but that we need to keep monitoring it.  Addie has the first two symptoms listed.  Enough to make me do what I do wonderfully...worry.  Every mom knows the ache of imagining your baby going through an intense sickness.  It's horrible.

I trust my doctor to be honest with me and tell me when we should be worried, and she hasn't done that.  I also trust that my Heavenly Father loves Addie more than I ever possibly could.  He has her little life in His sovereign hands, and I learned with our miscarriage that I had to give our children over to Him.  I will chose to trust Him or else be a basketcase.  Parenthood is scary, and this is not the first time I will get a knot in my stomach over something that affects my child. If you would like to add a certain little girl's head to your PR list, that would be fantastic.

On a lighter note, we definitely haven't had to worry about any developmental delays! She is talking, talking, talking, rolling over every which way, and I swear she would crawl if she could get her arms coordinated.  I'm totally not ready for that kind of mobility!  I usually get 3 kind of comments on her.  They generally sound like, "She's such a happy baby!", "She's so active", and "I love her blue eyes".

Feedings have become interesting.  She's very wiggly, and this applies to mealtime, as well.  She still eats well, but it's a bit of a struggle to keep her focused and even somewhat still.  It's like she expects to eat while moving around...doesn't work that way, Kid.  Also, she's been waking at night for the last two weeks.  At first, I thought it was a growth spurt plus teething.  Maybe it was, then the waking became a habit.  I fed her in the middle of the night for the first two weeks.  Now, she's not acting as hungry, so I'm trying to hold her off until morning.  She did sleep all night after she got her shots a couple of days ago, so I know she can...little stinker.  I was spoiled by two solid months of 10-11 hours of straight sleep.  She can't go back on me now!  Any tips or tricks are appreciated.  Right now, we're trying Tylenol and gas drops right before bed to see if we can find the culprit.  In reference to the above mentioned symptoms of the Hydrocephalus, I don't think these count as feeding and sleeping issues.  They are extremely mild and most people would laugh hysterically as my counting waking maybe once at 3 or 4:30 am as a sleeping issue.  She always goes right back to sleep.

As far as the rest of the family, Brad is lifeguarding at the pool on campus a little this summer.  Hopefully we'll both come out of this with a great tan:)  We've been able to see my parents a good bit, have made the trip to Arkansas, and have seen my grandparents, aunt, and cousin recently.  The Gaunts are probably going to come see us in a couple of weeks, and we can hopefully do Addie's baby dedication that Sunday.  We also attended the graduations of some wonderful friends.  It seems like such an exciting time in the lives of so many of our friends!

Here are a couple of my favorite pictures from the past few weeks...

Happy. Happy. Happy. 

4 Month Check Up

Uncle Ben's graduation

Best daddy ever

Seriously, where did this face come from? Oh yeah, it's because she wakes up like I do!

Friday, April 19, 2013

I guess I should add some actual milestones to that last post.

1. She has found her feet...fascinating!
2. Her favorite chew that sounds like a dog...are her hands, the orange Oball, and we are warming up to Sofie the Giraffe.
3. Her favorite positions are either sitting or standing...neither of which she can do by herself.  Thus, I spend most of my waking hours as a prop.
4. She is finally learning to be on her tummy without throwing a fit.  Yay for learning to lift her head up!
5. We had to switch every potion that we put on her skin to the Aveeno brand.  The Johnson's stuff was making her skin more lavender smell.  It made me a little sad, but it does feel good to know that I'm putting a less harsh formula on her. We've been using it for 2 days, and she already looks better.
6. 3 months and 5 days...MAJOR GROWTH SPURT!
7. She can easily roll onto her's going the rest of the way that's an issue.
8. Favorite pacifier- I think it's the Nuk brand, but it's pink camoflauge...of course.
9. She can still wear some 0-3 months, but is most comfortable in 3 or 6 month clothing due to her length.
10. Last night, we were at Aunt Naomi's birthday party, and someone asked, "Is she always this chill?" Pretty much, yes.
11. At the end of the Wednesday night church service, she decided it would be a good time to state her opinion.  This was about 5 straight minutes of, "Ooh", "Doh", and; "Huh!"
12. The Bumbo seat is a big hit...but then it makes her spit up more, so we use it sparingly.
13. Daddy spent all day with her last Saturday, just the two of them...they had a blast.

