Friday, July 30, 2010

Happy 1st Week Gracie!!!

Well, it has been one week since Gracie Elisabeth has entered our life and hearts:o) She has been such a delight! A rather easy baby...she is often content while awake and alert, sleeps very peacefully (except for one night when gas from mommy's spicy sausage dinner kept her awake!). She loves to cuddle with her mommy and daddy, stare contemplatively at the world around her, and poop. A lot. She poops very frequently!! LOL. The baby books say to expect her to poop a few times a day but possibly not for a day or two. Our champion goes 8-10 times per day! Yay!
Here is a quick summary of the past weeks events:
Monday, we went for a walk in the park. Grace slept the whole time, but mommy and daddy enjoyed it!!
Tuesday, we went on our first outing to the pediatrician, where Grace was announced in great health, having gained 7 ounces since her check-up at the hospital on Sunday.
Wednesday, Gracie smiled. Really!! She was in her little gymini thing gazing around, when her hand accidentally hit a dangling toy. Grace started, stared at the waving object intently, and accidentally hit the object again. I know she did not hit it intentionally, but after she did, and she saw that it was waving again, her eyes opened wide, her eyebrows went up, and a huge smile entered her face, where it stayed until she looked around and found the mirror that was hanging.
Thursday, Mommy was making a funny little noise and swooping her face close to Gracie, when Grace's eyebrows rose and she stuck her tongue out. It made me laugh so hard!! She did it over and over, whenever I made the noise:o)
Friday, ONE week birthday!! Had a cluster of feedings between 10 and 12:45 and then slept until 6:15 am!!! Mommy slept through the alarm to wake up at 4:15, and Gracie woke up on her own and hungry. Mommy felt so rested, and Grace did not seem any worse for wear waiting so long in between:o)

Finally, here are a few pics to share from the past week...I really enjoy photography and Grace has been an excellent subject:o)

Monday, July 26, 2010

She's Here!!!

Grace Elisabeth Smith

Born July 23, 2010
at 9:08 AM
Weighing in at 8 lbs 4 oz
19 inches long


Our sweet little girl is here!!
This post will just be about her actual birth, and at the end of her first week, I will write an update (and add tons of new pics, I am sure!!)

It all started Wed night. I had a couple of incidents where I thought that maybe I had either accidentally peed myself or that my amniotic fluid might be leaking. After two more incidents the next morning, I called my midwives and they had me come in to test the liquid.

Sure enough, my waters had ruptured, but since it had been over 12 hours at that point and labor had not started, I had to go pretty quickly to labor and delivery at the Reading Hospital. The urgency was because I was positive for Group Beta Strep, which is common and unharmful to pregnant women, but needs to be treated with antibiotics during labor to prevent baby from getting sick. Having ruptured membranes increases the chanc eof baby being infected (she is fine though!!)
We got there around 5 pm, and they started an IV and penicillin and gave me prostaglanden gel to see if things would progress on its own around 8 pm.. It did!! Around 1:50 am, I began having intense contractions, and from that point on, things were in full swing. I went into the hospital 2 cm dilated, 30 % effaced, and Gracie at -2 engaged. By 5:30 pm, my body was pretty ready, physically- I was dilated to 6 or 7 and fully effaced with good strong contractions, but Grace was till at -2.

It was around then that the midwife suggested that I start preparing for the possibility of a c-section, because although my contractions were great, they weren't pushing the baby down at all and she was beginning to get distressed, although nothing yet to be worried about. At 7:30, she suggested we try an epidural as a last ditch effort to move things along for a vaginal birth, and that way I would be prepped for a c-section if needed. She was not hopeful it would work though because it appeared that my bones were not working for the shape of Grace's head to come down, and while you cna relax muscles, you can't really change bones. Also, although she was still not in the danger zone, Grace was beginning to have swelling on her head due to pushing so hard. Little girl REALLY tried hard to come down!!

