Saturday, October 30, 2010

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

What a strong girl!





So I may be totally naive about babies in general, but I am so impressed with how strong our little girl is! She's 2 weeks and 2 days old today, and when she's laying on her tummy she can pick up her head and turn it to the other side. She's a natural little yogi, already working on Cobra pose. I love my little munchkin and am so impressed with her!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

(Not so) BabyWise (but working on it)


In counting all my blessings, especially surrounding this precious gift that the Lord has given Jason and I, I also count a very special friend, Emily Nelson, who I watched with her little man in their early days, and who has been a constant encouragement and source of advice and wisdom. The kind of advice you want to take, not the kind that gets offered and repeated whether you like it or not. She's been such a precious friend to me already, and I can't wait to have our babies meet, hopefully not too long from now!

Among other people in my life, I picked up the BabyWise book as a piece of free advice from Emily, and it's been a real lifesaver in helping me figure out what to do with Adria these first few days. Honestly, otherwise I don't know what to do with a baby, and I give it a lot of credit in how well Adria's done so far.

I've found that a lot of people are down on BabyWise, but for me it's provided a simple approach to these first few days. The goal is to help your baby establish regular eating and sleeping patterns, eventually leading to a regular and predictable schedule and helping baby sleep through the night. Both of those things sound good to me! Ironically, to establish a schedule for your baby, the basic advice for the first week or two is to ignore the clock altogether and feed your baby whenever she is hungry, just to keep her awake long enough at feedings to get a full tummy. The next piece of advise is to try and teach your baby the difference between daytime and nighttime--so the daytime routine is slightly different from the nighttime routine. In the daytime you strive for the pattern of eat, wake time, nap time. And at night it's just eat then sleep. The last piece of the puzzle is to put the baby down to sleep before you've nursed or rocked her all the way to sleep--to allow the baby to "cry it out" a bit before picking her up when she wakes early from a nap, or has trouble going down.

Getting a full feeding was a challenge particularly in the first few days when she was so sleepy, but with a full tummy she'd naturally go longer between feedings, and I knew she was getting all the rich milk and nutrition she needed. It helped her naturally get into a groove as far as eating and sleeping went--every 2 hours or so, like the hospital nurses had recommended as well. After the first week when we started trying to add in wake time, the night time schedule lengthened, and she began going 3-4 hours between feedings, allowing me up to 2-3 hours of sleep at a time throughout the night, which has kept me going! I've also just loved interacting with her during her wake times--her big beautiful eyes bouncing around the room, sometimes resting on me! And I've started reading books to her during her wake times, and she loves looking at the colorful pictures and listening to my voice. It's such a sweet time. She would eat forever if I continued holding her, so I use the bouncer to settle her after she eats and to sit in while I read. So I just snuggle her as much as possible during feeding times and at night.

We've not done as well with letting her fall asleep on her own--I'll either bounce her practically to sleep during the daytime, or I'll nurse her practically to sleep at night. I've got "the big 3" things to check on and make sure she's OK--is she hungry? Does she need to burp? Does she need to be changed? If not, instead of automatically picking her up, I'm trying to check on her and allow her to cry it out a bit. But just a bit! I know I need to do better to help her figure out how to self-soothe and fall asleep without the props of rocking or nursing, but for now it's still first things first. She's done so well, and only 2 weeks old!

The next step will be starting our daytime routines approximately the same time each morning to allow her schedule to regulate itself, and she's basically taken to the routine so well and so naturally, I can't see why anyone would have a problem with BabyWise! We're about 2.5 hrs between feedings during the day, and about 4 hours at night, and I'd recommend it to anyone!

2 weeks old!

Little Adria turned 2 weeks old yesterday! Hard to take how time is flying, especially knowing that I'll only get 12 weeks at home with her before I have to go back to work! People have all shared this advice: cherish every moment, really be there and soak it all in, because these times will go too quickly. Already I can sense it's true!

I am so proud of little Adria, and truly believe she is thriving; we're doing well with establishing a somewhat regular pattern of daytime/nighttime activities, and she's still eating very well. We went to see the doctor for her 2 week check-up yesterday, and she confirmed how well it seems like Little A is doing.

