Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas Card 2012

Well, if you didn't get our Christmas card in the mail this year, it's probably because I lost my mind and didn't order all.  Sorry for the shortage.  Next year I most certainly will not have a 3 month old baby to contend with when ordering the cards!  In the meantime, put a stamp on your computer screen and pretend this came straight from your mailbox:

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Jesus is the reason for the season…but Carter is the reason that we won’t be getting many Christmas presents this year.  Yes, only a few short weeks after we sent you our Christmas card last year, we found out that we were expecting our first child, and both of our parents’ first grandchild.  As the card alludes, with the birth of the first grandchild, Jeffrey and I have been rendered invisible, eclipsed by the greatness of Carter in our parents’ eyes.  Don’t worry, we know they still love us…somewhere…deep down.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.  While the world suddenly seemed to revolve around the impending birth of our baby, there were a few minor loose ends to tie up before D-day, namely graduating from Medical and Dental School. 

Two major obstacles stood between my dental license and me:  the National Board Exam Part II and the licensing exam for the state of Texas (WREB).  The Board Exam was a 400 question computerized exam.  After 21 years of education, I’m no stranger to standardized tests, so the idea of another one didn’t scare me.  What did scare me was the fact that many of my friends who took the exam had to take it twice due to computer errors.  More than one student had to retake the exam because the computers rebooted during their test, deleting all their answers.  Luckily I made it through all 400 questions without so much as an error message.

The WREB was an exam where students had to find patients to perform procedures on so that standardized graders can examine our work.  Because of the importance of the exam and the number of variables involved (if your patient got sick or didn’t come, you could fail), I felt nauseas the whole time.  Then again, I was four months pregnant by that time, so maybe it was just a little morning sickness.  The results of both exams came in after a few weeks of anxious waiting:  Pass!

Jeffrey spent much of the Spring semester enjoying his fourth year, meaning that he didn’t really do much of anything until March when he started biting his nails in anticipation of “Match Day,” the day when every fourth year medical student finds out where they will go to complete their residency.  Match Day came and we found out that we would be moving to Temple, much to the delight of my grandfather, Gene, who lives nearby in Rogers.  Scott & White Hospital was Jeffrey’s first choice, and it has turned out to be a wonderful decision—we love it here!

In May we both graduated from school, on the same day, no less.  (Imagine how excited our family members were to get to go to TWO graduation ceremonies in the same day!)  Now that we’re both licensed, let me remind you that if you saved your Christmas card from 2009 (Jeffrey holding the sign stating “Buy one prostate exam, get one free”), you may now redeem it at your earliest convenience.

In June I got my very first job as a dentist at Kool Smiles, a corporate dental office that treats mostly children.  Since then, the company has diversified and now consists of two branches.  I work for the newer side of the company, at an office called Resolution Dental.  New name, same pain if you have to get a shot.  Everybody loves the dentist, right?

July marked the beginning of Jeffrey’s residency.  I’m not really sure what’s happened with him since then…I’ve only seen him twice.  Honestly, he’s enjoying most of residency.  Great hospital, great doctors, great hours.  (One of those statements is a lie...guess which one!)

I waddled my way through August and a few days of September before giving birth to Carter Robert Edwards on September 11th.  He has enriched our lives in a way we never could have imagined. He has fulfilled a place in our hearts we didn’t even know was empty.  He has filled his diapers to a degree we never could have anticipated.  We love that boy.

Since Carter was born, we’ve had baby’s first Halloween, baby’s first Thanksgiving, and now we are looking forward to having his first Christmas.  It truly is a wonderful life at the Edwards’ house.

So that’s 2012 in a nutshell.  If you want the extended version or can’t wait until December 2013 to hear what will happen with us next year, check out our blog at

We love you all and we wish you a Merry Christmas!

Jeffrey, Lauren, and Carter Edwards

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Look for the Helpers

Yesterday was another dark day in the story of our nation as a mad man entered an elementary school in Connecticut, shot and killed 27 people (20 of whom were young children), and then took his own life. 

The news has shown a ceaseless stream of tearful parents, interviews with young, traumatized school children, and weary policemen.  Among the footage there are beginning to be some photos of the shooter, and bit by bit his life is being investigated and examined in an attempt to answer that awful question:  Why?

