Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Mama's and the Papa's

Since we will be writing about many of Luke's extended family and their interaction with him, I thought it would be good to write up a brief family tree. Not an exciting post, but hopefully it will help me keep things straight. :)

Nathan's Side:

Papa: Nathan's Dad
Grammy: Nathan's mom

Bethany Lee, Evan, and Clara: Nathan's sister, her husband, and little girl Clara

Ben, Bethany Jean, and Paul: Nathan's brother, his wife, and baby Paul

Katie's Side:

Bestamar: Katie's Mom (Norwegion for Grandma)
Bestafar: Katie's stepdad (Norwegion for Grandpa)

Grandpa: Katie's Dad

Kelsey: sister
Jacob: brother

Great-Grandma Pederson: Katie's Grandma
Great-Grandpa Pederson: Katie's Grandpa

Nana: Katie's great-grandma (that's right great-great grandma to Luke!)
Gus: Katie's great-grandpa

At the End of Week 1

At the end of week one, here are some things that we have learned about Luke:

1. He is good at sucking. He nurses efficiently and has learned to suck a pacifier on occasion.
2. He is good at sleeping. So far we have had very easy nights for as little as he is. He tanks up in the hours before bedtime and then has given us one 4 hour stretch each night.
3. His crankiest time is about 9:30-11pm.
4. Gas and burps are usually what make him upset.
5. He is very alert when he is awake, and has even tracked Mommy and Grammy with his eyes as they talked to him.
6. He is patient- waiting for Mommy to get ready to feed him and patient as his diaper gets changed.
7. He loves his Tiny Love Mobile (thank you Aunt Bethany Jean). We like it too- it plays classical lullabies.
8. He has Mommy's sensitive skin.

There is much, much more too.

Last night we listened to Nathan's compilation of lullabies with Luke and sang them to him. He sang along too, cooing on and off with the music. He especially liked Allison Kraus's "Down in the River to Pray." I think that Papa will be happy if he is a bluegrass boy. It was very nice family time.

Here is a family picture and a movie showing our little "sucker" in action.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Fluid, Fluid Everywhere, But Not a Drop on Me

To treat Luke's slight case of jaundice, the midwife instructed us to get him in the sun nearly naked for an hour each day. We have accomplished this by placing him on a waterproof pad by the window wearing only a little washcloth. Today, the sun time was cut short. He almost simultaneously spit up, peed, and pooed while on the mat. Luckily no one was hit by any of the bodily explosions, but there sure was a lot of clean-up!

Sleepy Boy

Yesterday Luke was a sleepy boy, which was good because mommy was too. Nathan went to work for the first time because some important out of town co-workers were flying in for training. The training relates to the same special project that took him to Ohio 2 weeks ago.

Luke likes to sleep sitting up right now, though we are working with him during the day to also sleep on his back so that he will sleep on his back at night. The pictures are from two of his daytime sleeping sessions. He was so tired that it was difficult to keep him awake long enough to feed. I am beginning to wonder where that active little boy in the womb went. :)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Life with Luke- Day 1

Luke has been the best little newborn. He nurses efficiently (my milk is already coming in!) and has been generally content He is also very strong, lifting up his head and looking around at only 5 hours old. He has been very patient with his newbie parents as they figure out what to do. He had a 4 hour stretch of sleep last night (after a few big feedings) and loves to sit in his bouncy chair (though no bouncing yet). We are spoiled.

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Labor Story

See the fun pictures below. Here is the labor story (lengthy) as told by the mommy for those who want to know what was taking so long. :) Maybe Daddy will post his version later as Mommy's perspective may have been distorted.

I woke up at 2:15 am Sunday morning with light contractions. After about an hour, and contractions 8-10 minutes apart, I rolled over and told Nathan and then called Kelly. At about 3:15am, I couldn't sleep and so I got up and did some dishes, cut some watermelon (to eat during the transition phase of labor), and did a final round of tidying up.

Kelly came at about 4am and tried to get me to rest. I was chatty and excited and wanted to tell her anything and everything I was thinking (classic phase 1 labor emotions). Contractions were about 6 minute apart lasting 30-45 seconds and were relatively easy. I didn't need any help getting through them. I ate some leftover chicken from the night before, some toast and watermelon to try to store up energy for laboring in case I got queasy later.

