Thursday, December 9, 2010

Our Favorite Things: Books and Music

The Smith household has been getting into the holiday spirit. There's something about giving birth and having a baby around the house that has opened our eyes to see the beauty of the incarnation in new ways. It is so unfathomable to think of God choosing to enter the world in such a humiliating manner, to become totally dependent on human beings, to take on flesh in the form of a baby for us. As we celebrate Advent and the coming of Christmas, here's what we've been reading and hearing to help us set our hearts on the miracle of Emmanuel:

Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus Edited by Nancy Guthrie: we've been reading selections from this book out loud together in the evenings. It's a collection of Advent readings by present day and historic authors and pastors, and we have loved how each night we are reminded of "the riches of Christ come to earth."

Behold the Lamb of God by Andrew Peterson and other various artists: Best Christmas program ever. Every church should perform this every year. Christmas = the Gospel (set to really awesome music by very talented people).

Christmas by Jill Phillips and Andy Gullahorn: Our favorite husband and wife duo, there's something for everyone on this holiday album.

A Girl and Her Dog

Snow

It has been snowing for the last 5 days. We got a little break from it today, but the snow will start up again tonight. So far, we have gotten a foot of snow. Northern Indiana and southern Michigan (known as Michiana around here) get hit pretty hard every year due to lake effect snow from Lake Michigan. From what we hear, there is snow on the ground pretty much all winter long. We are trying to adjust to the idea of it. We bought snow boots! Here is a video Billy took from the first day of the snow storm:

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Mmmmm...Giraffe Feet

Maryn is getting more skilled at reaching for toys and putting them in her mouth. It keeps her entertained for quite a while. This is a long video but she starts talking at the end. I think the grandparents will be the only ones with the stamina to last that long though, haha.

Happy Birthday, Graycie!

Last week was Graycie's 4th birthday. We had a little celebration for our sweet pup (Gross-ie, as Billy likes to call her, haha). We love you Graycie!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

When I'm with You

I first heard of this song by JJ Heller through my friend Kim. It is such a sweet song, and I wanted to share it because this is how I feel every morning when I get my sweeter-than-strawberry-pie little girl out of bed. :)

Thanksgiving


Even though we had to be away from our families, we had a very nice Thanksgiving, just the three of us. We made hand turkeys (wow, is it difficult to trace the hand of a squirmy 4 month old). And instead of attempting to make an entire Thanksgiving feast on my own, I decided to start small and make my mom's famous pumpkin bread, which actually turned out quite yummy.


And then we went out to eat.



And then we stayed at home in our pj's and watched the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special, the one about the Mayflower and the first Thanksgiving. All in all, a very good day, and a good reminder of all we have for which to give thanks!

Psalm 100:4-5
Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Four Months Old


Maryn is four months old! Time is really flying by. Billy and I were just talking this week about how wonderful life with Maryn is and we can't remember life before she was born. Before we became parents, of course we knew we would love our child, but we thought life with a baby would be really stressful and hard. But in spite of the fact that life is definitely more complicated, we are happier than we have ever been, this little girl is such a joy. We can't wait to see her each morning and experience the new day with her. Life could not get much better.

So here's what Maryn has been up to these days. First of all, lots of growing. Today at the doctor she was 13lbs, 2oz (26th percentile), 24 inches long (26th percentile), and her head circumference is 16 inches (29th percentile). Apparently, the nurse incorrectly measured her length at her 2 month appointment - it was at the 90th percentile, which I knew was wrong; today's measurements make a lot more sense. We were wondering how the two of us could possibly have a tall baby, but it turns out she is a shortie like us. :) No shots today, though, because she is still sick (I think she planned that, haha).

A couple of weeks ago she got her first 2 teeth! We definitely weren't expecting teething this early, but we're thankful it wasn't too terrible. Here's a picture of the first tooth peeking through, although now both bottom teeth are in.


Maryn is much more active these days. She's rolling over, reaching for toys, and stealing the glasses off her daddy's face. She continues to be highly entertained by Graycie. She has also started noticing animals outside; she closely observed a squirrel yesterday. She loves for us to make animal sounds for her, like "a cow says MOOO!". It makes her laugh. Maybe she's going to grow up to be an animal lover.


