Monday, December 22, 2014

Wells is SIX Months!

 You just sit here and catch up on Wells' 6-month activities while I ponder just where in the world exactly did half a year just go!

Weighs: Since I am doing this a week late, I can report his official 6-month appointment weight. Drumroll please...18lbs 5oz. He is in the 70th percentile for weight and 90th for height. What a little giant I have birthed!

Sleeps: I think that Wells finds it amusing to just switch up his sleeping patterns - you know, just for funsies :) Some nights he only wakes up 1-2 times, and then sometimes he throws a curveball into the mix and wakes up every or almost every hour. Rude. I just read the other day that babies his age are mostly sleeping through the night. My baby, however, just cannot fathom the thought of missing a meal while he sleeps, I guess.

Eats: This kid can put some food away. He is still eating his purees, but we have started a few other things as well. He now eats Puffs and loves them. He can eat tablefood, as well, if it is mushed up or small enough. I will let him bite off bits of banana and avocado, and he does very well. We let him gnaw on a pizza crust the other day, too. He wants to eat big people food SO BAD. But he is so eager that he will bite off more than he can chew (literally) and gag. So, I watch him like a hawk and don't leave his side when he is eating solids. He still loves drinking from a cup if you have one. So, I have started giving him sips of water while he eats his meals so he can get in the habit of doing so and also work on his sipping skills :)

Wears: A wide variety of sizes! He can wear his 6-month clothes, but he can also wear 9-month and 12-month items. He is still in a size 3 diaper.

Plays: Wells is officially sitting up on his own! He had been doing the tripod sit for a couple of weeks. But one day while he was tripod sitting in the nursery playing, he just arched his back and sat up straight like he had been doing it for years. He still loves to bounce. He is laughing up a storm too, which of course we love. Eric acts like a crazy person just to get a laugh out of him - it is the cutest. I am starting to see that Wells has preferences of toys now - there are a few favorites that he prefers over others. He is really at such a fun age right now, and we LOVE playing with him all the time.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Wells is FIVE Months!

Wow, I am getting pretty bad at posting these on time, as Wells has been five months for almost a week and a half now. But hey, better late than never! I know I say it every month, but time is flying! When I took his 5-month picture, it literally felt like I had JUST taken his 4-month one a few days earlier. I cannot handle it - time has got to go a little slower!

And here are the 5-month pictures (PS - I love the last one...where Wells is clearly saying, "Who are you, and why are you in my chair?"):

Weighs: A whopping 17lbs 5oz! Yes, friends, he has gained a pound a half in a month. What a chunk.

Sleeps: Hmmm....I think that we are officially out of the sleep regression phase. However, little mister is not quite  back to his formerly awesome sleeping ways. We are still getting up about 3 times a night. Not ideal. But also not as bad as it was last month. So, here's hoping it continues to get better! As far as naps go, he is pretty much finally on a set schedule. During the week, he wakes up when we load him into the car to head to work. He usually stays awake during the ride. Once my mom picks him up from me at work, he may fall asleep on the way to her house. He will typically take a short morning nap, ranging anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. His next nap is his longer one of the day that lasts around 1.5 to 2 hours (sometimes longer). This usually happens around noonish until 2pm. He has started to also take a little cat nap on our way home in the afternoon as well. This nap is only about 20-30 minutes. Our weekends are so varied, this schedule doesn't stick as well on Saturdays and Sundays. He follows the same short nap, long nap, short nap again pattern, but the times are different, as we may be out running errands on Saturday and are at church and small groups Sunday morning and night. One sleep habit that Wells has is that he likes to have a blanket touching his face. He doesn't HAVE to have it in order to go to sleep, but he likes to have one. He will either rub it on his face or just let it rest on his face. It is super cute.

Eats: A champion eater, my boy is! Breastmilk is still his main source of nutrition, but the boy loves to eat food, too! Wells eats a "meal" in the morning around 9:00 of cereal mixed with breastmilk (and sometimes pureed fruit as well). In the evenings, he eats another "meal" of cereal with breastmilk and pureed veggies. He has eaten apple and banana through a handheld mesh strainer as well - but it is kind of hard for him to maneuver since it flops over if not filled to the brim. Wells has recently been reaching for EVERYTHING that we eat or drink. He took a pretzel stick right out of Eric's hand the other day. If you are holding him and eating or drinking, he wants to eat and drink, too!

Wears: Wells can still wear some of his smaller items, but I'd say we are in 6-month clothes for the most part. He can wear some 6-9mo sized stuff as well. The pants he wore for Halloween were a size 12mo because that was the only size left...let's put it this way, they were a little long, but the waist was pretty accurate :) This month, we have moved into size 3 diapers.

