Sunday, July 31, 2011

Dane's First Week

We had an awesome first week at home! Dane's Granna was the most amazing help. There are a few things that I've realized are so true. First, you really don't have any idea how much you'll love your tiny new baby. Tevie and I stare at him in complete awe. He is absolutely perfect in every way. I don't know how you can look at his perfect little fingers and toes and million different facial expressions and not fall head over heels... or deny that we serve a Great God. I've also come to love my parents in a whole new way. I don't know that I would have survived this first week without my supportive and loving husband and parents who are head over heels for their grandson.

Mom and dad left yesterday and it was probably the hardest goodbye I've ever said. These postpartum hormones are rough! I cry because Dane's growing too fast, I cry because I hate asking people to get things for me, I cry because I love my family so much. It gets better every day, thank goodness. :)

We're working on sleeping...sometimes we don't get a lot of it! :) God answered every prayer we prayed and gave us the most amazing little baby. He's a perfect nurser (perfect!!!), he takes good naps and loves to snuggle.

We've taken dozens of pictures and videos. Here are few from his first week.
Dane loves Granna

Papa J has magical baby-quieting powers! :)

early morning snuggle with Granna

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Happy Birthday, Dane!

Perry Dane Gooden made his grand entrance on July 23rd at 9:32am. He weighed in at 8lbs 10oz and measured 22inches.
We woke up at 4:30am to prepare to head to the hospital. Once we arrived, the nurses went straight to work on mommy getting me prepped for surgery. What I feared the most was the spinal block which, thanks to an awesome CRNA, didn't hurt at all!

After Dane's birth his daddy got to follow him to the nursery. Normally a baby should have 60 or less breaths per minute and he was breathing at a rate of about 87/minute. His nurse came in to let me know that it would be 3 or 4 hours before I got to hold him. If you've read any of my previous posts, you can imagine how those words went over with this control freak. I had relinquished control of the natural birth, but had not prepared to give up holding and nursing my newborn. When his nurse left the room I broke down. My sweet brother took my hand and my mom's hand and prayed for me and for Dane. It was the most special moment and one I will treasure forever.

Those first few hours felt like days to me, thankfully Tevie got to sit beside Dane's bassinet in the nursery and touch him and love him while I sat anxiously in my room waiting for them to bring him to me. Here are a few pictures from our big day.

Anxious Momma seeing her sweet boy in the nursery

Holding my boy for the first time!

First Family Photo
Poppa T and Momma D checking out our sweet boy

Dressed and ready to go home from the hospital

Thursday, July 21, 2011

48 hours

In less than 48 hours we welcome our sweet little boy into this world. How has 38 weeks gone by so quickly?!

Thirty-six weeks ago tomorrow, the day after Thanksgiving, two whiny pups begged to go outside. It was before 6am and no one else was awake, seemed like a pretty good time to take a pregnancy test. After eight months of trying, I had stopped telling Tevie when I took a test. He didn't want me driving myself crazy. Since no one else was awake, I could sneak to the bathroom, take the test, get my stand-by "negative" and go on about my day without the embarrassment of telling my husband or anyone else what I was doing. 

I put the dogs out and ran to the bathroom. I laid the test on the counter and washed my hands, knowing what it was going to say. Only this time... it didn't. That heartbreaking straight line morphed before my eyes into a life-giving plus sign. I'm surprised I didn't wake up the whole family when I bounded up the stairs to wake Tevie. In my head I had planned all these sweet, romantic ways I would tell him I was pregnant but the shear excitement took over and I knew I couldn't wait longer than thirty seconds. 
I wish I would have taken a picture of his sweet expression as the sleepy fog cleared and he processed what that little sign meant. We squealed and hugged and spent the rest of the day in complete disbelief. We left his parents' house that afternoon and went home to decorate our home for Christmas. He was careful as he handed boxes down from the attic and said he didn't want to drop anything on his pregnant wife. Then he'd grin and we'd both kind of laugh because that idea was so strange. He'd stare at my belly and say, "There's a baby in there". I think it took us until that first ultrasound at 8 weeks- seeing that little gummy bear on the screen and hearing that loud, strong heart beat- to realize that we were having a baby.

When we walked out of the doctor's office in early December, August 2 felt so far away. There were some days when I just knew I was going to be pregnant Before we knew it, we were 16 weeks along and heard our doctor say without a doubt, "See that? That's a boy!". Then we were 20 weeks- how were we already halfway there? In a blink we reached the third trimester... and in less than 48 hours, our sweet boy will take his first breath. The thing that scares me about time passing so fast while I'm pregnant is that I know it will pass even faster after he's born. 

Wasn't is just last summer that Tevie asked for my phone number for the first time? Wasn't it just yesterday we were planning our wedding? Wasn't it just last week we closed on our house? How have we already been together for seven years, married FIVE(!) years, and homeowners for three? How is my little brother getting his driver's permit and my sister getting married? I don't like all this growing up.