On days like this it's hard to believe that there is any way good will triumph over evil.  The ugliness of this crime leaks out into the social media as people begin to argue over gun control laws and the appropriate punishment for the people responsible for the loss of these lives.

As a new parent in the midst of this I begin to wonder:  What will I tell my son on days like this?  This time we are spared since he's too young to understand, but surely we can expect more days like this, unfortunate as it is. 

As I read through the Facebook comments yesterday, I found my answer.  A friend from high school had written some wisdom that his mom had told him after the Twin Towers were attacked.  This is what I will tell my son on days like this:

"Whenever it seems like the world is too evil, look for the helpers.  There will always be helpers ready to battle against evil with bravery and goodness."

I thought about that message as I watched the morning news.  Instead of tearful parents I saw adults crying together--sharing their pain.  Instead of young, traumatized school children I saw kids who realized the sacrifice made by the many adults who helped them to escape the massacre.  Instead of weary policemen I saw a news reporter put down his microphone to give a struggling police chief a hug in the middle of an interview.  The helpers were there--all was not lost.

Yes, Carter, there will be dark days.  Evil comes loudly, with ammunition and hate, banging down doors and leaving destruction in its wake.  Good comes softly, with flashing lights that signal help is on the way.  When it looks dark, look for the helpers.  They won't be as loud, they won't be as bold, but they will be there and they will be the most brave.

And above all, remember, my son, that good (God) wins in the end. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

3rd Month Is a Charm

Well, Carter Robert turns 3 months old today. Not much has changed since last month...except now he smiles all the time, is starting to laugh, is starting to sit up on his own, is half-way rolling over on his own, can count to 10 (in 3 languages), has written the first 4 chapters of his novel, and is already smarter than me and his mom.

Seriously though, our favorite part of the day is waking up and seeing his smile. Our least favorite part of the day is 4 seconds after we see him smile, when we realize the reason he is smiling is not because he's happy to see us, but rather because he has left us a HUGE present in his diaper. Even still, I don't know that anyone will ever love him more than we do right now. It's crazy, irrational, and borderline insane, but we don't care because he's our baby boy. (Proof that we're nuts: this whole blog post is celebrating his 3-month birthday...that's not even a real birthday!)

Anyway, here's a picture of the kid to prove that he's still alive and that we haven't harmed him (too badly) in the 3 months that we've owned him. So here's to you, Carter - we love you dearly! Happy 11th!

Carter Robert Edwards
3 months old

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Smiles and Frowns

Last week I saw a patient who did NOT want to see me.

(This isn't uncommon, especially in a practice that sees mostly pediatric patients.  Nobody likes shots.)

I'm used to dealing with fear of needles with my patients, and I find that most of the time I can get through the treatment without too much trouble, but this little patient threw me for a loop.

She had had some dental work done a couple of weeks ago and had not appreciated "the pinch," as she called it.  We went through a little song and dance trying to bargain with her--"we'll put extra numbing gel on before the pinch," "we'll give you two toys when you're done," etc...but to no avail.

After about 20 minutes of begging, reasoning, and pleading from her mom, my assistant, and me, she decided she had had enough.  She said (with a huge pout on her face), "I'm not doing it.  And why do you guys even call this place Kool Smiles?  You should call it Kool Frowns!"

I couldn't help myself--I giggled a little as I told her that we do our very best to keep everybody smiling here. 

Here's a little proof that I do make SOME people smile...

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Bad Day Gone Good

Yesterday was not a good day.

It started being bad the night before when Carter whined/cried from 7 pm to 10 pm instead of sleeping.  This meant that I did NOT wash the bottles, did NOT wash the pump parts, did NOT set out the frozen milk to thaw for the next day, and did NOT put new bibs and burp rags in his diaper bag for the next day.

Normally, Jeffrey would have done all these things for me (because he's a super dad), but he was at the hospital all night on rotation this week.  This made the bad day very, very bad.

"Don't panic," I told myself.  I figured I'd just do all of these things in the morning.

And I did.  But at what cost? 

Carter had to wear the same clothes that he'd worn the day before.  (Sorry, buddy.)  I did not get to have breakfast.  I DID wash the bottles and pump parts, thaw the milk, and re-stock the diaper bag, but I could NOT find my makeup.

