Wednesday, December 19, 2012

One Month Update


Mommy and Daddy have kept you alive (and ourselves) for one whole month! Praise be to God :-)

Every day you get more beautiful and every day we love you more. You are long and lean like your daddy and growing like a weed. At your one month wellness check today (with The. Most. Awesome. pediatrician in Newnan: Dr. Jill Dickerson) you had already jumped from your birth weight of 6 pounds, 14 ounces to 8 pounds, 4 ounces!!!! You're a little piglet :-) I mean that in the most loving way possible...

You love tummy time. You can already lift your head and look around and you're usually staring with wonder at our Christmas tree or your Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes toy.

Your first bath wasn't well received, but don't feel bad because that's pretty normal. Several baths in you're starting to get used to the whole concept — that and we've figured out how to make it minimally traumatic for you :-)

You LOVE to sleep at night, thank goodness. Your tiny stomach and high metabolism (you got that from mommy!) are the only things keeping you from sleeping all night at this point. Perhaps in a few more weeks you'll be able to sleep through the night. I'm really looking forward to that.

The day time isn't always as great, much to mommy's dismay. You don't sleep well and you really like to be held. God is working on me in this situation because Task Master Liz has had to learn that I don't get my self worth from the things I accomplish (or DON'T) in a day. I get my worth from Jesus. And if I do nothing more than hold you in my arms all day, then my day WAS well spent.

Christmas is less than a week away! It's your first and that's exciting because it's Daddy's favorite holiday. We call him Father Christmas around here. You'll grow to understand and appreciate that fully. Because of you, we have all we could want or need this holiday. Just last year your daddy told me on Christmas that he wanted to have a little baby girl or boy to love on by the time the next Christmas rolled around. Well, here we are and his wish came true!

We can't wait to watch you grow and see the person you're going to become.

Merry Christmas everyone!!!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Overdue Project Update

So glad this "overdue" post will have nothing to do with pregnancy! Well, I take that back, my father nested just as hard in my third trimester of pregnancy as I did. He had to find things to pass the time until he got to meet his granddaughter. The result:

You remember from forever ago that I was wanting a coat rack in my mudroom to cover the exposed sheetrock visible as a result of us closing in a doorway to the kitchen (since there was no room in there for a fridge!)? Well, here's a reminder of what that space looked like:

Once again, I dreamed up a design and my engineering father was able to perfectly execute my vision! He even made the bench removable in case we're moving big things through that doorway. He's brilliant!!

Between the pantry he built and the coat rack, I LOVE the new space!!!!! One day I'll get around to repainting the room, but that won't be for a while!

Yeah, she's got him wrapped around her finger already...

Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Birth Story

A week and a half ago, my world completely changed.

Nora Katherine Melville

Parenthood has been the most rewarding and challenging endeavor I've ever embarked on -- hence this post taking so long to take form from the thoughts swirling in my mind. These days, when there's a break, I choose sleep!!!!

Ok, from the beginning:

Nora was born on Wednesday, November 21, 2012, at 5:37 p.m. She weighed 6 pounds, 14 ounces, and was 20 inches in length. After days of timing sporadic contractions and feeling like I was experiencing early labor symptoms, I was surprised and -- admittedly -- a little sad to be told at my 40-week checkup on Tuesday, Nov. 20, that I was going to be induced because of low amniotic fluid. Apparently this is very common and not a HUGE concern (although I clearly wanted what was best for Nora and myself). But, Jonathan and I have concluded that, like so many others, we were subjected to an induction for my OBGYN to avoid liability. My midwife even said she had to prepare me for the worst case scenario: A C-section. You know, that one thing that wasn't on the birth plan. That thing that wasn't allowed to be mentioned in my home. On top of that, I went to my 40-week appointment after a sleepless night and had planned to take a long nap afterward. Instead, I had to rush home and grab my hospital bag (after my blood sugar crashed somewhere in there and I almost fainted while being examined by a midwife and was rescued by my sweet mother-in-law) and return to the hospital to check-in.

Once nestled into my hospital room, I began coping with the reality that I was about to be in labor. And there were going to be so many uncertainties. All I could do was pray -- and text all my friends and family to do the same. That night was rough. I had a breakdown over the IV. I was just too tired and emotionally frazzled for any pain. But, the worst was yet to come. Since I was effaced but not dilated, they started my induction with Cervadil. If you don't know what that is or how it's administered, I'll let you Google it. I screamed. I cried. My husband nearly intervened and stopped the process there.

