Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Keira Blair is HERE!!!

So I'm finally getting around to writing about our new little sweet daughter, Keira Blair. She is the most precious thing ever and I am already so incredibly in love with her! I wanted to write about the whole labor process and everything that I was feeling and thinking so I don't forget it and can read back on it one day. The whole process was amazing (although quite painful) but it made the 9 months of uncomfortableness so totally worth it!! When I saw Keira for the first time, I bawled like a baby!

When/How it happened...
Her due date was April 16th. I hadn't at all been having any labor pains or contractions so I was feeling (and preparing for the worst) like I was going to be late and mentally prepared my mind to be pregnant for another week or so. I had a doctor's appointment on Thursday the 15th and Dr. Hague said I was still 1 1/2 cm dilated, which I had been for the last 3 weeks. Kinda disappointing but we set the date of the following Thursday to be induced if I didn't go into labor on my own. Friday morning, the 16th, I got up for my last day of work and went downstairs to spend time in the Word and journaled a bit. I wrote that today was my due date but I didn't think it would happen then cause I wasn't feeling any different at all. About 7:30 I came upstairs to go about my normal routine and sat down on the couch and my water broke. I stood up and it gushed out!!! I quickly ran to the bedroom door and woke Pete up and told him that my water was breaking (meanwhile it is still flowing out of me haha...there was quite the puddle on the floor!!). He woke up in a frantic and was like "Uh okay, um, what do we do? Do we go in? Should we call the doctor? Do you have everything you need? What do I do?" haha. I just stood there and knew that if my water broke, there would be a baby that day and we just went straight into the Birthcare Center. I took a shower and we got the rest of my things together. It was crazy thinking that this baby was coming today! While 10 minutes earlier I had journaled that I didn't think it would happen that day! This little girl was prompt! haha. It honestly couldn't have happened at a better time. She was right on her due date, it was early in the morning and we had both had a full night's sleep, I got to take a shower, I was at home when my water broke (that would have been horribly embarassing if I had been in public!!), Pete was home...really, it was perfect timing!

So we got in the car and drove to the Birthcare Center at Wesley Hospital. What a surreal feeling. I remember thinking of all the times I drove to my classes at the hospital wondering what and when it would be when we drove there to have the baby. I couldn't be more excited and so nervous!! We got to the hospital and checked in. I still wasn't having any contractions so they waited about an hour to see if any would start and then they started me on pitocin around 10 am to get the process moving. I started feeling the contractions shortly after and we walked around a bit. Around 12:30 or so I was getting extremely uncomfortable. By this time I was dialiated to 2-3 cm which was still too early for the epidural. They gave me some crazy pain medication which was supposed to relax me. Let's just say that relax me it did!! I honestly don't even remember the next 3 hours. It was the WEIRDEST feeling ever!! I was in such excruciating pain but in between the contractions, I literally felt like I was dying. I think I said that out loud. I would slip into another world and I felt like I was in some dream land. I don't remember what Pete was doing, where I was or what anyone was saying around me. It was crazy. I would "wake up" for the contraction, grip the side bar on the hospital bed and then as soon as it was over, slip right back into dream world.

Around 3:30 pm they checked me and I was dialiated to 5 cm. They decided to give me the epidural at that point which I was extremely thankful for. It didn't hurt at all and I was still high on those crazy pain relaxant meds. :) About an hour after they gave it to me, I was still feeling the contractions so they called the anesthesiologist back and they gave me two extra doses. Let's just say I was as numb as you could get and my legs were DEAD weight once that stuff kicked in. Seriously, I don't know how women go through labor without the epidural. That thing was a life saver!! I can't imagine going through the rest of the day with that intense pain. No thank you!! Props to anyone who chooses to endure it!! :)

After the epidural it was smooth sailing! :) I was much more comfortable and was chatting with the nurses and just waiting. By like 6 or so I was dialiated to 8 cm and then around 7:30 pm I was "AC" or all complete - totally effaced and at 10 cm. They let me "labor down" for an hour which meant we would just wait to start pushing and let the contractions push the baby down so that I didn't have to push as long. I was so thankful that they did that because once I did start pushing, I only had to push for about 1/2 hour. Around 9:10 I started pushing and that was much harder than I expected. I thought since I couldn't feel anything it wouldn't be that bad. It didn't hurt at all, but it was still exhausting and took so much energy. I had them set up a mirror (sorry if that's a little gross) but it helped me so much especially since I couldn't feel anything to be able to see my progress when I would push. Around 9:35 the nurse said that I had to stop pushing and wait for the doctor because if I pushed again she would come out. My doctor wasn't able to be there that night so the on call doctor had to deliver (Dr. Craddock). She got there about 9:40 or so and it was like all of a sudden there were about 15 people in the room. I pushed like 2 times and there she was!! Our daughter was finally here!!!

As soon as Keira came out they immediately wrapped her in a blanket and put her skin to skin on my chest. I was absolutely bawling, she was bawling and who knows what everyone was doing around me. All I could do was look at her and I couldn't believe that she was finally here and she was ours!! They got me all taken care of and then got her cleaned up and within the half hour they had me start breastfeeding. She ate for about 45 minutes which was such a great start!!

