Sunday, January 26, 2014

one month of jane.

Now that our girl has been a month for 2 weeks now, I should post these sweet pictures of her on her one month birthday. What an incredible month it was. Our world was forever changed by our Jane, yet she fits so seamlessly into our family. We couldn't have dreamed up a sweeter, more snuggly, loving little lady. She is everything we dreamed of, prayed for, and could want in a baby. We prayed that she would be full of joy, and is she ever. At times I would worry that we destined her for plainness by naming her Jane, but she is anything and everything but plain. At one month, she is so lively, active, and alert. People are always amazed that she is only a month old. 

She is smiling and cooing more and more everyday. When she is awake, her arms and legs move pretty much non stop. She looks back and forth to find mama and daddy's voices and her eyes light up when she finds us. She loves to eat; there are very few problems in her world that the boobs don't fix. She also takes a bottle like a champ; which allows her dad to feed her before bed every night. She has completely outgrown her newborn outfits and is venturing into the world of 3 month clothes. She is such a great traveler, and loves to catch a nap on the go. AND she slept for a 6 1/2 hour stretch last night, and mama woke up feeling like a new woman.

We are truly smitten with this little girl. 

I feel like I have spent much of my life wanting the next thing in life. College, marriage, a big move, etc. This is one of the few seasons of life where I feel completely content, and almost desperate for time to slow down. Motherhood has taught me so much already about my heart, the good and the bad. The selfish parts, and the ability to love something so much. Brian and I feel so blessed that the Lord saw us fit to be the parents of this special, special girl. We are praying and believing big things for her life.

Monday, January 13, 2014

the story of jane.

I didn't plan to write out my birth story. But as the days go on and the nights get longer and my mind gets sleepier, the memories of that sweet night start to get a little foggier and foggier-- and I don't want to forget the way our perfect girl came into the world. So I will write it out and it might be long and rambley, but at least it will be remembered!


Throughout my pregnancy, I had an itching feeling that our girl was going to be late. I'm not exactly sure why, but I guess those mama instincts are on point. Jane was due on December 3rd, and when that day came and went I was still feeling pretty calm and relaxed about her arrival. Our midwife was well aware of our desire to go into labor naturally and promised that she wouldn't even speak the word "induction" to me until we were past 41 weeks. Well, 41 weeks came and went and our midwife decided we should probably set a date to induce. She really wanted to set the date for a day that she would be on call, so that she could be the one to deliver (which we would have LOVED) but the only day she would be on call was Friday, when I would be 41w3d. We tentatively set the induction for that day, but I didn't have a peace about it at all. At this point I was pretty emotionally exhausted and beyond ready to meet our girl, but as we left the hospital I knew if she didn't come by Friday that I would want to push the induction to Monday. All along I was certain she would come when she was ready and I didn't want my emotional exhaustion in the moment to overrule my greatest desire for labor.

As Thursday rolled around and there was no sign of baby, I went in to see my midwife and told her we wanted to wait until Monday, when I would be 41w6d, to give Jane the weekend to make her arrival. Our midwife agreed that this was a good decision, and asked if she could check me before I left to see where we stood. She checked and excitedly announced that I was walking around at 5 cm dilated and completely effaced. Without a single painful contraction. Amazing. She sent me home to walk, climb stairs, and do all the other things that make babies come out.

Friday came and went without any action, and as Saturday rolled around Brian and I woke up with one goal in mind-- get the baby out. Luckily, our minds were distracted with the anticipation of my parents arriving that night. We did a quick clean up of the house and then went down to the beach to walk, walk, walk. As we were walking, I was definitely feeling to twinges of pain, but they would stop whenever we stopped walking. I got tired and decided that I needed food. I chose our favorite indian restaurant to gorge myself with spicy curry. We went back home feeling a bit defeated and sat down on the couch to watch a sermon. At exactly 2 pm I felt what was my first painful, low down, aching contraction and as I stood up to find a more comfortable position I felt a little pop and a gush of fluid. And oh, how excited I was.

From there it got pretty intense pretty quickly, with contractions coming about 2 minutes apart from the get go. I got into the tub to labor for a little while, which helped tremendously while Brian called triage to see when they thought we should head to the hospital. We stayed home for a couple more hours moving from place to place around the house trying to find any position or place that relieved some of the pressure. All that I really remember is that the back pain was incredibly intense, and I remember praying that didn't mean she was in a posterior position. When the contractions were coming one right after another, we decided to head in.

When we got to triage and got checked out, I was at 6 cm. The doctor that checked us suggested that if we wanted to do this thing naturally, that we go walk for a bit and then come back a few hours later. I remember thinking, "I cannot possibly walk anymore. I've been walking for 2 weeks trying to get her out." But knowing we wanted a unmedicated labor, we left labor and delivery to walk the halls. Literally the second we stepped out of labor and delivery, it got REAL. I mean, really real. I felt like my back was ripping apart and I clutched onto Brian through every contraction. We tried to walk down the hallway, but I could no longer walk and just held onto Brian for dear life. At this point, I started feeling that panicky, out of control feeling as my body was taking over and doing what it needed to do. I just couldn't handle the back labor anymore and I begged Brian to take me back into labor and delivery and find someone that could give me an epidural. I needed relief. Brian, being the sweet man he is, reminded me that an epidural wasn't what I wanted and that I was strong and that I could do this! And I was all, SCREW THE PLAN and get me an epidural. And he was all, Yes ma'am.