Alrighty, that's enough for now.

Addie-3 Months

Well, I missed her two month update.  I had it all typed out, then the computer froze .  Oh well, Hakuna Matata...

At her 3 month check up, she was 12lb 12oz (50-75 percentile) and 24 inches (75 percentile).  At her 2 month visit, she was in the 25 percentile.  I knew that couldn't be right! I'm 5'9" and Brad is almost 6'3".  There's almost no way we will end up with a short child, unless we are blessed enough to be able to adopt a cute little Chinese baby! So, either she was mismeasured (is that even a word?) or she grew a LOT.  I'm thinking it was the former, because she is right in the middle of a growth spurt, waking in the middle of the night, which she hasn't done in almost a month.  This mommy is spoiled.  The doctor asked how we managed to get her to sleep that long.  I just laughed and said, "A little bit of BabyWise and a lot of prayer!"

I love how social she is.  She'll smile, laugh, and talk to just about anybody at any time. A developmental questionnaire for her was included in the mass of paperwork we have to do for the company sending us overseas.  She scored the highest possible in the areas of communication and social skills.  Really? My baby likes to talk and socialize?  Wonder who she got that from? Haha!  She's also so flexible.  We can cart her around anywhere, and she just sleeps or looks around contentedly. She is only fussy when she's hungry...also something she gets from me:)

I've been amazed at how attractive TV is to an infant.  We've been trying to keep her away from it, but she will turn and twist her body and head toward it...even when it's off!  It's hard for me to leave it off all day, because I just like the noise when I'm home alone. However, the more I watch TV (mostly the news), the more I want to bubble wrap my baby and keep her by my side forever.  I can't get away from tragedy in the media.  I keep reminding myself that she is the Lord's and will not be able to serve Him fully if I'm overprotective and keeping her from taking risks for the Kingdom...of course, she's not living to "dangerously" at 3 months old.  Just the thought train of a first-time mom.

The past month has been hectic with trips to Arkansas, Hattiesburg, India (Brad...not me!).  We moved onto campus for a variety of reasons; we've gotten to see many sweet friends and their babies.  Unfortunately, we had to say good bye to one of our sweetest friends.  I'm a little angry at the company in Birmingham that hired her. I think I have FINALLY completed most of the necessary paperwork for the company.  Now we're just waiting on medical clearance.  For Addie, that might take a couple more months.  She's perfectly healthy, as far as we know, but they require some bloodwork done at 6 months of age...eek!  Momma's not looking forward to that visit.  However, we are super excited that they have allowed us to begin job matching.  We have had one interview with a job that sounds amazing!  I can't disclose too much detail here, but lets just say it included mountains, nice weather, and provided for all of Brad's outdoor inclinations, as well as my desire for good medical care and education options.

We have definitely been blessed!


This is how she focuses on the TV. 

Southern Girl Easter Sunday Rules: You must be wearing pearls and your baby must be wearing something smocked.  Check!

A fabulous friend came to visit! So excited to meet her little one soon!

  We miss you so much, Aunt Laura! 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

New Mommy Moments

I can't believe our baby girl is already a month old!!!  This post could easily be entitled "You Know You're A New Mommy When...".  These are just some honest, funny, and emotional bits that have jumped out at me in the past month.  

That Moment When...