It was such an amazing feeling to look at her and just stare thinking that she was inside me and look at her fingers and toes knowing that those were the hands and feet that I felt kicking and tickling me for the past many months. Absolutely incredible!! I had dreamed of this moment for years and years and it was everything I could have imagined. She was born at 9:53 pm on April 16th. She weighed a hefty 8 lbs. 15 oz and was 19 1/2 inches long. She has a good head of dark hair and dark blue eyes (seriously...what?? we're both blond and brown eyed...?) :) Her name Keira doesn't really have any significance other than we both just liked it. I wish it had some cool meaning, but it just means "dark haired" (seems to fit her). :) However, her middle name, Blair, is the maiden name of my mom and my Grandparents last name. My Grandpa died last March so naming her after them definitely has significance. I knew I always wanted to use the name Blair if I had a girl.

The rest of our hospital stay was actually really eventful. On Saturday we had a ton of visitors and by the end of the day, I was so totally exhausted. My body hurt really bad and I just wanted to sleep. At Wesley, they don't have a baby nursery so once that baby is born, it's yours and you do everything. She slept in a little crib right next to my bed so when she woke up, I had to take care of her. The first night I was up most of the night and just lay there staring at her. I couldn't get enough of just looking at her. She is just perfect! 10 fingers, 10 toes, every part in the right place. It is such a miracle and I am so blown away by God's hand in the process. To think that she was formed in just the right was without anyone doing anything or having any role in it, is so amazing. I don't know how anyone could ever think that we were created from nothing. There is too much detail that goes into our human bodies to just come from nothing. Keira is a GIFT from the Lord that He has entrusted with. What a blessing!!

We got to go home on Sunday afternoon and our first week home was great. My mom flew in Monday night and was here to help for a week. I was so thankful for her! She knew all the tips and tricks for just about everything to keep her happy and take good care of her. It was such a help to have my mom to cook and clean around the house as well. Now that she's gone, I'm finding that it's easy to get behind. Today I had a bunch of things I wanted to get done but Keira was fussy this morning so I didn't even get lunch until she finally fell asleep around 3:00.

I absolutely LOVE being at home with her!! I am so thankful that I have the summer to take care of Keira and be with her. I'm sure it will be hard once I start working in the fall. I'm planning on substitute teaching in the fall 3 days a week and that's going to be really hard to leave her during the day. I'm trusting that God will prepare my heart for that and allow us to find the right person to help take care of her.

In the meantime, I am going to enjoy every minute I have with her. Tomorrow we have her 2 week check up and it's crazy to think it's already been that long. I want to soak in every moment that she stares at me and cuddles up on my shoulder. She is such a bright baby and when she's awake, she's completely awake!! She loves just looking at me (or whoever is holding her) and when I hold her up on my shoulder, she always props her head up to look at my face. Her big eyes draw me in and I seriously just love that little girl so much!! I can't believe she's ours and I get to keep her forever!!

Thank you God for this little life that you have given us. What a reminder it is that you long to love us like a Father. I believe that Keira is going to teach me more about YOU over the next however many years and that you're going to show me what it means to really love unconditionally. We are so blessed!! Thank you Father!!

Monday, April 5, 2010

I'm feeling blessed.

So throughout this entire pregnancy, I have been feeling extremely blessed by the people in my life. When I went home for the shower at my parents house, there were close to 30 girls that came, all from different times of life and different places…small groups, church, middle school, high school, friends who I met through other friends, roommates, basically every area of life. I remember looking around the room and just feeling blessed. I haven’t lived in IL for almost 2 years and yet I fly home and all these girls still come out to get excited with me for our little girl.

That same weekend students I had in my HouseGroup threw me a surprise shower.
Again, haven’t seen most of them since I was married but yet they were that excited for us they all got together and surprised me with a shower. It was overwhelming that weekend to see all the people who loved me enough to bless us with gifts as well as give their time to come catch up!

Then I come back to Wichita and my friends throw me a shower and there are probably close to 20 girls that come to that. Friends that I’ve met here and begun to develop relationships with. Friends that I prayed and asked God for and He has so abundantly blessed me with. And again, one Sunday night before small groups…my students throw me another surprise shower. That’s not to mention the shower that my college friends gave me back in December. I have been completely overwhelmed by everyone’s generosity and just feeling so….blessed.

Not only that…but I have people checking in on me all the time seeing how I’m doing and asking if I need anything. I’ve had a number of people tell me they check my facebook every day to see if little miss has made her appearance yet. :) I can’t even put it in words what I’m feeling and thinking. God has given me great friends and people in my life and I can only say it again…I am BLESSED.

Here are some pictures of my different showers:

Shower at parent's house

Elgin HouseGroup Girls

Bethel Girls Shower

Wichita Friends Shower

Wichita Friends Shower

"I will tell of the kindnesses of the LORD, the deeds for which he is to be praised, according to all the LORD has done for us— yes, the many good things he has done for the house of Israel, according to his compassion and many kindnesses." Isaiah 63:7