*When she was born she was 20" and 8 lbs 3 oz.

*At her first check up at 2 days old, the day after we were discharged from the hospital, she weighed in at 7 lbs 13 oz.

*And yesterday she'd re-gained her birth weight plus a little, at 8 lbs 7 oz, and 21 1/4 inches! (We think she probably didn't actually grow a whole inch in 2 weeks, but just uncurled a little bit! I didn't think of that at first and was just shocked to think she could have already grown so quickly, so the idea of uncurling has helped Mommy immensely!)

In any event, things are going beautifully, and little Baby A is doing great as well!



Here we are at a late night feeding--I love how she's got her little arms around me!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Letter to Adria (10th letter to my child)

My dearest Adria,

Today you are 12 days old.

I asked some of my friends for song suggestions for a playlist for you, and one of them suggested this song, originally from the Disney Dumbo movie, but remade by Allison Kraus--Baby Mine. I have officially fallen in love with this song, and sing and hum it to you all the time, and so far you seem to love it too! It may just end up being "our song".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jg3kWTRKIas&p=72FEBB1A1BB6E110&playnext=1&index=16

Baby mine, don't you cry.
Baby mine, dry your eyes.
Rest your head close to my heart,
Never to part,
Baby of mine.

Little one when you play,
Don't you mind what they say.
Let those eyes sparkle and shine,
Never a tear,
Baby of mine.

If they knew sweet little you,
They'd end up loving you too.
All those same people who scold you
What they'd give just for the right to hold you.

From your head down to your toes,
You're not much, goodness knows.
But you're so precious to me,
Sweet as can be,
Baby of mine.

All those same people who scold you,
What they'd give just for the right to hold you.

From your head down to your toes
You're not much, goodness knows.
But you're so precious to me,
Sweet as can be,
Baby of mine.
Baby of mine

It makes me think of a few different things when I read through those lyrics or sing to you, and I really want to share those thoughts with you.

#1 is that your life isn't going to be perfect. While your dad and I wish we could give you everything, always be with you, and always protect you in this life, we won't be able to do those things. Sometimes it is hurt that makes us who we need to be. I watched the Dumbo movie version of this song on You Tube today, and the scene had the mother elephant separated from Baby Dumbo because someone with the circus had locked her up. By the time you're able to read and understand these letters I'm writing you, you'll be quite separate from me. Just know that I wish I could do everything to always be there and absorb whatever might come your way and hurt you. But it was our choice that we'd rather have you than wait for some artificial semblance of perfection. Your dad and I know that things won't be perfect, and even now they're not as we'd really like them to be. Your dad is away from us working tonight, just like last night, and just like tomorrow night. And when my 12 weeks maternity leave is up, I'll be away from you back at work 5 days a week. But we chose this path with all its imperfections, so we could have you.

#2 is that with all that is in me I want happiness for you. But since we already know that life isn't perfect and hard things will come in your life, your happiness is going to be up to you. I can't imagine anyone not loving you and seeing you the way I do. I want to show you off to everyone because I think you are extraordinary and beautiful and special. But I know that in your life there will be people who miss that. Other kids, bullies, friends, lovers, whomever. It's a fact of life. But you can choose your response to those hurts. Happiness IS a choice, and your happiness is within you to choose. So when life hurts, choose to remember that you are spectacular, you are wonderfully made, and were created in the utmost love. Choose to remember that you have love surrounding you. Choose to believe the best and to keep hoping. Choose to keep loving. Choose happiness. And happiness will come your way.

I love you to the moon and back. I always will. Perfection and happiness aren't mine to give you. But I do give you all the love that I have.

Always,
Your mama

Friday, October 22, 2010

What a beauty!

Our dear family friend Adam Pethel came by yesterday with a truckload of equipment for a little photo shoot with our beauty, and here is a first look at what he got.













Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Baby's First Playlist

1. Three Little Birds--Bob Marley
2. Here Comes The Sun--The Beatles
3. I Got You--Donovan Frankenreiter
4. Better Together--Jack Johnson
5. Coconuts--Widespread Panic
6. My Own Two Hands--Ben Harper
7. Peaches and Cream--John Butler Trio
8. Try--Bebo Norman
9. Teddy Bear--Elvis Pressley
10. Baby Mine--Allison Kraus
11. Wish For You--Faith Hill
12. Georgia Girl--Counting Crows
13. Angel--Shaggy
14. Most Beautiful Girl In The World--Prince
15. Close To You--The Carpenters
16. Stevie Wonder--Isn't She Lovely
17. You are the Best Thing--Ray LaMontagne
18. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun--Cindy Lauper

Week 1 observations

Haven't been able to make it to a computer regularly this past week to make a record of some of the things I've been thinking about, so here some of them are. More just a way for me to think through and treasure up some of the things I've been experiencing, but this does seem like the appropriate place to record them.

I have felt so full and so emotionally in tune this past week that it's startling. I have embarked on an entirely new lifestye and an entirely new journey, and without a moment's hesitation or looking back, I embrace it with all that I have. It feels so natural and like this is what I was made for. I'm so surprised by it, how good and natural it feels. (Even at 3 a.m.) Of course I'm still quite hormonal, but really I've enjoyed the release I get from crying times. They're times when I'm filled up to overflowing, mostly just bursting with love and disbelief at the goodness of the life I've been given. Probably having an aching body and a little exhaustion helps it along, but the times when I'm just so overwhelmed I haven't another option but to cry have felt so good. It's just WORTH feeling every bit of what's happening these days.

I used to joke that men definitely had it easier than women--and really I still belive that. My line was, "they can pee standing up, take their shirts off when they get hot, and they don't have to deal with a menstrual cycle!" But after having carried Adria in my body for 9 months, after having labored many hours with her and then birthing her, and after already countless hours nursing and cuddling her in a way that only a mother is able to do, I have changed my mind. I find myself feeling sorry that Jason can't experince all that I am experiencing, and that he'll never be able to. Perhaps men do still have it easier. No pregnancy. No labor and delivery. No nursing. But how sad for them! What a sad consolation standing to pee is!

I completely love breastfeeding, which is strange to me. A big part of it, I think, is the sweet time we get to spend together, just Adria and myself. She'll do the sweetest or funniest things, and makes the greatest faces, and they're all just for me. I want to take a picture to remember the laughs and warm squishies she gives me just watching her breastfeeding antics, but I'm not too much for indecent exposure, so I'm just trying to remember them and treasure them up. When she starts to get hungry she'll just open and shut her little mouth, sometimes looking like she's smiling to the side, and she'll poke her little tongue in and out. She usuallly does this with wide eyes, and she looks just like a little baby bird when she does it. I CANNOT resist, and know lunchtime will always soon follow. When she finally gets settled in, she's strong enough to bob her head up and down, so with a gaping mouth she'll bang her little head against me until she latches on. She gets so excited about eating! And sometimes, I guess when things are going particularly well for her, with eyes closed and still latched on, she'll almost pull back a little bit and her eyebrows will go up as though someone just told her something very interesting. Eyes closed for this little expression it's as if she's saying, "oh, now that's good!", and it makes me laugh every time! She is a treasure, and I cannot believe I get to be her mommy, and her best provider.

I think she's done very well with establishing nursing and sleeping so far. Still no predictable pattern, but I think that's ok. She'll nurse anywhere from 30 mins to an hour depending on how hungry she is and how long it's been since her last lunch,. She does well with having a little bit of awake time during the days before napping, and we've begun letting her "cry it out" at night. It breaks her daddy's heart, but her mommy thinks it's good for her, and that she needs to learn to settle without ME having to hold her or nurse her to sleep every time. At night we'll go a good 3 hours between feedings--sometimes as much as 4+ hours between feedings. I've probably been a bit negligent during the days about trying to get her fed at more regular intervals so as not to have those funny feedings where she's slept too long during the day so she just can't get enough, and then wants to feed an hour at a time, and about every hour and a half! (Enough of that would wear her poor mommy right out!) Of course she's not sleeping through the night! (Someone actually asked me that--what, are you crazy?) But she's sleeping enough at night that I'm able to get some sleep, and when I wake and see her pretty face, I still feel refreshed. Exhausted by the time I get her back down after a 3 a.m. feeding, but it's amazing what that little face does to me.

