Monday, February 11, 2013

Christmas Hearts

I wrote this back before Christmas but never got around to publishing it. This whole two kid thing is a little hard on my blogs. I love it though!!! Now that things are calming down (ha!) I want to post more. 

I have somewhat mastered going shopping with both girls but it never fails to totally stress me out and totally overwhelm me. Someone is usually crying or needs something and it never fails Piper wants to nurse again as we are walking out. 

 Today I decided to run to Toys R Us to grab Ela's last minute gifts. I've been putting this off because I mean who wants to go near the mall or a toy store this close to Christmas? Per the norm Piper screamed the whole way there. When we were picking up my coffee (no time to brew!) the barista at Starbucks asked if she cried all the time in the car. I said yes and he seemed pretty happy with the fact there were no babies in his life. Yesterday the barista at Starbucks gave me my drink for free because I pulled up with a handful of diapers, a screaming baby, no wallet and a look if total despair . ( Don't judge my Starbucks habit I've been too busy giving life abs nourishment to a baby to make coffee in the morning if I need to bake a quick exit . And the power was off this morning. )

Today is freezing and the wind was whipping around. I got us to the store and into the store. I also managed to load a large toy kitchen box into my cart while balancing a baby in a sling. The bad thing was, I couldnt see over or around the box and the store was getting pretty crowded. After nearly taking out one of Santa's grumpy elfs (she was tiny, covered in red and green glitter and was below my eye level) I made it through the checkout. But there was no one to help me to the car. So I am balancing a huge box and a 37 pound  toddler in the cart and trying to use my chin to keep Piper covered up from the wind in the sling. The wind rips the cart towards a car as Ela rips off Piper's blanket. The blanket goes flying through the air as I narrowly miss the car but not amused looks from strangers. Thanks for the help guys! I get to the car and get Ela in her carseat and out of the freezing 40 degree Georgia winter wind. Now it's time to tackle the box while keeping Piper covered up, holding her blanket up with my chin. I would like to thank the gentleman watching from the warmth of his car right beside me for just looking very amused at my struggles and for not even offering to help. 

After loading up the car I climb in the backseat to Piper buckled in. I shut and lock the doors with my keyless entry. Can't be too safe these says you know. I always sit in the backseat, lock the door and then take Piper out of the sling in a warm car. We have the childlock on Ela's door but not the other door. I get Piper settled in and by that I mean she is screaming. I am rushing to get going because she usually quiets doen once the car is moving. I tried to open the door but it wouldnt open. I pushed harder and harder.  I guess it the childlock turned itself on because I was sure stuck. Piper was still screaming and Ela is yelling "Mommy, seatbelt put on your seatbelt!!!" And the door won't budge. There is zero room to climb over the infant seat and over the driver's seat. Especially wearing skinny jeans and knee high boots. As I sit there and thinking about my options I realize unless I want to spend the whole day sitting there trying to get a stranger to open my door I have no choice. I also haven't done yoga or anything in a while and am still pretty sore from my C-Section but I have to get home before I loose my mind. I loop one leg over the infant seat and throw my butt into the drivers seat with both legs sprawled in the air, one over the steering wheel. I'm sure the man beside me really enjoyed his entertainment while he waited. I finically got my long booted legs under the wheel and put on my sunglasses, head held high I burst out laughing. When I backed out the man who offered no help decided to move his car  forward to get out of my way even though I was no where near hitting him while I backed out. Pretty sure he was questioning my sanity.  Piper screamed the whole way home and Ela sang the three lines of jingle bells she knows loudly and didn't stop. My head was pounding and the driver in front of me was going ten under the speed limit (she didn't have two kids in her backseat clearly!). 

I was not feeling very thankful at all, okay maybe downright irritated and upset, when I passed several State Troopers waiting for the funeral procession of a police officer killed while on duty. I thought of his parents and friends, the parents of the kids in Connecticut and my friends and family who have lost loved ones and won't be spending Christmas with them. I started crying, my heart aching for these losses. I thanked Jesus for my two precious loud, drive me crazy girls and actually enjoyed hearing Piper scream the rest of the way home. Ok, maybe enjoy is too strong a word but I was thankful that my girls are alive and healthily and able to drive me crazy. We have been abundantly blessed and I am beyond  thankful. 

I pray for the families who have lost their family, especially at Christmas and pray God's protection over my family. 

"For He has sent His angels to watch over you." 

Merry Christmas! 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Piper's Birth Story

We welcomed Piper Virginia into our lives November 13th at 5:44pm. She weighed 8 pounds and 8 ounces and was 20 inches long. Her birth was supposed to be planned and predictable but turned out to be an exciting and very special time.

We had Piper's C-section planned for Thursday, November 14th at 8:30am.  I had a planned C-section because of many issues during Ela's birth. (Is Birth Just an Entry Into the World? ) Even though I wasnt looking forward to another C-Section I was excited about everything being planned. My friends even made me pack my hospital bag two weeks early because I was so convinced it would all go as planned. But babies have a mind of their own, even when it comes to making their grand entrance. 