  • You run errands without the baby only to realize that you have a pacifier still hanging from your finger.
  • You later find said pacifier in your bed.
  • You really can't decide which is the greatest luxury: food, sleep, or a shower?
  • Your mom, husband, friends, tell you to chill out because you're trying to be Nazi OCD with a newborn's schedule.  
  • You just can't figure out the mystery of how to get baby socks to stay on.
  • You cry the first time your mom leaves and it's just you and baby. Eek?
  • You realize just how many "rules" (from books, instruction manuals, friends, nurses, etc) that you break even by the end of the first week. 
  • You're trying to pump, calm a fussy baby, and talk on the phone at the same time. 
  • You're excited that your purse has turned into an enormous, but super cute diaper bag. 
  • You pray over your baby's sleep, seriously!
  • Mardi Gras and the Superbowl never really happened because you've been within a 5 mile radius for almost 3 weeks. 
  • Having meals delivered to you makes you want to cry with gratitude because you can't fathom going to the grocery, cooking dinner, and keeping another person alive and happy in the same day.
  • At a midnight feeding you think, "What's that smell?" Then, you realize that it's you...maybe it's time for a shower. 
  • You feel triumphant the first time you do dishes or laundry. 
  • You look at a particular shirt/pair of pants/dress and say "I missed you!"
  • You cry for no reason at all...oh wait, maybe it's because you're tired?
  • You realize that the 3am feedings aren't so bad because it's a sweet time with just you and baby girl. 
  • Your boobs go from sexy body part to the most functional things that you possess. 
  • You know you're not going to be a perfect mom.
  • You are astounded at how God has gifted you to do this job.

I could add many, many more and probably will at a later date.  I should probably add more pictures, as well.  Funny, we got this wonderful, expensive camera but most of our pictures have been snapped on our iphones.  Whoops!  

Our baby girl was 8lb 14oz and 21 1/2 inches at her one month visit yesterday.  She's right on track with her growth and wonderfully healthy.  Addison definitely inherited her daddy's appetite...she takes anywhere from 3 to 4 oz per feeding.  My friend's 8 week old still takes only 2!  She has really bad stomach pains that bother her sometimes, but a wonderful product called Colic Calm takes care of that very quickly!  I would pay $100 a bottle for that stuff!  She's a champion napper and is starting to stretch out her nighttime stints to 4-5 hours.  She's starting to try to smile (on purpose, not from gas) and, bless her heart, I can tell she wants to coo and talk so bad.  Momma's feeling good, other than a bruised/cracked tailbone, and Daddy is learning how to deal with less sleep.  This little family of three is learning a lot, but doing well!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Addison's Birth Story

Today, January 19th, is her due date!  I'm SO happy that she came a little early.  We're on day three of being home with our little girl, and I'm pretty sure things are going relatively well!  It's just a huge relief in itself to not be in the hospital with people coming in and out every ten's worse than how often the baby wakes us up!

*Warning.  This is long:)

So, Addison Claire made her debut at 12:18pm on Monday, January 14th, but the fun started that Sunday evening.  Around 5:30pm, I began feeling little sharp cramps that were coming about every 15-20 minutes.  I didn't think much of it, and I even persuaded Brad to go walking with me around the NOBTS campus...I had been a walking maching that week trying to get things rolling.  I was getting super impatient about meeting our little girl, even though we hadn't even reached her due date. I had been 2 cm dialated and 80% effaced for almost a week.

Soon, I noticed, the cramps were coming every 8-10 minutes apart.  I was still thinking that maybe they were Braxton-Hicks (but up to this point, I had never had any), but I called the hospital about 11pm, anyway.  They told me to call the doctor on call, who sleepily told me to wait until they were every five minutes apart for about an hour.  So, that's pretty much what the night consisted of.  I tried to sleep, but they were uncomfortable enough to keep me awake.  Around 4am, they were consistently about five or six minutes apart.  However, I wasn't convinced because they really didn't hurt that bad.  I was sure I was having some sort of super consistent false labor.  If you can see where this is going, don't hate me yet...there was more fun to come.