Getting an epidural was those of you who strongly advocated it, I think you might all be crazy...but I think that part of it was that the way it made me feel is what I suspected, and I don't like not feeling in control of my body. Also, it was very difficult to receive a spinal shot while having a strong contraction and not move. This is the part I would like to forget soon:o)

Moving Dr. Cammarano came in to check me around 8 or 8:30, and decided that I could try for a little while to labor or get the c-section now. I decided to have the c-section though, because of both his/ the midwife's concern over the baby's heart rate, and also realizing that while my dream was to have a natural birth, I couldn't do anything in my power to get Grace down in the right position. God was very kind to meet me there in the decision, because I knew that it would be best for Grace- she was already trying so hard and my body was doing what it was supposed to, but we weren't able to do it together, so I just wanted to get to meet her.

The c-section operation went very quickly..I was in at 8:55 am, and she came out crying at 9:08 am. Brian was able to cut her cord and hold her, while I was being stitched up, and my mom was there too. Within the hour the nurse brought Grace to me, and I was able to hold her and start nursing. ACTUALLY, GRACE started nursing...I was about to try some of the coaxing techniques as the nurse handed her to me, and she just leaned her head forward and found what she was looking for!! The nurse called her a little piranha, I think she just practiced sucking her thumb a lot in utero...she is quite the pro!!!

So now, we are all doing well, and home...Grace has been very impressive with her eating, sleeping and bowel movements. Also, while she has her occasional moments of a meltdown (usually once a day, somewhere between 2 am and 4 am), she is over all a very content and alert baby!! We are so blessed by her:o)

Finally, we wanted to share about why we chose Grace Elisabeth for her name. As soon as I saw the positive pregnancy test, I asked Brian if we could have Grace somewhere in her name, and he thought it was great and the first name he suggested when I asked what other name he liked was Elisabeth....So Grace Elisabeth because it reminds us of God's unmerited favor towards us at the cross. We deserve nothing and he gave us everything. We have seen additional blessing through Grace...who I did not think I could John the Baptist's mother, Elizabeth, I was so surprised to find out I was pregnant due to some medical difficulties. But God allowed me to carry her to term and have a healthy little girl...We specifically chose the spelling of Elisabeth with an S because Elisabeth Elliot's name is spelled that way and we hope she will grow to be a Godly woman just like her.

Thank you to Dr. C and my midwives, Jennifer and guys were awesome and made my baby's birth, which was NOT the way I planned, sweet better than I had hoped given the various circumstances that were arising!!

Can't wait for all of you to meet Gracie!!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Psalm 127:3A

"Behold, children are a gift of the Lord." (NASB)

This is the verse that came to our mind as we pondered our impending parenthood, shortly after seeing the "Yes" on the pregnancy test stick. Both Brian and I desired children and had talked it over prior to our marriage, but we also thought we wanted to wait. Not long, mind you, but until the new year- for financial reasons, slightly, but more so we could have "our time." I personally did not want to subject Brian to the hormonal roller coaster that would be inevitable with pregnancy, at least not until he got to know the "real me," for a while.

So, it did come as a mild, sort-of, surprise for us when we had a positive pregnancy test after a mere 6 weeks of being married. That certainly was sooner than we had planned!! But the Lord determines our lot...and ultimately it is good and right. I was worried that Brian might feel anxious or angry at the timing, but he very quickly reminded me that God plans our days and that He desired for this time for us. What a blessing my husband is:o) And so, the previous 9 months happened...we weathered being pregnant while learning to live with and love each other...Brian ended up seeing the "real me" after all- my sinfulness, my fears, my joys, etc., even while under hormonal attack (and I learned who he really was...) and we grew together as a couple, constantly reminding each other that God was for us and stronger than the one against us, and that in July, we would be holding our sweet little daughter.

Now, it is July, and we are just praying and waiting. Counting down the days till our "gift" is here- Little Baby G, we can not wait to hold you, kiss you, teach you, love you, and to experience you. We can not wait to see the person God knitted you as in my womb!!!!

As an update for all you other Baby G waiters, we do have a maximum "end in site." If she does not come by God's will by August 1, we will be induced at 8 am on August 2. However, I have been experiencing some contractions and am hopeful that she will arrive prior!! We will keep you updated!!