Today Juju Bug is 3 weeks old.  Which puts her at exactly 2 weeks older than her new friend Colby

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Wow – it feels like it’s been so much longer than 3 weeks. 

Some of the (affectionate) names we’ve given her:
– Curds & Turds (this should be pretty self-explanatory.  If you do, however, need further clarification, you can see Michelle and Alex, who are well acquainted with this name.)
– Stinky Face (we call her this when she clearly needs a bath…)
– Pretty Face (for when she’s not stinky…)

Some of the fun things we’ve done with her:
– West Chester Grower’s Market on Saturdays.  This is a very fun thing for me to bring my little love to.  She sleeps in her stroller while I browse the local produce.  Perfect Saturday morning activity for mom and girlie.
– Wedding!  Mike’s cousin got married last Friday, and little girlie got to tag along.  She did fabulously. 
– Church.  She sleeps through the entire thing.  What more could we ask for?
– Bath time.  She loves it!!  Which is a good thing, because she often needs it 😉
– Baby Quake.  This is where Mike puts her on our bed and then jumps up and down so the effect is quite like a trampoline.  We are not sure what exactly she thinks of it, but she doesn’t cry, so that’s promising at least 😉
– First trip to Trader Joe’s.  I’m training her young.

I would not have survived these past few weeks without help from my amazing family and friends (my mom and mom-in-law in particular!).  Thank you to all who have made meals, babysat, shared advice, helped care for Julia, and just been my friend.  I thank God for each one of you! 

And, now for the birth story.  Ange gave birth only a week ago and has already posted hers, so I feel like I’m dragging behind!!  Here goes…

6:30pm on Tuesday, July 13th: the contractions started.  But I’d had contractions that had lasted 8 hours before, so I wasn’t quick to assume anything, even though I was 3 days past due.  I’d been to my OB that afternoon and at the time I was 3 cm and 50-60% effaced.  But that didn’t mean anything.  I figured we’d just wait it out and see if anything came of it.  So we made a pizza and Mike ran out to get candy.  I realize that is random.  But that’s what we did. 

By 8pm the contractions were pretty painful, but still I assumed I’d have to wait several hours to figure out if they were headed anywhere.  We put on Psych.

By 9:15pm I told Mike I was calling my doctor.  I’d started to have a lot of pressure, and I wanted to just see what she thought.  I’d rather be thought silly than end up delivering a baby at home.  Trust me, that would be good for NOBODY. ;)  My doc listened and said it sounded like I was in labor, so I should come in.  We packed our bags quickly and were headed to the hospital by 9:30pm.  At this point Mike texted our parents to tell them what was up but to not assume anything (and to not drive anywhere!) – we might just get sent home.  (Though I was praying the whole time, “Please don’t let me get sent home!!”)

We got to the hospital, parked, and only grabbed a few things out of the car.  If I was going to get sent home, I didn’t want to drag in my traveling circus only to have to pack it up again and look like twice the idiot that I was ;)  Then, as we were walking in, we saw another couple LEAVING with all their pillows and bags in tow…and she was still PREGNANT!  I gave Mike a panicked look, but he just grabbed my hand and drug me towards the hospital entrance.  Well, I thought, at least if I got sent home I wouldn’t be the first tonight!

We got settled in and the nurse checked me – I was still only 3 cm (the same I’d been at the doc that day.)  She told us to walk around the hallways for 40 mins and see if anything progressed.  I told her I didn’t want to go home.  She told me not to think about it, that we’d cross that bridge when we came to it. 
So we walked.  It was a very boring and painful 40 minutes.  They really should have a track or something for laboring women to walk – at least then they can keep track of how far they’ve walked! :) 
When we finally went back to my room after 40 mins, the nurse checked me again and I had progressed to 4 cm!  She looked at me and said, “That’s enough for you to stay!  You’re having a baby tonight!”  I couldn’t believe my ears.  I had to lean over and ask Mike if she’d said what I thought she’d just said.  Once he confirmed, I said “Ok!  You can text people!” :)  I did consider whether any of our friends would be annoyed at receiving a midnight text message, but I figured either A) they wouldn’t be or B) they would be but would never say anything because who says that to a laboring woman?  And that’s how that matter was settled.

Now about this time is when I realized I would be having a baby.  And that this hurt.  Now, I had considered seeing how I did and whether or not I could survive without an epidural. 

…………

I can hear many of you laughing.  That’s ok.  I am laughing now too.

Let’s just say, by midnight the only thing I was even remotely interested in was the exact whereabouts of the anesthesiologist.  That’s all I wanted to know.  And when he finally showed up, I decided this was the best decision I made that night.  I respect all you ladies who can do it naturally, but I cannot, and I had zero complications, so I am a happy girl for choosing how I did.

Transition?  I have no idea what you’re talking about. 🙂

After I got the epidural, we just had to wait.  They gave me some pitocin to keep things going, and told me to sleep.  Sleep?  Yeah right!  I was like a kid on Christmas Eve!  I tried as much as I could, but sleep would not come.  So I sucked on ice chips and just lay there, not believing this was actually happening! 

Around 4:30am my parents showed up.  I told them not to, but they insisted!  They both slept in the waiting room!  It was so good to see them. 

It was also about this time that my doctor broke my water.  I was 5 cm but not much had been happening, and Julia was still sitting very high.  Once my water broke, I dilated steadily, but Julia remained very high.  Even at 7 and 8 cm my doctor couldn’t understand why she wasn’t descending – it seemed as if she’d actually moved further UP since arriving at the hospital!  It was at this time that I asked what would happen if she didn’t drop, and they said a C-section wasn’t out of the question.  As long as I continued to progress and the baby wasn’t in distress, they’d let me go as long as I wanted before doing a C-section, but the possibility scared me.  So we prayed and asked other to as well! 
I continued to dilate , and around 9am I started feeling the need to push.  My nurse checked me and sure enough I was 10 cm, but Julia was still very high.  She told me that I could start to push, but that I might have to do so for a long time.  I just kept praying.  Then my OB came in and when she checked me, Julia’s head had dropped!  40 minutes later, Julia was born. 

It was an insane and incredible experience.  Mike was the best coach ever.  And God was as faithful as ever. 

We are still adjusting to having a baby, and it’s been difficult for me at times – just lots of fears, anxieties, uncertainties.  Most of them the result of baby blues and not reality, thank the Lord.  There have been many tears, but there have also been new mercies for each day.  And the mercies have been greater than the tears. 
God has been my faithful strength for each day.  Mike has been my rock, steady and strong at every turn.  The other day he said, “Babies make marriage sweeter.”  It is so true.  I love him more now than I ever have.
It’s an exciting but daunting journey we have ahead of us, but I’m so glad I get to experience it with the two loves of my life.  With God by our side, I’m confident we’ll not just make it, but that we’ll love every minute of it. 

We love you, Julia!  Happy 3-Week-Birthday, my love.DSC06297 DSC06298

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