We returned to labor and delivery and Brian let the nurse know we were ready to be admitted and that we needed an anesthesiologist ASAP. Our biggest fear in getting the epidural at this point was that it would slow down or halt the labor, but I just couldn't handle the back pain anymore and didn't care at this point. They did a quick ultrasound before the epidural to check the baby's position and realized that she was sunny side up, face up, in a posterior position, which explained the back labor. Next thing I knew the anesthesiologist arrived, gave me the drugs, and I was a much happier person. The doctor came in 30 minutes later to check me, and I was at 9 cm. I just remember her saying, "I'll be back in an hour and we will do this thing."

At this point, our sweet friends were arriving to the airport to pick up my parents and bring them straight to the hospital. About 30 minutes later, my parents arrived at the hospital and when they walked in all I can remember saying is, "Hey mom! Hey dad! Welcome to Japan! I'm about to push this baby out." At about 11:50 PM, the doctor came back in and announced that it was time.  At this point, I had started shivering/shaking pretty uncontrollably and was throwing up-- all which the nurse thought was signs of transition-- but ended up being a sign of an infection in my water. The nurse took my temp and I was at almost 104. The doctor looked at me with concern in her eyes and told me, "if you don't want a c-section, you have to push with all you have. We have to get this baby out." They called in the NICU team, knowing that Jane was sitting in infected water.

I pushed for a total of 1 hour and 13 minutes, and remember my mom saying, "Kenz, she's here" and looking at my husbands beaming face as our little love came into the world at 1:03 AM on Sunday, December 15th with a loud cry and a head full of sweet, wavy black hair and a squishy little face. I pulled her up onto my chest and immediately fell in love. I knew that she was burning up with fever as soon as I touched her and I begged them to let me do skin to skin for a few minutes before they took her away. When they took her temperature and she was running 103 degrees, so they immediately took her from me to look her over. My favorite memory of this time is yelling across the room to Brian as he watched them check her out, "Is she cute??" and his response, "I'm not really sure yet babe, the cone head is really throwing me off right now." All the medical staff let out a little chuckle at his response.

Unfortunately, due to the infection and a low blood sugar reading, they ended up taking our girl to the NICU for the next 36 hours. She proved herself to be a strong little lady as she was poked and prodded and stuck with needles multiple times. These hours are ones we are not quite as quick to relive-- as though they were short, for new parents they were scary and sad. My emotions were running high and we felt helpless and exhausted, but God was so faithful. He showed Himself mighty in our little girl as she healed quickly and was returned to us in a short time.

When we were at our lowest physically and emotionally, God revealed Himself to us through a specific NICU doctor who took time out to talk to us, pray with us, and literally shed tears with us over OUR daughter. He prayed she would grow up to know the Lord and that she would change the world through His Spirit. He prayed that our marriage would grow stronger and stronger and that Jane would know love through how Brian loves me. He reminded us that we are writing Jane's story, no body else's and that we know how to best parent her. God knew that we were in need of some encouragement and soul refreshing after a long couple of days, and He provided-- as He always does. Though our story was not exactly how we envisioned it, God was faithful and He was present and we have a beautiful, perfect, scrumptious little girl that we cannot believe belongs to us.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!

Well guys, my last blog post was 3 months ago and a LOT has changed, so I think it's about time to jump back on the bandwagon. My only New Year's Resolution this year is to start blogging our lives again (and to stop biting my nails but I say that every year and well... yeah).

With the addition of our little Jane, in combination with living thousands of miles away from family, it's about time to start documenting again. I know we will want to remember these first days of squishy baby skin and early morning feedings by the glow of twinkling Christmas tree lights. These days where the coffee pot is on all day and the dark circles under my eyes keep getting darker-- but I could not care less. These are good days, and they deserve to be recorded.

2013 was so great to us, and we cannot wait to see all the joy that 2014 will bring.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

30 Weeks!

30 weeks! So, technically I'm already 31 weeks. But this little nugget is measuring behind schedule and I'm not disciplined enough to keep on track with the blog. Brian and I had a date night the other night and kept talking about how crazy it is that in 10(ish) weeks, we become parents for the rest of our lives. In 10 weeks, our world will be turned upside down in the sweetest way possible. We are so so excited, but also wanting to soak up the last bit of time we have as just the two of us. I know having a baby will bring so much joy into our family, but it's been a dang good 
two years of having my man all to myself. 