I am AMAZED at the amount of diapers we're going through. Everyone warned me, and we've got them stockpiled (in case of nuclear war, we'll be able to hide in a bunker made out of diapers). I seriously want to start looking into cloth diaper options, if for no other reason than the overwhelming amount of trash we're now turning out. We'll see when I'm able to get the time to look into that!

And my last observation for the moment is just how little she is. I've visited with a few friends and their 6 month old babies in these last few days, and am just delighted with my newborn, how sweet and tiny she is. I know she'll grow quickly and it'll be hard to remember her being this tiny, but she's just so sweet and tiny right now. I can cross my arms and put my fingertips to my elbows and she just fits so perfectly. She's also the perfect height and distance to smother her with kisses. Which I'm not sure she likes as much as I do, but at this point, it's just a perk I'm taking advantage of, whether she enjoys it or not. I promised to take good care of her, not to always do what she wants! So... the kisses are a part of it! :)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Letter to Adria (9th letter to my child)

My dearest Adria,

I'm looking at your sweet face as you're dozing in your little bouncer as I'm writing you this letter, and I'm a bit overwhelmed. You are 5 days old today, and already I feel like I'm learning you. Your face is so familiar to me, and yet surprises me every time I see how beautiful you are. I've already grown to love you so much.

You were born on a Monday afternoon on an absolutely beautiful fall day. The moment I saw you I was simply and completely overcome with emotion--I had been in labor for just about 13 1/2 hours, and all at once I opened my eyes and saw you being born, half in, half out! I began to sob uncontrollable happy tears as my heart hurt from bursting with instant love for you. Granted I've loved you since I knew you existed, but having your little form before me crystallized everything I'd been imagining and dreaming and anticipating for 9 months, and finally having you in this world, on my chest and in my arms was too much for me to grasp. It's like I had hoped so much for your arrival, and for it to come true was almost surprising to me when it actually happened.

I don't know if I believe in too much perfection in this world we live in, but everything about you and your birth and the moments that brought you into this world were perfect. People joke about new parents counting all 10 fingers and all 10 toes, which of course I did too, but mostly I was enamored by your face, your perfect little face. I thanked God for you then, and I thank God for you now. He created you perfectly as he wanted, and somehow he also created you perfectly for me too. Nobody in this life is perfect--not me, and time will prove not you either. But your creation was flawless, and you were made and delivered exactly as our Creator wanted.

I suppose you'll be interested in what you were like as a baby. Your cry was so soft and almost hoarse sounding, it was little more than a sweet baby sigh, and just to hear it melted my heart every time. You were strong from the moment of your birth, and I am amazed at the strength with which you can grasp my finger, or even when lying on your stomach on someone's chest, to push up with your arms and lift your head. In fact, just a little bit ago I had you propped up on my shoulder, and you wiggled and moved around until you were lying across my lap, ready to eat! Granted when you're sleepy you're a little rag doll, and neither arms, legs nor head feel like they've got any strength in them at all! You were a voracious eater from the beginning, which took some getting used to, but which has also been a blessing! You and I just fit together so well, and I love the quiet moments we get to spend together while you're eating, the intense look in your beautiful eyes as you just stare at me, or sometimes around the room. I think life surprised you the first few days, what with all of the sounds, lights, and every new experience being your first. But you have already proven that you're strong and capable and can handle what this life throws at you with grace and ease. You've learned things so quickly! I am praying now that those will be characteristics you will continue throughout your life.

I love you from the core of me. As opposed to any other love I've known in this world, which started from the outside and gradually grasped at my core, I started out loving you from my core, and that love is spreading over the rest of me. I am promising you from this date that I'll always love you, and that I'll always do my best to take wonderful care of you, to share whatever wisdom I have with you in love and to help you grow and develop. You are 5 days old today, but I'll love you with this mother-love until the day I die.

Oh, and one last thing--you've got the hiccups.

With all my heart,
your mama

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Announcing the arrival of Miss Adria Marie King! (Birth story--long version!)