Plays: I love playing with this little guy. He is so much fun these days. He LOVES to jump. If you are holding him while you are sitting down, he will most likely want to stand on your lap and bounce. Obviously, his jumparoo sees a lot of action these days. He is still not a fan of tummy time, but I'd say he is getting a little bit better at it. He will at least do it for a minute or so (if we are lucky!). Ha! He has gotten better at rolling over - he rolls from his tummy to his back pretty well but has not rolled from his back to tummy yet. He still likes to grab his feet (they made it into his mouth for the first time the other day). He likes to talk, especially early in the morning on our way to work. He is not so crabby when in the Bumbo seat anymore - as long as you give him a toy to play with.  Sometimes I put him in the walker when I am in the kitchen, and he can get around a little bit while in it. When I put the walker in the living room, though, he feels with his feet that he is on the carpet and tries to jump (I guess because his jumparoo that hangs in the doorway of his nursery is on carpet. He feels the carpet and starts bouncing!). So, the walker stays in the kitchen, where apparently he knows not to jump on the hard floor :) Wells still loves bath time and being outside. He officially can choose one toy over the other now, too. The other day he was playing with a toy, and it fell. When I handed him another one, he got upset and looked for the other toy. He was fine once I gave him the first one back :)

Welp, another month is over. Next month, my little Wellsie Man will be HALF A YEAR. If anyone needs me, I'll just be crying in the corner.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Wells is FOUR months!

Well, well, well, here we are again. Another  monthly update (about a week late. oops.). Is it just me or do these things come quicker with every month?! Four months...crazy. 

At the end of his fourth month,Wells...

Weighs:15 lbs and 14 oz as of his 4-month appointment. Yeah, let's just go ahead and round that up to 16lbs :) He is still my big boy, and I love each roll! He is actually only in the 50-60th percentile for weight, which was a shocker (especially when he gained half a pound in the span of 8 days last week!). And he is in the 80th percentile for length; maybe he'll be tall like his Daddy.
Sleeps: I do not even want to talk about it....but I will. Wells has always been SUCH a good sleeper, that is until about 3-4 weeks ago (I guess right after the last monthly update where I raved about him being down to one nightly feeding). All of a sudden, my little sleeping cherub turned into a little lunatic. A lunatic, I tell  you! There were some nights where he literally woke up EVERY. STINKING. HOUR. Apparently, many babies go through a sleep regression phase around 4ish months. That would have been nice to know. Wells has just now pretty much gotten over this little phase (Praise the Lord!). All in all, it lasted about 3 weeks. I am soooooo thankful that he is getting back in to his old routine. Each night he seems to be getting better, and I hope we get back to that once-a-night feed again soon. You truly know you're a mom when you have been up at all hours of the night (literally, ALL hours) and you still feel nothing but happiness when you wake up to that sweet baby in the morning.
Eats: Wells has continued happily eating his cereal, and as of about 2 weeks ago, we started solid foods with the go-ahead from our pediatrician. Let me just say, boy is loving his new foods! I am making all of his baby food right now, and it may just be my new obsession. I am adding spices to many of his foods per a really great website that I found. I want him to learn to like different foods, and so far, he is doing great! So far, Wells has had carrot puree with nutmeg, banana mash, sweet pea puree with parsley, apple puree with cinnamon, and avocado banana puree. We finished our 3-day stint of avocado banana puree today (waiting 3 days before introducing a new food in case of allergies) and will start sweet potatoes with curry tomorrow. Yum! (Side note: I know that we started foods on the earlier end of the spectrum, but we did so with our doctor's permission. I felt that Wells was ready to start foods, and I have learned that, as a mother, you know your child and his/her abilities and limitations best.)
Wears: Surprisingly enough Wells can still fit in many of his 3 month clothes. We have moved into the 3-6 month section of the closet, though :) And he has worn a couple of 6 month items. I am about to have to retire all of the adorable 3 month footie pajamas that I like to dress him in for bed because his feet look like they are about to pop through the fabric! Baby boy is still in a size 2 diaper.
Plays: Such a playful little fella these days! He has gotten very good at grabbing his toys now. When you put a toy in front of him, he immediately grabs it and puts it in his mouth, If you are playing with him, he is full of big smiles. He doesn't laugh all the time, but when you figure out what he finds funny on a certain day and keep doing whatever it is, he will laugh over and over and over again, which is just the best! He has recently discovered his feet, and loves to grab them, especially when he is laying on his back. Wells is still not a big fan of tummy time, but he did roll over (from tummy to back) for the first time while we were at his 4-month checkup. What a show off! He has tried out the Bumbo seat again (after a long boycott) and doesn't seem to mind it too much.  Bath time is still one of his favorite times, and he just cannot get enough of being outside. He loves to stand while someone holds his hands. Once he gets up on his feet, he smiles the biggest, proudest smile. It is the cutest. He is so happy just to stand and/or jump - in fact, he tried the jumparoo today and had a blast! I predict someone is going to be an early walker! :)

My Wells really is growing up so fast. I love watching him explore, learn, play, and grow with each new day. Happy 4 months, my little buddy!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Wells is THREE months!