Last night, as usual, I lay down to sleep and Dane got the hiccups. It's the weirdest thing- it seriously happens a couple times a week, always when I lay down to sleep. My first thought was one of frustration, "but I'm tired, buddy, and I'm going to be up a minimum of two times to pee! I need to sleep"... Then I realized, I only have two more nights of hiccups, two more nights of four trips to the bathroom, two more nights of not sleeping on my belly. I have 48 hours to treasure every little move he makes in my belly. Forty-eight hours of not having to share him with anyone else. So, today I'm treasuring my swollen feet. I'm rubbing my belly all day. I'm tickling that little foot when it kicks me in the ribs. 

I'm taking in every smile, laugh and silly song my husband sings- his last before he's someone's daddy. I'm treasuring our final evenings of snuggling on the couch watching episode after episode of our latest Netflix addiction. My eyes well with tears when I see his excitement. My heart swells with love when he holds me close, rubs my belly and talks to Dane. I hope that Dane has his daddy's black curls and bright blue eyes, but I pray he has his gentle presence, loving heart and attitude of service and stewardship. There is no man in the entire world I would rather be the father of my children. He is everything I ever hoped for, dreamed of... and so much more. 

We have prayed for this sweet boy's perfection since before we knew he existed. In the name of Jesus, I have prayed away colic, reflux, and every other ailment I could think of. In the same great name of Jesus I have claimed that he will be a good sleeper, have a strong latch, that we will have a healthy delivery, quick recovery and that he is practically perfect in every way. I am truly amazed that you can love someone so much, even before you ever see their little face. 

Dane Gooden, you are loved to the moon and back. Enjoy your last few quiet hours in that warm, cozy, germ-free environment (can you tell I am STRESSED about germs and my sweet boy?!). You have more love waiting on you than you can possibly fathom in that 98th percentile brain of yours. 

We covet your prayers as we welcome our sweet boy this weekend. 

Friday, July 15, 2011

Baby in a Week!

Today our doctor scheduled my c-section for July 23rd. We'll have one more visit to check for dilation/effacement but he said not to get our hopes up. Of course, I serve a God who is able to do abundantly more than all we ask or imagine- and I know if anyone can make a cervix dilate it's The One who created it! :) So, we hope you will join us in prayer for that this week. I do know that God is completely in control and His plan for Dane's birth is so much better than any that I could create. Does that mean I don't work myself into a tizzy? No. Hello! I am a control-freak! In fact, even my doctor laughed at me today because I'd already called his nurse to check his schedule for next week. I knew if he was on call next weekend he could do the section on Saturday. He probably thinks I'm crazy... oh well. :)

July 23rd was my Papa's birthday. He would have been 93 this year. Dane's first name, Perry, is in honor of him. My grandfather was an exceptional man. He loved his wife, his family, every animal that ever walked the planet, and most of all, he loved Jesus. I hope that sharing his name and birthday gives Dane just an ounce of his character and gentle spirit. While a section is not my ideal way to birth my baby, I am glad to know that all of our family will be able to be there with us and share in this special day. I have been stressed since my parents drove off for Arizona ten days ago that my mom would miss Dane's birth. Even though she won't be in the room with us during surgery, she won't miss the specialness of the day. And if he does decide to come early, they left Arizona this morning so I know they'll be back in time to see the big debut!

It's beyond exciting (and a little nerve-wracking!) to know that our sweet boy will be here in ONE WEEK! His room is now completely finished. I've spent the last few days working on all the little finishing touches.
I found this cute lion cookie jar at a little junk shop in town. I thought he was so precious and would make a great place to throw all those random little items that pile up. I painted him orange and he's perched atop the changing table. I think he adds a fun, whimsy touch along with the puppy paintings.
Speaking of puppies, Elphie loves to model in front of hers. I can't believe how well Jess captured her facial expressions! Love her heart. Does she even KNOW what's about to hit her house next week?
I looked far and wide for curtains and found some I like. I am obviously not a photographer and should work with better equipment than a Blackberry camera, but these at least give an idea. The burlap panel with the leather chair makes the room feel a little more rugged, I think. Great for a boy's room. The banner on the toy basket was made by a friend for one of our showers. It was so fun and cute I had to find a place to display it. Tevie loves to sit in Dane's room... we both do, actually. It's a calming, nearly surreal place. It's still hard to believe we're having a baby!
The lamp cost me $1.67 at Goodwill plus the cost of a can of orange spray paint! Each little bookcase if filled with books and special toys. The curtain panel behind one of the bookcases matches his bedding and adds just enough pattern that I don't feel overwhelmed by circus animals. I learned last weekend that Tevie's room was done in jungle animals too. His mom gave us two of the stuffed animals she kept on his shelf. I love that Dane has some special toys that were once his daddy's. 

