A Year Ago Today.....

A year ago today we bought pregnancy tests (3, just to make sure!) A year ago today we decided to wait to take the tests till Christmas day A year ago today we were like little kids and just had to "open" one gift on xmas eve A year ago today we learned our lives would change forever A year ago today we got to share our little blessing with our family A year ago today we had no idea the amount of love and joy our beautiful baby girl would bring us Thank God For A Year Ago Today, so we could be where we are Today!


Blythe's First Snow


It is not very often that a Texan as young as 3 months get to experience snow!

Look at Blythe's new trick!

She has learned to grab and hold things!

Our Little Santa's First Xmas Tree



More Tummy Time

Blythe was very happy while doing tummy time yesterday with Becky (Grandmammy/Lolli).  Becky was trying to get her to push up with straight arms.  I don't think she ever did it, but she did last for a good 20 minutes on tummy time and that must have wore her out.  She took several naps yesterday and went to bed at 8:30 (she normally goes to bed at 9:30 and wake us at 3) and didnt wake up until 5:30am to eat and then back to bed till 7:30am.  That tummy time is hard work!

3 Month Photo:  http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2630821&l=f7d05&id=8316366


New Discovery

Uh oh, Blythe has discovered her Thumb.  I am trying very hard to remove her thumb and give her the paci since I was a very bad thumb sucker.  Today she has been spitting out the paci and putting her thumb in her mouth.  This might be a battle I can't win, but I will keep trying.  Before she was just exploring her hand, but now she has found her thumb and appears to be putting it in her mouth deliberately. 


Daddy Less

Tonight is our first night at home without daddy.  Jason has gone to Orlando for a conference and won't return till Friday afternoon.  The good new is that we are getting the next best thing, Becky!   She is coming to town tomorrow afternoon to watch Blythe while I am at work and help us pass time till Jason returns.


Blythe's First Thanksgiving

We left College Station around 9am on Wednesday to head to Grandbury, TX to have our first Thanksgiving with Jason’s dad’s side of the family. We arrived around 12:30pm and Jason, Mr. Wilkes, and Byron headed to the golf course. Blythe and I ate some lunch and then headed to Cherie’s house so Cherie could meet Blythe. We took Luke with us to Cherie’s house so he could run around their backyard. Luke had a special treat, Jared, Cherie’s son, loves to play outside so he entertained Luke! It was great to see Luke playing so well with Jared. Luke doesn’t realize he has a play mate in the works! Blythe and I got back to Nana and Grandad’s house about 4pm and enjoyed some fried Turkey; well Blythe had to wait a couple of hours. We left Grandbury around 9pm and headed to Coppell to spend the night with Momo. Blythe went to bed about 11pm and slept till 6pm and then went down again till 9pm when Momo just couldn’t stand it anymore and had to wake her up! We spent the morning with Momo and Jalyn and then headed to my dad’s house where we had our second Thanksgiving. Blythe got to meet Kristie, Tim, Brody, Penny, Dixie, Rosie, Grandma G, and Grandaddy Dick for the first time. We had yummy Turkey, Ham, and we sampled my pecan pie. I have made pecan pie before, but I have never made the pie crust from scratch. I was nervous, but it turned out to be pretty tasty. 

We then headed out to the Lake house to spend some time with the Wilkes. Luckily they had already eaten their Thanksgiving meal so we did not have Thanksgiving food for the 3rd time. We spend the rest of the weekend at the Wilkes and Momo joined us out at the lake on Friday. Blythe is not a “hold me baby,” so wed., thurs. and Fri. were intense for her as everyone wanted to hold her and play with her and she was not getting “Blythe time.” By Saturday she was getting used to all the new faces and the amount of people had dwindled down so she was becoming more of her normal smiling, giggling self. 

Jason had mentioned to me that he wanted to go out on a date while we were home for the holidays. I told him that I didn’t want to be gone for bedtime, but we could do something during the day. Since we had already watched several movies we decided to go shopping instead of seeing a movie. Blythe was in great hands, with 2 set of grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. so I was not worried about her, but I do have to admit the tears were flowing as we left the driveway. I was saying to Jason “this is just like going to work this shouldn’t be a big deal, but I guess it was the first time we were choosing to leave her instead of having to leave her.” Once we got on our way we were fine, but leaving was a tear jerker. 

