Friday, June 29, 2012

Sleep? Yes, Please.

Thursday was a ROUGH day. Jax and I were not meshing very well. He would not eat or sleep well all day long. And that was tiring (to say the least).

However, I did discover that he likes to be outside! Around 3pm (when all other methods had failed) I strapped him in his stroller and took him outside. I had no game plan. We ended up walking up and down our driveway for almost 20 minutes. Next time, I think I might venture around the block. But this first 'outing' outside - we stayed close to home. Jaxen loved it. He never fell asleep, but he also was not screaming his little head off anymore!

After our walk outside, I plopped him in the car - and off we went. We went to see Nik at work and then ran a few errands that were probably not even important - but I just needed out of the house and needed to have a non-screaming baby for an hour.

By the time we returned home, Jaxen was content!

That evening, Nik had to be out of the house and the minute Jaxen started to get fussy we hopped in the car and headed to Target. I had a few things I needed to return. That trip is another story for another day. Let's just say that I need to 'practice' being out with Jaxen by myself. Car seat, stroller, diaper bag (which was left at home), purse, items to return, items to purchase,... it was all a little much. For me. Jaxen loved every second of it and did so well. But if there had been 'Newborn Police' around, I'm pretty sure I did everything in the book wrong. But my baby was happy and I have no pride when it comes to this newborn stuff, and could care less if others think 'what in the world is this mom doing?' Ha!

An hour later and with a Butterfinger  in hand (a treat for me - for accomplishing the adventure of Target with a newborn) we were home. Safe and Sound. And then enters our hero (Nik)... who spoke his greatest words ever "I'm off tomorrow and you need some sleep. So, I will take care of Jaxen and only wake you when he needs to eat. Other than that, he is mine." And the heavens parted and angels sang out "Hallelujah!" (I might be a bit dramatic - but if you have been in these shoes before, you know where I'm coming from!)

And that night - Nik and Jax slept in the living room and I had the best sleep ever. So did Jax. He must have been exhausted from his rough day, because after we put him down for the night he slept 6 hours! Which meant, I slept 6 hours! And after his next feeding, Nik took him again and we both slept 2 more hours!

Thank you to my cutie husband for being so kind and sensitive to your sleep-deprived wifey.

Looking forward to a very fun weekend with friends!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Turning 31

I am officially in my 30's now....

Yesterday, I turned 31. And I can honestly say that I'm handling it a little better than last year, when I turned 30!

Nik and I, at my 30th Birthday Party, last year:

At my party, everyone wrote on cards - with some words of wisdom or advice to help me embrace being 30. The following card is one I received:
It says "Make Babies!"

I guess I can check that off my list!

For my Birthday Day - Nik got me doughnuts (as requested) for my Birthday Breakfast. The morning was pretty low-key. Jaxen and I hung out and napped for a bit. Then, for lunch, Nik and I went to my workplace. We all ordered in Thai food - and it was delicious! It was a lot of fun to see my work people. I have missed them these last couple of weeks. 

They got cupcakes for dessert!

They all had lots of fun holding Jax.
Below is my boss, Gary:

My beautiful Birthday flowers:

I had a really nice birthday. Lots of cards, many texts, some nice phone calls, and even some late night visitors wishing me a Happy Birthday! My cutie husband gave me the sweetest card, and money to go shopping!

This weekend we have some friends coming in town - the Birthday Celebration will continue with a pedicure, some shopping, a night out for my Birthday Dinner and I'm sure lots more fun!

30 treated me pretty well (minus a skin infection and a broken hand!) - I can't wait to see what 31 has in store for me!


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Newborn Pics Preview

This morning, we had newborn pictures taken of Jaxen. This is something I really wanted done and I can say it was well worth the money! We had been given a photographers name and number from some friends and she was incredible. She was so sweet and patient and was so much fun to work with.

I did not think I would get to see any preview pics until at least this weekend - but she has some ready today! She posted them on Facebook (so if you are my friend on Facebook you can see them) but I also wanted to post them here.

Enjoy these sweet, wonderful pics of our baby boy!