3 Months. Say it ain't so. Here's what little big man has been up to...

At the end of his third month,Wells...
Weighs:13 lbs at his 2nd month appointment. When people ask how old he is, we always get a "he's a big boy" response. Yeah, yeah, we know ;)
Sleeps: This month, my little fella dropped a night feeding, leaving us with only ONE nighttime feeding! Woohoo! Bedtime is a little earlier now than last month, with Wells going to sleep somewhere in the 8:00 or early 9:00 hour. He wakes up to eat around somewhere in the 2:00-4:00 vicinity, depending on what time he went to sleep. He still nurses to sleep, unless he has eaten recently, in which case a paci is all he needs. I still wake him up around 6:30 for a very quick feed before we leave for work so that in case he decides to wake up for the day on the car ride to work, he isn't crying for food for 30 minutes. No one wants to start the day off that way! :) Sometimes he wakes up with us and stays awake, and sometimes he goes right back to sleep in the car - it really varies from day to day. For a while this month, Wells decided he would boycott napping. The boycott is over, but he definitely doesn't nap like a newborn anymore. More catnaps now - not the long napping he used to do.
Eats: We had quite an eventful month in this department, to say the least. Because Wells is such a big eater, I decided that I would start the supplement Fenugreek to increase my milk supply even more. I was making enough but wanted to make more. A few days after I started taking the Fenugreek, Wells went crazy! Like colic on steroids. He cried for most of that weekend. Horrible gas pains and fussiness like you wouldn't believe! I finally figured out that it may be the Fenugreek that was making him that way. Sure enough, I looked it up, and Fenugreek has that effect on about 20% of babies. I stayed home from work with him after the weekend for a day since he wasn't feeling well. I decided to give him formula for that one day so that I could pump new milk to give to my mom (because I had to dump the milk I had saved from when I was on the Fenugreek. Talk about a hard thing to do!). Wouldn't you know that my child is allergic to formula! I am really not surprised since I have allergies and was actually allergic to formula as a baby, too. Poor guy - he had a rough 4 or 5 days that week. We are back on track now, and he is feeling much better. He is still quite the eater. Such an eater, in fact, that he started cereal last week. I didn't want to give it to him yet, but he is always wanting to eat. I know it isn't a supply issue, as he has NO problems gaining weight :) He's just an eater! He is doing great with the cereal so far, and I am so excited to start making baby food that he will most likely start eating next month!
Wears: Still wearing 3-month clothes. This weekend I washed all of his 3-6 month clothes, and he is now wearing those as well. We are still using disposable diapers until we run out of the ones we were blessed with at our showers and will then attempt to switch to cloth. Wells is still in a size 2 diaper.
Plays: So fun to play with this little guy. His smile is the cutest thing ever! Eric and I love to make silly faces and voices and basically do anything to get a smile out of him. He also laughed for the first time a couple of weeks ago. It is not a regular thing yet, but when he does it, I just die! Sooooo cute! One of his favorite toys is a little circular rattle that he got as a gift at a shower. He will sit and stare at it forever. He has started to grab things a little bit. If there is a blanket on top of him, he is sure to grab it the entire time and pull on it. I think I am going to start giving him one of his little blankie/love toys to hold onto since he loves to grab at his blanket all the time. He still loves bath time and being outside.

Wells has been a busy bee this month - laughing, grabbing, starting cereal! Month number three has been a good one :)

Sunday, September 7, 2014

So, This is Being a Mom, Huh?

It was the other night, after stepping in baby poop (yes, you read that correctly), that I thought about how much my life has changed in the last 2.5 months. As in, pre-momma Stephanie would not recognize a single thing about this new life! ...No really.

The cloud of selfishness that surrounded me a mere few months ago is pretty much gone. Okay, maybe the cloud is more a of a cloudlet.. But, gosh, do you forget all about yourself once you birth a human! And that selflessness is not on just one level; it's on OH SO many!