We headed home on Sunday afternoon and had a extra hour on our trip due to traffic, but we got home safe and sound and Blythe was very excited to be on her lamb skin and see her best friend, the fan!



I thought I should take a minute to write down the nicknames Blythe currently has/had so we don't forget!  We need to work on calling her Blythe more so she learns her name.

In the beginning we called her baby girl a lot, but I haven't heard either one of us use that one lately.  Her current nicknames are:

Doodlebritches (she got this because she is a nonstop pooper)
Doodle (I guess I have shortened it, I  use this one the most)
Boogerboo (this is what Jason usually calls her, not sure where it came from)



I am slacking in the blogging department.  Last Thursday Blythe ROLLED OVER!  Yes, we couldn't believe it and we thought it was just a fluke, but then she did it 2 more times on Saturday.  We even got the first roll over on camera, but the original video is painfully long with lots of high pitched crazy excited parent voices and I have not had a chance to edit it.  Hopefully I can get it edited and post it to the blog soon...of course I have been telling myself that since last Thursday! Blythe is 12 weeks old today, she is growing FAST! On Monday night we had a mini reunion with our Bradley class (3/4 couples).  We all went back to our instructor's house and talked to her current students about our birth experience.  We then all went out to dinner, 6 adults and 3 infants.  The waitress asked us "did yall plan to have babies at the same time?" and we told her that we met in a birthing class and how great it was that we all enjoy each other's company so much.  It looks like Monday nights are good for all of us so we are going to try and get together for a few hours each Monday night.


She's Gone Country

This weekend we took Blythe to San Saba to learn the ropes of the ranch and to meet Joycelyn, John R. and Christine!  Blythe learned about bulls, deer, and bears

But mainly she hung out in her bouncy seat and listened to all of us hoop and hollar

She even let mom and dad have a break and take a ride on the 4wheeler

Before we left on Sunday we took Blythe to meet her Grandpa


For more 2 months photos click here: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2613898&l=ebaad&id=8316366

Last night was Blythe's first night to sleep all alone in her own room in her big girl crib!  I don't think it phased her at all...but how could it with such a wonderful nursery and crib!



I am wondering if Blythe is Psychic or if my milk forms some sort of sleeping aid whenever I am taking Blythe somewhere and thinking in the back of my head, if she is not in a good mood this could be a bust. So far whenever I have taken her to situations like that she sleeps the entire time. For example, I went to play Bunco with some ladies from the BCS moms bored and she slept the entire time, when we went to the Halloween party she slept the entire time, and when I brought her to work with me yesterday afternoon she slept for 4/5 hours. 


Blythe's 1st Halloween

Blythe was a frog for her 1st Halloween and Jason and I went as Prince and Princess (making Blythe the frog princess).  The ELI (where I work) always hosts a Halloween party for the ELI students.  For many of the students this is the first time they have heard of Halloween and I am always so impressed how trusting they are.  We tell them to dress up and they do and they are also very creative!  Jason did an awesome job with his prince costume.  He put it together with one trip to Good Will.  I used the dress that I made for Prom back in high school and we borrowed Blythe's frog costume.  We didn't get any great pictures because our poor frog was just too sleepy.  She slept through the entire party and didn't even wake up after getting a diaper change and changed out of her frog costume.  She was really sleepy on Saturday as well so we are guessing her body is working hard from the shots. 

On Saturday we went to the BCS Moms Halloween party and since it was hot and not necessarily a costume party we decided not to dress up and Jason put Blythe in her I'pood onsie, so I guess she was an ipod.  We met some families on the board and met a little boy who was born one day after Blythe!

On Sunday we had a real treat.......a visit from the Kennemers!  Blythe got to meet her cousins William and Andrew for the first time!  While Julie was holding Blythe I asked the boys if they were ready for Julie to have a baby in her arms all the time and they said "no."  I also asked the boys if they were having a brother or a sister and they both said sister...we will know soon. 

I hope writing this doesn't jinx it, but Blythe slept for a 7 hour stretch last night and the night before.  Man I never knew 7 hours of sleep would feel so long!


