Welcome Abram Roy!// Our growing family

Our baby boy is here and he made quite the entrance!

First of all, meet our son, Abram Roy. He was born at 0400 on Saturday April 30th weighing in at 7#12oz and 20.5 inches long at 39 and 4 days gestation.

Now for the story of his birth...

Waking up on April 29th, I knew that if today wasn't the day, tomorrow would be. False labor events had pained me for a few days leading up and my membranes had been swept to help speed things along.

My braxton hicks (that I pretty much always have) were more painful than normal and I felt crampy all day. I also didn't have much of an appetite which I knew meant babe's arrival was near. However, I figured this may just be another false labor day/night. Because of this fear, I did something that most do not recommend... (& for good reason)- Yes, I took a dose of castor oil. I did this with Bonnie as well and though it has nasty effects, it clears you out & I needed a little nudge in the right direction to get real labor going. And, that's just what it did...

Around 9pm, we thought I was in full blown labor... the shakes, the painful contractions...  After close to an hour, Andrew checked me (he thankfully had 2 pairs of gloves on hand...) and found me to still be dilated at 2.5cm, 80% effaced (like I was at my appointment earlier that day). We were confused but things started to slow down after a hot shower and I was able to get about an hour of rest.

Midnight on the dot, I woke up with very painful contractions and things didn't slow down from there. For about 30 minutes, the contractions were 7 minutes apart, and then jumped to every 3 minutes or so. I labored away at home... took a gazillion hot showers and just did my thing. All I could think about was, "they say to stay home for a good while before coming in, so that's just what we'll do. Who knows if this is the real thing or just the castor oil". I remember praying out loud many times- just trying to focus on something else. I prayed for strength, control, safety for both of us. I also remember praying that this was the real thing and not another fake out.

Around 2:30AM, I was so miserable and asked Andrew to recheck me. I was sure I'd be making great progress with how strong the frequent the contractions were. You can imagine my extreme disappointment when he said, "hmmm, well you're 2.5cm." You're kidding right? This makes NO sense. I felt defeated. I felt utterly confused. I felt a little like a crazy person. How on earth could things be this real & painful and no progress is being made?! We had no real reason to go the hospital at this point unless I wanted to for pain control. Though very tempted, I decided I was okay for a bit longer since it seemed like I was going to be in labor for a long time. Who knows, it could all just stop like the times prior.

After gathering control again (with the help of yet another hot shower), I managed to quickly google search being stuck at 3cm. The site I was looking for popped right up with some maneuvers I could try to better engage baby for delivery. I began those said maneuvers and found that it actually helped me cope with the labor better and more calmly. Whenever I felt I was losing control/composure, I hopped in the shower. Goodness, I'm thankful for our shower!

Close to just 30 minutes later, I began vomiting. That's when I told Andrew, "we are going to the hospital, let's go now. Even if I'm still not progressing, we need to make sure baby is handling these contractions ok." Things were escalating quickly. More and more pain, more and more vomiting. No real breaks between contractions. We handed the monitor off to my dad (I'm still amazed Bonnie didn't wake to my ridiculous noises) and headed to the hospital.

The whopping 6 minute drive to the hospital felt like a lifetime as Andrew called the L&D unit to let them know we were on our way. Thank the Lord we just moved on base and were so close.


Once in the parking lot, the yelling, "Pressure! Pressure!" began...

And this is where Andrew says it all got real for him...

We made it through the dark lobby and hallway to the elevator with me screaming all along the way. At the bottom of the elevator, I couldn't resist the urge to push. Squatting down, throw-up bags in hand, my body involuntarily did just that. My water had yet to break by the way! I remember yelling, "baby is coming!" in between grunts and screams. I have no memory of what Andrew was doing at this point, but he said that he dropped everything and kept "crotch checking" me to make sure there wasn't a head out. 

Screaming all along the way, we made it to the back doors of the labor unit where I squatted once again and involuntarily began pushing. Thank goodness the Nurses heard me (though I'm not sure how you couldn't at this point) and helped rush me into a room.

All I remember saying is "I need to push." The MD joined us and was so kind to stay slightly distant for just a moment as he is a co-worker of Andrew's and now our new neighbor! He knew the plan was for the attending to deliver but I'm pretty sure I said (or screamed), "it's ok, you're ok.... I have to push..." or something like that, and 3 minutes after arriving to the room, and many more screams later, Abram was on my chest. Safe and sound. My water finally broke as I was pushing and everything went so smoothly. I remember feeling so confident and calm with the staff and doctor (who did an amazing, amazing job) there instead of in the hallway, etc. I'm also thankful and a tiny bit less embarrassed to find out I was the only patient on the floor that night.

He came out with a perfectly round head and as precious as can be. He is such a gift and miracle.