Once that was in place, I took an Ambien and slept through the night so I would be prepared for whatever was to come the following day. At some point that evening my parents arrived in town and I was too out of it to greet them. My husband stayed up all night long taking care of details so I could rest. God bless that man!

The following morning they let me eat a big breakfast and then they checked to see if the Cervadil had done anything. It had!! I was dilated to 3 centimeters and my cervix had come forward!! They even said they had begun monitoring mild contractions overnight. If nothing had happened, the alternative they were suggesting was supposed to be more painful than the Cervadil. I don't know what we would have done at that point, but luckily I never have to know....

(My last pregnant picture)

After breakfast they started my Pitocin. I felt like a birthing rockstar for hours. I swayed in my hospital room to Pitbull breathing comfortably through contractions on no pain meds. My husband was my rockstar doula. He was so encouraging and so useful. He applied heat and pressure to my back as needed and even physically held me up through a few contractions! :-) I love that man. But then the Pitocin had its way with me and contractions starting rolling over top each other. There was no rest and I couldn't breathe through the intensity. I freaked. I started begging my husband for a C-section. That's when he knew he had to intervene on my behalf. I opted for the epidural. I couldn't be happier that I did. After the epidural was in place, the rest of my day was amazing -- I even squeezed in a nap before it was time to start pushing.

I had the best midwife and nurses in my room for Nora's delivery. Obviously I've never done this before and the sweet RN who was present was acting as my cheerleader and coach. She verbally walked me through how I was going to push, and I understood clearly what she was saying. So I pushed....and Nora arrived 30 minutes later! Oh, and funny side note: Jonathan was in distress from the days events since he had no sleep and had not eaten. During the pushing portion, he went white and almost fell out. Between pushes I had to comfort him that everything was okay and that we were almost there!! :-) Apparently (according to the hospital staff), that's not all that uncommon! ;-)

Then, at 5:37 p.m., my labor haze was lifted with the sweet words, "Open your eyes mama and look at your baby girl." They laid her on my chest. I wept with joy and relief. I knew my world would never be the same. I've stared into that tiny, perfect face for many hours since.

We got to leave the next evening -- on Thanksgiving. I'd like to say that was a special, magical moment, but, truth is, we should have taken them up on their offer to stay another night. We came home late and on no rest. We didn't get sleep that night. At some point we both almost got sick with anxiety. It was probably the worst night of our lives if we're being honest!!! But, the good news is that every day since has been a little easier. I hear that these first two weeks are the hardest. I'm clinging to that hope!

There is still a lot we're working through right now and trying to figure out: Why did Nora sleep last night and not today? Why did she spit up after this feeding and not the last? Why, why, why, why....? But, when we do figure something out, we feel like parenting rockstars. When we do get a nap, we feel empowered to tackle another challenge.

And my next major challenge is Monday. Jonathan returns to work. I'm sad and scared and all those lovely things. Luckily, my mother-in-law is nearby and will be accompanying Nora and me to a pediatrician follow-up appointment that afternoon. Oh, yeah, and we've been having to go to the doc weekly to make sure her mild jaundice is continuing to diminish -- and it is!

I'm looking forward to Christmas in the Melville home this year. I've never felt more reliant on Jesus to get me through each day. I plead with Him for help when I'm at wits end and I sing His praises when any little thing goes right!! When I stare into Nora's baby face, I think about the love of Christ and contemplate what it meant for him to humble Himself and come to earth in the form of a helpless babe.

This is such a special time for our family. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. Thanks to all the special people who have dropped off food. Our church's meal ministry is INVALUABLE. I see that now. I can't wait to get more actively involved. The BIGGEST thank you to our parents. They have been our rocks during this time. They have taken shifts with Nora so we can sleep. They've done laundry and gone to the grocery store and raked leaves and kept my home in order. They are the GREATEST examples of what wonderful parents should be. We hope to live up to the standard they have set.

Please continue to pray for us as we work through the coming days and weeks until things get a little easier.


