Friday, May 1, 2015

The Birth of our Daughter

Sunday afternoon around 5pm I realized I was having contractions fairly regularly.  Stephen cam home from church around 6pm and I thought it would be good to time them. They were coming every 5 minutes. I wasn't too excited about this since I had had them come this often many times for an hour or two in the early morning hours and then they would just stop by morning. I wasn't convinced it was real, yet.
Just after being admitted

Around 7pm some friends from our community group stopped by.  They told me that this was "it." I decided to put on my tennis shoes and go for a walk to see what happened. Jude wanted to come, so I let him. While walking, the contractions picked up to every 3 minutes. I had to slow down or stop for them but could still talk through them. When we were about halfway done with our walk and heading home, Jude melted down and did not want to walk anymore. So, I picked him up. After carrying him through a couple of contractions, I realized how ridiculous it was that I was carrying a 35lb toddler while having contractions... he walked the rest of the way home.

Once I got home, the contractions slowed back down to every 5 minutes. I could still talk through them, though I would have to stop and be still with each one. So, we got Jude ready for bed, but called our person (my mentor) who would be watching him so they could be on standby. I also called my sweet friend Ashley who offered a whole lot of encouragement!

Around ten, my contractions began to get more painful. I had taken a shower and done some things to get Jude ready to spend the night at my mentor's and to be ready to go to the hospital (We live only 1 mile from our hospital so we weren't in a rush). Since they continued to intensify, we decided to load Jude up and head out. 

Around 11 (it think) we dropped Jude off. We set him up a bed, and proceeded to tuck him in. However, he had a coughing fit that caused him to gag and throw up. Seriously, I was holding a bag while my toddler puked in it and having contractions.  It took some time to get Jude settled in, so I think we made it to the hospital around midnight. 

Upon arriving the nurse said I was at 3 cm and 80% effaced, they did a quick sonogram to make sure baby was head down.  (I was 2cm and 50% on that Thursday at my last appointment).  The nurse said we could walk around for an hour and come back - if I had progressed to 4 they would admit me and give me a room.  So from 1-2am we walked all around the hospital. It was a small hospital so we decided to walk outside thorough the parking lot. Each time I had a contraction I would stop and lean my head into Stephen's chest and sway and rock.  I was having "back labor" and it wasn't fun!

At 2 am I decided to walk 30 minutes more... I wanted to progress enough to get that room. In that room was a big tub and I wanted to get in the tub sooooo bad. For some reason, I thought the tub would take away my pain. 
Clara Jean

Jude meets his sister
Our first picture as a family of four.
At 2:30,  I was 4 cm and very thin. Contractions every 3-4minutes.

I got in my room and got in my tub. It didn't help with the pain as much as I hoped it would. 

Sometime between 4-5 AM, I got out of the tub and decided I was ready for the epidural. The nurse said I was a 5-6cm. Contractions were still coming every 3-4 minutes.

Just minutes old
I was given the most wonderful epidural ever.  I had no idea it was supposed to be so wonderful. I felt SO much pain with Jude, so I was pleasantly surprised when I felt no pain, just pressure and still had control of my legs. It. Was. Blissful.

So, Stephen took a nap.  I tried to nap, but was too amped up on adrenaline. So, I sent some texts.

By 7AM my contractions had slowed a bit. I was still at 6cm, so my doctor dropped by at 8AM and broke my water. Baby had a major deceleration shortly after this.  I could tell the nurse was really panicked, but she finally fixed it by pushing on the baby'

s head. My doctor left to take her son to school.

At 8:30 I told our nurse I was feeling pushy.  She checked me and said something like, "Oh, yeah. Baby is RIGHT THERE!"  So we waited  a few minutes for my doctor to return from dropping her kid off at school. I started pushing at 9 am.

At 9:06 AM, after pushing through 2.5 contractions, Clara Jean Powell was here!  She was 8 lbs even and 20.5 inches long.  I remember feeling shocked at how big she was when they put her on my chest.  I know 8 lbs isn't a huge baby but she seemed so much bigger than Jude was (7lbs7oz). 

She was born beautiful, healthy and hungry! She nursed well.

We sent a picture to all our family, but did not tell them the sex.  We set up a google chat and told them live.

We had a quiet morning in the hospital just the three of us. Karen brought Jude by after his nap to meet Clara. He wanted to hold he so badly, but couldn't since he was sick.

Steak dinner!
That evening the hospital served us an awesome steak dinner.  Stephen went home to spend the night with Jude at our house. So, it was just Clara and me that night. We had several sweet visitors that ministered to my heart!  The Raubachs, Aly, and Ashley all came bringing goodies, bows and pink clothes!

I can't believe how quickly I was smitten with Miss Clara Jean. She turned my heart to mush quick! We are so blessed to have this precious, healthy, beautiful little girl!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Catch up: Fall-Winter

November and December were a whirlwind of sickness, surgery, buying a house, moving, and holiday festivities.

As a side note, if I ever try to move in December again, please remind me that I am the wife of a worship pastor and that is not a good idea!

The House

I never thought we would be homeowners. It still blows my mind how quickly and perfectly it all

We bought our cute little 1950 home from some precious church members. Our realtor, who is a retired elder from our church had told us about this house and that it was about to come on the market. They agreed to let us see it before it went up for sale. It was a Friday evening, I had a cold, Jude was sick (the puking kind) and we had just received a newborn foster baby. So, Stephen decided to go look at the house alone, when he returned he was excited and encouraged me to go see it.  So, I did. I think we put in an offer on Sunday.

In between this this time and our closing date, Stephen became jaundiced. His gallbladder was DONE and needed to come out. So, he had a two procedures and a surgery to take care of all that. It was a crazy couple of weeks!

We moved into our house on December 5th. This was the week before the Christmas production. Yikes! It was crazy. I was very pregnant and hubs was only a couple weeks out from surgery, yet we managed.  Mostly because some sweet family blessed us with the gift of a moving company. I am not sure how we could have done it otherwise!

The Kid

Jude is a full blown 2 year old (as of October). We celebrated his birthday with a few of our Oklahoma friends and even Granna was able to be here for it. It just amazes me how much he grows, learns and talks.

Granna and sick Jude
We have very few pictures of our Christmas trip home to Florida this year. This is because Jude had
the FLU while we were there. He was miserable. Needless to say we didn't get to see as many people as we had hoped, but we are so thankful no one else caught it. We will forever remember 2014 as the Christmas Jude had the flu and my sister sprayed everything with lysol - even a PINE TREE after Jude touched it - and made people wear hospital masks. Oh, memories.

Thankfully, we made it through the flu with no febrile seizure. This is huge! He had fever for 6 days and it spiked up to 104-105. I hope and pray perhaps this means they will be fewer in our future!

He started to feel slighty better the last two days we were there. So we squeezed in his first fishing trip  with Granna and an evening of seeing the lights with Grandad and Grandma.
First fish!
Looking at lights with Grandad

The Church

We love our church more and more every day. Frequently, Stephen and I will look at each other and ask "How did we end up here?" We feel inadequate to serve such a special body, but we cherish it so much.

We adore our Community Group, which has in every way, been our family here in Oklahoma. They are so precious to us and truly do life together day in and day out.
Jude at the Christmas Eve service

After the Christmas Eve service


We are getting so close to welcoming a new baby - only 6 more weeks until my due date. This pregnancy has flown by. We actually got to take an extra sneak peek and baby this week since I have been measuring 2-3 weeks ahead. We still have no idea if this little is a girl or boy, but I am anxious to find out!
Our Baby!