Random Things

* My feet are no longer swollen. I never have really liked my feet - but I have also never been happier to see my normal feet return!

* I wore my wedding ring and watch for the first time in a few months, on Sunday. It was fun to 'be married' again!

* Today, I mowed the grass and helped Nik wash a car. It was nice to be outside, sweating, and not have an extra 20+ pounds on me!

* Jaxen had a boys night last Thursday night - watching the final NBA game, complete with Pizza Rolls, chocolate chip cookies and Oreos! (Don't worry - none of which Jaxen consumed. But I sure did!)

* Nik took this picture of Jaxen while he was sleeping on me the other night - we think it is pretty cute / funny:

* Our days have been pretty low-key since we came home from the hospital. I am enjoying them, but am also ready to get out a bit more and be around people!

* One of our good friends, Bob came to see us this past weekend. We had such a good time visiting with him!

* We introduced Jaxen to his swing this past weekend - He loved it!

* And just because I can't help myself - I take a picture of Jaxen everyday. Here is a photo from Friday:

* And here is a photo from Saturday:

* And a photo from Sunday:

* Tomorrow is my birthday. I keep forgetting about it! But I am excited to celebrate me! I will be turning 31...

* Don't miss Jaxen's 2 Week post, below. I posted twice today...

Jaxen - 2 Weeks Old

Jaxen is 2 weeks old today! Time sure has flown by... This sweet little boy still melts my heart a little more every day.

Today we had Newborn Pics taken. I cannot wait to see them. The poses were so adorable. I'll let you know when I get something to preview. Until then - enjoy these few pics I took of him today:

I know... all the pics look the same - of him sleeping! 
But, that is what he does right now, most of the time!

What Jaxen is up to at 2 weeks:

* Jaxen slept 5 hours on Saturday night! The other nights, he has been sleeping anywhere from 3-5 hours.

* He loves the swing.

* When he is sleepy and trying to fight it - he likes you to walk around while holding him, and usually falls asleep quickly after that.

* He normally stays awake after his early afternoon and mid-evening feeding, for quite a while.

Nik went back to a 'normal' work schedule this week. Which means, he is at the office for a little bit every morning and afternoon; home for lunch; and then out and about a few nights during the week. When he is home, he soaks up as much 'Jaxen Time' as he can get. So far (2 days in) we have done well 'on our own'!

I talked to my work this week and set a date to return, part time. That will be a transition, for sure. I'm not thinking about that time yet. Just enjoying the time I have with him at home for now. No childcare figured out yet. Please keep this in your prayers. I really need to figure this out soon!

These two weeks have been incredible! 
We love you Jaxen!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Jaxen - 2 Week Dr. Appointment

This morning we had an appointment to see the pediatrician, for Jaxen's 2-week follow-up.

Jax and I - while waiting on the doctor:

Dr. K was recommended to us by a friend, and was very nice. Jaxen was great during his exam and at the end she told us that he had a completely normal exam!

* Jaxen weighs 7 pounds. His birth weight was 7.7. He has gained some good weight this past week, but we have a little bit of work to do, to get him back up to his birth weight. That work includes me feeding him every 2 hours during the day. During the night, I can let him sleep until he wakes up.

* Jaxen has grown some - now measuring 20 3/4 ". His birth length was 20 1/2".

After our appointment with Dr. K, we had to have some routine blood work done. Jax did great through that. He is a trooper!

And that's the doctor appointment update.

All is well, here on the home front! I hope everyone has a great week!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Jaxen's Birth Story - Part 2

This is Part 2 of Jaxen's Birth Story - see previous post for Part 1...

Tuesday, June 12: At 5:40 am they examined me and I was dilated to a 9! After they saw that, the OB on call asked me to push. This was a trial push, to see how things were going to go and see how well I was at pushing. After that trial push - the OB on call said she was going to call my doctor and we would begin pushing shortly.