I mean, it all really starts in the moments leading up to the arrival of the little bundle of joy, right there under the bright lights of the hospital room. You don't know complete disregard of your own feelings and inhibitions until you are on all fours in a hospital bed with your closest friends and family taking turns rocking you back and forth (If you'd like a better description of that beautiful experience, you can read my birth story here)! Then there's the birth. Nothing prepares you for the complete lack of modesty you're suddenly okay with. Sure, other mothers had always told me that once you're about to push out a baby, you don't have any dignity modesty left and don't care that you are laying in a bed with nothing between you and God (and a room full of nurses). I just never believed them...until that moment. Yep, they were pretty much dead on with that one.

Then, all of a sudden, when you are face to face with the most beautiful little person you've ever seen, you think what in the world did I even care about before this? What else could have ever mattered? After Wells was born, the thought of being away from him for more than a few seconds was unbearable. I wanted to be near him at all times - I still do. I have really had to let go of some of my worries and stresses about not being around him 24/7. Letting others hold him or change a diaper or just take him while I showered- those things were hard for me at first. Like, a lock-myself-in-a-room-and-cry kind of hard. It wasn't normal - yet it was my new normal. I didn't care that my hair hadn't been brushed for 3 days or that my morning face-wash didn't happen until 5pm. All that mattered was that I got to be with that sweet little nugget. My husband may have wanted me to run a brush through my hair and perhaps wear something other than a baggy PJ shirt for the entire day those first few weeks, but I couldn't have cared less about any of those things. I was different. I would much rather take care of my baby than myself. And let's be real - this girl was looking rough for a while there!

You'll be happy to know that I now shower regularly again and sometimes even do my hair (don't judge - my hair is unruly and thick and it takes a good while to do anything acceptable with it)! I have learned to manage my time a little better, figuring out how to get myself and a whole other human ready, pack a gigantic diaper bag (no, I haven't learned to consolidate yet), get a breast pump and all the necessary parts prepped, and prepare mine and Eric's lunches all before 6:45am! (Side note: I am NOT a morning person, so this is a HUGE deal for me!)We are falling into a routine slowly, but whoa, life with a newborn is hard! People tell you, but you never know until you experience it firsthand. On Wells' fussiest, gassiest days (which are always when we have things to get done or somewhere to be - of course), when it is easy to let the exhaustion and frustration overcome me, I still cannot imagine life without him and could not possibly have any more love in my heart for him.

This tiny little guy has changed me. I love him with a love that only a mother can know - and I guess it's that kind of love that lets you step in poop (HUMAN poop, people!) and somehow be okay with it.

So, This is Being a Mom, Huh? This sometimes unglamorous, always busy, many times crazy new life? Yep, I think this is exactly what being a mom is about...learning to put someone else before yourself, learning to laugh about the hard stuff life throws you, and learning to let go of the things that you never knew weren't that important. This is being a mom...and I love every bit of it.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Wells is TWO months!

Surely my little sprout is not 2 months old already...somebody please slow time down a little bit! Please enjoy the pictures of this chunky monkey below and see what Wells has been up to in his second month.

At the end of our second month, Wells...
Weighs: 12lb 6oz as of about two weeks ago. He has his 2nd month appointment next week, so we will find out what his weight is now. I'm sure he's gained some poundage. He's just big-boned, okay?! Just kidding, I love him more and more with each new fat roll :)
Sleeps: Wells is still sleeping well at night. Since Eric and I have gone back to work (Booooo....), we have started laying him down about an hour/hour and a half (depending on the night) down earlier than we were this summer. So, that puts him going to sleep somewhere in the 9pm hour - sometimes 9:00, sometimes more like 9:45. He still nurses to sleep. He tends to sleep pretty hard for those first few hours, waking around 1ish - it usually just takes popping the paci back in or a dose of Gripe Water if he is gassy to get him back to sleep. Then he is up around 2ish ready to eat. Back to sleep after that. He doesn't sleep quite as hard for the next few hours, waking a few times wanting his paci or with gas pains- have I mentioned that I have the gassiest baby ever??. He wakes up somewhere in the 5am hour to eat, and then goes back to sleep until I wake him up around 6:30 for a very quick feed before we leave for work (just to top him off so he will hold off on eating his first bottle of the day with my mom for a little longer). Sometimes I get up after his 5am-ish feed to get ready for work and sometimes I will sleep for a few minutes longer - just depends on the day!
Eats: Oh. My. Word. What a little piggy. Since going back to work and starting Wells on bottles of breast milk, we now know that he eats about 5oz every 3 hours. My mom is able to hold him off for the full 3 hours while she is watching him during the day. However, whenever I am with him, he prefers to graze, eating every 2 hours (or less sometimes!). I am pumping at least twice a day while at work (and once or twice while at home) to keep up with him and just recently starting taking Fenugreek capsules to increase my supply.
Wears: Rocking the 3-month clothes. He can squeeeeeeeeeeeeeze into some 0-3 month clothes, but for the most part, those are about to get packed away. We are still using disposable diapers until we run out of the ones we were blessed with at our showers and will then attempt to switch to cloth. But Wells just went up from a size 1 diaper to a size 2.
Plays: This was a good month for playing! Wells had his first REAL smile a few weeks back. It happened while I was changing his diaper at like 4 in the morning - not the most glamorous of circumstances but it was the best thing ever! He gives us lots of smiles now, and it is my very favorite! I can't wait for that first laiugh. He will lay under his play mat for a little while looking up at the toys and mirror before he loses interest. Just the other day, I started shaking his little stuffed giraffe rattle in front of him, and he found it quite entertaining; so of course I have been continuing to do that. I read books to him; although he isn't all that interested yet. But that won't stop me :) I sing to him a lot (Lullabies, Sunday School songs, old-school Barney songs from my childhood - don't hate), and I also like to play his Baby Einstein CD and the Baby Einstein Pandora station for him. He LOVES to be outside (gets it from his daddy...obviously) and going on walks in his stroller in the evening - we do evening walks several times a week. And he really enjoys bath time now, too. He's not playing or splashing or anything, but he is so relaxed and happy-looking while we bathe him. In fact, if he is fussy at night, I will plop that kid in his tub whether he needs a bath or not :) because it is so calming for him.

