Modern Day Pilgrims

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Long Goodbye

It's official: Chris is on his way to Bahrain. :-( It was so hard to say goodbye and we're going to miss each other a bunch. We had a wonderful month together and he was such a HUGE help and blessing with the baby. From changing diapers to feeding her, he was such a hands on dad. And to me, there is nothing sexier than watching Chris be a father!

I originally had my 6 week check-up scheduled for November 18th and Charlotte had hers scheduled for November 12th, but after looking over the medical release forms that will get Charlotte and I to Bahrain, we saw that we can get our medical clearances done at 4 weeks instead of 6! So today I called the doctor's office and rescheduled our appointments for November 5th. This means Charlotte and I may be leaving the states a few weeks earlier than originally anticipated, but it also means we'll be reunited with Chris sooner than expected!! Yes, it's bittersweet. I've LOVED being home and will be so incredibly sad to leave my family, friends, and American culture! At the same time, Charlotte and I need and want to be with Chris and would like to make that happen as soon as possible.

But please be praying for us while we're apart. I'm not looking forward to doing the parenting thing alone and I know Chris is going to struggle being away from us. God's grace is sufficient, and I know we'll get through this since He doesn't give us anything we can't handle. Nonetheless, I'd appreciate your prayers very much!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Good Education Can Never Start Too Early!

What a great day so far! I had my first work-out since having Charlotte (with Doctor's permission) and it felt so good! When I came back inside our hotel room post work-out, I witnessed the most adorable thing. Chris was reading an Albert Einstein biography book out loud to Charlotte. At the moment I walked in from my work-out, Chris was telling her about Johannes Kepler and his law of planetary motion. So cute! She's going to be one smart little girl if he keeps this up!!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Wakey Wakey Time and Rooting

Just like Mommy, Charlotte has to "ease into" waking up. But when she's ready to eat, she lets us know. Not through crying or fussing but through these adorable rooting faces she makes. I thought you all might enjoy watching this video of Charlotte wakey wakeying and rooting for some milk!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Daddy Style

One of my favorite things about parenthood is watching Chris be a daddy and do things in his own unique "daddy style". It fills my heart with so much joy! Chris and I are now taking shifts at night so that each of us can get more sleep. It's been so lovely!! When I woke up this morning, I found Charlotte like this - courtesy of Daddy. I guess snapping the buttons of her outfit must have been too much at 4 a.m.!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

3:30 a.m.

I went out to check on Charlotte after hearing her fuss for a bit, and she had the dirtiest diaper I've ever seen! It was wet and poopy, and the wetness soaked through her clothes and swaddler. I know this is one of many to come. Unfortunately, it happened only an hour and a half after she last ate, and after changing her diaper, I tried to rock her back to sleep. I went back to bed and then heard her hiccuping and making other noises a short time later. We decided to go ahead and feed her, so I got up and made her bottle. When I returned to her Moses basket, she was once again sound asleep. Her feed time is in a half hour, so I'm just going to stay up until we get some food in our baby girl! In the meantime, I'll write and let you know how things are going.

Breast feeding is now a no go. My milk came in but the most I've produced from both breasts is 10 ml....yes, ml...not ounces. I've been trying to pump for the past couple of days to see if I would start producing more, but it's not happening. The formula is making for a much more contented and easy going baby, which I'm very glad for. Other than the occasional "hiccup" mentioned in the first paragraph, Charlotte is on a pretty solid three hour schedule which is allowing Chris and I to get *some* sleep at night. Since she's now going to be strictly formula, we started doing shifts tonight. That was nice since it allowed me to sleep for about 4 hours straight. It would've been more like 6 had she not completely messed all over herself and then started her hiccup parade!! Haha! Oh well.

Charlotte's personality is so lovely. I realize this could change at any moment, but right now, she is so easygoing and we are enjoying every minute of it. She doesn't have to be swaddled like some babies, but she doesn't mind when she is. She's had no problem switching from breast feeding to a special Medela supplemental bottle to her new Dr. Brown's bottle that we'll be using from now on. She loves her car seat and has yet to cry on a car ride. She loves to be cuddled and have her arms and legs rubbed. She can fall asleep in her Moses basket or in someone's arms. In other words, she's not one of those babies who become dependent on someone else "rocking" them to sleep. She's had absolutely no problem sleeping on her back. We'll see how laying on her stomach goes when we start "tummy time". The only time she fusses is when she needs her diaper changed or is hungry. She doesn't really fuss just for the sake of fussing. All in all, she's a pretty sweet little angel and we love her so much!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Introducing Charlotte Tawny