The Melvilles

Monday, November 19, 2012

"Labor" Update

Sorry I've all but abandoned my blog lately. There has been SO much going on as we finish doing things around the house in preparation for Nora. I also wrapped up work at both my jobs last week so I can enjoy a maternity leave. Not to mention there's just been a fair amount on my mind :-)

My final spell of nesting came Tuesday (11/13) after I visited with a midwife and had my first internal exam to see if things were progressing. I was 80 percent effaced (by her estimates) and did not appear to be dilated. I'll spare you details, but suffice it to say that Nora's head was LOW — as in she'd dropped my abdominal measurements from a 37 to a 33 in one week! Baby appeared to be on her way OUT. Even the midwife advised that we be ready to go at any moment, although she still couldn't guarantee that Nora'd come sooner rather than later.

Flash forward to Saturday (11/17). Jonathan and I decided to go on a long walk. We walked probably 2 miles around downtown Newnan. I spent most of the afternoon on my feet doing home projects, a grocery store run, etc. Sometime in the afternoon my lower back began ACHING. The kinda aching that makes you think labor is imminent. Then it spread around to the front and I was cramping. But, no contractions. That was a long night. I was restless and generally miserable feeling.

I woke up Sunday (11/18) and decided not to go to church in case things started to progress quickly. I even texted the fam and friends to put everyone on standby. Jonathan woke up sick — we think he has a head cold. Epic timing, huh? :-) We decided to go on another long walk to try to tempt fate. Again, by the early afternoon I was uncomfortable and severely waddling. I took a nice, long shower and even put make-up on juuuuust in case I needed to be presentable. All evening I was having contractions. They were irregular, but stronger than I'd experienced to date. I was so neurotic that I refused to remove my make-up. I slept in it because I wanted to be ready to spring from bed and head to the hospital. Still, nothing. Nada. What's worse is that the miserable feeling — the one that reassures me that labor is at hand — is momentarily gone. My only comfort (ha!) is that I'm still having sporadic contractions, and they're decently long and painful. You'd think I'd be happy, but now I'm just uncertain where I'm at in the labor process and when Nora's going to get this show on the road.

Now here we are on the eve of my due date — and the week of my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving. I know that God's timing is perfect and that Nora will arrive when it's time for her to arrive. I know I should be grateful that my husband has extra time to get well so that he can actually snuggle his baby girl. But, I've reached that point where I've tackled the important things on my to-do list, I don't have work to distract me and I've memorized every food item on the Thanksgiving menu and would like very much to get to partake of that exquisite, once-a-year meal. So, please don't tell me to relax and sit around enjoying being home. I don't have the slightest clue how to rest. Pray that I learn how to rest. Pray for patience. Or just pray this baby gets here (maybe pray for a blend of all these things!) :-)

Even if nothing happens today, I have another OBGYN appointment tomorrow to tell me if things have indeed progressed more, or if my body is playing nasty tricks on me. In the meantime, you can find me walking up and down flights of stairs, cooking last-minute freezer meals, painting the coat rack my dad built in my mudroom and, of course, staring into Nora's closet trying to imagine the cuteness that is just about to occupy those tiny cotton onesies.

Love you guys. Thanks for the prayers, support and encouragement!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

To pass the time...

Figured I'd share the professional photographs of our kitchen while I'm impatiently waiting for Nora's arrival....

The following photos are courtesy Kevin Smallhorn with Kitchens for Your Family. If I can get the name of his photographer, I will update this post with her credit, as well, since she did a fabulous job staging and capturing the new beauty of our kitchen!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Our Project in Pictures

You remember the before, right?

Are you ready for the after...........................

And here are all the in betweens (please excuse that some of these are low-quality cell phone pics)!

Oh, and here's what the rest of the house looked like during construction:

We still have a punch list of things that need to be done, but we were thrilled that the project was at least to the point where we could move back in this past weekend. And, can I say, I LOVE my new kitchen!!!!!!!!!! I couldn't be happier with the work that Lichty Brothers Homes has done for us! Daniel Lichty has proven himself to be a true perfectionist — not to mention a man of his word. You worry when you hear a contractor guarantee anything, but I've got to hand it to him, he's followed through with his promise to have our kitchen finished before my Oct. 27th shower, despite a few hiccups in the project along the way (as expected with an older home).

Here is the list of our vendors for you local folks who need recommendations: Kitchens for Your Family (cabinets), Amazon Stone (granite), Colors R Us (painters), Dalton West (backsplash), our lighting and microwave came from Home Depot, our drawer pulls came from, and I'm not sure who did our floor, but he did an amazing job. If anyone needs hardwoods, get in touch with me and I'll get the dude's name. Hope I'm not leaving anyone out!!

Now, it's time for me to finish nesting and get ready to welcome my firstborn!!!