Gosh, this little kiddo has done a lot of growing (physically and mentally) this month. While part of me misses the small newborn that we brought home only a short two months ago, I am so loving every new stage Wells enters into. Watching my little fella grow and develop and continue to be happy and healthy is the best gift ever. It just does not get any better than parenthood.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Wells is ONE month!

No way is my baby ONE MONTH old! Actually, I guess he isn't - he's almost a whole week past one month! What??? Due to our beach vacation last week, I was a little late taking his one month picture. But nonetheless, here is the sweet little nugget. His one month stats are below!

At the end of our first month, Wells...
Weighs: 10lb 1oz as of two weeks ago, so I am assuming at the very least, 11lbs now. The kid is eating like it's going out of style!
Sleeps: GREAT at night! He nurses to sleep around 10-11pm and will usually sleep for a good 3-4 hour stretch, waking somewhere between 1 & 2am. After that, he pretty much wakes to eat every 2 hours. He is a good sleeper, and I almost never have a problem getting him back to sleep during the night. Eric and I love our sleep, so the Lord has blessed us in this area!!!! :) As far as naps go, he is a pretty good day-sleeper, too - some days more so than others. We do try to make sure that he gets a fair amount of awake time during about 7-10pm so that he is ready for bed when the time comes.
Eats: This child would eat all day if I would let him! He literally came out of the womb nursing (okay, about an hour after he was born :)). Wells usually eats every 2 hours, and if I had to guess, probably eats aroun 3-4 oz at each feeding. He is exclusively on breast milk, and I pray that it will continue to go as well as it has. He has gotten a few bottles of breast milk to get ready for me going back to work.
Wears: Little man (or not-so-little man, I guess) is out of the newborn clothes. Sad. He is officially in 0-3 month clothes, and 3 month clothes. Yeah, he's kind of a porker :) We are still using disposable diapers until we run out of the ones we were blessed with at our showers and will then attempt to switch to cloth. But right now, Wells is in a size 1 diaper.
Plays: Not so much into toys yet, but will focus on some objects that we put in front of him (like his toy mirror, and some animal rattles). He likes to look out the window when riding in the car (until he falls asleep, which he ALWAYS does when in his car seat). He still hasn't cracked that first real smile yet (only the involuntary ones so far) but I think it will be soon. I smile and "coo" at him all the time so that he will copy me, but nothing yet.

I'm sure I will say this every month, but time sure does fly! My little newborn doesn't even look like a newborn anymore! I already miss that stage, but I really am looking forward to all of the fun ahead as he grows and develops more each day.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Wells' Birth Story

Consider yourself warned - this is the LONGEST post ever. I couldn't leave out any details of Wells' birth. His birth is an experience that I really do want to remember forever...