Reading, Turkey, and Animals

With all the scare about SIDS babies aren't learning to roll over, hold their head up, and crawl as soon as they used to because those muscles aren't being developed.  They say you should not put your baby to sleep on their tummy, but while they are awake they should spend a lot of time in their tummy, we call this TUMMY TIME.  Most babies are not a fan of tummy time because they don't spend much time on their tummy and it's frustrating to not be able to see anything.  We have been trying to be better about tummy time so she gets used to it and maybe she will like it!  Well this is what Blythe had to say about tummy time:
"You make me do tummy time, I sleep"  that or Curious George is not as fun as I remember him being.

Apparently Blythe prefers to read grown up books and then tell Daddy all about it:

Aunt Connie got Blythe this adorable Little Turkey onsie, but this little turkey is going to be too big for it by Thanksgiving so we are having our turkey early:

Blythe is 8 weeks old and she already has tons of friends:


Lost My Marbles

I spent the first part of yesterday dreading the afternoon, particularly the 2pm hour when I thought Blythe had her 2 month appointment and was scheduled to get her first shot!  Well it was all for nothing because I had the date wrong in my head.  I had written the date down correctly on my calendar, but not in my head.  We went all the way to the dr.'s office and were told we were a week early, I laughed because I had though it was on the 28th, but I  knew it was a Tuesday and it was just a day before or after she turns 2 months, well today she is 8 weeks old, but not yet 2 months!


First Aggie Game!

This weekend Blythe attended her first Texas A&M foot ball game.  The aggies played Texas Tech and ran out of time.  Luckily it was a good game to watch and not quite the slaughter house it was expected to be.  The Aggies were actually ahead at half time!  Blythe did great at the game, she slept through most of it.  I started out carying her in the moby wrap, but that go too hot.  We ended up keeping her underneath the nursing cover (also known as a hooter hider) because it was cool, let breeze through, but kept the sun off her.  She was passed between Becky, Rachel, Jennifer, and myself and we thought it must be funny for passer byers who saw this baby "nursing" on 4 different people!

What people saw as they passed by
What was really going on


Pictures From the Weekend


New Record

Blythe slept for a record long 5 hours and 15 minutes!!!  Previously her longest stretch of sleep was 4 hours 30 minutes.  Granted she woke up every 2 hours after her long stretch, but we are only 45 minutes from 6 hours which is considered "sleeping through the night." Blythe nursed for a solid 45 minutes before going to bed at 9:15pm then woke up at 2:30am, 5am, and 7am.


Blythe's First Road Trip

Blythe did great on her first road trip!  She slept about half of the way to DFW and the entire way home, the weekend must have worn her out!

Friday afternnon Jason and Becky dropped Blythe and I off in Coppell so we could visit Grandma.  Blythe slept most of the time, but Granmda did get to hold her for a minute.  Jason took Becky to the BMW dealership in Dallas so she could drive her new M3 home!  I think Jason was possibly more excited about Becky's new car than she was (thats all he talked about on the drive from College Station to DFW). 

Friday evening Blythe attended her first football game.  We went to the Trinity High School football game and it just happened to be Home Coming...I had forgotten about the "MUM Madness."  Blythe loves being outside so she had a good time at the football game.  She spend most of the time arm hopping between grandma, grandpa, nana, and Rachel, but did spend a few sleeping moment in the moby wrap with mommy! 

On Saturday Blythe had her first round of Party Hopping.  We had a wedding reception that started at 5:30, but when we arrived we learned that the bride and groom were not there and would be arriving later that evening or possible not until the next morning.  {They were married in Denmark and had some visa/plane complications arriving in the US.}  That same evening Tom and Mary were celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary so we were able to eat dinner at the reception, jump over for the anniversary celebration, and hop back over to the reception once the bride and groom arrived (thank goodness they didn't miss their party completely).  Blythe danced for the first time with Lolli and Pop! 

On Sunday we went to church, ate corn beef, visited Linda and Jake, and headed back to College Station. 

Today is my first day back at work (only part time) and it's going well.  I hope Blythe and Jason are having a good time at home.

Pictures from the weekend coming soon......