Luckily I had some powder and mascara in my car, so I didn't have to go completely bare, but I imagine I ended up looking somewhat like Powder by using only those two cosmetic items. 

Needless to say, I was pretty grouchy by the time I got to work.

But at 10:00 these showed up...

(Caption reads:  Thanks for being such a great mommy!  I love you!  -Carter)

And suddenly my day wasn't so bad anymore!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

2 Months

We've added another month and another balloon!

This boy has learned how to smile, and he beams at us every day (although not for this picture, much to his momma's chagrin).  He simply lights up our lives. 

He's begun to be interested in books, pictures, toys, and funny sounds that his dad and I make to try and cheer him up when he's fussy.  This month his mommy had to go back to work, so he's been staying with his surrogate family, the Hubbards.  He has 3 older siblings over there, and we're hoping that his being the "youngest" over there will help to counteract all the spoiling he gets from being the first grandbaby on both sides of the family.  Our boy is getting bigger and bigger--he's definitely outgrown his newborn sized clothes (I know for sure because I tried to stuff him in one of my favorite outfits the other day and he busted the snaps right off).  There is nothing we love more than spending time with our little guy.

Happy eleventh, sweet boy.

Friday, November 9, 2012

This World Is Not My Home

A rare, serious blog post...

This week in the dental office I was scheduled to do some fillings on a pleasant young lady who I had previously seen for a cleaning.  At her cleaning, she had mentioned that she sometimes had pain in her jaw joint (TMJ) and we had discussed several common causes of jaw pain and treatments for them. 

When she returned for her filling appointment, I began as usual by numbing her mouth and placing a little rubber piece (mouth prop) in her mouth to help her stay open and give her teeth something to rest on.  When I placed the mouth prop she gasped and grabbed her jaw joint in pain.  Quickly, I took the mouth prop out of her mouth and asked her what happened.  She told me that her jaw joint really hurt with the mouth prop in, and then she asked, "Can I speak to you privately?"

I asked the assistant to leave the room and close the door.

Once we were alone, she started to cry as she told me, "I was punched in the face about a month ago.  Do you think that could have caused my jaw pain?"

Big tears continued to fall as (I imagine) she re-lived the moment of abuse in her mind.  I had tears in my eyes as I asked, "Are you safe now?"

She nodded that she was in a safe place now and so we talked for a while about trauma to the TMJ and how we could go about diagnosing if any permanent damage had ben done.  She obviously didn't want to talk about the abuse anymore, but I pressed her one more time to talk as I asked her if she needed help, and reminded her that there were lots of resources available if she needed them.  I told her I would be happy to help in any way I could.  She cried one last tear and brushed it away as she waved off my attempts to help her, saying, "It's fine now.  I'm ok."

I didn't know I would have conversations like these in my dental office, but I should have.  Abuse and neglect lurk everywhere, only surfacing when someone has the courage to speak. 

This week I am reminded:  This world is not my home, I'm just passing through/My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue/The angels beckon me from Heaven's open door/And I can't feel at home in this world anymore.

Better things to come...  

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

La popular vote

Well, it's election day and everyone is talking about who they voted for, when they voted, and where they voted.  I decided to follow the crowd and join in the conversation, so as I was working on a patient's tooth this morning, I asked his mom (who happens to be Mexican*), who was sitting in the room with us, who she thought was going to win the election.

*Her nationality is important to the story, I'm not racist.

She said, "I think Obama."

Not wanting to overstep my professional bounds by displaying my political preferences, I responded with a very non-committal, "You think so, huh?"

It was then that she locked eyes with me and said very sincerely, "Oh, yes.  He has to win.  All the Mexicans are voting for him...and there are a lot of Mexicans."