I had no idea that little Wells would grace us with his presence any earlier than his due date. I was prepared to go past my due date for a few reasons – I was born two weeks past my due date; it is very common for first-time moms to go past their estimated due date; and I had not shown any progress at my 37 and 38 week appointments as far as effacement and dilation were concerned. Enter my 39th week of pregnancy. I went to work as normal on Monday and Tuesday and did not really feel much different on those days – with the exception of a couple of aches and pains that seemed a little out of the ordinary but nothing to necessarily put any stock in. On Wednesday morning, I woke up with a little bit of spotting. I was not concerned and just assumed that my cervix was changing. It was exciting to know that my body was starting to prepare itself for labor, even though I had no idea how far off labor may be. However, my mom was in Texas this week for a family emergency and was not due to arrive back in Savannah until Thursday around midnight. So, I decided that it may be best to head in to the doctor just to see if my body was showing any indication of a nearby labor, just in case we needed to find my mom a quicker flight. The doctor was not in the office that day, so I was advised to go to Memorial to get an evaluation. Eric and I headed to the hospital Wednesday around 10am, loading the hospital bags in the car JUST IN CASE. My cervical examination revealed that I was not dilated but that I was about 25% effaced. The doctor of course was not really able to tell us when labor might start – that it could be hours or it could be days. While I was hooked up to the monitors, we were able to see that I was having contractions. They ranged anywhere from 2-7 minutes apart and were not very painful. I had been crampy all morning, and it turns out that those cramps were contractions. The doctor discharged us, and I felt pretty good that my mom would be fine to hold off on finding an earlier flight.
Eric and I stopped to grab lunch downtown, and while we were out and about for that short time, I could feel that the contractions were getting more intense. They were not bad, but they were definitely more noticeable than they had been that morning. When we got home, I rested for the rest of the afternoon and night so as to not speed anything up and risk my mom missing my labor. I fell asleep early that night and woke up around 1am. The contractions were strong enough that I could not sleep through them, and it was at that point that I started to wonder if labor may be coming sooner that we thought. I called my mom and we decided that it was probably best for her to book an earlier flight in case this was the real deal. We booked a flight for her to get in on Thursday afternoon – a few hours earlier than her original flight. By the time I had found and booked the flight, it was around 3am. I tried to go back to sleep but it was no use. Eric called his mom to update her, as she had planned to drive down early Thursday morning if things continued to progress. I stayed up the rest of the night, timing my contractions – which mostly ranged from 5-7 minutes apart. I finally got up and took a warm bath, which helped to ease the pain. Then I got ready for my doctor’s appointment that was scheduled for that morning at 9:15.
Eric and I headed to the appointment, me still timing the contractions on the way and while we were in the office. Dr. Crenshaw performed the cervical exam and told us that I was still not dilated but that I was effaced about 50%. She basically echoed what the doctor at the hospital had told me – that I could go into labor that night or it could even be a week away. She did say that if the contractions continued and I could not take it anymore that I could schedule an induction for Sunday. She told me to go to the hospital if the contractions got worse, and we left the doctor. When we got in the car, I had a meltdown. I had been contracting for hours at regular intervals and was frustrated to hear that my body was still not making progress the way it needed to for labor to really get underway.
When we got home, Eric and I went on a walk to the pool in an effort to induce labor. I also climbed up and down the stairs in our foyer to try to get things going. All throughout the afternoon, I bounced on my birth ball, too. Mrs. Hankin and Crystal (my mother-in-law and sister-in-law) showed up, and we all just kind of waited, not sure when things would get underway. I spoke to my mom that afternoon and the worst thing I could imagine had happened. Bad weather in El Paso had caused flight delays, leading everyone to miss their flights from Dallas. My mom tried and tried to get on any other flight out of the city – to Savannah, Atlanta, Jacksonville, Charleston, anywhere! My stress level was through the roof. I could not imagine going through labor without my mom there; and even though I felt sorry for myself, I felt even worse for her. She was stuck in an airport all alone, knowing that she might miss the delivery of her grandson. All I could do was cry. My contractions were still very regular and painful, and I didn’t know how long my body would hold out. My mom finally told me that she was able to book a flight to get in to Savannah at 2pm Friday. We both cried, and I told her that there was no way I was letting this baby come without her being there! After hanging up with my mom, and knowing that all chances of her getting into town that night were over, it was like my body finally gave into the contractions even more –almost like I had subconsciously been waiting for her to get in town. My contractions started coming every four minutes. We decided that it was time to head to the hospital. We loaded the rest of our things into the car and headed to Memorial. I called our friends Tiffany and Randa, who were taking pictures and video of the birth. I called my dad to let him know and that I would tell him if we were admitted so that he and the kids could make it. And lastly, I called my mom. I tried to sound upbeat and did not want her to know that I honestly thought I was going to have the baby that night or early the next morning.
Eric sped to the hospital, and I kept having to remind him that it would be better for us to arrive at the hospital in one piece. He was in a big rush and would not let up on that gas pedal! By the time we got to the hospital, my contractions were 2 minutes apart. I thought for sure the baby was not far off. When we got to the hospital, I was informed that I was almost 1cm dilated. I could not believe it! 1cm? That had to be incorrect! My contractions were registering on the machine and were INTENSE. After a little while, Tiffany came in to sit with me for a bit while Eric went with his family to the waiting room. My contractions were coming at less than a minute apart and were registering at the top of the graph on the chart that was printing off of the machine. The nurse said that the doctor would come check me, and it seemed like it took FOREVER. When the doctor did check me, I was at 1cm. She said that they would keep me to monitor any cervical changes, but I was not admitted yet. I was moved to a labor and delivery room, where Eric joined Tiffany and me.