Contractions got progressively stronger throughout the morning. I mostly labored sitting on an exercise ball and with my head resting on a pillow on the top of our desk. Kelly coached me through the contractions and rubbed my back, shoulders, etc... to get me through. Nathan got up at 7am and began helping Kelly and giving me hugs. Nathan's parents came at 9am to help out also.

By noon, I was getting ready to go to the birth center. My contractions were 3-5 minutes apart lasting a minute and had been that way for an hour. I was beginning to struggle a bit and relied heavily on Kelly and Nathan to get me through each contractions. I heard myself making jokes in between contractions, probably as a coping mechanism and to help keep a good attitude.

We left for the midwifery at 1:30pm (almost 12 hours after the start of labor). During the 25 minute car ride I realized why people have home births. :) When we arrived at the midwifery, I began to stall. It was so hot outside and since it was a Sunday, there was no A/C on inside yet. The midwife checked me and I was only 3-4 cm dilated. That was very discouraging to me since to start, I had been 1-2cm dilated. The baby was not in a great position and she told me that I needed to lean back during my contractions. She said that I might need to go back home until I was further along. That made me mad, I had been at this for a long time. So we began walking around outside and up and down stairs to get the contractions going. This was very painful, but we had to do it.

After some very strong contractions and a couple of checks by the midwife, I was 6+ cm dilated. I was making progress, and was heading into transition. The tub was filled with water to help as the contractions got more difficult. It was about 5-6pm (I am not really sure) and we were all getting tired, but still in good spirits. The midwife put a belly band on me to help pull my belly up since the baby was still leaning too far forward. With a combination of the belly band and realizing that I could bring on contractions by leaning back and pulling up on my belly, we brought on some really difficult contractions. I was amazed that I could control (to some degree) when the contractions would come by how I was positioned. It is an interesting thing to know that you will bring pain to yourself by doing something, but doing it anyways- he had to come out.

I was starting to really struggle. I felt like I was barely hanging on and got a bit frantic during some contractions. The midwife checked me again and I was at 9+ cm. Good news! Almost done with transition and onto pushing! The midwife began getting supplies out to catch the baby and told me that the worst was over.

However, to everyone's surprise, the worst was not over. This part of the labor is why no one got calls Sunday night about a baby being born. I stalled at 9+ cm.

I can't even think about all of what happened. I just know that I have never felt so weak, so without faith or hope in my life before. The cervix would not get to 10cm because a lip of it was caught around the baby's head and it would not let up. The midwife tried to reach in and pull the cervix around the head, but after repeated tries, it didn't work. The contractions came quick and hard and I couldn't get a break. I said repeatedly that I couldn't do it. I cried, I yelled. I was completely out of control. I prayed, "Lord please help me finish," but I couldn't believe that He would. I had been so strong, but now was letting everyone down.

Everyone tried to get me to relax and be encouraged. I got some herbal supplements from the midwife to help calm down. Finally enough time went by and I was able to calm down enough to get through enough contractions that the lip made it around baby's head on its own. I began pushing with the midwife's guidance. It was about 11pm. They told me that this could take another two hours. I did not have two hours left of strength left so I shut everyone out and got into kind of a zone. I pushed and pushed, faster than I should have and ended up tearing a bit. It was kind of funny that they kept wanting to show me the head and I kept saying no! I wanted to keep going, no time to waste! :) But, kicking and screaming, Luke was out at 11:37 pm.

Luke cried and cried at first. He had a great pink, soft skin and a little face that looked like it had not endured any of the hardship of labor. Nathan cut the cord and I held him on my belly. I was very weak, so Nathan's parents held him and calmed him down while the midwives tended to me. After about 45 minutes, I held him again. He latched on quickly and began nursing right away. He was a great sucker and seemed to be a pro from the beginning.

I was able to stand up about an hour later and we all drove home exhausted at 2am. 24 hours after it all started, it was over. Little Luke was in our arms.

Thank you to Kelly, Nathan, Kathy, Rod, and the midwives. Everyone did their part. Luke came because of everyone's effort. I needed them to carry me through. Thank you.

