Thursday, October 25, 2007

Small Favors

Right now I am listening to the sound of our sweet baby snoring. He's slept pretty peacefully for about 4 hours, on and off this afternoon. When he is awake, he is pretty content, (unless the pacifier falls out ;-) and his sleep seems to be deeper than usual this afternoon.

I love watching him sleep, listening to him snore, watching him jump (you know, when they just seem to get startled for no apparent reason and their arms fly up and then slowly fall down again). He sleeps with a pacifier in most of the time now and I love watching him sleep and then suck for a second, without waking up. I am going to go out for a walk. I am in my walking clothes, shoes on, stroller ready and then I just got stuck watching him for a minute. There is always so much to do and I could go run and do something, but how long will I have to watch him?? How long before he sleeps so little I only have a morning nap to do a few things, and how long before he won't sleep with the pacifier and how long before there is someone else to take care of??

Sometimes I catch myself looking at some outfit or something that someone has given us for 3-6 months or 12 months and I think "I can't wait to see him in this...I wish he was 3 months old now!!" or, "I wish he would smile at me now." or "how fun would it be watching him crawl, walk, talk, etc." I have to take a minute and remind myself that this is a beautiful time....right now and soon, all too soon, I will be wanting this time back. I can't wait until the first time he says "Mama" or he smiles at me, but right now, this minute, I am so glad just to listen to him snore. And I know that one day he will wake up and give me that big gummy grin that I see in his sleep!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Indecent Post - (you've been warned!!)

On Sunday after church Matt and I went for a walk and picnic at Oakland's Lake Merritt. Matt was taking pictures of a new Catholic Cathedral, Christ the Light, going up at the lake with an interesting architectural design. So after heading to church really early (Matt was leading worship) we drove over to the park and had our picnic. After Matt had taken his shots we decided to walk around a little bit. We saw some.....interesting sites that I would like to share. Please bear in mind, we live in California now.

* A group of guys who were painted to look like Tigers floating a raft on the lake (read Life of Pi anyone??)
* A needle floating in the water (like hypodermic)
* A man sunbathing in a thong
* Large numbers of people walking (carrying) increasingly smaller dogs
* A Hippie convent!! (ok - well it was just a group of hippie looking people hanging out, but there was definitely a very strange looking bus, similar to this one and it smelled like a LOT of pot.)
* A man wheeling a suitcase who started whistling and stray cats came running out from the trees and bushes and then he fed them fancy feast

There were also many normal things we saw around the path, people jogging, families out with their kids, and bike riders, but I had alot more fun looking at all the things that I don't think I would have seen anywhere else.

Matt even said that seeing a man sunbathing in his thong would raise a few eyebrows in Asheville, which is really saying something! ;-)

Well sorry folks. I couldn't help it. I think it's hysterical:
Almost as funny as me going "Matt!!! get a picture...take a picture!!" Gotta document the freaky stuff out here. By the way, what makes this all the weirder... when we walked back by the spot there was a guy in casual clothes leaving the grass with a backpack and I was like "was that thong guy???" and Matt said it was, but he was wearing totally normal clothes. I expected him to be in some freaky thing like pink leopard print tights, but he just looked like a normal 30-something guy headed to meet friends or something. He probably lives out in the suburbs like us, but goes into the city on weekends to show off his freakyness.

Monday, October 15, 2007

A RIDICULOUSLY long post about Josiah's birth

Well I guess technically Joey is one month old today, since he was born on the 15th of September, so.... I thought it was time to share some of the details of his birth. Listening to all the different stories from my friends has been really cool and very eye-opening because every birth is so different!!

On Josiah's actual due date (a Wednesday), I blogged about going out for the "Preggo pizza" with our friends, which was great (!!) but didn't bring on any labor. I had a couple of slices of the leftovers the next day... and still nothing. Thursday passed and Friday and I don't really remember what I did, a few trips to the store and uneventful stuff and then Friday night Matt and I went out for a date to the movies. This stuck in my head because we went to an early movie, like 6:30 ish which we don't usually do (we're more of a 9:00 movie family) so we went to the movie during dinner time and we didn't eat dinner. During the movie I had *gasp* a snickers bar and half a bag of skittles. This was my last "meal" before the labor started I am embarrassed to say.

After we had gone to bed I had some bleeding during the night, and in the morning and we called the midwife to let her know. First I should explain, in the womb Joey was not exactly an active baby. I'd read other blogs about people's babies moving so much during concerts, movies, music, etc. Joey moved a little bit.....if I was really really inactive but even when I was sleeping I didn't feel him much. I had to stop OFTEN and eat something and do a kick count just to make sure he was still alive in there. There were days where I was in tears trying to count movements that just weren't there wondering if he was o.k. inside. I remember praying through extreme worry that the Lord would just get him out safely so I could watch him and know that he was o.k. and not wonder while he was inside me. But that is a digression....