I was so tired, and I had been laboring with steady contractions for 24 hours now. All I wanted to do was sleep because I worried that with my body dilating so slowly that it would be a while before the baby was born. I didn’t know how much longer I could keep up the strength to deal with the contractions. The nurse gave me some Phenergan so that I could sleep. I was knocked out immediately but woke up all throughout the early morning with the contractions still so painful that I couldn’t sleep through them. I think that the Phenergan did more harm than good in that it put me in such a fog that when I would wake up with a contraction, it seemed even longer and more intense than it did when not on any medicine. Once it was daylight outside, I felt like I couldn’t take it anymore. Once again, the groggy, incoherent state that I was in due to the Phenergan had me so confused that the pain felt unbearable. I would wake up with such pain and confusion that I didn’t know what to do. I was making audible groans (you really do lose all inhibitions in labor!) that must have been heard outside the room because, finally, my saving grace came in in the form of a nurse named Amber. The nurse that I had had throughout the night was nice enough, but she did not seem very attentive or particularly helpful at times. When shift change came around, I got Nurse Amber. She did not make it into the room until probably around 7:45am but when she did, she immediately recognized the pain I was in and said “This is crazy. I am checking you.” She did, and I was at 4cm. Then I was admitted, and she called the anesthesiologist to set up the epidural.
I had planned for months to have a non-medicated birth, and I really was conflicted about getting the epidural. I honestly feel like if my body had done what I expected it to do – which was for my cervix to be dilated and effaced (or at least making progress in that direction) before the contractions came or during the contractions or whatever – that I could have made it without medication. However, at the time that I got the epidural, I was so worn out from a combination of 30 hours of painful, steady contractions and the Phenergan that I didn’t know if I could make it. I had no idea how much longer I would labor, and I knew that I needed a little bit of rest in order to be able to make it through. I was nervous about the epidural, but it was no big deal. Not near as bad as I thought it would be. Looking back, I wonder if I would have decided to get the epidural if my mind had been clear enough to make the decision with 100% certainty. Either way, I think it was what I needed at the time. I was immediately able to rest and even got a couple of hours of sleep. Tiffany and Randa showed up, and Crystal and Mrs. Hankin, too. We all just sat in the room and waited. My mom would call and update us as to her flight statuses, and that was the silver lining of the whole ordeal. Even though my body had acted so insane, and seemingly backward in regard to the order of dilation, effacement, and contractions, it bought me enough time that I was certain that my mom would make it for the birth. The doctor came in at one point in the late morning and told me that she was going to break my water. I knew that that would speed everything up and asked if we could wait to do that so that my mom would have a chance to make it. She agreed that we could wait a little while –and I will always be grateful that she respected my wishes and did not break my water then.
When I was checked a little later, I was at 7cm. The doctor did come in to finally break my water – I think I was around 8cm at the time. I started to feel the contractions again, which is what I wanted. I wanted to be able to feel what was happening so that when the time came, I would be able to push more effectively. We spoke to my mom and she had finally landed in Savannah! My dad was picking her up and they were headed straight to the hospital. When she got there, a huge weight was lifted off of both of us. I will forever be grateful that she made it to the birth of Baby Wells. When my mom arrived, I was 9.5cm dilated. I had the urge to push, but the nurse told me that I could not push yet, that we had to wait for the other .5cm to dilate.
I had never understood when people said that fighting the urge to push is so difficult – but, boy, do I understand now! All I wanted to do was push! I was given a dose of some medicine that would curb the urge while we waited for my cervix to continue to dilate. It took a total of 2+ hours to dilate that last .5cm. The nurse told me that if I really wanted to dilate the rest of the way very quickly and have the baby descend so that I could push, that I could get on all fours and let gravity take its course. Ummmm, no thank you. We all laughed at the thought of me rocking back and forth on all fours, and I couldn’t imagine a more humiliating scenario – which is exactly what I told the nurse. Nurse Amber really was the best. She laughed right along with us but still maintained that she knew it would only take 30 minutes for things to pick up if I would just rock back and forth on all fours on the hospital bed. So, I did it. And it was awful and hilarious all at the same time. Of course, Randa and Tiffany documented it all. Everyone took turns pushing on my lower back while I rocked back and forth. It was soooooo tiring. I was exhausted by the end of those thirty minutes. I kept asking for more ice chips, since that was all I could have to stay hydrated. When I was checked again, the baby had descended and I was completely dilated. What do you know? It worked. We were finally ready to deliver a baby!
Things moved pretty quickly after that, with all the equipment being brought in, the room being set up, and nurses coming in to the room. Finally it was time to push. I was directed on how to push, and things got underway. My mom was on one side of me, and Eric was on the other, both of them encouraging me and helping me the whole way. It seemed like no time at all that the doctor was called in to deliver the baby – so I knew that he must be very close. After about 35 minutes of pushing, I felt the instant relief that I was told comes after delivering the head and shoulders. And in an instant, it was all over, and I was staring at a slimy, beautiful baby boy. They placed him immediately on my stomach, and we all just stared at him while he was toweled off. We noticed that Baby Wells definitely had my nose and lips and Eric’s feet. The nurses then took him to the warming table where they did all of his exams. They called out his weight of 7lbs 15oz. I couldn’t believe he was under 8lbs. The ultrasound has predicted that he would be a very big baby. His length was 19 and ¾in, shorter than I thought he would be. He was born at 5:55pm. They brought him back over to me and laid him on my chest. Eric and I were immediately in love with the little guy. It was so adorable to see Eric take to a baby immediately (as he had never really been a “baby person”). I could tell how amazed he was at what he had just witnessed and that he now had a son. Wells nursed right away, another thing I am so grateful for. He never had a problem latching or eating (he definitely got his daddy’s appetite!). We were then moved to our recovery room, where I got to eat for the first time in over a day. Wendy’s never tasted so good!

