Happy 1 Month Old Day, Caleb! Yesterday was Caleb's 1 month "birthday." He has grown so much in the past month! He started out at 7 pounds, 3 ounces, dropped as low as 6 pounds, 13 ounces and is now up to 9 or 10 pounds (as far as we can tell, since he doesn't have another appointment until 2 months)! He was 19.5 inches when he was born and now he is 22 inches long- from my home measurement this morning! I can honestly say that I love the little guy more each day. Right now, he loves to look at the contrast between the curtains and the wall (that's what he's looking at in the picture). He sucks on his hand to self comfort or if he's hungry. Turning his head to the left is also a favorite. I may have gotten a real smile today, but I'm not sure :). He can lift his head momentarily during tummy time and has turned it all the way from left to right a few times. He loves bathtime, but hates having his diaper changed. His sleeping is off and on right now. Mama and daddy are working on figuring out if there is anything we can do to help with this (especially sleeping at night). Mama has cut out dairy, chocolate, peanuts, gassy veggies, and caffine from her diet and we are giving Caleb a bath every evening to calm him. We'll see what happens tonight- he's currently sleeping off and on right now!
Caleb, It has been so amazing to get to know you this month. I can't believe that it's only/already been a month! You are growing and changing so much already that I can't imagine what the next months and years will hold. Your daddy and I are already praying for you and teaching you about Jesus and his grace that is offered to you. We hope that you follow in your namesake in faithfulness and boldness for Christ. We hope that Jesus will give us the wisdom and grace to be good parents to you, showing you how to live. What a big job! Sometimes the thought of it is overwhelming! Good thing parenting mainly consists of feeding, changing diapers, rocking, and singing right now. We love you so much and can't wait to get to know you even more! Love, Mama
Here are a couple pictures Mama took with Caleb this morning! He's so cute!
This morning I was looking at facebook and realized that I was fostering feelings of jealousy toward a few different friends that are out living in other countries or traveling to exotic places. I thought, "Wow, I'm not going to be able to do that for a long time... in fact, I'm not even going to be able to sleep in for the next 20 years..." Then, I had to stop myself and ask, "What is the truth about my situation?" The truth is that I have been blessed with an incredibly cute, lovely, precious son to care for. I have a loving, attentive husband who is a great provider and father (last night he took care of Caleb to let me sleep because he was on call... then he went in to work at 2:30 a.m.- dad duty and work duty all in one night and not a complaint!) The truth is that God has called me to being a mother right now, and that if traveling to exotic places or foreign countries is part of his plan for me and my family, he will make a way. The truth is that I'm surrounded by loving friends and family to support Alan and I in raising Caleb in a way that honors God.
I've been reading a book about spiritual disciplines called, "The Life You've Always Wanted." It talks about ways that we can open ourselves to be "metamorphed" by God into the beings that he has called us to be. One of those disciplines is celebration. I love that! When I think of spiritual disciplines, normally I think of deprivation or striving. Not that celebration is always easy, but practicing JOY can be a spiritual discipline.
"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice!"
"This day is holy to the Lord your God; do not mourn or weep... Go your way, eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions of the to those for whom nothing is prepared, for this day is holy to our Lord; and do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength."
"This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it."
So today I am thankful and joyful in the fact that I have been blessed with a son when so many long for one, that I had great friends in town this past weekend, that I watched Biggest Loser last night with my husband and ate Heath ice cream with a brownie, and that today is a gorgeous fall day with perfect weather!
Man, I used to wonder why it took new moms so long to start posting on their blog or put up pictures! Now I understand. If you are feeding your child every 3 hours, 45 minutes are taken up by the actual feeding/diaper-changing part. After that you spend another 15-45 minutes entertaining your baby while they are awake. Then, you have to decide whether you want to sleep, shower, eat, or some other task in the remaining 1-2 hours left over. Repeat 8-10 times a day! I am getting a little more efficient, so I hope that I start joining the real world again on a consistent basis!
Here is a brief synopsis of my birth story for those of you who are interested:
I started having contractions on Saturday morning (the 25th) around 6:00 am. Things weren't too bad, I was just a bit uncomfortable every 10 minutes or so. I started getting excited because things were finally starting to happen. I went for a walk, went to Starbucks, and ARC to try and distract myself and move things along because Al was sleeping (he was up late the night before). Later in the afternoon, I watched the Arkansas/Alabama game and contractions were starting to get stronger. We went to Chick-Fil-A for dinner and by that point I was cringing every time Al hit a bump in the car. I think I ate a total of 1.5 chicken strips before I couldn't eat any more. My contractions were continually getting stronger, but not much closer together (about 6-10 minutes apart). About midnight we called the midwife to see if there was anything we could do to speed things up or give me relief because I was starting to shake and get really tired. She recommended that I take a hot shower, a benadryl, and some Tylenol to try and get some sleep and relax. The shower helped a little, but sleep- yeah right! Finally things started to speed up and man I was ready to get to the hospital because I wanted some pain relief!
About 2 am, my contractions were finally coming about every 4 minutes and lasting for a minute each, which meant we were finally allowed to go to the hospital per midwife instructions. We got there and they checked me out, but I was only 3 cm dilated! The midwife told me we could either go home (yeah right!) or walk the hospital for 2 hours and she would recheck me. So, we decided to pace the hospital for a couple hours. Imagine us walking around the empty hospital floors while I'm stopping every 3-4 minutes swaying back and forth with each contraction!
Finally 4 am rolled around and we went back to the labor and delivery floor. I was 4 cm dilated, so they decided to admit me. By this point I'm so exhausted I'm ready to just get an epidural and be done with it, but they offered me some IV pain meds to help me get a nap and see how I felt after that. So, the meds did work, and I dilated to 6 cm while I napped for a couple hours. The only problem was that Caleb flipped sunny-side up and my labor stalled. 2 hours later I was still 6 cm dilated and my contractions were only every 8-10 minutes. At that point they told me they could either break my water or give me pitocin to speed up the contractions. Looking back I wish I would have had them break my water first to see what would happen, but we went with the pitocin because the nurse midwife said that keeping my water intact would help with the pain of the contractions. So, I took a did some exercises on all fours to try and flip Caleb back. Then I got in the bath and they started pitocin. Another hour or two later I was ready to see whether I had dilated any more. Sure enough I was up to 8 cm. I asked for more pain meds and another hour or two later I was finally at 10 cm. Then, two hours of pushing later, at 5:48 pm (36 hours after my labor started), Caleb was born! It was definitely the most intense, grueling, exhausting thing I have ever done. I kind of wish I could slap myself for comparing it to running a marathon :). I think if my labor wouldn't have stalled, it would have been a lot better, plus pitocin doesn't help the whole labor pain out much. But, I'm proud of myself for doing it without an epidural and being able to get up and walk to our new room after the delivery. Plus, I have a sweet prize that I get to enjoy for the rest of my life- a son!
PS- My husband was absolutely incredible during the entire process. There is no way I could have done it without him. He was able to be my voice and help me make decisions when I was beyond exhaustion and he was a constant support and encouragement during the whole labor. Thanks babe!