Tonight is the first time I've sat down in front of my computer with a little "free time" in just about 4 days. I can understand the biblical reference to Mother Mary "pondering these things in her heart" now in a way that never connected before, but now here I sit, Mother Elizabeth, pondering over the happenings of the last 4 days, and the miraculous arrival of our precious little Adria Marie. Even just beginning to let myself reflect brings a surge of love, and passion, and the glimmer of a tear to my eye. This is her birth story, and since it's also my story, every detail seems precious and important. But I won't get my feelings hurt if you just skim. :)

Sunday was October 10, 2010, and I had thought about how cool it would be for Adria to have the birth date 10/10/10. At church that morning I kept making comments about how I was ready for her to come "today"! But that wasn't what God had in store for us. For us it was 10/11/10.

At 1:12 a.m. I had my first real contraction. I mentioned in my previous post that I'd been having Braxton Hicks, and even a few additional "funny feelings", but Monday morning I could tell the real thing from the false. The doctor had mentioned that "I've found that real labor isn't really subtle, and you'll know when it starts", so for the next few hours I experienced my contractions, dozed in and out of sleep, and watched the clock each time the sensation would hit. For about 5 hours they stayed pretty reasonable, and from about 3:00 on I just floated through the cycle of contraction--conscientious relaxation, deep breathing and counting (the relaxation and deep breathing were from the Bradley method, the counting is definitely mine). 8 minutes apart, pretty regularly. Jason had worked Sunday evening, and literally crawled in the bed about 12:30, so I kept working through the beginning stage of contractions with promises to myself, "I'm waking him up at 4", then, when things hadn't changed too much, "well, 4:30 then." Finally at 6:00 he made a noise, and I couldn't help it any longer. I started with my whispered "are you awake?", and getting no response, started to shake his arm. I'd been rehearsing how I was going to tell him I was in labor, but when it came time, I didn't say what I'd rehearsed. "Baby Adria's going to come today" is what actually came out, and he grunted his response, "okay." Obviously not the most impactful choice of words after all. "I've been having contractions for 5 hours at 8 minutes apart" seemed to have a greater impact.

Jason and I had planned out what we wanted to do for a natural and drug free labor and delivery, and had been preparing for a while. We'd educated ourselves with the Bradley books, I'd been doing exercises, and our plan was, we'd labor at home as long as we could (to avoid even the potential for drugs or intervention), and with contractions at 3 minutes apart and 1 minute long, we'd head to the hospital. I labored until 10, 11, or 12 pretty well, but then the contractions started to get more intense and I was praying for 3 minutes apart to come. Still we rode the wave of each contraction, and they kept varying at 3:30 to 5 or 6 minutes apart. When one would start, I'd tell Jason and try to lie very still and calmly, relaxing especially my abdomen, but really my whole body, and I'd focus on very deep calm breaths while the intensity built low in my abdomen to a strong crescendo, and he'd time them, and encourage me to breathe deeply, that I was doing well, and he'd tell me when 10 seconds had passed, 30 seconds, 45 seconds, almost done, is it dissipating yet, etc. We worked together like that for hours, with some contractions almost double the sharp intensity of others, and a few of them were painful enough to make me sick. A call to the doc early on let him know we were in labor, and he affirmed our plan to wait for 3 minutes apart, 1 minute contractions. But around 1:00 p.m., after about 12 hours of labor, the contractions still weren't steady and regular, and my occasional sickness was concerning to both of us. To tell the truth, I just wanted to get to the hospital in case I really couldn't take it. I was thinking about the pain, and it was getting impossible for me to relax through the contractions anymore--all I could do was focus on the numbers and the knowledge that they would follow the predictable pattern we'd established, start our super intense, pull and hold for about 30-45 seconds, start to dissipate and end usually within a minute or a minute twenty, and then I could try to relax between them again. I knew we still had a car ride to get us to the hospital and wasn't sure how I could manage it, so 3 minutes or not, I told him we needed to go. Poor Jason--here was decision time. Did we stick to the plan or go? He hesitated and just asked me if I was sure. I think we were both thinking back to the Bradley book, so I told him, 15 minutes and then we'll go. I didn't want one crazy hesitation to take away all the work we'd already done!