Past Week

Daddy got a new computer so Blythe played with the packaging:

Daddy tried to tie the Moby wrap, but mommy had to show him how to do it:

Our friends, the Hartl's, have a little boy 7 weeks older than Blythe.  Crissy has gone back to work part time and her and I are watching each others babies three times a week and the other 2 days they are with thier dads.  This past week was Crissy's first week back to work so I got a dose of what it would be like to have twins.  So far it has actually been easier than I expected.  Both Blythe and Ian have been very good babies and have napped pretty well in the afternoon.  Here is a pic of Ian and I playing in the Moby wrap while Blythe was napping:

Blythe has learned to smile and it is SO rewarding!


Last night Jason and I had the privilege of telling our birth story to a Bradley class.  It was fun to re-read the birth story and to be "on the other side." 

We are taking our first road trip to DFW with Blythe.  I am currently making a list of all the things we need to bring for Blythe.  My mom was right when she said that we will feel like we are taking everything, but the kitchen sink! 


Blythe is Baptised

Yesterday Blythe was baptised!  She was excellent, she slept through the entire thing.


No Yellow

Last night I randomly drew 3 yellow diapers to stuff for the evening.  Jason was in the mist of putting the first yellow diaper on when Blythe peed on it, so he got the second yellow diaper and her and just a few seconds later she pooped in it.  Clearly she was not in the mood to wear a yellow diaper so I stuffed a white one and she let that one stay clean!


4 weeks

WOW, another week has gone by.  Blythe is 4 weeks old, but won't be a "month" old till Saturday.  The last 2 nights Blythe has gone back to her normal schedule!  She sleeps for 4 hours, eats, 3 hours, eat, 3 hours!!  I enjoy that schedule a lot more than the every hour one she did for a few days. 

More Pictures!


Another Growth Spurt?

According to La Leche League babies go through growth spurts at 2, 4, 8 (doubles) weeks.  At about a week and a half Blythe had a few days where she was eating non stop.  Yesterday, this began again.  Jason Keene and Zane came to visit and Blythe bascially ate from 3-7pm.  She crashed at 7pm which should have meant that I went to bed to, but we were at the neighbors watching the Cowboys.  Blythe slept from 7-10:15pm, ate, then slept again from 11-2:40am, but then was up every hour.  Although this doesn't sound like great sleep it is an improvement from the last 2 nights.  The last 2 nights she had slept for one 4 hour duration and then was up every hour.  I am hoping this is part of the growth spurt and we will be back to our 3-3.5 hour sleeping intervals (or longer) before long.


3 Weeks

Yesterday Blythe turned 3 weeks old, time flies!  Look how much she's grown!

Blythe at 3 weeks                                                                       Blythe at 2 days old

Blythe helps mommy do the laundry!


Blow OUT

Yesterday Blythe and I were standing on the porch talking to the neighbors (Blythe was looking especially cute in her outfit Aunt Cindi sent):


when all the sudden we heard the all too familiar sound of the "diaper filler."  I didn't think too much of it until I heard a splash on the concrete:

and then something on my hand:

I looked down and immediately started laughing...we had our first blow out!

As Jason said: this was an express route to the bath tub!


2 Weeks +


Yesterday Blythe turned 2 weeks old!  We had our 2 week check-up and the doctor said she was "perfect!"  She weighed 7lbs 4oz and grew half an inch!  We had to do the newborn screen where they prick their little heel and squeeze the living daylights out of it.  This was NOT fun and is making me tear up right now as I write about it.  I had Jason go be with her while they did it and I stayed on the other side of the room as I knew I would likely be in tears.  I think I might have cried as much as she did, as I saw blood running down her little legs I wanted to yell "your wasting it, stop squeezing and use that."  She wasn't fussy yesterday so I don't think it bothered her after it was all said and done.  I was going to take a picture of her poor heel with the band aid, but it fell off before I got a chance, I guess that is a memory that can be forgotten. 

Blythe's umbilical cord fell off on Sunday so she got to have her first big bath and dad got in to play with her!  She really enjoys the warm water. 


Although they say babies don't really develop a routine this early we have a little bit of a routine forming.  She takes a long nap from about 11-3, has wake time from 3-5 and then goes into what I call "marathon eating time" anywhere from 6-9 or 7-10 where she just eats/snacks non stop.  When I went to the La Leche League meeting on Tuesday the other moms said their babies do the same thing and this is how the babies "store-up" for a longer stretch of sleep time during the evening.  Blythe usually wakes up every 3-3.5 hours during the night. 