Maryn has started mimicking sounds. She likes to play this game where she growls and we growl back and it goes back and forth. She also likes to fake cough to get our attention; it's so funny. She recently started noticing herself in the mirror on her play gym; she stares and smiles, and then bats at the animals and links hanging above her. We can't wait to see what changes this next month will bring!





Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Influential Authors: Kate

Today is a sick day. I caught a cold at the walk-in clinic, and then I passed it on to Maryn. It's her first virus; she has a fever and it just breaks my heart! So in between naps and soothing a fussy baby, today is a good day to curl up with a book. Last week, our pastor blogged about the authors who have most influenced him in his lifetime. I thought it was a good idea. He listed 15, but I could only come up with 11. If Billy gets the time he'll put up his own list. Oh, and yesterday Maryn turned 4 months old; I'll do a blog update about that tomorrow after her 4 month check-up so I can include her current stats.



So, here it is, 11 authors who have influenced Kate:

1. E.B. White - Although I could list countless classic children's books that I read and loved during my childhood, White's Trumpet of the Swan was one of the first books I remember feeling deep affections toward. I read it countless times.
2. C.S. Lewis - I have read several of Lewis' books (most of which I need to re-read now that I'm older) but there is no series of fiction that can compare to The Chronicles of Narnia. From the first time my mother read them out loud to me when I was seven, to the most recent re-read last year, they never fail to teach me something new. It's probably the only literature that I reference in daily speech on an almost weekly basis.
3. John MacArthur - I read MacArthur voraciously as a teenager. Through his writing, I learned to love theology and to begin know what I believe.
4. R.C. Sproul - His book Chosen by God, which I also read in my teens, solidified my understanding and embrace of grace in salvation.
5. Elisabeth Elliot - I consider Ms. Elliot to be one of my all-time spiritual mentors and heroes. Her writing has changed me in ways I can't describe. My two favorites are Let Me Be A Woman, which highly influenced my views of biblical womanhood, and Discipline: The Glad Surrender, which worked sanctification in my life like no other. Other favorites include Passion and Purity, Keep A Quiet Heart, and The Shaping of a Christian Family.
6. Corrie Ten Boom - Her book The Hiding Place has taught me so much about true forgiveness and trusting in the sovereignty of God. Plus it's just an amazing story that I re-read every couple of years.
7. J.I. Packer - Knowing God helped me do just that. Such an essential book. So many things I know now just seem instinctive but really can be traced back to what I learned from Packer.
8. Mark Dever - This is a new one for me. Last year I went through his The Message of the Old Testament: Promises Made and I was transformed by a new understanding of how the gospel fits into the Old Testament and how the Bible all fits together as one overarching story. I plan to go through The Message of the New Testment: Promises Kept soon.
9. Carolyn Mahaney - Her book Feminine Appeal as well as other various writings including that on her blog girltalk have highly influenced my views of what it means to be a woman.
10. Dave Harvey - I have only read one book by this author, but When Sinners Say I Do is easily the best marriage book I have ever read (and I've read a lot!). It changed my views on how the gospel affects my relationship with my husband every day.
11. Jonathan Edwards - I wouldn't be Mrs. William Smith if Edwards didn't make it on the list, would I? I've actually only read one work by Edwards (gasp!) but Charity and Its Fruits opened my eyes to what true biblical love really is. I read it a year or two ago and I know I'll definitely read it again. I'm currently reading George Marsden's biography of Edwards; I also thoroughly enjoyed Marriage to A Difficult Man by Dodds.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Fall...?

Fall is beautiful here in northern Indiana. We are surrounded by trees and when the leaves changed it was just breathtaking. I should have gotten some good pictures. We have been enjoying the cooler temperatures, the smell of bonfires, and the crunchy leaves underfoot. We celebrated Maryn's first Halloween. Too bad she isn't old enough for candy and trick-or-treating and such. She was an adorable little surgeon. Next year will be more fun. Billy wants her to be a historian. :)

We took some fall pictures of Maryn in our little back yard area. We have such a cute little pumpkin!



Then what do you know? Two days later the back yard area looked like this:


Yep, snow! In early November! It was beautiful - big, fluffy flakes. Thankfully, it didn't stay around very long. The next week temperatures were back in the high 60s and low 70s. But it gave us a little taste of the winter we'll soon experience here.

