Thursday, February 28, 2008

Coming Home

Aunt Cheryl said Christopher looks like a porcelain doll

Cousins from Crazy Court came carrying gifts for Christopher.

Proud Papa
Grandma Lola's first diaper duty.
Happy family
Putting on his "going-home" outfit

Ready for his car ride home.

Home Sweet Home

Gran's first great-grandchild

Christopher slept through a visit from Grandma Mil and Oma Sue

Our gift from God

Proud Aunt Kristi

We brought Christopher Ryan home Wednesday around noon. I think he really likes his home, especially the nursery. He admired the crib that was made just for him. Immediately after arriving home, I nursed him and Ryan placed him in his crib, where he slept for three hours, letting Mommy and Daddy settle in. Ryan has taken over everything for me. My only job is to take care of myself and nurse Christopher. Fatherhood comes very easy to Ryan, and he is so good at it. His insight surprises me, and many of his parenting ideas work. The first night home was a cluster-feeding frenzy, I pretty much spent it in Christopher's room nursing him. I can't say I mind, for when I look at his sweet face, time stands still. Breastfeeding is going extremely well, despite some bumps in the road on the first two days. Tomorrow is Christopher's first doctor's appointment and I can't wait to show off his progress. This is absolutely the best time of our lives and I am savoring every second, as I have been told it flies by.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Our first born son arrived to us
Monday, February 25th at 5:16pm, weighing 7 pounds, 14 ounces.

My labor started early Sunday morning around 3:30am. When Ryan awoke, I informed him that our child was finally ready to make their grand appearance soon. I labored at home all day. Ryan and I took care of last minute business: grocery shopping, laundry, and light house cleaning. All the while, I kept track of my contractions; at first starting at 20 minute intervals and gradually increasing in the evening to every 5 minutes. At 10:30pm I was in active labor, so we packed the car and headed to GBMC.

Upon arrival, I was growing increasingly more uncomfortable, even holding a conversation was difficult during a contraction. The admitting nurse found me to be 3 cm dilated. I continued to labor until 2:30 am, at which point no comfort measure worked to keep me out of extreme pain. After discussing the situation with Ryan and my nurse, I decided to finally have the epidural placed. I had made it to 4 cm without it. To continue without an epidural, I would have no strength to push during delivery. Once pain free, I was able to sleep on and off. At 8 am my contractions slowed, so unfortunately, we had to resort to pitocin. My regular OB arrived and took over my care, rupturing my water and starting internal monitoring. The waters were stained lightly with meconium. So my labor progressed well until 11 am, when the contractions became so strong, and close, the little baby's heart rate would drop drastically. The pitocin was turned off and my body was left to labor on its own. The contractions slowed and weakened, which my doctor feared indicated that the baby's head was too large to fit through my pelvis. He said unfortunately, a c-section was looking very likely. Of course, this is not what we wanted, but we put it in God's hands. My doctor gave labor a few more hours, then it was OR time. Unbelievably, on his final check, I was 10 cm and ready to push! I was so happy! Ryan and my nurse held each of my legs and cheered me on through each contraction. Ryan was amazing. It was his words that kept me focused and motivated. He had a great smile on his face, and he said "great push Katie, I could see the head on that one!" He was such an integral part of the delivery. The doctor came in towards the end, and the atmosphere was so relaxed and peaceful. We would actually have conversation between contractions! At the exact right moment, the doctor became involved and instructed me to only push when he said to. A few short pushes later, out came Christopher Ryan, in all his slimy glory! Ryan cut the cord, and escorted him over to the incubator where they cleaned and prepared him for me. There are no words to describe the whole scene. It was the most casual, beautiful event I could imagine. I have replayed it over and over again in my mind. Ryan and I had the perfect birth experience. Christopher Ryan is beautiful. He has perfect features, and a peaceful personality (so far). Our hearts have found a place we never knew existed. I am so proud of Ryan, he is a natural father (as of this posting I have only changed Christopher's diaper twice). At every feeding, Ryan retrieves our son and brings him to me, he soothes him quickly every time, and his swaddling skills are perfect! This has been the easiest transition. We are truly blessed and now a complete family.

Friday, February 15, 2008

In the Words of Tom Petty, "The Waiting Is the Hardest Part"

Enjoying our completed nursery.

I baked a Valentine's message for Ryan.

The great crib-maker, Uncle Bruce.

All of Ryan's great-aunts gave us a "gift tree" filled with various gift cards for Baby. It was very generous.

February 12 came and went with no sign of Baby. My doctor states everything is moving in the right direction for me to start labor on my own. They will let me go over by one week before they take matters into their own hands. So if nothing happens this weekend, looks like it will be a sure thing by Wednesday or Thursday. Ryan said Baby is hiding inside to avoid the cold weather and maybe we should play some Jimmy Buffett and shine a flashlight on my abdomen to trick Baby into coming out!

Yesterday I had a pleasant surprise, Uncle Bruce delivered our crib! It is absolutely beautiful, better than I imagined it. He is so talented. What a special gift to give our baby; something made with love by a great-uncle. Last night Ryan and I had fun putting the sheets, skirt, bumper and mobile on the crib. Ryan decided on a whim to rearrange the furniture a little, and I really like the new way. We then sat in the nursery for a while just talking and looking at the crib and trying to imagine what this little baby is going to be like. So exciting!

We shall keep you all updated!