Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Great Physician

Two weeks ago, Adalei had her first baby exam at the pediatrician's office. She was a champ--no tears even as I walked her naked little body down to be laid on those cold scales. She wasn't able to see her pediatrician that day--and I was just a little bummed. Dr. Griffith has been Layla's pediatrician since birth and I have LOVED her--BUT because babies' first appointments are kind of last minute, I guess you have to take whoever you can get. SO we saw a new doctor--who was great with Adalei--very knowledgeable and super sweet (but not Dr. Griffith).

The exam went great until he got to her hips and wiggled them around--I've always wondered what the purpose was in wiggling their hips like they did and I was soon to find out. The doctor finished the exam, picked up Adalei and handed her to me. He said everything looked perfect except for her left hip. During labor, babies release the hormone relaxin to allow for their joints to be flexible enough to adapt to the tight quarters of the birth canal. Because their joints become more flexible during birth, some babies' ball and socket joints become completely dislodged. Adalei was one of those babies. The doctor ordered an ultrasound to see how bad her hips looked so that we could determine if she'd have to wear a brace or have surgery. WHAT?!? I was in shock. The idea of this perfect little one having to endure surgery or having to wear a brace and be different than other babies sent me reeling. I just don't think a parent can ever be prepared for that kind of thing--and this was minor compared to what so many other mommies and daddies go through with their newborns.

I walked out of the room--made her two week exam appointment (with Dr. Griffith), scheduled the ultrasound for after Christmas and New Year's and grabbed my phone to call Neil. I tried to gloss over the whole hip thing--partially to protect me from hearing myself say that little Adalei may have to have surgery and partially to protect Neil from being worried. But he's a pretty sharp guy and picked up on the severity of it pretty quickly.

When I got home and took Adalei back to the bedroom to change her diaper...Neil followed with his little prayer journal that he keeps. He wrote down the date and then he wrote down "do not--DO NOT--be shocked when the doctors say Adalei's hip is healed". My first thought, "good luck with that one, buddy". So we prayed for her--and I continued to pray with every single diaper change--except probably the night ones where I'm not at 100%--when I would see her sweet little hip and remind myself to be careful with her. I have to admit though...I said more than a few prayers that were lacking in faith over the course of two weeks. Oddly enough, Neil and I had been working our way through Mark and the passage where a man brings his spirit possessed son to Jesus for healing kept ringing in my ears (Mark 9:14-30)--in particular the verse where the father says, "I do belive; help my unbelief". Never had that one verse made so much became a part of my prayers over then next few weeks--a huge part of my prayers. Neil shared the news with his bible study group--a group of guys that are a blessing to BOTH of us--and they all prayed for Adalei. That little thing was covered up in prayers, that's for sure!

Monday was her two week check up. I was dreading it. I dreaded hearing them tell me how yucky her hip was and what we'd have to do to make sure the problem was addressed. When Dr. Griffith walked in, I felt my heart beat a little faster. She examined Adalei's eyes, ears, mouth, tummy...and then started to open her diaper. I held my breath and walked across the room to look over her as she pushed on Adalei's hips. She pushed once....scrunched her face a little...and pushed again. This is the conversation that followed:

Dr. G: Interesting
Me: Yeah, the doctor she saw last time recommended an ultrasound for her hip, we just haven't had it done yet.
Dr. G: I saw that on her chart, but I just don't understand. Her hip is perfectly normal.
Me: Excuse me?
Dr. G: Her hip is normal. I don't see any reason to schedule that ultrasound. I'm not sure what happened here, but what you have here is a perfectly healthy, normal and cute as a button baby. She's going to be easy to spoil.

I laughed and agreed about the "easy to spoil" part. But I'm sure I was white as a sheet. I think if she would have touched my shoulder...I would have fallen over. I was in complete shock. When she left the room and I looked over at Adalei--kicking her feet and content as could be--my elbows hit that exam table and I wept. As I got her dressed, I couldn't help but look at her hip and be in awe that her little hip had been touched by my sweet Lord. I think her little hip will always be a reminder to me of God's mercy and faithfulness. I can hardly look at it--even days later--without feeling humbled.