Luke Paxton Jones

On Sunday night at 11:37pm, after brave Katie labored for nearly 22 hours, an 8 lb 7 oz Luke Paxton Jones left his cozy womb to enter the world. Big thanks to Kelley Torgerson, who was Katie's doula and an absolutely indispensable help. Thanks also to my parents for providing emotional and edible support and for helping care for the little guy when we got home.

Here are a few pictures to start. We'll post more when we've recovered a bit.

Here's a picture of him right after he was weighed. The picture doesn't do justice to how elongated his poor head was--it was a tight squeeze.

Here's the new momma this morning. He looks a lot like her.

Here's daddy trying not to break him. I'm sure I'll get the hang of it.

This is where he is right now--just hanging out in the swing that Uncle Ben & Aunt Bethany lent us. He's been very docile so far. His favorite things to do are suck (pinkie fingers included), sleep, and grunt.

No more baby in tummy, Clara Lee. He came out!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Taking After Mommy

Well, I think that my son takes after his mom. He decided to wake me up a little after two to let me know that he wants out. This may be premature and end up as false labor, but so far contractions have been 6-8 minutes apart for the past hour and a half. I tried to sleep, eat, drink something, and walk around to see if they would go away (recommended in the Bradley birth method), but they have kept on coming so far.

Please pray for little Luke, that he makes a safe entrance into this world. Please also pray for me and for the birth team (Nathan, Kelly and Kathy) that our strength would hold up.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Quick Update

The visit to the Chiropractor yesterday made me feel like a new person. I actually slept 6 and 1/2 hours straight last night, something I haven't done in more than three months. Also, I walked about 40 minutes this morning and an hour this afternoon without the usual pain and fatigue in my hips. I took plenty of fluids with me, and have mixed these walks with lots of rest, but can you tell that I want the baby to come? :)

Friday, August 22, 2008

Chiropractic Bliss

Since the little guy was in the posterior position (i.e. facing front and not the best position for birth) at my last check-up, the midwives recommended that I see a chiropractor to make sure that my body and pelvis were properly aligned. With all of the spreading and shifting that goes on during pregnancy, the bones and ligaments can get out of line. Also, alignment issues have been cited as causes of stalling before and during labor.

So this afternoon, I visited a chiropractor who specializes in prenatal adjustments. I had a great time! I really do love learning new things about how the body works. That is probably one of the main reasons why I love the midwifery so much. They explain all sorts of different things about pregnancy and the body and how to make it work best.

The doctor that I met with was excellent and loved babies and pregnant mommies. She assessed me, noting that one of my pelvic joints was locked and that I also had some stress on my left side. It hadn't occurred to me before, but I should have expected that I might have some problems. I have had bursitis in both of my hips due to one leg being slightly longer than the other. This problem affected my pelvis also. She then did a little bit of work to adjust me (gently- not the snap, crackle, pop type of chiropractic adjustment). I felt much looser after the adjustments. Luke also seemed to like the adjustments too. He had some big movements on the drive home.


Yesterday was one week from the day that my midwives said that I should deliver within a week. So the week went by and no baby. Today is the due date that we were given first. Unless I start contractions sometime in the next few hours, he will probably miss this due date also. Someone needs to tell this kid that he needs to hurry up!

Really though, it is more appropriate that he tell us, "I will come when I will come, and that will be the right time." I said this very thing to my own mom almost 24 years ago. I was supposed to be born on Sept. 23, but waited until Oct. 5.

In all honesty, I acknowledge that this is an awkward time for me. I feel like I am constantly trying to come up with meaningful, important things to do to pass the time. Perhaps it shows my clear deficiency in the virtue of patience.

I think that today I will read the portion of Acts where the disciples are gathered together, waiting for the descent of the Holy Spirit. They did not know the day or hour either. I think that I will read Matthew and Revelation, where Jesus speaks of the ending of the age, the symbolism of the birth pains of the woman ready to give birth at any time. I will try to sit with this period of waiting. I will be still until my own time comes.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Latest Stats

Almost 2cm dilated, 80% effaced, -1 station, soft cervix.