Thursday, November 1, 2012


The craft bug hit me a few weeks ago so I decided to make Carter an October onesie (because he didn't have ANY October onesies yet--he needed one!). I began my little project as I begin all good projects--looking on google for ideas to steal from other people.
Voila! I found an idea and made it. You can, too. Here's how:
#1--Have a baby.  This is decidedly the hardest part of the project.
#2--Purchase appropriately sized onesie from Hobby Lobby.
#3--Print out stolen internet photo (including copyrighting watermark) and cut into pieces for a template.
#4--Use template to cut out pieces from fabric swatches.
#5--Use fabric glue to attach fabric to onesie
#6--Open onesie, insert baby.  Pose!
And there you have it. One October onesie in 6 steps.
I had a little harder time making Carter's Halloween costume, mostly because I waited until October 31st (yes, that's right, the day of the holiday) AFTER work to begin. Hazards of being a working mom, I guess. There is a chance that his costume was held together solely by hot glue. There is also a chance that I had to hot glue some of the pieces together while he was wearing the costume (please don't take my child away, CPS). **When contestants on Project Runway do that, they always get eliminated. Good thing there is also a chance that he's the cutest little football I've ever Heisman-ed.
We invited over the Cawyers and the Macks and stayed home to give out candy to the kids who came trick or treating. Favorite trick or treater award goes to the three year old who barged into the house as soon as we opened the door and shouted, "TRICK OR TREAT!" Close second to the 5th grader who said trick or treat in a scary vampire voice. Distant third to the trio of junior high girls who dressed as rock, paper, and scissors. Rock had chosen to use a black trashbag filled with foam to make her costume. She lamented at my door, "People keep calling me trash lady."
Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 12, 2012

1 Month

How is it possible that our boy is already 1 month old?

I can't quite believe it, but I've consulted the calendar multiple times and it seems that it's true.  As of yesterday, our little guy has graced us with his presence for 1 month exactly.

In honor of the occasion, I stole an idea off the internet.  We are going to take pictures every month on his "month birthday" with one balloon for each month.  (When I told Jeffrey this idea, he said, "This could get out of control." I think he was imagining 216 balloons on Carter's 18th birthday.  I told Jeffrey I'm not that crazy...but then I started thinking about how fun it would be to have a picture with 216 balloons!  We'll see what happens.)  So here's number one--one balloon, one month old.

Happy day, little man.

Thursday, October 11, 2012


One month ago today, I became a mom, which means that one month ago today, I started worrying whether I am a good mom or a bad mom. 

It's only natural, I think, to have doubts about your ability to parent--especially if you have a great mom yourself (as I do).  There are so many ideals in your mind you want to live up to and suddenly every decision seems to be crucial and potentially life-threatening.  (Example:  Did I do enough "tummy time" with my baby today?  What if I didn't?!  Oh, great.  He'll probably never be able to lift his head.  Ever.)
Just kidding--he can totally already lift his head.  My baby is BRILLIANT!
I was faced with one such critical decision last week.

One of the few days that I decided to leave the house (AKA--put on real pants...with zippers and buttons and everything) I picked up a Redbox movie.  I watched said Redbox movie and then returned to CVS the next day to return it.  Here's where the problem begins:  As I pulled up to CVS, with sweet baby Carter peacefully sleeping in the backseat, I wondered to myself, "Am I supposed to unload this sleeping baby to return the Redbox movie, or can I leave him in the car?"

*Somewhere out there, someone is screaming at their computer screen:  "What?!?  You can't leave a baby in a car!!!"

I know that you're not supposed to leave babies in cars (in fact, you're not even supposed to leave dogs in cars), but shouldn't there be some sort of minimum distance for that sort of thing? 

I also know that you're not supposed to wake a sleeping about a Catch 22.

I ended up deciding that if I could find a parking spot immediately in front of the Redbox kiosk AND there was no line, I would return the movie as quickly as possible and leave Carter in the car. 

The aforementioned criteria were met, so I parked, scampered out of the car (being careful to hold onto my keys because if I had locked those in the car with my baby...well, that would have just been a difficult conversation to have with a locksmith) and returned the movie as quickly as possible.  In total, I was probably away from Carter by 4 feet and for 20 seconds.  Even so, I kept expecting to hear sirens wail and a social worker tap me on the shoulder and ask me to please give my baby to a person who would love him more. 

By the time I got back to the car, I'd come to terms with my decision and (since no horrible consequences had occurred thus far) I'd begun to breathe normally again...

Until I saw the horrified face of the person who was waiting in the passenger seat of the car parked next to mine, staring in judgement at the occupied car seat in my corolla.

I'm pretty sure he was calling Child Protective Services as I peeled out of the parking lot, hoping he wasn't quick enough to write down my license plate number.