So while some may give credit to coincidence--or some may think it was just a normal mistake made by a doctor--I like to think that my sweet baby was healed by the Great Physician. I really don't think there is any other explanation.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Big Sister

Sweet little Layla...boy am I having a time with her! She is absolutely perfect with Adalei--loves her so much already. Layla constantly wants to hold her and snuggle with her...constantly!

But...something is going on with my first born baby. Not only does she look like a giant now, she's different--maybe its just me, but she seems different to me. She's more independent than before--insisting on doing everything--I mean EVERYTHING--by herself. She wants to carry her own plate to the table, throw all the trash away, wrap Christmas presents, get dressed and undressed, wash her own name it--she wants to do it...ALL BY HERSELF. As you can imagine, this comes with a lot of frustration on her part. Its almost as if she's stuck between still wanting to be a baby and being a "big girl". She's been whiny with me--wanting to rock in her rocking chair, wanting to be carried around the house, sung to sleep...etc. I am trying to be extra patient, but she's wearing me down. And I think she's acting out in order to get extra attention. She's great most of the day--until it starts getting close to nap time and bed time. Its almost as if when she starts to get tired, she loses all forms of self control. So my prayer this week has been for gentleness and understanding--and sometimes by 12:45 I am just short of falling on my knees and BEGGING for divine intervention.

So while this transition has been really pretty smooth--it still pains me to see Layla struggle even just a tiny bit. I guess its natural--and normal...but I just hate to see her like this--I hate for her to think that she has to do anything more than just "be" in order to get my attention...I hate for her to think she isn't my baby anymore...I hate for her to feel like she's in second place--even for a second. Maybe I'm taking this too serious but I couldn't help but feel that rush of emotions while I was rocking her...YES...rocking her last night. She was huge and heavy in my arms and my heart broke into a billion pieces. maybe this is post-pregnancy hormones coming into play here...or maybe I am just terrible with change. Either way...I'm ready to adjust to this new family dynamic already! Alright, so I admit it--sounds like its probably ME not Layla that's having the hard time here, huh? Nothing like reading your own thoughts on a computer screen to make you have a nice little "ah ha" moment :-) Darn those psychology classes making me over think EVERYTHING I say and do for fear of scaring my child!

Merry Christmas guys...I can't wait to post pictures and write about our holiday with a family of FOUR!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Birth Story...Adalei Grace

As most of you probably already know, Neil and I welcomed little Adalei Grace into our family last Wednesday night. And can I just say...I LOVE LOVE LOVE having a newborn in my house. I had forgotten about all the sweet little newborn things until Adalei came---the random smiles, the cries that are so sweet--I'm even enjoying our night time feedings and the cries that wake me up. Although, this one doesn't cry much--only when she's cold (must get that from her mommy...I HATE being even slightly cold).

So the birth story...
I had written several months ago that I was going to try to go without having an epidural--not for any reason other than the health of Adalei and just to see what it felt like. As the time got closer and I had read NOTHING on natural childbirth, I started getting nervous. Let me back up...I am not one to read and study methodology--it stresses me out because I am one of those people who like to follow all the rules. So, with the birth of both Layla and Adalei, Neil and I decided it best to not do birthing classes and not read too much on the birth experience and just let instinct take over.

So we checked into the hospital at around 2:00 on Wednesday afternoon. The doctor broke my water at 3:45 and I was 6 cm dilated. By 4:45 the contractions were SO close and the pressure was INCREDIBLE. At around 5:15pm I really entertained the idea of giving up and taking my medicine :-) The doctor came back in and checked me--8cm and moving quickly. By 5:30 I was ready to push...and I think I had started hallucinating a little (strange--probably out of pain and out of hunger--I hadn't eaten anything but dry cereal all day). I only lost my temper with one
little nurse who kept asking me questions during YES DURING contractions. Neil said I was perfectly polite and graceful, but I knew the thoughts that were behind my short "yes" and "no" answers...I wanted to strangle the poor girl!

Neil did great through the whole thing. I think this showed me what a great team we make. He held my hand and was quiet most of the time--only offering encouragement just when I needed it. Amazing how he knew exactly what to do--I could not have asked for a better "wing man". He was perfectly strong and gentle at the same time. Just what I needed.