Dr. G came in to my room around 7am and told me that we were going to start pushing out this baby! I was excited and nervous. My main thought was that I was so tired, I didn't know if I would have the energy to do this. But I knew I had to. I do remember asking Nik to pray for me and ask others to pray as we began the pushing process. Nik sent a couple of texts out updating people, and asking for some prayer.

The pushing started. I apparently had to learn how to push. I was not pushing correctly. I eventually learned and pushed with all I had. After I had been pushing awhile, they told me to stop, that they wanted to check on the direction of the baby's head. After an exam by 2 doctors, they decided that Jaxen's head was sideways. It needed to be face down. So they decided to 'go in' and turn his head. They worked for awhile at turning it, and thought they had it. I began to push again. But as I started, his head turned back sideways. So they had 2 other doctors come in (now, a total of 4 people) and had them try to turn his head. Basically, they kept turning it correctly, but every time I pushed it went back sideways. This continued for awhile. I was getting tired. I stared to feel the pain. The epidural had worn off. They called in for more medicine and kept giving it to me - but for some reason (probably my body had gotten used to it) I was still feeling everything.

I had not progressed much with pushing. Because Jaxen's head was sideways, it was harder to push out. My contractions were coming, and coming hard...but they were not consistent. For awhile, the contractions came every couple of minutes. And I would do really well with pushing, but then they would stop and only come about every 6 minutes. That was the hard part - I would make progress then I would 'back track'.

At about 9am, my doctor decided something else needed to happen. I was not in very good shape to keep going. I was so tired and I was feeling so much pain. She told us what our options were: 1) use forceps. 2) do a c-section. She called in a consult on the forceps, and the consult agreed that the forceps would be a good option. Dr. G decided that she felt comfortable using forceps and thought I just needed a little help to get Jaxen out. If the forceps did not work the first time, then she would do a c-section.

Once the call was made to use the forceps, Dr. G brought in two other doctors, a third nurse and called in NICU (protocol). I don't remember much about the decision being made, but I do remember a lot of hustle and bustle. At one point no one was around me anymore, they were all busy prepping. At that moment, Nik leaned over me and started praying. It was the sweetest prayer and my heart was filled with joy and even more love for my husband. He prayed for a safe and quick delivery and that I would have the strength to push one more time and bring Jaxen into this world.

I later found out that around 9:30am, one of my friends who works at the hospital came by to check on me. When she heard I was still pushing, she immediately texted some friends and asked them to pray. She knew it was probably not a good situation if I had not delivered yet.

Dr. G was ready to go with the forceps and told me to push one more time. She inserted the forceps and  helped open the path. Right as she did, Jaxen came out! It was pretty quick and she never even needed to use the forceps on him - just to open me up. He was delivered at 9:41am.

All I have to say is that because of the all the prayers going up on my behalf at that point and only by the grace of God, did Jaxen come out. I had nothing left in me to give. I remember thinking that I wanted to push when they told me to, and I was trying to push, but I knew that it was not a good push. I was so surprised when they told me he was here because I knew I barely pushed at all. God gave me the strength I needed, when I needed it! I am grateful for those who prayed for me through this labor and delivery. I could not have done it without those prayers!

As soon as Jaxen was delivered, he was given to NICU to have him checked out and get him cleaned up. After a few minutes they called Nik over. He did not get the chance to cut the umbilical cord when he was born because it all happened so fast - but he did get the chance then, to trim it. He stayed over with Jaxen as they finished working on him. At that time, they rolled Jaxen over by me so I could see him. I don't really know what my first thoughts were when I saw him. All I know is that I felt relief that he was here. I was still in a lot of pain and not thinking clearly.

The minute Nik saw Jaxen, he thought he was awesome. Nik later told me that he was scared of what he would think, because he thought most newborns were ugly! He was pretty nervous about holding him, but jumped right in and hasn't stopped yet. Nik is so gentle with him and it is so fun to see him love on Jaxen.

The doctors began immediately after Jaxen was born, working on me to deliver the placenta, massage my stomach and start stitching me up. I did tear - but it was not bad, just second degree. It took them awhile to work on me and when they were finished I was still unable to hold Jaxen. One of the side effects of the one of the medicines I was on, was the shakes. I was shaking uncontrollably for over an hour after delivery.

