Thursday, April 29, 2010

First Lessons

I've been a mom now for two whole weeks. This is what I've learned...

1. Those cutsie, narrow shaped spit-up rags are useless. Cloth diapers prove much more effective.
2. Nursing every 1-3 hours day and night is the most physically exhausting task I have ever taken on.
3. Baby poop is stringy and very strange-looking, but it doesn't really smell.
4. This kid's startling reflex is nearly every 5 minutes...I just want him to know he's not going anywhere.
5. The only time I have to get anything done (for myself or the apartment) is when he is sleeping. So far he's pretty good about that.
7. It is a good thing he has so many little outfits, because on average he pees on 5 of them every day.
8. Little boys like to aim and shoot when their diaper is being changed. Sometimes its funny, but not at 3 am.
9. I wanna give a hallelujah when he burps.
10. No matter how tired I am after a long night, I can't help but love this boy for every little thing :)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

A WHOLE New World...

Dear Talmage,
I can't believe you are finally here. I thought I'd be pregnant forever :) It is so surreal that your little being was sent from heaven and into my arms.
I want to share with you the story of your birth, so that we can read it together someday without leaving out any part. Memories are most cherished things that we have.
In the months before your arrival, your daddy and I spent lots of time preparing. We decorated your nursery with green, brown, orange, and blue. The theme was jungle animals because your mommy likes giraffes and wanted them everywhere. In my free time (and I had a lot) I made little crafts for you- like lettering your name on the wall, making binkie holders and picture frames, sewing blankets, and covering your baskets with cute fabric. Nearly every night before bed I would go into your room and turn on the night light and sit in the rocker, thinking about you.
I got a part-time job with the school at about 7 months. Even though I didn't feel very well, I agreed to model for the art department. They loved to draw my rounded belly with you cradled inside. Lots of people were already admiring you :) A nice man named Neil Parsons gave me some of his illustrations, and they looked very cool. I even put one on the fridge.
Your baby shower was such a fun event and blessing. My friend drew some lovely pictures of elephants and a baby giraffe for your room, and many supportive girls in our ward came to offer their gifts as well. Instead of buying cards, people gave us fun books to read! By the end of the shower I had almost a whole library for you :) We all ate blue and yellow cookies and cupcakes and drank lemonade. Your grandma and great-grandma sent gifts from Louisiana and Utah- which was very sweet and almost made me cry.

In the last month, I went to a baby shower and lots of girls there told me they had babies come 2-3 weeks early. This made me anxious, but somehow I knew you wouldn't surprise me like that :) I was so grateful by the end that you took your time, because it was important to me that you come when you were meant to come.

Your due date was April 13th, 2010. On that day, mommy and daddy went to the doctor. His name is Dr. Meredith, and he is a younger man with bright red hair and a great sense of humor. I walked into the office feeling a little sad that you gave no indication of coming yet (no contractions). But the nice doctor told us that I was ready and so were you. He scheduled an induction for the next morning! I was scared, excited, nervous, thrilled- every emotion all at once.

The next day- April 14th- happened to be your great-great-grandmother's 100th birthday. When she found out you were coming on her birthday she was so happy :) I hardly slept at all the night before- it felt like the most anticipated of Christmases. I got out of bed at 7 and cleaned our entire apartment. It was a good way to make time fly by and, who knows when I'd get another chance :) It had been snowing blizzards through Rexburg days before, but this day was beautiful and sunny without a cloud in sight. It felt so odd standing outside and watering the plants while neighbors asked me how I was doing, and then me saying "Great! I'm having a baby today!" But it really going to happen- finally.

At the hospital we checked into Labor & Delivery at 11:00 am- all smiles :) It seemed bizarre being so calm and happy...I wasn't sure what to expect, not having had any real contractions yet. We were led into a nice room that was going to be where the birth would take place. I changed into a gown and laid on the bed for a few minutes before Dr. Meredith came in. He broke my water and I sat in a puddle for an uncomfortable amount of time. The nurse gave me Pitocin, a drug that speeds contractions. They told me you would probably come late that evening. Well, shortly after I began to feel the cramps. They were strong and hard and close together. Your daddy squeezed my hand for a good long time and tried to keep me optimistic. I called the nurse back in to tell her how about the pain, and she checked me at 5 cm and then left. Less than an hour later I called her back in again and I was dilated to an 8. Shocked, she called for the doctor and anesthesiologist to come. A man came in after that to give me an epidural, which numbs the pain and makes labor a little easier. He was very chipper and an assistant was with him, taking notes. In about ten minutes after getting the epidural, I could feel the right side of my body go numb- but not my left side. They gave me more of the drug and then I couldn't feel anything below my waistline. I chewed on yummy raspberry-flavored ice and then took a 20 minute nap because I was really exhausted. It was truly the best nap of my life. The nurse came in to check on me, and I was a 10. I tried very hard to keep myself awake while they discussed how the next part would be. I would do some practice pushes and then some real ones. Dr. Meredith got there just in time for me to push- he had left town, thinking he'd have enough time to come back and deliver you. I don't remember much from this point, except that I felt your little head coming down with a strange pressure. I was not in pain, though, luckily :) They strapped an oxygen mask on my face to make sure that I would get enough while I breathed. At 5:15 pm, after a few hard pushes, you were out!