I started pushing at around 5:45 and Adalei came at 5:55--5 lbs and 15 oz--and 19 3/4 inches long. I think I pushed through 4 contractions with no tearing--YIPEE. The doctor said I was free to start running in two weeks (so if you are keeping track--that's one week from TODAY!). I'm already on the elliptical and feeling great--so fingers crossed that this is an easy transition.

So was it worth it--the whole pain thing. Absolutely. I loved the feeling of Adalei coming into this world--a feeling I didn't entirely have with Layla. It forced me to be 100% present...100% in the moment. Adalei was alert enough to nurse and nurse GREAT for the first 45 minutes of her life. I was able to hold her without her being rushed to the nursery. I also declined her Hep B shot--which I'm sure she appreciated.

Do I feel empowered? more than I felt empowered by running hills or nursing my babies or cleaning poopy diapers...or making a dinner that Neil loved. I do feel grateful that God gave me a body that could endure childbirth easily. I feel grateful that the whole experience makes me want to have more (Neil asked in the hospital when I'd be ready for more...HA! I love that he loves babies in our house!). So grateful...not so much empowered.

I will say this to all of you who are thinking of natural childbirth--make CERTAIN you specify to the nurse that you want your delivery table set up when you get to 6cm. That was the loudest banging and clanging I have EVER heard...and not very pleasant when you are in pain.

AHH...I hear that sweet little cry in the bedroom...I think its milk time! Moo!

I'll post more later...I'm dying to get my thoughts down on sweet little Layla and how she's doing with the new baby! She's great...better than expected--mommy on the other hand...having a pretty hard time seeing my first baby looking so big...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Today's the DAY...I hope

Tricky little Adalei...she has been tempting us with the thought of her presence for what seems like DAYS. I had a doctor's appointment last Friday and the nurse when ahead and stripped my membranes. From what I read, in about 90% of pregnant women--stripping their membranes sends them into labor within 72 hours. I am part of that 10% who get NOTHING but some slight discomfort.

Sunday proved to be pretty interesting. I had some mild contractions that started 30 minutes apart and quickly moved to 6-7 minutes apart along with bleeding. So Monday morning found us at the doctor's office just to check and see what was going on. I was dilated 4.5 cm....YAY! So they recommended I either stay at home and walk or that I check into the hospital. Neil and I opted to go home and walk. So I did--and contractions picked up a little. On Monday evening, we went to the hospital but I was still just at 5 cm. The doctor on call wanted me to stay and said he'd break my water, see how I progressed and then give me some pitocin. Uh, no thanks. SO, Neil and I decided to come home and wait it out. I did find out this interesting bit of knowledge. I have A+ blood--apparently women with A+ blood tend to have pretty slow "early" labor but really REALLY quick labor once they reach the 6-7cm dilated part. NICE! I'll take that.

But here I sit. Wednesday morning--still waiting it out. I think I have this crazy fear of going to the hospital too quick and giving into getting the meds that I really want to avoid. But the good news...contractions are much closer and much stronger. I believe that today is going to be the day--hopefully even this morning! But we'll see. I'm slowly learning that my sweet little Adalei is going to be stubborn like her mommy and want to do things HER way. Agh, genetics...I LOVE IT!

Sunday, December 6, 2009


So I was told by my friend Natasha on our walk today that I needed to update my blog :-) And she's probably right.

For all those of you who are curious--NO BABY YET! I thought she was coming this morning, but contractions are still holding steady at 10 minutes apart. I remember going through this with Layla...seemed like 24 hours straight of contractions that wouldn't get any closer than 10 minutes apart! Sheesh!

Which, I guess we are very fortunate that today--or at least this morning/afternoon is not the time. Layla has been out of sorts today--bless her little heart. She's been so weepy--Neil accused her of crying like a 13 year old girl--100% dramatic with no clue as to what starts the seemingly endless flow of tears. Poor thing...she's been quite needy for her mommy and I've been so happy to carry her around the house because I know that her time of being my one and only baby is almost up...okay, now I'm going to start crying! Neil has his hands FULL today :-)

SO, if any of you guys feel led, please say a little prayer for Layla...I'm hoping that her little sister waits until tomorrow so that we can have a fresh start and hopefully a better day!

I'll keep ya'll posted :-) I hope.