The last of our company (Momo) has just left today so we are down to just the 3 of us.  Jason and I are a great team and we are enjoying every minute with our baby girl. 



Some of Blythe's Favorite Things

Even though Blythe is only 10 days old she already has some favorites:

1) Hanging out on the Lamb skin that mom used as a baby:

2) Taking Naps with Daddy:

3) Kisses from Mommy:

4) The Changing Table (she loves to kick her legs and check herself out in the mirror):

5) Hanging out in the Bouncer:

And then there are some things that Mommy and Daddy Make Blythe do that aren't exactly "favorites"

1) Tummy Time with Daddy:

2) Being Dressed Up (Check out the cute hat Tia Rachel made):

I think Blythe might be going through a growth spurt today because she has been eating more frequently. We were told babies usually go through a growth spurt at 2 and 6 weeks, but maybe she is getting a head start. We had our first "fussy" spell today. We went for a walk till about 10am and then Blythe slept till noon, but my body was saying it was time for her to eat and it has been a solid 4 hours so we tried to wake her to get her to eat. This was not successful because she kept falling asleep, but if I would take her off to sleep she would wake up and be upset. Fortunately Aunt Melinda and Casey came by to visit and finally got her to wake up and she realized she was hungry (this was about 2:30). Since then Blythe has been eating and sleeping and being sweet, too bad we couldn't show our normal sweet self to our visitors!

Hormones: I had intended on writing this entry a few days ago, but didn't get around to it so I am inserting it here. A lot of people talk about the crazy hormones women have after delivery. Up till Monday I had not experienced any of these "hormones." Monday morning as I was un-swaddling Blythe for her morning feeding I just started crying, just seeing the amazing baby god has blessed us with and the thought of this sweet little baby growing up so fast brought tears to my eyes. A few hours later I was changing Blythe on the changing table and she was a little fussy from the cold and Jason jokingly said "is that baby giving you a hard time, do I need to spank her?" My eyes instantly filled with tears, but I didn't want Jason to see me cry so I tried to choke it up and replied "Don't spank my baby," of course I couldn't fool him and as soon as he looked at me I started balling, no reason just Hormones I suppose, especially since I am normally not a crier. Later in the day we ran a few errands and we went just a little too long and Blythe was hungry. We were on our way home and figured she would fall asleep and then I could feed her as soon as I got home, but we kept on hitting red lights so she was not falling asleep and all the sudden she really started crying hard, this made me cry as well. Jason looked into the rear view mirror and said "I will pull over at this park right here and you can feed her." Last, but not least Jalyn came back to visit that evening and made the comment "She has already grown," which made the tears flow again. Luckily that seemed to be a one day thing as I have been "sane" since. I assume these are the same hormones that allow me to be woken up during the night and be happy to feed my baby and allow me to no longer need a full 8 hours of sleep per night to function during the day.


8 Days Old

Blythe, Jason, and I have been very busy the last 8 days, but we have loved every minute of it.  Blythe is an amazing baby, she eats, sleeps, and poops very well.  She is eating about every 3 1/2 hours and she even went for a 5 hour stretch last night so I am feeling very well rested.  We have all enjoyed everyone who has come to visit and we hope to see the rest of you soon.  Thank you for all your well wishes and prayers, they have really paid off.  We are in complete parental bliss and we like to assume that Blythe is as happy as we are!

Blythe and Monica at 1 week:

Blythe's First Play Date (with Ian Hartl)