They told me later that I was in active labor for 6 hours and pushed for 28 minutes. For a first time baby, that wasn't so bad! And you were a solid 8 lbs 15 oz., but since you poopied right after coming out they said it was basically 9 lbs. total :) Daddy cut your umbilical cord and the staff of nurses cleaned you up. You were placed on my chest- skin to skin- so that you could calm down and match my heartbeat. I was still very tired, but I know that instantly I thought you were the most beautiful baby I had ever seen. Your head had lots of dark hair and your body was so teeny- just 19 inches long. I saw daddy's features in your face, and the olive tone in your skin from my side of the family. It was a few hours before I saw your eyes, but when you opened them they were a deep dark blue. You were perfect, Talmage. Absolutely perfect.

Daddy held you then, and couldn't stop looking at you. Meanwhile I scarfed down a turkey sandwich, fries, and a chocolate milkshake. I had never felt hungrier or more pleased with my food. After things calmed down, someone gave you a bath while I took a quick shower. Your dad was so sweet in helping me stand and walk, and even though I was in pain I didn't care because you were finally here.Someone wheeled me out while I held you, taking us to our next room where we would sleep and recover. Daddy pushed the cart with all our things. The room was lovely and spacious. We cuddled and I ate more raspberry ice. I held you through the night, refusing to let anyone but Dad take you away. They did have to give you a Hepatitis B shot, though, and in those short minutes I missed you terribly. In the middle of the night I got hungry again and requested a cold sandwich. Sadly, the milkshakes were only served during cafeteria hours...
All next day we had so much fun looking at you and holding you and taking pictures. We had some visitors who brought gifts and flowers. through the window we saw how sunny it was and I was so happy that springtime finally made its way to Rexburg- just in time, too :) That night we were too tired to keep a watchful eye on you, so we took you to the nursery for a few hours. Just around the corner was a hot jacuzzi tub that felt very relaxing. I soaked in it for a while, but then began to miss you again..
When we took you home, you sat so tiny in your car seat. I couldn't believe how much one human being could sleep!
Finally, around 4 pm, you came home. We swaddled you and rocked you for the rest of the day- so proud to be your parents.I love you, son! It was all worth it, just to have you in our family.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Stork is Coming!

I decided to post this on my blog instead of Facebook because my dearest friends & family read my blog...hopefully :)

Today was Talmage's due date and it just wasn't his time :( but I did go to the doctor this morning and I am dilated to a 4, 100% effaced. Our doctor thinks its best if I am induced TOMORROW! I check into the hospital at 11:00 am and it will most likely take the full day to deliver. I haven't had any real contractions, so I have no idea what to expect. But Jonathan and I are *super excited to get this show on the road.

To be honest, I actually prefer this approach. I feel calmer knowing WHEN I am going to the hospital and WHEN I get to see my son. Playing the waiting game is the worst thing ever. Today was really wonderful because I could prepare myself for whats to come...Jonathan spoiled me with some things we won't be able to do for a while. We went to Great Harvest for lunch and saw that dragon movie and had lots of candy :) When we got home we took a short catnap and for dinner we had some good warm soul food. And even though it snowed this morning, the sun managed to come out and melt most of it away! It is a good omen!