One funny thing about laboring at home is that you don't know where you're at. You don't get those friendly little visits with the updates: "5 cm, 7 cm, you're almost fully dilated", etc. So Jason and I still didn't know where we were at, just that finally the time was right to go. I struggled down the stairs and into the car while Jason grabbed our things and put Max-dog up. He drove carefully, but still the motion of the car on top of the contractions, which now seemed to be coming on top of one another, and which were impossible to relax through now, threatened to overcome me a few times. We stopped in the elementary school parking lot for me to get through one contraction, and made a few laps around the hospital parking lot before we finally wound our way over to the Women's and Children's Pavilion. (We knew where to go, just not how to negotiate the parking lot!) I was seriously worse for wear by this time, and didn't know what the plan was for me while Jason dealt with the car. He escorted me into the entryway where I promptly sat down and had another contraction while he went to get me a wheelchair. Why was it so hard to pick my feet up and put them on the little platform all of a sudden? It seemed like anything not having to do with getting through the contractions was clumsy and difficult now. I still don't know what happened to the car, but he wheeled me through a set of double doors to a desk labeled "Registration" sitting in front of an empty chair. So there I sat in the wheelchair, still working through contractions the best I could, just waiting for them to resume the 3 minute pattern we had been waiting for all morning! Finally Jason got someone to call for a Triage nurse, and we skipped the desk altogether. Jason told the woman we were at 4 minutes 30 seconds, and she began to roll me straight to a labor and delivery room. Finally I'd be able to settle and resume my work! But then for some reason she was told to still take me to Triage first, so as close as I had been (I could have touched the door!), I began to roll away! I felt something strange as we rolled away from the comfy LDR room and into the stinky little Triage exam room, and in Triage, I changed clothes and was told to check to see if my body turned a certain little piece of paper blue. Turns out the funny feeling was my water breaking, and it happened just in time for me to turn the paper blue and get wheeled BACK to my comfy LDR room!

Ha, comfy LDR room! I had just gotten into the bed when things again seemed to change for me--would I ever be able to resume normal labor?? I had a funny contraction that seemed to convulse my whole body--what was happening to me? Jason asked if the Triage nurse could check where I was at, and she answered with a nervous and shaky sounding kind of "sure". I think she may have been in over her head with us--I don't think we were part of her day to day! She never did say where we were at, but with her "this baby is ready to come" she quit messing with the contraction and baby heart rate monitors and all of a sudden it seemed like an explosion of people entered the room. The background "thump, thump, thump" of Adria's heartbeat was the background music to Jason's hand holding and counting--"breathe through it, baby!", and I really was little aware of what else was going on around me! I looked up at one moment to notice most everyone swarming around with some kind of task--one very nice lady helped direct my foot to the stirrup while another kept trying to plug in those dad-blasted monitors, and I even saw that the doctor had arrived. When I spotted an awfully awkward orderly standing around seeming more taken in by the activity than I was, I decided it was time to close my eyes again.

The funny whole-body-convulsing contractions continued, and for a few moments Jason and I continued, bewildered. It finally got through to us that these were PUSHING contractions, and when the Triage nurse had said "this baby is ready to come" what she meant was, this baby is coming now! I saw Jason speak with the doctor briefly through my fog, and before I knew it he was donning gloves and moving to the head of the bed next to the doctor. In his place a very nice blond woman came to hold my hand, and the next thing I knew (body still involuntarily convulsing), the woman at my leg on the left leaned in and told me, "you can deliver this baby on your next contraction." I guess I finally realized me and my body were already pushing the baby out, and I suppose I had already been following the enormous and irresistible urges to push. Between contractions (NOW there's a break in contractions, huh?) there was general calm commentary about how far along we had been at the house, that we had been waiting for 3 minutes, and wasn't it a good thing we'd left to come when we had, and how startling and amazing all of this turn of events had been! There was even a little irony that even now the contractions weren't coming regularly--a fact I was almost embarrassed about, since now we'd all gathered for the big show! Shortly after that though, another contraction began, and I tried to focus on the instructions that were being shouted at me as I just did what my body had already started and what everyone was shouting at me--PUSH! I was still keenly aware of Jason--he was my lifeline and my coach, after all, and I didn't know the rest of these folks--and I realized that it was HE who was performing at the head of the bed, with the careful instruction of the doctor! I was doing everything I could to push the baby, and there was Jason, doing everything he could to help me and to help the baby come out!