Does my Redbox rendevoux make me a bad mom?  I hope not.  Either way, Carter slept through the whole thing, so let's let him believe he got a good one for as long as possible.  Nobody say a word, ok?

="" target="_blank"><img src="" style="border: 0 !important; background: transparent;"/>

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Oopsie Poopsie

I was going to impress everyone by writing a blog post about something besides Carter.  In fact, I've even taken the pictures already.  I was going to post about the new art project that I finished recently and hung in our newly redecorated master bedroom. 

Then my dog ate a diaper.  And suddenly I MUST talk about Carter again because, after all, it was his diaper. 

Carter and I went out to run some errands today and when we got back home, imagine our horror when we found the remnants of two diapers spread all over the living room rug and one side of the master bedroom.  (And when I say "remnants" I mean tiny, minced shreds of what was formerly known as a newborn sized diaper.)

Was it a clean diaper?  No--Dixie had drug two diapers out of the trash while we were gone.  Was it a wet diaper?  No--it was a lime green variant of poopy diaper.  Too bad our living room rug isn't lime green.  Then I could have just left it.

After giving Dixie a stern talking to in a harsh whisper (the baby was asleep) and cleaning up the diaper explosion (thank goodness we keep nitrile gloves at our house--for such a time as this), I sat down to consult the experts on whether I should be afraid my dog will die from eating a dirty diaper.  Of course, by "experts" I mean Google.

I joke, but I do use Google a lot to research things ("is it normal for a newborn's poop to be lime green?!"), but usually I try to be careful about choosing which links to believe.  Links that lead to random message boards = not so much.  Links that take you to a government sponsored page = believable.  Unfortunately, I found nothing but message boards on my "dog ate a diaper, now what?" search.

Here's where the story will get really sad if it goes wrong tonight:  the message board experts are split in their opinions right down the middle.  Half say to immediately take your dog to the vet because the diaper stuffing is expanding like Violet's gum in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and will kill her if it isn't surgically removed.  Half say to leave your dog alone because dogs eat stupid stuff all the time and usually just poop it out.

I decided to wait it out.  Mostly because taking a newborn and a diaper-breath dog to the vet sounded like the worst horror movie of this Halloween season.  I decided I'd just keep an eye on her and watch out for any signs of sickness, like lethargy, vomiting, or not eating.

Well, she's not vomiting, and it's not time to eat yet, so we're good there, but how in the world am I supposed to tell if this lazy dog is lethargic?

P. S.  If anything in this post doesn't make sense, it's because I'm typing it at a feverish pace before Carter's nap ends, and I keep having to go check on him every 15 minutes (because I'm crazy).  Do you see what I see?  This is me peeking in hundreds of times per day...
That's my sweet baby boy.  I love him too much!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Baby's First Photos

Prepare yourselves for baby picture overload.  I am that mom.  That mom who thinks her baby is soooo cute that she just has to have his picture taken from every angle.  That mom who thinks that her baby is soooo cute that said pictures need to be shared with the whole world.  That mom who thinks her baby is soooo cute that if people click on this blog, read it, casually look over the pictures, and leave without commenting on aforementioned cuteness, that mom will cry for days.  (Just kidding--I'm not THAT mom...but I am pretty proud of my boy.)  So here are some pictures, for your viewing pleasure. 

*(And please note, these are only the very, very favorite ones out of the thousands of pictures that I've taken of Carter in 14 days.  See?  I've totally got myself under control.)

If he's not an angel, I don't know who is

Can't get enough of that peaceful, easy feeling

This was taken before we left for our first church service with Carter.  It was only 5 days after delivery and I didn't realize until I got there that I had forgotten to take my pain medicine.  Not good.  So I spent most of the service outside in the foyer (it was cooler out there).  Why I thought it was a good idea to go anywhere 5 days after having a baby is beyond me--should we still blame the hormones?  Our boy, however, was the star of the show in his tiny bow tie outfit.  We wear our best to God's house, don't we baby?

A little unsure of how to feel following his first real bath (but looking oh, so cute in his towel)

I LOVE all those tiny little wrinkles.  He looks like a baby bulldog!