So, tonight I will practice wrapping the Moby properly, rearranging a few baby things, organizing Talmage's room, preparing my hospital bag, and taking a nice hot shower. I'm waking up at 9 to clean the house (it may be the last chance I get for a while). Don't worry, I won't wear myself out too much :)

YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Not much longer now!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Oh Happy Days

I just got back from my 39 week appointment and all seems to be going pretty good. I am 1-2 centimeters dilated and 95% effaced! Eeek! That explains the pain...but apparently its a good sign that labor will go smoothly. The nurse touched the baby's head and that was kinda made him really squirmy. Oh yeah, and I've gained six lbs. in the last week- making it a total gain of 30 lbs. over the course of the pregnancy. Glorious! I know most of it is water weight but boy..I surely hope I can get back into my pre-pregnancy shape someday. And if not, so be it. All I know is that I am so ready to meet this baby!It will be interesting to see when Talmage arrives...Jonathan is now officially done with his school obligations and can miss class for the rest of the week if he needs to (but something tells me he won't have to). His parents are coming on the 9th for graduation but only staying a few days...and if I make it by the 13th with still no baby then most likely the doc will make me wait it out. He doesn't like inducing people when it is their first child. So lucky me I get to wait around to go into labor naturally :) However, if I hit 42 weeks I am demanding induction!

Jonathan's job prospects for the summer are looking up! Remember when I posted that his only option was going back to Heise? Well, he has since been interviewed by Fish & Game and the Bureau of Land Management. Both expect to call in the next few weeks to let him know if they want to hire. And he just got an email from the Forestry Service saying that they have reviewed his application and will get back to him soon. could be anything, but our fingers are crossed for BLM since they pay the best and provide the best experiences. I'm just glad that he will be doing something that is related to his major. The Lord is truly blessing us.

Easter was nice and relaxing this year. It's probably the first year I haven't participated in an Easter egg hunt as either the egg-finder or egg-concealer, haha. I did make Easter baskets for Jonathan and I with lots of yummy sweets just for the heck of it, and it was good while it lasted. J was going to have a fishing outing with his buddies on Saturday but it was snowy so he stayed home with me instead :) We watched all sessions of General Conference in the comfort of our home and boy was I grateful for a comfy couch...the talks were amazing and testified to me once again of the love that our Father in Heaven and Savior Jesus Christ have for us. I love being a part of this gospel and it has brought every good thing into my life.

I've been trying to keep myself busy while waiting out these last few days...I learned how to make binkie holders from a model that Megan made and gave to me. It was super easy and only $14 for all the supplies.
And now I'm going over to Jill's to learn how to sew some blankies for Talmage. Should be interesting! I've used a sewing machine before but it's a slow-moving process...however, even if they turn out bad it's okay because the fabric is so darn cute! I waited for FOREVER for it to go on sale.

Yay for crafty baby things! I wish I could be *really crafty talented like some of the gals in my ward but I am learning :) and it just gets me more anxious for baby Talmage.

Everyone cross your fingers for me!

Saturday, April 3, 2010


Until now, I haven't given much thought to how my life would have panned out had I stayed in Louisiana instead of coming up to Idaho. I imagine I would have stayed with my boyfriend there (despite the awfulness) and been prisoner to relying on others to make me happy. Most likely I would live with my parents and be a continuous brat. I cannot see what responsibilities I would have that would help me grow and re-define myself. I cannot see true happiness.

This all came to mind as I perused an old friend's webpage. This particular friend was key in helping my testimony of the gospel take bloom. She, and her entire family, were shining examples not only to me but to an entire branch of faithful Saints. She had lots of life, smiles, and tears from her own tenderhearted feelings of love for her Heavenly Father and His Son. I looked up to this friend for many years.
Well I just happened to see what kinds of things she is into now...some being alcohol, sex, and offensive speech. It made me very, very sad to know that her path led her to that place. I don't know what happened. The same situation goes for many in my life that once had a completely different set of standards. I do not judge them. I love them still, and that's why my heart breaks. How did this happen?

I am NOT saying that all my friends who stayed in the south took a similar path- definitely not. But-for me- I can't help but wonder if I would have ended up like that if I hadn't moved when I did. I only say this because, when I learned to be independent, I realized that all I could do was rely on the Lord. Meeting so many different types of people in another part of the country helped me re-evaluate who I wanted to be. Coming to BYU-Idaho was a revelation in itself...there were good, honest guys here. Guys who didn't force their thinking or their bodies on me. There were strong girls here, too, that loved the gospel so much and it shone through their eyes. The professors called me by name and credited my efforts, but also showed me a better way to ask, seek, and knock. All of what I was taught to be true in Louisiana manifested itself here in this stupid little town. I have to wonder... would I have ever felt happiness like this in any other place?

Thank you, Rexburg. I hope that when I leave with my husband and son that I don't change paths, and that the strength I've gained here can someday help bring others back into what used to make them shine.