We've been talking a lot more about birth around these parts (as in our house, not those parts) and are getting excited to see how our lady will choose to greet the world. We have had lots of friends walk through this over the past month, and it's been fun (also, scary) to hear/read the retelling of their birth stories. I am reading a few books, just for inspiration, but am really trying hard to take everything with a grain of salt and not get caught up on the "right" way to do things. We aren't making a birth plan, but rather just letting my body do it's thing and praying for a smooth labor and delivery. How freeing to remember that God is ultimately in control, and though we may plan and plan and plan-- He knows best. 

I leave tomorrow to fly to the states for 2 1/2 weeks, and I am OH so excited! I can't wait to hug my family and catch up with dear friends over coffee and eat so much good food. If you think about me, please pray for a smooth flight-- and maybe an upgrade to first class? Couldn't hurt :) 

As always, thanks to my sweet Mands for taking these pictures. And thanks to sweet John Shea for sleeping like a little angel the whole time. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

28 weeks

This was a big week in the baby department. With the births of two sweet boys to some of our dearest friends here, trips to the hospital to visit babies and for OB appointments, and a baby shower for another dear friend-- we are more excited than ever to meet our girl.

I had my 28 week glucose test this week, yay for no gestational diabetes! I also had an appointment with my midwife to check on our girl and listen to her heartbeat (which was racing from the 100g of sugar I had consumed an hour prior). All looks good, and she is growing right on track. Since I have a negative blood type, I also had to get my Rhogam shot at this appointment. We feel so blessed with the care we have received at the Naval Hospital here. We've heard horror stories, considering military hospital care has a history of not being the greatest. But we cannot say enough great things about our sweet midwife, who knows us (Brian included) by name and calls after my appointment to follow up. She has honored every wish we have had thus far in the pregnancy and makes us feel supported in any way she can.

I'm getting a little bit nervous about my flight home. Flying for 24 hours while 30 weeks pregnant? Swollen extremities, here I come. Compression stockings needed ASAP. It will be SO worth it though. I just can't wait to hug my family, wear a scarf, get a good haircut, and drink a pumpkin spice latte without sweating.

Love you guys! 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

25/26 Weeks: East China Sea

When Amanda snapped these pictures last week, I was somewhere between 25 and 26 weeks! Still feeling great, sleeping great, and eating everything in sight. Getting more excited everyday about meeting our girl. 

I had previously gotten a report from my doctor that I had an anterior placenta, meaning just that the placenta was between the baby and my tummy. Because of this, I could feel the baby moving all the time, but Brian wasn't able to feel her from the outside. He would always have his hand on my belly and I would ask, "did you feel that?" and sadly his answer was always no. Well, we are pretty positive that my placenta has shifted and fixed itself, because this weekend he was able to feel her nonstop. On Friday night we were laying on the couch and Brian had his hand resting on my belly while we were watching a movie. Out of nowhere babygirl kicked the crap out of me, and Brian jerked his head to look at me and said, "I definitely felt that." Such a sweet moment. And from then on he has been able to feel her. She gets all squirmy every time she hears her dad's voice, which turns me to mush. I can't wait to see the two of them together. 

We remain so thankful for this healthy pregnancy and the chance to experience something so incredible. Every time we leave an appointment or talk about child birth, we are always left speechless and in awe of our Creator. 

Labor day weekend was exactly what we needed this past weekend. Slow mornings filled with coffee and Jesus, days with no plans, a few golf outings, grilling out, and a lot of couch snuggling. There is so much to look forward to in the next few weeks/months, and I know the time is just going to fly. So many babies being born here to dear friends, a trip to the states, my best friend's wedding, starting a community group in our home, and soaking up every spare moment in between with my man before we add a baby to the mix. 
Thank you friends for all your kind words and prayers! They mean more than we can say.

Monday, August 26, 2013

24 Weeks: Cape Zanpa

Another week closer to meeting our girl. We dream about her all the time and love imagining what she will be like. Every slow Saturday morning as Brian and I snuggle up in bed, we talk about how sweet it will be to pull our babe into bed with us and cuddle with her while sipping our morning cups of coffee. We pray for her every single day; that God would give her a sweet, gentle sprit and that she would be carefree, a little bit wild, and filled with joy.

We're pretty sure we've decided on her name, and love calling her that when it's just the two of us. (mostly to make sure we don't get tired of it after saying/hearing it multiple times a day) So far, so good! But you guys will have to wait a bit longer to find that out :) We've bought her crib and a dresser and Brian painted the room a bright, sunny yellow for our sunshine girl. Slowly, but surely, it's all coming together!

I'm feeling great, and am truly thankful that God has granted me a fairly easy (so far!) pregnancy. Besides some mild heartburn/indigestion and a lot of heavy mouth breathing, I'm doing alright! Baby girl moves around all day, which puts this mama at ease. I don't mind it one bit. Even when it wakes me up in the night, I just take a minute to pray for her and then drift back to sleep. Keep on moving, little lady.

As always, thanks to my sweet Mands for the pics! She is SO close to meeting her boy. Can't wait to see him!