Blythe's Birth Story By Jason

So, what was it like on the day you were born? Many things! Mostly it was exciting, often hectic, sometimes scary, sometimes loud, and in the end, joyful. It was Tuesday, August 26th, when Monica found out that Kaela Gruninger had been born the previous day, about 3 weeks before her due date. Monica, who was now going to be the last mom in our birthing class to give birth, felt a tremendous amount of pressure to succeed in having a natural un-medicated childbirth. She was upset, came home early and mowed the lawn, borrowed Gilmore girls from the White’s next door, and watched a few episodes. Assuming that her induction method failed, she went to bed frustrated. At about 5:20 in the morning, Monica felt what she described as menstrual cramps, commonly known to feel like the initial contractions in labor. Doing her best to stay calm, Monica dismissed the pains as pre-labor, and tried to roll over and go back to sleep (but I was pretty sure that today was the day). When 2-3 more happened within the next hour, we decided this may be it, so we got out of bed, ate, and began to record the contractions in our notebook. From about 6-7 am, Monica had contractions every 3 minutes, usually lasting 40-60 seconds. At 7, Monica was convinced that today was the day. We both got really excited, but did our best to conserve the energy that would be required later in the day. Monica went to take a bath and shave her legs (women).
After her bath, Monica started an episode of Gilmore girls, and I went into the office to print out the Book of Encouragement, a book that I composed from letters from our family and friends wishing us success in enduring a natural un-medicated childbirth. The idea for the book came to me during one of our Bradley classes when I realized that, although we wanted to labor alone, others could participate in our birth by contributing a written word of encouragement to Monica, me, or the baby. After I emailed several of our family and friends, I received about 25 entries that ranged from inspiring words of confidence, lessons on life, and comedy interludes. When I gave Monica the book at about 8:00 am, Monica began to cry, she was very touched that so many believed in her and wanted to contribute to our birth experience. We read a few of the entries in between contractions, and Monica decided she wanted to save some for later. I left Monica so that I could double check that all of our necessities were packed and ready to go, constantly disrupted by my job to record the Start, Stop, that denoted a contraction. She was ok till about 9:30, at which point she desired my presence in the room.
From 9:30 till 10, she had contractions every 3 minutes, lasting 70-90 seconds. This means that she only had about 90-110 seconds of break between contractions. The methods we had learned in the Bradley classes were paying off, and Monica was performing brilliantly. She had no trouble relaxing during her contractions, unless of course I shook the bed a millimeter or so. At about 10:00, we decided that it was time to go to the hospital. Although this may seem early for most Bradley labors, Monica tested positive for Beta Strep, a bacteria in the birth canal, that required an IV of Penicillin 4 and 8 hours prior to the baby being born. If we failed to arrive 8 hours prior to the birth, there was a chance that the baby would have to be observed for a full 48 hours after arrival. This does not include the 8 hours that they were able to monitor the baby during labor. 
Upon arriving at the hospital, Monica was working very hard during contractions to relax, even though some old maids in the waiting room of the emergency wing kept insisting that Monica carried a girl. Although we did have a girl, that is not the point. At 11:15, a pelvic exam revealed that Monica was dilated 3cm, and 80% effaced, with the baby at position 0. Dilated indicates the opening of the pelvis, and the effacement concerns the thinning of the pelvic tissue. They decided to see how she was progressing before we were admitted, so Monica labored for another hour and was re-examined. The results were the same, but they confirmed that Monica was in fact in the early stages of labor, despite the assurance from our OBGYN that a cursory glance could tell you that the woman was in labor.
It was 12:15 now, and we were officially admitted. Now all we had to do was wait for a labor room to open up. Even though I continued to press the issue on the Penicillin, the nurse, Samme, informed me that she would administer the IV as soon as we were transferred. At 1:30, Samme told us that the preferred room was now open, and contained a Jacuzzi, large window, and a couch. It was a nice room, but I didn’t get to try the couch out. A nap at this point was out of the question. After arriving in the room, Monica’s stomach was upset by the move, and decided to express itself… literally. Once we got settled into the room, I had Enya playing on computer speakers, and Monica was enjoying the IV to be followed by a toothbrush and a warm bath. The Jacuzzi can’t be used once the bag of waters is broken, but Monica’s bag was still intact, and she enjoyed the change of scenery. After 30 minutes in the bath, Monica decided that she liked the bath between contractions, but that it was hard to relax during them. She got out, put on a new gown and lied down in bed.
From 2:30 till 4, Monica was in hard labor. Interrupted only by hourly strips to record the baby’s heart rate and the progression of contractions, Monica was extremely focused on the task at hand. Relaxing required Monica’s full attention, and most of mine. I took a few breaks here and there to eat, drink, fill Monica’s bottle, and potty, but I had only 45-60 seconds to leave and return, because Monica wanted me there for every contraction. I rubbed her back, her hair, and told her that she was doing awesome (because she was). Samme, our nurse, was also awesome. She had considerable faith in the abilities of Monica to labor, and in my ability to discern her place in it. She told us that she would perform a pelvic exam when we were ready, and didn’t pressure us to ask for one. At 4 pm, Monica and I decided that we wanted to know where we stood, and Monica was rewarded with the knowledge that she was at 5-6 cm, and 100% effaced. The baby was still at position 0, but Monica was making progress. Around 4 pm, Monica’s bag of waters began to leak, indicating that the contractions would soon intensify.