Sweet, baby face staring up at me

He's wearing a shirt with a big, tough dump truck on it, but he's still just a softie when he cuddles up to sleep

Daddy and Carter--they love snuggling for nap time

My handsome boy looking way too awake for the time of night that this picture was taken.  (But those steel blue eyes!  I secretly don't want him to sleep because then I wouldn't be able to look at them.)

Need more pictures of Carter?  Well, never fear.  My camera is fully charged and ready to take at least 90 more pictures of him sleeping.  Because you can never have too many of those shots.

(At least, I can't.)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Labor of Love

Carter Robert Edwards is here!

I want to write down the story of his birth here, sparing only a few gratuitously graphic details for you readers, because I want to remember every part of that day.  Though it had definite high and low points, what a sweet reward it was to hold that boy at the end.  I may be the only one who enjoys reading this, so if you like, skip to the bottom--there are baby pictures there!

I woke up Tuesday morning around 3:30 am to go to the bathroom (as I had become accustomed to doing in the late stages of this pregnancy), but this time when I came back to bed I couldn't go back to sleep because of some contractions.  They were neither regular nor severe, so I lay there in the dark wondering what my little boy would look like when he was finally born when suddenly I felt a trickle of water.  I hit Jeffrey's arm and he rolled over (because usually when I hit his arm it means he's snoring).  I hit his arm again and said, "Jeffrey, I think my water just broke."

Suddenly we were both wide awake in a flurry of motion.  Jeffrey flipped on the lights and grabbed a towel for me, and that's when I realized that it wasn't just my water that had broken, there was also blood.  A lot of it.

The mood changed from excitement to fear in a moment.  Trying to remain calm, we packed up a few last minute things and drove to the hospital. 

The drive was quiet.  No one else was on the road at 4:30 am on a Tuesday in Temple.  The silence was only broken by one of us stating in disbelief, "This is really happening," every 10 seconds or so.  We looked back into the backseat where our empty car seat lay waiting for a passenger and realized that this was truly our last trip as "just us"- after this we would be "we" forever.

We arrived at the hospital and checked into the Triage area.  The nurse hooked us up to the monitors and reassured us that the doctor would be there soon, but even without her saying anything Jeffrey and I realized that Carter's heart rate was too low (curses of medical knowledge). 

The doctor on call came in and did a quick exam, but couldn't confirm that my water had broken because there was too much blood.  She, too, was concerned about Carter's heart rate, so she decided to admit us even though we didn't quite fit the criteria of being in "active labor."  She also recommended that if I was planning to get an epidural I should go ahead and get it because there was a definite chance that the bleeding was caused by a placental abruption and we might need to do an emergency C-section. 

At this point MY heart rate went up significantly on the monitors.  Jeffrey tried to reassure me, but we were both struggling to keep it together.

At this point we called both of our parents and told them that today would be their grandson's birthday, but we left out the parts about the abruption and the potential for C-section.  (They were already going to drive too fast to get here--we didn't want anyone to break the sound barrier trying to arrive more quickly.)

Once we got to our room they hooked me up to the monitors again and started an IV.  We were pleased to see that Carter's heart rate had improved some and was in the normal range.

Fairly soon the anesthesiologist came in and gave me the epidural, which was far less painful that what I had guessed it would be.  Almost immediately I began to feel it take effect and before too long I was very comfortable...a little too comfortable.  My blood pressure began to drop, getting so low that they had to recline the bed so that my head was below my heart.  At it's lowest point my BP was 64/34. 

Anesthesia was called back in and they checked the level of my epidural--too high!  I was numb all the way to my armpits.  They adjusted the medicine levels and my blood pressure responded favorably.

By this time visitors had begun to arrive.  The ministers from Western Hills Church, (Scott Meyer, Scott Seela, and Brandon Baker) came to keep us company while we waited for baby.  My parents and Jeffrey's parents arrived soon after, and Chase Cawyer and Bryt Marshall swung by to visit as they started their days on OB/GYN rotation.  Grampy stopped by, as did Jeffrey's grandparents.  My doctor also arrived, and her presence and reassurance did much to calm my nerves.