Finally, this mommy is ready to have this little boy! :) Tevie and I talked this morning about how blessed we've been to have a pregnany free from complications. Sure, my feet are swollen and my heartburn is yucky and no, I haven't slept in about a week, but I'm textbook normal (ha! how many times do I get to say that about myself?!) as far as pregnany symptoms go. 

Mom and I spent the afternoon together while she was in town and got pedicures, I had my hair highlighted yesterday, our bags are packed and in the car, carseat is installed- I think we are ready for this boy! It's exciting- and really hard to believe that it's nearly over! When you're pregnant you feel like you're going to be pregnant forever. I wonder if people will still offer to carry my groceries, let me cut in line in the restroom, and just be generally nice- hopefully as long as I'm toting my chubby little baby they will! :)
The real reward is holding my sweet, perfectly healthy baby boy in one week, but this momma is also eager to have a glass of wine, go out for sushi, wear shoes because they're cute not because they're all that fits, sleep on my belly and go for a run! Of course, with a c-section it may take some time for some of those things on my wish list, but, ahhhh, it won't be long! :) 

One more week, Dane! Unless you want to come a little early, which wouldn't bother us one bit!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

control...or the lack thereof (37weeks)

I had a long chat with a good friend today who playfully said, "You had to know God was going to do something to remind you that you were not the one in control of this situation!" Man, is she right!!! My sweet boy hasn't taken his first breath of air in this big, germy world and I've already made decisions about everything in his first sixty years six months.

I'm a reader by nature, but when it comes to something I'm passionate about I will read everything I can find. I may just be the most well-read woman on pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding. Tevie says that I start every sentence with "I read that..." I love being informed... more than that, I love being in control. When I'm educated on a topic, I feel I have the authority to speak up, ask questions or just say no. I wasn't going to walk into that hospital and just let those nurses and doctors make all of the decisions about my baby's first few days of life. I wanted to know why they'll give him eye drops, a vitamin K shot, a Hep B vaccine, a bath and circumcision all in the first 24 hours. And who are they to make that decision for me? I've carried him around for 9 months- shouldn't I, I mean "we" (sorry, Tev! There I go again...) get to call the shots regarding what happens to him after he takes his first breath?

And that's when the Lord laid a c-section in front of me. "This was NOT in my plan, Lord! NOT, NOT, NOT!" I feel like such a failure. This is one thing a woman's body was created to do and thanks to a baby built like a linebacker and a history of bladder complications and surgeries, I can't do what I was meant to do. It just doesn't seem fair. I have cried and cried and cried. I didn't sleep the night after we met with the doctor. Saturday morning, wide-awake and teary-eyed at 5am, I got up, grabbed my bible and curled up on the couch to read. And this is what God opened the pages to:
Proverbs 16: 1, 9 and 33:
We can make our own plans,
      but the Lord gives the right answer.
9 We can make our plans,
      but the Lord determines our steps.
33 We may throw the dice,[a]
      but the Lord determines how they fall.
 I had already walked two miles trying to walk this baby out. I had cried and cried, talked with girlfriends and my parents, read up on c-sections. BUT it was not going to happen to me. This baby was coming out the way I have already planned on, God! 
These verses were a gentle (okay, not so gentle, I kinda felt like he was screaming at me!) reminder that yes, Allysa, you make your plans. In fact, you're pretty good at getting organized and making plans, but you are not The One who sets those plans in motion... even though you think you are. 

If I trust God to give me strength and peace through a natural delivery, why would I not trust Him to hold me and comfort me through a c-section. He created the c-section just as much as he created the birth canal! :) So, while I pray that our doctor, who said I only have a 5% chance of delivering this baby on my own, is shocked when I walk in dilated and ready to have this big boy early, I also pray for God's will to be done. I know that He already knows the exact moment that Dane will take his first breath. 

Isn't it funny that Dane's not even here yet, and I'm already learning my first lesson in letting go and letting God lead me through parenting? I stand utterly astounded sometimes at how well He knows me. How amazing that the God of the universe cares enough to love me, teach me, and save me? He is so Good.  

Sunday, July 10, 2011

yard crashers

With the help of Tevie's very generous and loving parents, we now have a beautifully landscaped back yard! It was hot, hard work but we have a cute little spot to enjoy- and it adds definite curb appeal to our little home. It was the end of the day so the lighting isn't very good. Better pictures to come!


Friday, July 8, 2011

sooner than we thought!

I have read and read and read. Every book, article, medical study or magazine that has been printed in the last 36 weeks has passed through my hands or lit up my laptop screen. I wanted to know everything about having a baby- how to have a healthy pregnancy, how to increase his likelihood of having a higher IQ and lower rate of obesity, how to manage pain during natural childbirth, the risks of an epidural, the benefits of breastfeeding. My brain is full of knowledge that most would find painfully boring. 