I more remember the feeling of Adria crowning, of her little head coming all the way out, followed by her little shoulders and arms than remember seeing it happen. I feel like I opened my eyes in the middle of this whirlwind, and there was my baby, partly brought into the world as I still labored, and I couldn't fathom it. She was really here, she was really out, this work was really bringing her home to us. One final hurrah and she was out and born, and overwhelmed and overcame, I started to cry--hard, body-rocking, overwhelmed tears of joy. I just couldn't make sense of it all, the whole day's events, God's grace and mercy and perfect provision for our labor at home, for leaving when we did to make it to the hospital, for the worst of labor/transition to happen in the car on the way to the hospital, for the delivery to go so quickly and seamlessly, for Jason to get to deliver our child, and for the perfect little body that was laid on my chest, crying right along with me.

Adria Marie King was born at 2:38 p.m. 10/11/10, weighing 8 lbs 3 oz, 20 inches long. We labored at home for 12 hours, and within one hour of arriving at the hospital, and within 3 pushing contractions, she was born! She is strong and beautiful. She is healthy and happy. We are still learning each other, but we are already learning each other. I continue to be surprised at the delight she brings, and how I am newly impressed and taken in each time I get to really observe her. I don't believe in too much perfection in this present world, but am confident in the Lord that she is perfect. Our experience was perfect. Because it was unquestionably from the Lord, bringing our little Adria Marie into this world was perfect.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

1 week and counting

PERHAPS I should have posted yesterday, in case anyone were wondering if it was just another blase blah doctor's appointment this week or if anything were really happening! But--like so many things these days, it just didn't happen! ***But, so as not to draw this out in case anyone is STILL wondering, it WAS just another doctor's appointment yesterday--no dilation, and still just 50% effaced.***

Not really any big deal, especially considering we're not due until next Friday. She's still got another week to cook, so it seems like my baby wants to be slow-roasted to perfection! She's still been acting the same, and I still feel the same, so I'm sure she's not coming just yet.

My mom and I decided that she COULD just be waiting for me to pack my bag for the hospital, and she was just staying put because she knew that despite my confident "yes, I think we're ready, I just want her to come!"s, she knew we weren't really. "Ready mom? What am I going to wear home from the hospital, hmm? Have you thought about that yet? And will you finally put my special little seat in the car??" Jason has since installed the car seat, and I have since packed our bags, so I can now say with confidence, "yes, I think we're ready, I just want her to come!"

It's a mixed bag of emotions, really. I truly do want her out, and want to experience and know and love my little baby in my arms now. I want to kiss her face and count her fingers and toes and snuggle her warm cuddly baby body. But I know that I will miss her wiggles in my belly, and even the sharp pangs she's been giving me in my hips lately. I'll miss being THIS close to her. On top of that--I really don't know what to do with a little baby! (I ease that concern by reminding myself--change her, love her, feed her, and I think between Jason and myself we can handle that...) And I suppose the icing on this mixed bag of emotions is the curiosity and anxiety about labor itself. Although as I've said before, crazy or not, I'm not really worried or scared, but more curious and looking forward to it. Still, it IS a mixed bag...

I HAVE been having contractions what seems like all the time. But at this point I think they're still just the Braxton Hicks--not a lot of umph behind them, and I'm told that generally true labor isn't subtle! But it's been enough to get me excited and to get my mind wondering what, when, how... etc. I've pretty much got things wrapped up at work, so that's one thing I won't have to worry about the next few weeks. I'm not sure if I'll be out altogether for maternity leave starting on Monday, or if I'll be in and out, kind of part time. I have a ton of things I still could do at home while we're waiting (like groceries, cleaning, the laundry, TAKING A NAP, etc.) But in any event, I don't have to worry about work anymore, so that's a good thing. I suppose the thing about babies is, you can never really know what to expect, so being open and prepared may be the order of the day.