So in one week, there hasn't been a lot of changes if you look at it from the numbers. However, I will take every cm and part cm I can get before the full-force labor begins!

Today the midwife listened to the baby's heartbeat through one of my contractions to see how he would do. The heartbeat was strong all the way through and she seemed pleased with the result.

After the visit I met with Kelly. We went through several questions about the birth and several relaxation techniques. The experience was very good for me. I am learning a lot about my likes and dislikes and about certain opinions that I have about the birth that I did not realize existed. What tone of voice makes you relax? How do you like your shoulders messaged? Hard? Soft? With strokes or squeezes? Better to get these things on the table beforehand than during crunch time (haha a pun). Everything feels more organized now and my emotions are definitely changing- more focus on the birth that lies ahead.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Best Things to do While Waiting

1. Have friends over

Today I had a surprise visit from some good friends from church. We chatted over a light lunch and took a trip to Baby's R Us. It is such a treat to be able to spend time with friends. I am really enjoying this time off. Nathan is enjoying having me at home too. The house is much cleaner, laundry is done before it piles up, there is a nice dinner waiting for him, and he gets to come home to a happier, more relaxed wife.

There is no big news in baby progress today. I continue to feel more pressure as the baby moves down and more Braxton-Hicks at night. My next Dr's appointment is tomorrow at noon, so I am interested to see what, if any, progress has been made. I will give updates after I hear more.

Kelly is coming tomorrow at 1:30pm (providing I don't go into labor tonight), and we plan to practice some relaxation techniques and go over the plan for birth. I am looking forward to this. As someone else put it, Kelly is a birth-warrior. She has given birth to three beautiful children naturally and at home. That sounds like just what I need as I try to have a drug-free birth experience!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Lovely Morning at Starbucks

Since there is no baby in my arms this morning, I decided to go about my normal routine.

I woke up, got Nathan's coffee, lunch and breakfast together. Then I said prayers, ate a little and took a walk. This morning was especially nice in Huntington Beach- only 70 degrees and overcast. I grew up with much hotter summers than that! After the walk, I headed to Starbucks to study for the CPA. I am almost through the 4th of 5 chapters for the Business portion of the exam.

The Starbucks by our house is especially nice. There is a great seating area outside and comfy oversized furniture inside. While I was in line, a very sweet old bent-over man with a cane walked up to me and said, "Good luck, Honey. New babies are the closest this to seeing God. They are fresh from his hand." I smiled and said thank you. I felt a little like crying. Thank you Lord for these little encouragements. I will try to think about that during labor.

Today it was pretty crowded so I had to sit down next to someone on the large couch, but I still had room for my computer and my textbook. The man sitting on the other side of the couch looked over and asked if I was expecting. I told him yes, and probably this week. He beamed and told me how wonderful life is with children- he had three of his own. I saw their pictures- Roman, Sophia, and Dominic (can you guess- yep a Catholic family). So precious. It is a beautiful thing to see a happy, loving family. He counseled me to stay home or only work part time if necessary. His family gave up cable TV and other little luxuries to make it possible.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Still Waiting

So, three days since my exciting visit, nothing "big" has happened. My hips have gotten progressively looser each day and I have had a lot of pressure in my lower back. The Braxton-Hicks have also kicked it up a notch in the late evening.

Kelly (my doula) comes on Wednesday, and it is looking possible that she might not be too late. :) We'll see what baby decides.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Warming up for the Big Game

In honor of the Olympics, and as something fun to do to keep busy, Nathan's mom and I took pictures on a short-ish walk this morning. Here are the pictures. The belly shows its full size!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Home at last

Nathan is home. Baby, you are now free to come out now.

I feel like a dormant volcano

No news so far today. I have been resting a lot, eating well and drinking plenty of fluids. Luke is moving a lot and seems to be trying to get out by erupting from my belly, but I just tell him that that is not the way. He is a good little boy and has obeyed so far. :) I love the NBC Olympics website too. All of the gymnastics on demand I want and minimal commercials. :)

Nathan's mom and I did go out for a little while to pick up everything that was left on the birth checklist from my Bradley class/Doula list from Kelly. I have some great bottled smoothies and energy bars, etc... We are truly all ready now.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Not long now... :)

I had my weekly appointment with the midwives today. Nathan's mom came with me to check the place out and see what the midwives do. It really is neat to watch. They get the baby's position check the heartbeat, and many other fun things.