When Eric and I were alone in our hospital room with Wells that night, my heart was so full of love and joy. I looked over from my hospital bed to see Eric holding and admiring his son. It was such a sweet moment. Before we went to sleep, Eric prayed over Wells, too. These two moments, some of our first as a family, are ones that I will cherish forever. Eric and I are so beyond thankful for such a healthy delivery and a healthy baby. We love our little Wellsie Bug, who has already brought us so much happiness!   

Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Little Guy Has Arrived!

Our little one has arrived (well, 2 weeks ago - I've been a little busy!).

Please welcome Wells Benjamin. He's the cutest, snuggliest baby ever, and Eric and I are sooooooo in love with him.

Birth story to follow...still working on it!

Getting ready to go home!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Nursery Reveal

The nursery is finished!!!!! Hallelujah!!!!

Let me say that while I have thoroughly enjoyed decorating the baby's nursery, I am so glad that it is now finished! I like being able to walk in (which I do more often than may be totally normal :)) without a million to-do's jumping into my brain.

Once we found out that we were having a boy, I knew I wanted a neutral-colored safari nursery. I think that part of this stems from the fact that my husband spent the first part of his childhood in Africa (as a missionary kid). He loves telling stories of Africa and all of his adventures. I know that the baby will love hearing these stories, just like I do. And it feels like a sweet connection that the two of them will share. Does that make sense? Am I being too mushy about a nursery theme (I am 9 months pregnant, you know. So it's allowed.)?

Anyway, please enjoy the pictures from our little man cub's nursery! Details at the bottom.

Bedding: In the Mix (in Khaki) from The Land of Nod
Faux Sheepskin Rug: Ikea
Large giraffe: Melissa & Doug (but I got mine for $15 at a consignment sale. Woop!)
Zebra mount: HomeGoods (stripped and repainted)
Rocking Chair: Family furniture, repainted
Receiving blankets: TJ Maxx
Animal canisters: DIYed. So easy, and I love how they turned out!
Elephant art (Just to be with you...): Target
Lantern: Ikea
Dresser: Family furniture, repainted.
Bookshelves: Spice racks from Ikea
Toy bin: Ross
Frames on wall: thrifted, Michaels, and Ikea
Be Brave Little One Artwork: DIYed with elephant graphic
Felt animals: DIYed with this pattern
Wooden animals: Babies R Us

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Our Maternity Photos

Last weekend a very talented friend of ours took our maternity photos. I had been looking forward to having maternity photos taken for forever! I love how the pictures turned out. Below are some of my favorites.