Thumbs up for labor

Reminiscing over their wives labor and delivery stories
Laughing through the pain

Like many women, I got the "labor shakes" and Grampy and I had a good time comparing our shaky hands--mine from labor and his from Parkinson's disease

When the doctor came by to check me a couple of hours later, I had made progress, but not quite as much as she would like, so she started some pitocin.  Soon after I needed anesthesia back--the epidural was too low now.  I was in terrible pain that didn't even seem to get better in between contractions.  The anesthesiologist adjusted the meds but 30 minutes later there was still no change in my pain.  He must have seen the desperation in my eyes because he got some different medication and put that into the epidural--immediate relief, and just in time.  The next time the doctor came in to check, she said, "Ten centimeters!  Let's push."

From that point on, my entire experience became surreal.  As I pushed it was all I could do not to sob from sheer disbelief.  I kept saying (between pushes), "Jeffrey, our son's about to be here!" 

My actual delivery went very smoothly--I was very comfortable and had such great support.  Jeffrey stayed by my side with the exception of a few quick glances to check on the progress.  (After looking one time he said with admiration, "Babe, you're doing so great--how are you doing this?!?)  My doctor and sweet nurse were incredibly encouraging and seemed to know exactly the type of coaching that I needed. 

After only about an hour of pushing, I suddenly saw our baby boy make his entrance into the world.  Sweetest moment I've ever experienced--brings tears to my eyes now as I type. 

Brand new boy

Telling Carter how glad we are that he's here.

Dark blue eyes at birth--Dad is hoping they turn a nice light blue color just like his.

Tired after a long trip!

Exhausted, in pain, sleep-deprived--and I don't care about all that even a little bit. I'm holding my perfect baby boy.
The doctor did a quick check on Carter and he looked good, so she placed him on my chest.  Jeffrey and I looked into our sweet boy's eyes and loved him with every fiber of our being.

(Not to be outdone, Carter loved us back, but maybe a little too hard, because he urinated all over me.)

Jeffrey cut the cord and Carter nursed for the first time.  Our little family of three enjoyed a few minutes of pure joy and then we got to introduce Carter to the rest of his family who were over the moon with excitement.

So there you have it--the story of Carter's birthday.

Carter Robert Edwards
September 11, 2012
7 pounds, 0 ounces
19.75 inches long

We haven't been able to take our eyes off him since then.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Counting up and counting down

As I count down the days until Carter's due date (Sept 15th), I'm also counting up...the numbers on the scale, that is.  This last little growth spurt is scaring me a little as the predominant thought changes from "Oh, what a cute belly!" to "Oh, somebody has to push this huge baby out in a few days!"  Nevertheless, I'm happy to carry this baby boy for just a little while longer if it means that he'll come out kicking and screaming (in a good way).

We've scheduled an induction for Friday, Sept 14th, so Carter will be here in 6 days or less.  Can't believe it!  I'm so excited to hold this little boy and show him everything that makes this world good.

As the days tick by, there are of course moments where I'm tired of being pregnant, times when my body aches, and times when I'm so impatient to see Carter that I get frustrated by the fact that he's not here yet, but I've been so blessed to have the support of tons of friends and family.  In the last week or two I've received at least 5 encouraging text messages, calls, or prayers on our behalf every day.  How can I complain?

All that's left is the pictures...(and one very important trip to the hospital).

34 Weeks

Not sure why I can't manage to put on make up for these pictures.  Must be the hormones?

36 Weeks

Hormones also appear to be affecting my ability to fix my hair.  Unfortunate.

38 Weeks

Do these horizontal stripes make me look fat?
Carter's little room is ready (mostly).  A few finishing touches still needed, but here's a look at his preppy, handsome, Mommy's favorite little boy-nursery.

My dad and Jeffrey put together this dresser from about 300 small parts.  It only took 2 hours!

Most comfortable chair EVER!  It swivels and glides.  If we can manage to direct the spit up elsewhere, I'm thinking this chair could live in the living room later on.

Beautiful crib (given to us by Jeffrey's grandmother, Beth) and a picture collage with no pictures.  I'm waiting on that little boy to show me his tiny little toes and hands and face.  Photos are sure to follow.

The curtains are houndstooth and the tie-backs look like cuff links.  Our boy is very fancy.

I made the tie clock after seeing a similar one online.

Carter's first Longaberger basket full of itty, bitty newborn diapers and other essentials.
See you soon, little man!