Today the midwife asked if I would like to be checked to see if there were any signs of upcoming labor. I thought that this would be good so that I could know a little more about what to expect. The midwife examined me quickly and got a big smile on her face.

With glee, she gave me the stats: 80% effaced, 1cm dilated, and the station was -1. According to the Bishop scale (see article, though it is not very helpful), I scored an eight. Anything over 6 usually indicates that labor will begin within the week. Being already one centimeter dilated will help in the trek ahead to 10. A station of -1 is also very good because that means that the beby has definitely dropped and is getting ready. You can walk around for weeks being a little dilated and effaced, but all the signs together point to labor coming soon. So the bottom line for me was- GET READY!

I was absolutely shocked. This whole pregnancy, I was fretting about being late, and now it is likely that I will go early. Nathan is still out of town, so I canceled my evening walk and will take it easy until he comes home tomorrow. I'll keep the blog updated.

The Prego Walking Tour

Nathan left for Ohio this morning. I did some housework through the morning and caught up on last night's Olympic happenings (why do they show the best events at midnight??)

In the afternoon, Nathan's mom came out to stay with me until Nathan comes back on Friday in case I go into labor. It is amazing to think that that is a possibility!

We went for a walk and dropped by some model homes nearby to take pictures. So, here are the pictures from our walking tour through the model homes. Unless I go into a couple weeks of overtime, these will probably be the last pictures until we post pictures of little Luke. According to my original due date, I have 9 days to go (later ultrasound puts me 13 days out).

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Did you hatch one already??

At Church, there are many cute young kids. Today I was talking with a few of them at lunch and they had some very interesting thoughts about babies.

Here is the conversation. I will mention that a sweet little girl, Emily Ruth, was born to a family in our parish earlier this week.

Ethan: There's a baby in your tummy?
Me: Yep, its a little boy.
E: Oh, there's a girl and a boy, right? Did you already hatch the first baby?
M: (Laugh.) Yes, there is a girl and a boy, but the little girl is not mine. I just have this little guy (pointing to belly) and he has a couple more weeks.
E: Oh.
M: You will have to come and see him after he is born.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

In the Safe Zone and Healthy

I had a great appointment yesterday at the midwifery, and not little Luke is in the "safe zone" for birth. The midwife felt him and guessed that he will weigh 7-8lbs, and affirmed again that his head is not very large. She also said that the baby was occiput anterior (i.e. he is facing my tailbone). This is very good because if he was facing forward and I couldn't get him to turn, it would make labor more difficult.

I lost some weight since my last visit, which worried me a little. The midwife checked the baby's fluid levels though and noted that his movement was great, so she was not worried. She said that it is normal to not gain anymore weight at this point, and not uncommon to lose some. Carrying around all of the weight and not being able to eat as much with each meal usually causes this.

She concluded with saying that Luke looks very healthy, and also said that he will probably not be born very soon. This is good because next week Nathan will be gone Wed-Fri to Ohio for his important business trip. We were both worried about this, but the midwife said that it would be very unlikely that I will go into labor that early. Nathan's mom will come and stay with me just in case.

The fact that I will be going into labor is starting to become more real to me. Luke's kicks are strong and my whole stomach moves now as he moves. Also, the Braxton-Hicks contractions are getting stronger. I am trying not to think about what is coming, but just work on my birthing exercises.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Maternity Leave- Day #2

Yesterday was another full day. I took my walk like usual, and then did a few things around the house. We are still trying to organize things after our move. I am glad that we were able to get the apartment when we did because this has been a lot of work!

Later in the morning, I drove up to Whittier to do some Church finance business and had lunch with some friends. I ended up staying there for a few hours and we had a lovely time. They are Chinese and made a delicious lunch of potstickers, soup and a tofu dish.

The drive to Whittier and back was not lovely however. My car had a dead battery, so I drove the BMW. A big accident was clogging up the freeway and apparently the BMW has no air conditioning. This was not fun. Luckily, I had brought a cool water bottle with me, and I survived. I have a fear now of going into labor when I get so hot. Not irrational I think?