About 6am, Brad convinced ME that we needed to go to the hospital.  So, I called my friend, Naomi, who was our invaluable third helper-person for labor day.  She was ready to go before we were!  After the long check in process at the hospital, the nurse examined me and confirmed that I was having contractions and was 4 cm dialated.  I couldn't believe it! I was like, this is awesome! Labor doesn't hurt as bad as I thought it would!  HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!  My doctor then informed me that I wasn't technically in active labor and could go on like this for several hours or even days before things really got going.  Then she told me that, if she broke my water, things would probably take off.  After hearing that there were really no bad side effects from doing this, I said, "Hey, we're here; let's have a baby today!"

She broke my water about 8:45, and OMG did things CHANGE quickly.  Within five minutes, I was pacing the room and having THAT kind of pain, the kind that makes you want to spit out bad words.  The contractions started coming one on top of the other, with not even a minute or two in between.  It was absolutely insane.  There was no rest or relief at all. I was about to cave and get the epidural when the nurse came in.  I asked her to check me, and she said that I was now at 7 cm...I had dialated 3 cm in an hour and a half!!! No wonder it stinkin' hurt.  That was the encouragement that I needed to keep going without the epidural or any kind of drugs.  Instead, I climbed in a birthing tub, which made life SO much better for a little bit.  The contractions were still terrible and made me make noises normally heard by dying cattle and/or someone possessed by an evil spirit, but the water gave me a longer break in between.  At this point, I was saying, "I don't think I can do it.  I don't think I can do it."  Brad and Naomi reminded me that I had wanted to go natural all along, and to keep breathing (which closely resembled hyperventilating, at this point).

About 45 minutes after my check, I suddenly felt like I had to PUSH!  I tell you, it's body couldn't have not pushed if I had tried to stop it.  So, we rushed out of the tub and back to the bed.  The nurse had to call my doctor twice to get her there, because she didn't think I would deliver until around 6 that night!  Thankfully, she made it in time.  After about 40 minutes of pushing (and almost passing out twice...I wasn't breathing 'cause I was so focused on getting her out!), she was there!  When they placed her on me, I said, "She's beautiful...She's purple!"  Haha, but that's apparently normal!  The hard part was over!

Folks, this whole thing took place in about 3 1/2 hours....that's really, really fast, especially for a first-timer.  The nurses and doctor were shocked, but said that I took it like a boss:)  And I have to brag on Brad...he couldn't have been any more perfect, and I definitely couldn't have done it without him.  And Naomi was running around helping and encouraging at all times, even with a herniated disc that I know was killing her.  SO thankful for the support I had that morning.  It hurt, A LOT, but the high that I got from the wave of happy momma hormones was stinkin' awesome.  Our 6lb 14oz, 19 3/4 in. baby girl was here and already had her personality on display when she tried to flip herself off of the weigh scale because it was apparently too hard for her taste.

As fast as it went, my body responded pretty well, and I think recovery should go quickly.  After experiencing childbirth, I'm like, "Sure, sign me up for a marathon.  I could totally climb Mt. Everest.  Let's do a triathalon."  I have a heck of a lot more confidence in what my body is capable of after that. It's amazing to see and experience how the Lord has fashioned our bodies, and the way He has perfectly created our girl.  He has been so gracious in allowing Brad and I to experience a closeness beyond the bond that we have felt in our marriage.  Parenting her is already teaching us more about the character of God, which was my "theme" in exploring Him through His Word this year.

There is so much more I could say.  How much work breastfeeding is, how little sleep we're getting, how she really like to sleep on somebody and not in her bassinet, how she moves and kicks like no other newborn I've held (thanks, Dad, she got your talent for soccer). I'll try to save some for later posts.  For now, pictures!

Last picture as a family of 2

Best. Doctor. Ever. 

Ready to go home

Daddy is HOOKED

Dad's favorite picture

Not sure what to think of the "New Puppy"

My Angel

Probably her favorite sleeping position...Mommy's too.

Licensed for Ministry!

Licensed for Ministry!