Eventually, I started to feel better and I finally got to hold Jaxen. That was when I got to see how perfect he was! Nik was pointing out how long his feet and fingers were. I fell in love with that little boy immediately when they put him in my arms... and that love has grown even more every day!

I eventually got moved to the Post Partum Wing, Room #305. Jaxen and I were still being checked on pretty often. The first time they checked on me, after I had moved - I had a fever. It was low-grade, but still a fever. So they paid even closer attention to me for awhile. The fever passed and neither Jaxen or I had any other problems.

One of the things that so impressed me about Scott and White Hospital was the nursing staff. They were incredible! They were so sweet and loving. They took care of me so well. I will never forget how kind they were. They were so helpful. Anytime they mentioned something to do with Jaxen and Nik and I had no clue... we simply said "Can you please teach us / tell us more / we are new at this, and have no clue" and they were so nice. They were patient with us and helped us learn anything we needed!

One of the funny things that Nik told me after it was all said and done - was that he was sore! Nik had the impression before I went into labor that during the labor process, he would just stand at my head and tell me to breathe and feed me ice chips. That was not the case! The minute I started pushing, they told Nik to hold onto my left leg and he did not get a break after that. There were two nurses on my right side who took turns holding my leg...but no one ever took over for Nik. So, his arm and shoulder were sore from all the pressure he had while I pushed.

Another thing that Nik thought I would do was cuss at him while in labor. Can you believe he actually thought that?! He always heard it was the 'nice, sweet church girls' that cussed out their husbands during labor - so he thought I might be one of them. But he was wrong. I never said a negative thing about anyone during my labor. I guess I did yell and scream through it, but I yelled and screamed that "It hurt", and that "I could not do this anymore". At one point, after I had delivered, while they were working on me still - I was still feeling a lot of pain and I guess I yelled out "What are you doing to me?" Nik kindly told me what was going on. He was pretty sweet through the whole labor and delivery process and I'm so glad he was able to be there. I could not imagine doing this with out him by my side, encouraging me.

I thank God for the wonderful pregnancy, the safe delivery and for Jaxen. He is amazing and perfect and custom-made just for Nik and I!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Jaxen's Birth Story - Part 1

The following is Part 1 of Jaxen's Birth Story. I hope it is not 'too much information'. If it is...stop reading! I really want to remember all the details of Jaxen's birth and thought some of you might enjoy reading about this experience.


We have seen God's hand at work this entire pregnancy. From the timing of his conception to the timing of his birth, and everything in between. Many of you know we had some specific dates that we had to 'get through' before Jaxen was born. We had some insurance changes that took place June 1, Nik was traveling every week for 4 weeks through the end of May and the first part of June, and would be traveling again come mid-July. We really prayed about the arrival of Jaxen. We did not want it to be too early or too late! And God knew the perfect arrival date: June 12, 2012.

Saturday, June 9: Nik and I were at home, relaxing the weekend away. At one point I looked at Nik and said "Although this pregnancy has been so great, and I have really enjoyed being pregnant - I think I'm ready to not be pregnant anymore!" Everyone had been asking me if I was miserable and ready for the pregnancy to be over and I kept (honestly) saying "No". I was not miserable and I really have enjoyed being pregnant. Then Saturday hit. And I was done. I knew (ha!) I had 2 more weeks to go, and I was going to stick it out...but that day, it just hit me - that being pregnant was not that much fun anymore!

Sunday evening, June 10: We went out to eat after church with some friends. I had been craving a chicken quesidilla so we went to a mexican restaurant - and I ordered a coke to drink, ate chips and salsa, had a chicken quesidilla and ended the meal with a sopipilla with carmel, sugar and syrup. Yum! That evening as I slept (a little restlessly) I started to not feel very good. I was a little nauseous. I figured it was from my (not-very-good-for-me) dinner. I was able to work through it and felt a little better when my alarm went off at 6:30 the next morning.