On November 11th Jered and I went to our small group meeting.  During small group I started having what I thought was pressure pain but kept getting worse and no matter which way I sat or stood. As soon as the meeting was over I jumped up and told Jered we needed to go. I thought walking around would help. I had had bad pressure pains the whole last few months and thought this was the same thing. We hadnt eaten dinner and grabbed some sushi before heading home. During the whole dinner I kept gasping because the pains were so bad. I started thinking they were braxton hicks and kept waiting for them to end. 

By 4am Monday morning I had looked up false labor on my iPad and realized that was it. By this point the contractions were every seven minutes and I hadnt gotten any sleep. I took two baths and did my breathing. The back labor was the most painful. I tried sitting on my ball, more baths, heat and walking. Nothing helped but the baths. By Tuesday I was in tears and exhausted. I called my doctor at 9am and talked to the nurse. I asked if I could come in and see if I was dilating at all. My doctor said I would have to check into the hospital. Not what I wanted to hear. The contractions were still staying at 7 minutes and I felt they would just send me home at this point. Thank goodness my mom and two sisters had come to stay with us a week early to help me out. 

Finally around 1pm on Tuesday I called Jered and told him we needed to go to the hospital. My contractions were every five minutes. This sounds so silly, but I was really wanting to have Piper Thursday because our office was booked solid Tuesday and Wednesday.  But Piper had other plans.  all the patients were rescheduled for next week and Dr. Hull headed home. By the time Jered got home around 2pm I was still  every five minutes but the more I walked around the closer together they started coming. We have a good 45 minute drive without traffic. I started getting nervous and picturing giving birth on the side of I-75. My mom helped me calm down and keep breathing through the pain and nerves. We finished packing and my emotions got the better of me and I started sobbing. 

My sweet Ela had been so wonderful through all the changes. I hadnt been able to pick her up for the past month. And the past few days every time I had a contraction I had to focus and even trying to talk to her was so hard. She knew mommy was hurting and was so sweet. I even tried to put her to bed so we had time together. The emotions of adding to our family and leaving Ela for four days just hit me all at once and I just couldnt stop crying. I just held Ela and sobbed for a good five minutes while she hugged me and said "it's okay mommy, it's okay." which made me cry even harder. 

We said our goodbyes and told Ela we were going to go get her new sister. Once we got in the car I started having contractions every three or two minutes. They were getting really intense as well. I gave Jered the green light to get us there fast. I called my OB to let her know we were on our way. I was so excited to "press one if your in labor", I had always wanted to do that. We arrived at 3:00pm and went to check in. We were given a room in the surgery prep area of Northside Hospital and I was given my beautiful gown. I asked the nurse if I wasnt progressing would they still do the surgery today? I was told yes and felt so excited all of a sudden. We were having a baby today! I was a whole five centimeters when they checked. Thats three more then I ever got with Ela. I started having even more intense contractions and a lot of pressure and pain. It felt like when Ela got stuck and couldnt progress. I cant say for sure what would have happened had we continued in the natural labor. My OB doesnt do VBACs and we had decided to continue on our birth plan even if I went into labor. 

I had to have two IV bags pumped through before they could do the epidural. During that time we called Ela on the ipad using Facetime. It was so good to see and talk to her. Finally we were all prepped and ready to go in for the surgery. I had to get three doses of meds through the epidural because I wouldnt numb all the way through. I was good and numb by the time we were ready to go.  Before we went into the OR Jered and I held hands and prayed. I had been feeling so nervous and started to feel a peace come over me followed by excitement  We were about to meet our baby girl! I got wheeled into the operating room and the surgery started. 

Hearing Piper's cry was the most beautiful sound in the world. Jered got to watch her get pulled out and  told me right away she was a girl for sure (people kept telling me I was carrying a boy!) and she had a head full of black hair. I got to hold her after a few minutes. We couldnt believe how tiny she was. Holding her was like being able to breath again after all we had been through and all the months of waiting. They took Piper to the transition nursery while they were still finishing up the surgery. 

Once we got into our room we had to wait a few hours before we got Piper. It was SO hard waiting to hold my sweet little girl. I had only seen and touched her for a few minutes before she left.

The first night was so special. We didnt get back Piper back into the room in time for my mom, sisters and Ela to meet her that night. It was just Jered, Piper and I until the next afternoon. That night I felt great and was able to really bond with Piper. The meds stay with you until early into the morning and then it's hard but totally worth it. I was bond and determined to make this a fast recovery and wanted to be up and walking as soon as possible. I had forgotten how truly painful those first movements are. But you gotta do it to start the healing process. 

Ela got to meet her new sister the afternoon of the 14th. Her whole face lit up and she was so excited. She couldnt wait to hold her and kiss her. She was also so happy to her mommy and daddy. 
We had bought her medical bag and doctor toy set for her big sister present. She loved playing with it and checking everyone's hearts.  I have never been so happy as having my little family all together. We stayed in the hospital for four days and Ela visited everyday. We loved watching our families meet Piper for the first time. It was a very special time with so many wonderful memories. 

Have two littles girls is so special. I adore being them both and love watching our family grow and change. Bringing Piper into this world was exciting and surprising. During the pregnancy I was worried I would always love Ela more. How could I love anyone else like I love her? I was amazed at how quickly Piper filled my heart in the exact same way. I now have two little girls I love with all my heart. 

Here are some pictures from the hospital and some that my sister, Cate, took of Piper for her newborn pictures. 

Is Birth Just an Entry Into the World?