 So, long story short, he came pretty fast! We didn't go to the hospital sooner because I wasn't progressing/dilating and I wanted to stay home for as long as I could. Performing those special movements must have then worked as I progressed and transitioned to complete incredibly quickly (30 minutes!?). If we would have left just 3 minutes later, we'd have a home/car/parking lot/elevator birth...I'm strangely glad for the way it all happened even though it was a bit crazy. Baby Abram was born at 4am on the dot meaning that my labor course from first real contraction was 4 hours. We are thankful for God's protection throughout in keeping both myself and babe safe and well.

Welcome to our family little Abram!

Our growing family // 37 weeks

Here we are at just about 37 weeks (term!) and our dear baby boy could be here any day. Though he could surprise us and come before his due date, the next two week's focus will primarily be on moving into another home and hopefully getting somewhat settled before he arrives. Great timing right?

We are kind of in a "we'll cross that bridge when we get there" mode while I try my best to nest and prepare without a physical space to do so quite yet. The nesting bug is sure strong right now and I feel like babe is dropping lower and lower with each day (I normally carry very high).

Sweet baby boy, I'm not quite sure how to be a mother to two children yet. I'm not sure how you'll fit into our family or how your personality will liven our three. But, I do know that you were meant to be and specially placed by the Lord into our family. You are wanted, you are adored and cherished, every piece of you is a gift. We can't wait to meet you. I can't wait to hold you in my arms and look into your squinty newborn eyes. As I write these words, tears well up at the thought of being a mother to a son and holding you. I can't wait to see how you react to Bonnie's voice as you might know hers best and I can't wait to discover just who you are.

Baby boy, stick with us as we learn. Stick with me as I juggle two babes and figure out this new life. Sweet boy, I pray you are gracious at heart, bold, strong, kind spirited, inquisitive, and driven. I pray you will come to know and love the Lord at a young age. I pray you will obey Him and long to be more like Christ. I pray that Andrew and I will guide you in a personal and loving way- unique from your sister-. There are many unknowns (as with any new addition), but we know we love you. We know you will bring more joy to our family. And we know that we'll get to meet you very soon!

I love you with my whole heart, my boy.

// Andrew took a few minutes to snap these photos for me. Thanks babe! //

Non-essential "must haves" on my baby list

As baby boy's due date approaches, I find myself nesting and getting ready for his arrival. While he will be baby #2 for us and we have most of the essentials covered, there are still some items I have my eyes set on or have already gotten/been gifted that are completely non-essential but oh so lovely. Below are a few I thought I'd share!

Microsoft Word - favs.docx

1. Modern Burlap's muslin swaddles.  These all black & white printed muslin swaddles are so sweet and make me smile when looking at them. I love that the company offers many bible verse prints too!

2. The El Baby book. This is on my get list for sure. It appears to be the perfect baby book for what I'm looking for and has fantastic reviews. Can't wait to order one!

3. Milk Nursingwear Top. With the amount of time/months.... years... spent breastfeeding, I'm all about ease and comfort. Something I didn't invest in this time around is maternity clothes (hoping to make what I had with my last pregnancy last me through). So, this go around, I'm hoping to invest more in nursing-friendly clothes. Truth is, I spend far more months nursing than pregnant. Here's one top I have my eye on. 

4.  Milestone Baby Cards. I received these as a gift and am in love! I can't wait to take photos using these milestone cards and have them as a keepsake for baby's photo album or book. They are simply adorable and I can't wait to use them! 

5. Milk Nursingwear dress- Yet another dress I have my eyes on for nursing-comfort once baby is here.

6. Green Sprouts wooden rattle- We received this rattle for baby boy but with Bonnie's latest molar teething episodes, I let her try it out. She's been "teething/chewing" on it and loves it. I see no wear from her teething so far on the rattle and she loves to put it on as a bracelet. I'm a fan!

7. Milksnob Multi-functioning nursing & carseat cover- This is also on my must order soon list! I didn't really use a car seat cover with Bonnie mostly because I didn't like the one I had and it was so heavy/thick. This milksnob cover will be perfect for California's summer heat and will keep on-lookers/ touchers out. Not only that, but it provides 360 degree coverage when nursing. I ended up doing a lot more public nursing than I originally thought I would do. A little more coverage would certainly be nice if needed or if baby boy is a kicker/squirmer!

8. Silicone teething necklace- I used our teething necklace almost every day for many months with Bon when out and about. It made for the perfect addition when baby wearing to keep her occupied and happy. Now I have this addition to mix it up a bit!

9. Milk nursingwear top- Can you tell I love stripes and black/white/grey? Here's one more top I'm looking at getting for my breastfeeding friendly wardrobe.