Monday, June 11: My alarm went off at 6:30am and I started to wake up and get out of bed. The second I stood up, I felt trickiling down my legs. My first thought was "Baby must be pressing right on my bladder for me to lose control of it - that has never happened before!" But the trickling continued as I made my way to the bathroom. For the first time, the thought occurred that maybe my water broke. But I was not was not how I imagined it would be, when/if my water broke. I decided that I better be safe rather than sorry, so I called Labor and Delivery. I explained what happened and how I was not sure if it was my water, or just me losing control of my bladder. They told me to give it about an hour and if I was still leaking, it was my water. So I waited (as I tried not to freak out). At 7:30am, I gently woke Nik up (made sure he was totally awake) and then said "Honey, I think my water broke and I think I am having this baby today!" He sat up in bed and replied with "Okay". He later told me that many thoughts were running through his head, but all he could say, was "okay". I explained the events of the morning and my phone conversations with the nurses. By that time I was still leaking and I knew this was my water breaking. So I hopped in the shower and got ready to go; and told Nik to do the same.

One of the (many) things on my To Do List for the week was to pack my hospital bag. I had put this off. I, at least, had started a list of everything I needed to take. So I pulled out a bag and my list and started packing. I got everything together on my list, a few things for Nik and then the thought crossed my mind that I probably needed to pack something for Jaxen! But what?! I had no idea. I had no list. So I grabbed a diaper bag and put 2 (or more) of everything we had in there. Not literally everything... but you know what I mean.

By that time, it was a little after 8. I was not in much pain. I was having some cramps and I was beginning to move slower - but feeling pretty well. I had talked to the nurse again and given her an update and told her we were coming to the hospital. She suggested that I eat breakfast before I come. So I asked Nik to pull through McDonalds and get me a sausage biscuit to eat on the way to the hospital.

While we were in the drive-thru line, I suddenly felt a gush of water. (That is what I imagined my water breaking would be like). Thankfully, I had packed a towel. It was in the back end of our SUV. So Nik put the car in park and ran to the back to get the towel for me (while still in the drive-thru line). We ordered breakfast, paid and continued to the hospital. All along, water was still gushing in spurts. I took 2 bites of my sausage biscuit and then put it away. It was making me sick to my stomach (that and probably nerves and  anxiety...).

We arrived at the hospital at 8:30am. Nik pulled the car up to the curb and left it there, while he walked me in and got me to the Labor and Delivery floor. As I filled out paperwork, Nik went back and parked the car. I began to pace the waiting area until they called me back. It did not take long - and they put me in a 'Triage' room to examine me.

When they examined me they told me that my water had definitely broken and that I was dilated to a 2. Joy! Only 8 more to go... I knew that labor would be a long process but I was secretly hoping that since my water had broken I would be dilated a bit more. But no. Oh well. They hooked me up to an IV and started administering an antibiotic (for the Group B Strep). They put a blood pressure cuff on me that would automatically take my blood pressure after so many minutes and put 2 monitors on my stomach. One to record Jaxen's heartbeat and the second, to record my contractions.

By 9:30am, I was in Labor and Delivery Room #333.

Here I am, in my room all settled:

I was pretty hungry since I never ate breakfast so they finally brought me a lunch tray. When I say "lunch tray" what I really mean is: broth, jello, tea, and grape juice. Yummy. I knew I had to keep my strength up, so I ate (swallowed) as much as I could stand.

During that time one of my friends, Heather, came by to see me:

At 11:45am they decided to start me on Pitocin (helps induce labor) because my labor was not happening fast enough.

After I ate lunch, Nik decided it would probably be good for him to eat as well. So he left and went down to the cafeteria. Funny story: While Nik was standing in line to get lunch, the guy working the grill came over and asked Nik if he could ask him a question. Nik said "Sure"! His question was "How do you get your beard that straight? You must comb it all the time!" Nik replied "No, it just grows that way." The other guy replied "Mine comes in, but it just puffs up - I have to comb it all the time to get it as straight as it is." During that conversation, another worker walked up and joined in. Apparently neither one could get their beard straight like Niks! I think it is so funny that someone stopped him and asked about his beard. This is not really uncommon. It's pretty amazing the amount of men who stop and talk to Nik about his facial hair! But on with my story...