We were preparing to welcome our sweet little man with as few interventions as possible. Labor at home as long as we could, and then deliver in the hospital with no medications or the like. Because exclusively nursing and cloth diapering doesn't make me weird enough- after watching "The Business of Being Born", we even threw around the idea of having him at home- if I didn't live in the smallest rural town in Kentucky and knew where to find a midwife.
That was the plan until today. When my doctor looked at us and smiled and just said, "Wow... I mean... wow!" At 36weeks, our sweet boy measures roughly 8lbs 2ozs and is in the 98th percentile for just about everything except his "tiny" little legs which are measuring in the measly 84th. :) If we were to go to term, Dane would be roughly 10lbs! My doctor began to explain that no matter how we look at it, we're staring at a c-section. He doesn't want to risk any complications that could occur from having a 10lb baby with a 98th percentile head naturally. He did say we had about a 5% chance of having him naturally. If I go into labor in the next week he'll let me have him. If I make it back to our appointment next Friday, we're more than likely scheduling a c-section.

But I can tell he's dropped! And I'm having contractions every day, all day so I must be dilated and effaced, right!? Wrong. In my doctor's straight-forward fashion he informed me that my cervix was "locked up tighter than a jail". Great- thanks, Doc.

Praise God our sweet boy is perfectly healthy in every way- a little too healthy even! He's fat and rolly and growing beautifully. While I consider this "bad news" I know there are sooooo many worse things that doctor could have said to me today. I will gladly deliver my boy by section rather than hear that he is in distress... or worse.
We weren't able to get many pictures of our little guy. As you can imagine- he's completely out of room in there! We did get a few of his precious hands and feet. 

 His head is pressed against my pelvic bone and bladder so this profile pictures looks like the top of his head is cut off. His little nose is on the left. You can see his chubby cheeks and big eye socket. Maybe he has my big eyes! 
 This was the best face shot the tech was able to get today. You can see his eye sockets, nose, mouth and round chin. That's his arm/hand pressed up against the right side of his face. 
It's terribly exciting to know that we will have a baby in TWO WEEKS!!! A big baby at that!! We are praying that Dane comes on his own time and doesn't need a c-section. We're lacing up our sneakers and walking until labor starts- hopefully before next Friday! 

Please pray that our little man continues to grow perfectly and that his entry into this world is easy and uneventful, no matter which exit he uses. :) 

I can't wait to snuggle you and love you, sweet boy! I love you to the moon... and back!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

35 weeks

Today is actually the beginning of week 36, but I'm behind with week 35 stuff, so I figured I better post that first. Friday is our 36week appointment so I'll have another ultrasound picture and updates on our little man... and hopefully some idea of when to expect him! 

We had a wonderful baby shower last week thrown by some special ladies I work with. I was worried about the little guy not having enough tiny clothes, but this shower helped complete his little stash and get us prepared. I spent the weekend washing loads of tiny laundry. Why is it so much more fun to wash little clothes than it is to wash my own? :) My parents were in town too and we were able to enjoy some great quality time together before Dane's arrival. We spent the day in Lexington buying those last few needed items off our registry and mom and I enjoyed an afternoon pedicure. Much needed for these tired feet which pretty much stay swollen now. 

The Lord knew Tevie and I were not in the mood to finish the big landscaping project we started a few weeks ago so he sent thunderstorms on July 4th. We gladly curled up inside together and played board games, watched Netflix and just enjoyed what very well could be our last day at home "just the two of us". The next few weeks are full of doctors appointments, weddings and other things so it was nice to just spend a day together.
The one thing I haven't been able to find in store is his crib skirt. Once we have it I'll feel like his bed is complete. Fellow overprotective moms, fear not! While his bumper and blanket are adorable, I don't foresee them staying in the crib once he starts sleeping in there. I know the likelihood of him smothering is slim...I'll sleep better if there's nothing soft and fluffy for him to get caught against.
Toys and books and baskets of blankets. Tevie helped pick out this curtain. I love that it adds a different texture and helps darken his room which will help during those afternoon naps.

Another little bookcase filled with special toys that can't wait to be played with!

Dresser/changing table stocked with the cutest clothes and cloth diapers you've ever seen. Just need to frame and hang his puppy paintings.
A late afternoon view from the door. Can't wait to poke my head in to check on my sweet sleeping boy.

We've purchased everything you could possibly need for a baby but I still feel so unprepared. How do I know what he's going to like or if I have enough blankets, outfits or  burp cloths? We'll learn as we go, I know. I don't think I've ever been more excited and scared for anything in my entire life. I can't wait to hold my little guy, read him stories and give him baths in his tiny little tub. I have a feeling that once you see those ten tiny fingers and ten tiny toes, all of the swollen feet, heartburn, aching back and sleepless nights will be worthwhile.