From 4-6 pm, Monica was working as hard as she could, with very intense contractions coming every few minutes, sometimes coming one on top of another. It took everything that she had to relax, but Monica was amazing. Between contractions, I was doing my best to remain hydrated, energized, and prepared. At about 6, I realized that I might not have another chance to set up the video camera, and asked Samme to fill in for me while I erected the tripod. I’m glad I did, because the next few hours were very intense. 
At 6 pm, our doctor (OBGYN) checked in to tell us that he was not feeling well, and preferred not to attend our delivery in said condition. He empowered us by telling us that we were well prepared, that we were to run our show, and that he believed that we would have a baby right around 8 pm. Soon after 6 pm, Monica’s body began to overpower her at the peak of some contractions. With every contraction, Monica did everything she could to relax, but her bodies urge to push at the peak of the contraction began to overpowered her will. This was usually very brief, lasting only a few seconds, but the expression of pain on Monica’s face left me no doubt as to the sacrifice she made to endure each contraction.
At 6:45, we met the on-call doctor that was to deliver our baby, and he wanted to give Monica a pelvic exam to see where she was at. Monica was ready to hear the good news. She was ready to hear that she was fully dilated (10 cm) and that it was time to push. He told us that Monica’s pelvis was fully effaced, 6 cm dilated, and the baby was still at station 0; almost exactly where she was measured to be at 4 pm, this suggested that Monica’s labor had stalled. He suggested that the bag of forewaters was potentially slowing the descent of the baby, and popped it to “keep things going – i.e. make himself feel better.” He instructed us that if things had not progressed by 8 pm, that he was going to administer Pitocin to get things rolling. I knew that Monica’s body was working as hard as humanly possible, and that a dose of Pitocin was the last thing that she needed. With the shift change coming up at 7, our nurse instructed us that if it came to it, we should request the absolute smallest amount of Pitocin; also, Samme commended Monica for her efforts, and encouraged her that she was not a failure if our birth diverged from the intended course.
Although you may believe that these results would be devastating after almost 3 hours of hard labor, I told Monica to take the results for what they meant, nothing. I was by her side for every contraction from 4-6:45 pm, and I knew that she was progressing. Her contractions were different than they were at 4 pm. They were now more intense, expulsive, and extremely painful. I know we were getting close, because Monica told me repeatedly that she wasn’t sure how much longer she could continue. Although we were instructed by medical personnel to push only after a pelvic exam showed that Monica was dilated 10 cm, I was firmly grounded in Monica’s ability to listen to her body, and supported her to do as it commanded. I told her that it was not time to bear down, but that she needed to listen to her body and work with her contractions. Although she tried to relax as hard as she could, her stomach often overpowered her, tightened up, and sent pain into the depths of my soul. 
At 7:30, I forced Monica to sit on the toilet one more time, just to make sure she wasn’t working against her bladder or bowels; it was then that I witnessed one of the most amazing events of my entire life. While sitting on the toilet, Monica began a contraction. Although I supported her and she did her best to relax, toward the middle of the contraction, her belly shot out 2 inches, lifted up, and began to hammer the baby repeatedly into the birth canal. I would sacrifice all of the video I took this week to have recorded that moment, but my attention was elsewhere. At this point, Monica had acknowledged that she no longer had the ability to relax, and that her body was forcing her to expel the baby. Labor was wearing on her, and she told me she couldn’t continue. After a few more contractions on the table, Monica’s bowels were expressed by the baby, and I knew that the baby had begun its descent. Biding my time, I managed to get a few more contractions out of her before asking the nurse, Jennifer, to give Monica a pelvic exam. Monica was dilated 9 cm, fully effaced, and the baby was on the way. Jennifer had much experience with the Bradley method, and often helped her mother with home births.
Within minutes, the room was transformed from a leisurely labor room, to a fully equipped delivery room. At 7:50, Monica was still on her side, writhing with each contraction, with Baby Wilkes moments from arrival. To this point, Monica had not actively pushed on the baby at the instruction of the nurses, who were awaiting the arrival of the doctor. At 7:58, word arrived that the ETA for the doctor was 8 minutes, and Monica wasn’t going to wait that long. After a moment of deliberation, they took the baby’s vitals one last time, and I pressed record on the video camera. The baby crowned during the next contraction, and Monica went berserk. When Jennifer told Monica that she could see the baby and that she needed to breathe, Monica regained composure and said that she wasn’t comfortable pushing on her side. We rolled her on her back, and with the next contraction, Blythe Leighlyn Wilkes came out. This was followed by “That feels so much better… What did we have? (me: Girl.)… Jason, can you believe we had a little girl?” We were excited. I attended to the baby while Monica got a few small stitches, and we were parents. The baby was gargling a little bit, but all was well. 
When news got out that we had a little girl, the Grandma’s were heard shouting with excitement all the way from where we were. We knew that they were thrilled. Soon after, Joe and Debbie arrived, and all came into the room to greet the baby into the world. After I gave the baby a bath, and Monica fed the baby for the first time, we walked (Monica and I) to the a triage room where we were to spend the night for lack of a recovery room.
In the triage room, Lori, another godsend from the nursery, helped Monica breastfeed again. She said that few baby’s feed so well right out of the womb and that Blythe, and Monica, were doing great. Afterwards, I got to burp and change the baby, and we crawled into bed. Finally, I laid the baby on my bare chest, and for the first time, Blythe got to hear my heartbeat. Although she fell asleep in minutes, Monica and I just lay there, staring at Blythe, amazed at what we had accomplished. Without a doubt that moment ranks on the top of a very short list, equaled only by the moment I married her mother.