Our little girl has arrived!! She's sleeping right now and since we currently have no visitors at the hospital, I thought I would take a second to write! Charlotte Tawny was born at 4:45 p.m. on Tuesday, October 6th. We had an induction scheduled for 5:30 a.m. Tuesday morning but I started having contractions on the night of the 5th! I was 4 cm dilated when we arrived that morning, but they still induced to speed things along. I made it to 6 cm before deciding that I wanted an epidural. The contractions were getting quite painful and I knew it was only going to get worse. The epidural was such a blessing and made things easier on everyone. My parents even got to come into the labor room and stay until I was about ready to start pushing! I wouldn't have allowed that had I not received the epidural!

The only "problem" I had with the epidural was that the medication on the left side of my body started wearing off long before the right side of my body. My left side was almost half numb an hour before it was time to start pushing so I could feel part of my contractions on that side. They were bearable since I wasn't feeling the full sensation of my contractions and the birth canal was still completely numb (thank goodness). I actually think it worked out well since I could tell when the contractions were coming, and I also knew when to push and could feel how to push. The only annoying part was that my right side didn't return to normal until the next morning. That wasn't so fun, but I still think the epidural was worth it and made the delivery much more comfortable. I seriously don't see how women go all natural!

My doctor was amazing. I was expecting a very "serious" delivery process with lots of nurses swarming around, bright lights, etc. It was soooo not that way. The lights were dimmed, my husband was holding my right leg, a nurse was holding my left leg, the doctor was seated in front of me, and a nurse was in the very back waiting to take Charlotte's vitals once she was born. In between pushes, the doctor was telling jokes, talking about her kids, and telling us about her day. It made for a very stress-free, relaxing environment. I am definitely going back to my doctor with our second child because I had such a positive experience all around. The nursing staff at this hospital was also wonderful and I really can't say anything negative about this whole experience.

After Charlotte was born, it was so sweet to see how quickly Chris took to being a daddy. We were both emotional and it was such an awesome experience. I was exhausted and had lots of emotions running through me, but nothing beat seeing Chris express his emotions like that or seeing her for the first time and holding her in my arms. Breast feeding the first day was rough. We were both learning and trying to figure out how to do it. Day 2 was 100% better because I had a night nurse who was amazing and worked with Charlotte while I was sleeping. She fed her some formula with a special Medela brand bottle that emulates the nipple and causes the baby to "work" on getting the milk. I think that one feeding caused the sucking motion to "click" with Charlotte, and when the nurse brought her to me at 5:30 a.m. for a feeding, she immediately latched on and I was soooo happy and relieved!!! We haven't had any problems since.

We've had so many wonderful visitors at the hospital since Charlotte's arrival and I can thank all of you enough for your love and support. It has been wonderful to share this new blessing with everyone and Charlotte is going to feel so loved when I tell her how many people came to meet her when she was born! I've had so many congratulate us on facebook, and I can't thank all of you enough, either. Thank you for sharing in the joy and excitement of our new arrival!!! We get discharged from the hospital this evening, so it's going to be an adjustment not having a nursery for Charlotte to go to at night. I'm glad I have a loving and supportive husband to help. Well, Charlotte's up. Gotta go!!

Monday, October 5, 2009

39 Weeks and 4 Days

I had an appointment this morning and I'm 3 cm dilated and 80% effaced!! The doctor also stripped my membranes (ouch!) to try and get labor to start on its own today. If it doesn't, we are scheduled to go in tomorrow morning for an induction. We found out my Dr. won't be in Wednesday through Sunday and there's only going to be 2 male doctors working while my female doctor is gone. After much thinking and talking with each other and with my doctor, Chris and I decided we would be okay with inducing tomorrow. Please be praying and maybe Charlotte will come on her own today!! We will keep you posted on Charlotte's much anticipated arrival!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

My Newest Niece

Chris and I are soooo happy to be an aunt and uncle again. Scarlett Anne was born this morning almost an entire month early and she is so beautiful! My sister, Heather, was due on the 31st but started having contractions yesterday. They tried to stop the contractions and even sent her home, but they never really stopped and she was rushed to the hospital this morning!!! Scarlett's doing great and was 6 pounds, 6 ounces and 18.5 inches long. Mommy is doing great, too. I'm so excited to welcome my new niece into the world and I can't wait to meet her in person!! Congratulations, Deck and Heather!! We are soooo happy for you two and excited that Savannah is now a big sister!!!