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!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Table the Issue

Well, I must again apologize for my lack of blogging, but this time I have a very good excuse--my comma button on my computer is broken.  In fact, my entire laptop is breaking into two pieces.  I will therefore refer to it as a lap/top from now on since the hinge is gradually cracking to separate the lap part from the top part (maybe my lap/top wants to be a tablet?).  Anyway, I love my commas, so it's very hard to type when I have to peck the comma button with all the strength my ring finger can muster.

So, in order to save me from trying to explain more things that would inevitably involve comma usage, I've decided to post about a little do-it-yourself project that Jeffrey and I finished a couple of months ago:  Refinishing a kitchen table and chairs.



I'm in love!  The table and chairs feel like new even though deep down inside I know this is the same table I grew up eating on at my parents' house.  The only problem?  Now there are other pieces of furniture nearby that look like they could benefit from being refinished, but since Jeffrey was the main "sand man" on the project (which everyone knows is the worst part of any refinishing project), he's begged that we table the issue of refinishing more furniture.  The sight of sandpaper still makes him shudder with the memory of sanding all the tiny crevices on all the chairs.