Little Baby Adria--I know that I don't know exactly what all this looks like, but I think we're open and prepared! We're ready for your arrival! Come on out!

Man, I already love this little munchkin!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Call me Mrs. King!

Well, after 2 years, 9 months, and 15 days of glorious wedded bliss, today I finally officially changed my name to Elizabeth Jeannette King! I'm officially a King! It's almost embarrassing how easy it was to swing by the Social Security office for a half an hour this morning, marriage license in tow, to make the change official. I suppose because it was so easy to change things at the bank and credit card, insurance, and utility companies, I just wasn't motivated to go, sit, and "fight" with Social Security, but apparently I didn't have anything to worry about!

Another irony I noticed today is that even though I prioritized changing my name officially before Baby King joined us for her birth certificate, I noticed on mine (kept in the same place as the marriage license) that my mom's maiden name was listed! It would be truly ironic if I finally made the change for the purposes of Adria's birth certificate, and were still listed as Peters anyway.

I have to laugh at myself, and the reactions of my close friends, because seriously--2 years, 9 months, and 15 days? That was definitely 2 tax seasons! I suppose now I should also update my driver's license and passport (like I'm going anywhere anytime soon), but it seemed like the only inconvenience happened at tax time, and even then I just had to remember to sign "Peters" instead of King.

Ah well--it's finally done! (I did THINK about going to the DMV today as well, but decided to wait for a day when I felt prettier--license picture and all!) Anyway--you can now officially call me Mrs. King!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Opinions

I will always remember the wisdom of my 8th grade Sunday school teacher--"opinions are like butt holes... everybody's got one, but that doesn't mean you should share them!"

MY opinion is that THIS little mama and baby are doing just fine--so "don't jump!", "don't bend over!", and "don't dance!" are little pieces of advise that will fall by the wayside!

Had a GREAT time at a friend's wedding last night where I did all of those things, and then came home to sleep like a champ! Turns out I didn't dance the baby out after all! (I WILL admit that Adria seemed to have quite the reaction to all the dancing, and ended up dancing herself for most of the rest of the night! I didn't keep it up forever, but there are some experiences, like being 9 mos pregnant and dancing at your dear friend's wedding, that are irresistible!)

And that's MY opinion!

Love y'all, Lizzy and Austin!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Obligatory weekly update

I suppose as we're coming down the home stretch in this pregnancy, I feel all the more as if I should keep people updated about how things are progressing for me and Baby Adria. I enjoy the kindness of my friends and family asking how we're doing, and besides TIRED!!!, the answer has consistently been very good.

At my 38 week appointment this morning, we're still not dialated at all, which means Adria continues just slow cooking to perfection. I feel as though letting people know that helps them to relax around me, and may take some stress or expectations off me as well--neither I nor anyone else is ready to hit the "Panic! It's time!" button just yet.

I AM a bit more uncomfortable, have a bit more trouble putting on shoes, reaching things off the floor, etc, and the belly actually aches a little more than it has before. Adria is stronger than ever, of course, and has been exercising her little hands, knees and feet daily in my abdomen (which may contribute to the aches!), and the added weight I'm carrying around is making it harder to get comfortable to sleep--mostly in my hips--but for now we're both just slow cooking and continuing to prepare. Things like doing the dishes, sweeping the floor and putting my shoes away have taken a back seat to getting a good meal and a good nap, but I don't mind that too terribly much. I don't think Jason does either.

But there are a few things I need to get done. I wish I had more focus at work to really wrap things up. And as a small confession--I still haven't changed my name officially from when Jason and I were married over two and a half years ago, and I really want to do that before Adria comes and any names are placed on her birth certificate! I feel like I need to get a diaper pail for the nursery and maybe do another load of laundry or two of her tiny sizes we'll use at first. I still have to pack my hospital bag, and may still need to search out the perfect homecoming outfit for her. Oh, and I want to clean my car! But, if she comes at any time we'll be ready for her. Still it's nice to know I have a bit longer to prepare, though.