So there was some bleeding during the night and morning and OF COURSE I didn't feel the baby moving AT ALL and was worried. The midwife told me to have something to eat and wait an hour and she would call Matt made some scrambled eggs. (bear in mind that all I've eaten was that sugar shot from the night before) So at this point there aren't really any contractions, but after the eggs I did feel plenty of movement from the baby. We told the midwife when she called back that the baby had been moving and we would just keep her posted and left it at that. I think around 9 the contractions started (except for one really intense one that I had at like 1 in the morning without realizing what it was). The contractions were....confusing. The first few were about a half hour or more apart. When they started I think I honestly thought I would be in labor for days. They seemed so far apart and sometimes I wasn't sure I was having one. Matt did some of the things that we had been waiting on, a final clean up of a few rooms, putting stuff in the car in case this was it...and I pretty much laid on the sofa and watched him.

After a while I asked Matt to keep a paper with the times of the contractions on them. I remember thinking if I can see how far apart they are, then we'll know when to go to the hospital. We found the piece of paper after we got home from the hospital a day later. Ha!! The times were like 20 minutes apart, 8 minutes apart, 30 minutes apart, 5 minutes, 5 minutes, 9 minutes. Then some of the times had stars next to them, and some didn't. The starred ones were the contractions that were really intense, I was sure they were contractions, and then the other ones... we were ones where Matt was like "are you having a contraction??" and generally I wailed something like "I don't knnnnnnnoooowwwwww." Well you know, it's tough if you haven't experienced it yet.

After a couple of hours it was harder to talk and harder to get up to do things so we thought it was time to start thinking about heading to the hospital. I wanted to take a shower...I probably should have taken it about 2 hours before because in the shower the contractions real and possible contractions, were close together (now I think they were all real, just not all equally painful). Right after the shower we went for the car and drove (about 25 minutes without traffic) into Berkeley, CA. to our hospital (where the midwife was meeting us). There was traffic on the way....a CAL game that had just gotten out (this was about 3 p.m.). I don't really remember much of the ride, I had my eyes closed and was just trying to breathe...but I remember saying to Matt while we were stuck in the traffic "no time for traffic, put on flashers, go around" but it didn't take too long to get there. Finally we got to the hospital and after some bozo wheeled me to the ER (while Matt is saying, very strongly we need to go to LABOR AND DELIVERY) a nurse took us up to L&D (while saying, "why in the world did they take you to the ER??").

We had already pre-registered at the hospital and didn't really have time to do the other stuff when we got there. They just slapped a bracelet on me and then I got an exam from a nurse. She was like, huh....I'm going to have to have someone else examine you also. What??? The whole time I was just thinking, don't say 2 cm, don't say 2 cm. I think I was expecting or hoping for 5 or maybe ideally 6 cm. So I asked, "What? how many cm??" She said, "well I don't want to get your hopes up and I need to have someone else look but I think you are like 8. " That was great news, but THEN.... my midwife got there and examined and she said "not 8, you're 10!" She said I could start pushing and have the baby whenever I was ready. Whoa, at this point we've been at the hospital for like 15 minutes. My water hadn't broken yet and there was a jacuzzi tub so she suggested getting in that for a while.

Wow, let's talk about having a baby in water. I always thought that women who wanted to have their babies in water were really green and earthy and natural and I had a really stereotypical view of those kind of births. Well let me tell you...if I had been allowed to have Joey in that water I NEVER WOULD HAVE GOTTEN OUT!! If you have the opportunity to have a baby in water or labor in water, do whatever you can. It EASES THE PAIN, it was SOO sooo sooo so much better. It was really easy the whole time I was in the tub. The only reason I got out was because the midwife said that she could see the head (and the bag of waters) and we really weren't allowed to have the baby in the water. So after like 15 minutes of heaven :-) I had to get out and go to the bed for the pushing :-( (about 30 minutes after we got to the hospital.

I won't drag this part out... about an hour later Joey was born, after some serious pushing. Interestingly enough for me, I never really got the "overwhelming urge to push". It was just time to push, so I pushed when they told me to. The water never broke, the bag kind of came out around Josiah's head and the midwife snipped it. He looked really sweet and beautiful, not all beat up, I think it was because of the shorter labor and not too much time in the birth canal. Matt held him for about the next hour and a half while I got sewed up and bled. I lost so much blood I had to stay in the delivery room a loooong time, I couldn't go to the recovery room, not even in a wheelchair because I couldn't even sit up without passing out. :-) But after they got the fluid levels back up and I got some medicine and could eat I felt a THOUSAND times better!! We stayed at the hospital eating and feeding Joey and sleeping (that is until some nurse came in to get some blood for some reason) until Sunday evening and then came home. It was almost less than 24 hours at the hospital which was cool.