To finish out the day, I put together the changing table (much easier than the crib), did a few loads of laundry (yay, the cloth diapers arrived!), worked on CPA stuff, and vaccumed the baby's room. It looks so nice now with everything put together. I am at peace now with the room. I wanted something beautiful, organized and complete, and that is just what it is. I'll post some pictures later.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

URGENT prayer request

Jen, a friend of mine from Church, see blog at MarkHu, just called saying that she is in the hospital. She is a little more than 29 weeks pregnant with her second little girl and the doctors are worried about the baby's growth. Having already had a preemie two years ago, she has been on bed rest already for 4 weeks. Now the Dr's have decided that they need monitor her around the clock. She will be at Good Samaritan Hospital in LA until the baby is born. Her mom is in town for the next two weeks and she has plenty of reading materials and music, etc..


-Pray for the baby (affectionately called "Littlest B," that her growth would improve and her heart rate would remain strong
-Pray for Jen and her husband Mark, for strength and peace now and for wisdom in the coming days/weeks

I will be driving up on Thursday, God willing and will be happy to bring any words of encouragement.

Here is a prayer for a sick child that may be helpful:

For a Sick Child:

O Lord Jesus Christ, Who came into this world as a little child, and Who, though Very God, was subject to Your earthly parents: Look mercifully, we ask You, upon her, and in Your great love grant her relief from her pain. Yea, O Lord, Son of God: Send Your holy Angel from heaven to guard, cherish, protect, visit and defend this Your child, Baby Hudson, sick in her tender age. Stretch forth Your holy right hand upon her: that, restored to the vigor of health, she may attain to fullness of years, and serve You faithfully and gratefully all her life and become an heir of Your Kingdom. For You are the Physician of our souls and bodies, O Christ our God, and to You we send up glory, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.
Heavenly Father, watch with us, we pray, baby Hudson, for whom our prayers are offered and grant that she may be restored to that perfect health which it is Yours alone to give. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Maternity Leave- Day #1

An exciting day for sure!

I went to Target today to get some last minute items and to get a changing table (the last "big" item that we needed). I love Target and today I was reminded of why. First, I found a great changing table for 40% off that was cherry wood and a style that I like. It was the ONLY changing table on sale. Tomorrow I get to figure out how to put it together. :)

Also, I picked up a top-end high chair (see picture) that was 75% off! $34 down from $140. Again, in my favorite cherry wood. Being at home is already paying off. More time to bargain shop! Of course that could change when our little guy comes around.

I also took a nap, read some, took two walks, made a roast chicken and potato dinner, made zucchini bread for the guys at Nathan's work, worked on some CPA stuff, and planned a little for a party at church. All in all, a pretty full day!

Being pregnant is getting a bit more difficult now. I am finally feeling the weight of baby and get fatigued a lot sooner than even a week ago. Also, I have to split up my dinner, so that I eat half and then do something else for an hour or so before finishing.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

It is over!

Yesterday was my last day at work before baby comes. It has been a long haul, but now it is over! Yay! It has been a good experience, but now I am feeling more fatigued and it will be nice not to work.

NowI have a bunch of things that I have been meaning to get to at home. Hopefully this week I will get to finishing the things I want to do for the baby room and unpacking more boxes from our move. So far, for my days off, my plan is to do the following things each day to give myself some kind of a schedule (I will go nuts without one):

1. Take a walk in the morning or evening. I get too hot in the afternoon
2. Go to Baby's R Us and Target and grab some last minute items
3. CPA study (maybe an hour at least)
4. Take an afternoon nap
5. Watch the Olympics when they start
6. Keep a regular prayer rule that includes more of the daily and weekly cycle
7. Read the Happiest Baby on the Block, The Breastfeeding Book (Dr. Sears)
8. Keep up on all of the Bradley birth excercises
9. Work on birth plan strategies

Maybe that is too much scheduling. I'll add #10. Learn to be more flexible and ok with not getting everything on my list done.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Happy Birthday Dad!

Happy _??th_ Birthday Dad!