Update Coming

There are lots of entries I want to write, but so far no time to do so.  I just can't bring myself to try and type with one hand, but I am adding a few links to photoalbums for those of you who do not have facebook. 

Everyone is HEALTHY and couldn't be HAPPIER!  More updates coming soon.........




Where is Baby?

So I have tried to convince myself all along that I would be late so I wouldn't feel let down to not have a baby by the due date.  Well all was going fine until TODAY.  Jason and I were supposed to be the 3rd couple in our Bradley group to have a baby and the couple that was due 2 weeks behind us just had their baby.  Which deserves a HUGE congratulations to them and their beautiful baby girl!  The good news is that the Bradley method is really paying off with 3/4 couples making it all natural!  So this should be a big boost for Jason and I, but that also means the pressure is on.  We were going to bring the score to 75% and now we are at the rear to bring it in for 100%.  

While I know that 4 couples is a small sample size I can't help but think that since the average timing of when a baby is born is 41 1/7th weeks and we have had one baby that was 4 days late, one baby 8 days early, and now 1 baby 2 weeks early, I would have to be really LATE to make that average work.  I am now very eager to see what the doctor says at my Thursday appointment; hopefully he will say "any day now," and not "see you next week."  I know that even they don't know when the baby will be born and it’s in God's hands, which is great, but the thought of going the dreaded 2 weeks past the due date and having to be induced is NOT appealing.  

So although the 4 mile walk on Sunday didn't bring Baby W out, I am going to see if mowing the lawn and cleaning the house will work!  I'll keep you posted.


39 Weeks

Fetal development in pregnancy week 39:fetus in ninth month Whether you give birth tomorrow or next week, it's pretty much all the same for your baby, who is now truly R-E-A-D-Y to face the big bright world outside of your womb. Speaking of wombs, your body is priming up for the big moment and hopefully, you're as prepared mentally as you can be. Your baby is well stocked up on fat, all their organs have put on the finishing touches. Here's hoping your child is already in the birthing position and basically just "hanging out" waiting for that elusive moment when all sysytems synchronize in your body to trigger the labor process.


Baby Jason

Becky sent me these cute pictures of Jason at a day old and a week old.  We shall see if Baby W resembles Jason.