Once the Pitocin set in, I actually started to feel the labor. I was cramping and could feel the contractions. As the labor progressed, so did the pain. Nik and I had already talked about getting an epidural and we had decided that I would get one. There were a few different reasons why we chose this route, but the main one, was that we knew labor would probably be long (normally is for the first child) and we wanted to do everything we could to help me go through the labor with enough strength to push Jaxen out when the time came. So - at 4pm they placed the epidural.

Once the water breaks they do not like to examine you very often because the risk of infection is so much greater. They were basically keeping an eye on my contractions to see how they were progressing. But by 6:15pm they decided to do an exam to see how I was coming along. They checked me and I was dilated to a 4.

Dinner came. Guess what it was? More broth, jello, tea, and grape juice. Again, I ate what I could.

Labor continued. The main concern during my labor was a fever. They wanted to make sure that I never spiked a fever. And I didn't. The entire time my temperature was good. My blood pressure was good and Jaxen's heartbeat was good. It was pretty amazing how neither one of us got 'distressed' during the labor process. I know there were at least 7 others on the floor in labor and through out the day and night when a nurse came to check on me they would tell me how Jaxen was the happiest baby and handling labor the best out of all the babies! Just another instance where God's hand was upon us!

At 10:30pm they examined me again and I was dilated to a 6. Let me just say, it was a long night. At first, I really enjoyed seeing the monitors that showed Jaxen's heartbeat and my contractions. But by this time - I stopped looking at it. It depressed me to see how few and far between my contractions were. I tried to sleep. Everyone kept telling me to sleep. But sleep never came. I tried to focus on stuff - talking to Nik, talking to the few night visitors I had, and even resorted to blogging at 3am Tuesday morning! (Some people thought I was crazy...but I just needed to focus on something). Nik watched TV and tried to get some sleep. I think he slept a little bit - but with all the distractions of people coming in, it would be hard for anyone to sleep!

I don't remember much about that night. Overall, the night was pretty uneventful.

Part 2 of Jaxen's Birth Story coming soon....

Thursday, June 21, 2012

First Bath

We gave Jaxen his first bath (at home) this week. He can only have a sponge bath right now, but it was so much fun! He hardly fussed at all. I really hope he continues to enjoy bath time - that's one thing that I really look forward to!

Naked and ready for his bath:

Cleaning his backside (love the wrinkles):

Nik, washing Jaxen's hair:

All clean, smelling amazing, and ready for some cuddles:

One of the many 'firsts' we will experience with this sweet boy.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Meeting Mamaw

Jaxen had a special visitor this week - his Mamaw! Mamaw is my grandmother (my mom's mom). She drove to Temple and spent the day with us, and we are so glad she did!

Come back anytime, Mamaw! We love you!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Jaxen - 1 Week Old

Jaundice Update: We went to the hospital Monday morning to have his Jaundice levels checked and they were good! He technically still has it, but his levels have dropped enough and are low enough that they do not need to see him anymore, until his 2 week check-up!


Jaxen was born 1 week ago, today - It has been a pretty crazy and exciting week! This morning I looked at Nik and said "Well, we survived the first week!" For that matter, Jaxen survived his first week!

His Birth Day:

1 Week Old:

* Weight: 6 pounds, 13 ounces.
* He is wearing newborn clothes and newborn diapers.
* He likes to be cuddled all the time - and we oblige!
* He is eating every 3 - 3 1/2 hours.
* After he eats, he normally stays awake for awhile. During this time he has become more alert. I love looking into his eyes and watching him take everything in!

Nik and I still look at each other every now and then and say - "Can you believe he is here?!" We are having the best time getting to know Jaxen. We are in awe at how cute he is and how good he is. Every face he makes, every noise he makes, every's all so wonderful. We are not taking these first days for granted - we know how fast the days will go!