All and all, it was a wonderful, exhausting incredibly rewarding experience, for both of us. Matt was wonderful and really helped me through the whole thing. We had studied The Bradley Method to manage the labor and delivery which encourages natural childbirth, coached and supported by the husband. I was excited to try the natural part (but not at all opposed to an epidural if I felt like I needed one) but the best part of the method for me was the encouragement Matt and I got to work together to help me to relax and focus on relaxing and on listening to my husband and allowing him to lead me through it. I know it's probably not the right thing for everyone but let me tell you, I didn't expect (nor was I trying) to get to the hospital at 10 cm dilated and when the midwife told us that I have never seen my husband look so happy or so proud. We had done it!

So that's my/our first birth story. Who knows what will happen the next time around, maybe the same way, maybe quicker, maybe with medicine...But I know this much, as far as Matt's involvement, I couldn't have done it without him and I loved being able to trust his knowledge and planning! For all you women out there with babies yet to come, I would encourage you to look into this method. If you are interested in a natural birth, it's fantastic to prepare you for that, but even if that isn't the most important part to you (because it wasn't for us) but you just want your husband to be really well prepared and able to care for you and help you through the labor, then this is a great method. To find out a little more, check out the site.

And one little side note...I think that giving birth, labor, delivery, recovery is a pretty amazing, intense and difficult time for every woman. I think that any woman, no matter how she had her baby should be applauded and congratulated. It is going to be hard, but rewarding no matter what way is chosen or necessary and God is in charge of it all! Congrats to all you mommies out there, even if your baby is having babies of her own. What a miraculous thing you did!!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

A Day of Firsts

Well today was a bit of a day of firsts for Josiah. Joey took his first nap in his crib, and had his first bottle. The nap was a little short, he was already passed out (in his bouncer which is where he normally sleeps) so I thought hmmm.... maybe this is my chance to see if I can get him to sleep flat on his back instead of inclined on his back in the bouncer. So I took him out and carried him to the crib and set him in. He woke up pretty quickly afterward. :-( He really still likes to be swaddled and doesn't seem to sleep well unless he is all wrapped up and *sigh* in the bouncer. If he isn't wrapped up he constantly moves his arms and they hit him in the face and he finds them very upsetting! If anyone has any advice for this, please let me know! For right now it's alright but when he outgrows the bouncer....we're in trouble!

Joey (technically) had his first bottle the other day but it seemed hard for him to drink (I think it comes out a lot faster than nursing) and it made me sad so I gave up after about an ounce, but Matt gave him a full bottle today during a normal feeding time and it seemed to go a lot smoother. Our boy is growing up so fast. In 2 days he will be one month old. I can hardly believe it. I'm hoping to put up another blog with some details from his birth but for now here's an arty picture that Matt took after he was born.

Here's a little info on our sweet baby for right now.... Joey eats and sleeps very well. After 2 weeks he was supposed to be back up at his birth weight (8 lbs) but instead he was over 9 lbs!!! Wow! He eats about every 2 hours during the day, maybe 2 1/2 if he is sleeping and about every 3 hours during the night although sometimes it's more like 3 1/2 or 4. It varies a lot though some nights it could be every 2 hours and one night he only woke up once. During the day he mostly just eats and sleeps but spends some time on his belly on one of his many great quilts from his grandmas. Matt helps him to practice rolling over and pushing up on his hands and if he has eaten well and slept well he is usually "happy awake" and will sit in his bouncer and watch us or lay on the floor and move. Joey makes sort of a grunt while he is waking up and trying to get his arms out of his swaddle, (so of course they can move around and hit him in the face). He pretty much grunts if he is making any noise at all which usually results in people saying something like "Oh my, I bet I know what you're doing" or
"I think someone is leaving you a little present." I try not to burst their bubbles and tell them that he only makes those noises. He also snores alot (like all through church last sunday) when he sleeps and occasionally...during a really good sleep he'll sigh with each breath.

We aren't getting any cooing, or on purpose noises yet...and no smiles either, but when he is content and sleeping or just falling asleep and's so sweet. I can't wait to see a real happy smile!! He has the best smile!

Hopefully we'll have some more exciting things to share as Josiah gets older but it's been a pretty exciting time for us as new parents anyway. We are so grateful for this gift from the Lord. Because Josiah was a "surprise" blessing for us, if you will :-) I have often read and rejoiced in the words of Psalm 127. It says:

"Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate."

Particularly I love "the fruit of the womb a reward". It reminds me that while we will never know the Lord's plans, they are so much better than anything we could ever plan. It's hard to believe that we serve a God merciful enough to bless us with a little life to raise for Him. It is truly a great reward.

As far as filling the quiver......we're just trying to get out of the bouncer for now. :-)