We aren't sure what we'll be doing for Thanksgiving. We won't be able to go home to Oklahoma, which makes us a little sad. (Although we have already planned our trip home for Christmas and are counting down the days!) We definitely have lots to be thankful for, especially our little Maryn-turkey! :) God has blessed us above and beyond anything we could ask or imagine. Speaking of turkeys, we often have wild turkey visitors on our back porch in the morning (sometimes deer too - we saw a little fawn the other day - so cute!). I guess they aren't too worried about becoming someone's Thanksgiving dinner! :)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Job


News that is both sad and happy: sometime in the next couple of weeks I will be headed back to work. Thankfully, I got a really terrific job at a Southwestern Medical Clinic just up the road from us in Niles, MI, and I'll only be working part-time (1-2 days a week). The clinic has 4 separate clinics within one building - internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics, and an urgent care walk-in clinic (they also have OB/Gyn at a different site). I'll be working in the urgent care. The clinic is actually a Christian clinic, very unique. Here's their mission statement:

SWMC, by God's grace and following the example of Jesus Christ, strives to be a distinctive role model and leader in the integration of medical care, Christian witness, and missions.
Medical Care: To provide for our community compassionate, quality, and accessible healthcare for the whole person.
Christian Witness: To proclaim Jesus Christ by word and example.
Missions: To serve and support foreign and domestic medical missions.

How cool is that? It should be a great place to work - what a blessing from the Lord! I really love all of the people that I have met so far with whom I'll be working. The hard part is going to be leaving my sweet Maryn at home, plus figuring out all the annoying logistics like pumping at work - yuck. Thankfully, Billy will be able to stay at home with Maryn, so that's a relief. Anyway, I still have orientation, training, and a little more paperwork to get through before I actually start. Although I'm nervous and feeling really rusty in my medical knowledge and skills, I'm excited to step back into the role of "PA". I'll let you know how it goes.

A New Mom's Top Ten


My list of necessities that I can't live without these days:

1. Diet Dr. Pepper - I've never been a caffeine person, but ever since Maryn was born, I have come to heavily rely on and crave my daily dose of Diet DP.
2. Dry Shampoo - let's admit it, having a newborn/infant to care for doesn't lend itself to daily showering. Gross, but true. A lot of times I just try to grab 5 minutes to shower without washing my hair. Enter my friend, spray-on dry shampoo. With this amazing product I can add a couple of days between washing my hair and still feel like I can leave the house.
3. Burp Rags - aka old-fashioned cloth diapers. They're scattered everywhere - the diaper bag, the couch, our bed, the nursery, the car, and the laundry is always full of them. Cause you never know when a spit-up attack will hit you.
4. Smart phone - I spend a lot of my time during the day just sitting while Maryn nurses. It can get kind of boring (and daytime TV is just stupid for the most part - although I have taken a liking to Billy the Exterminator, haha). But with my spiffy Palm Pre Plus, there's always something to do. In addition to the normal cell phone uses - calls, texts, emails - I can catch up on facebook, play games, look up stuff I'm curious about on Wikipedia, read my favorite blogs, check the weather, watch YouTube videos, make to-do lists, etc. I even have an app that keeps track of Maryn's feedings (during my pregnancy I used an app that monitored weight gain, kicks, contractions, etc). And every morning during her first feeding, I get on ESV.org and use one of their daily reading plans for my quiet time.
5. Digital camera - another techological must-have. I love my Canon Powershot. Because with a new baby, there's always a cute or memorable moment to capture on photo or video. And I love the battery life on our camera - I think I've only charged it 4 times since Maryn was born!
6. Oxiclean - enough said. (Explanation for my brother Scott: baby poo-poo)
7. Miracle Blanket - Maryn has been sleeping through the night since she was 2 months old, and I give this blanket all the credit. It's the only swaddle blanket that actually keeps her swaddled all night. What will I do when she outgrows it?
8. Paper plates - bad for the environment, but good for my sanity.
9. Marie Calendar Steamer meals - another dinner time shortcut - fast, easy, and tasty. And the hubby loves them too.
10. Amazon - membership in AmazonMom + diaper delivery subscription = 30% off diapers plus free 2 day shipping. AmazING.

Anyone else out there have their own top 10 list for moms?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Toy Meets Mouth


Another milestone for Maryn today - she figured out how to grab a toy and put it in her mouth. As you can tell, it's very hard work.

Our Favorite Things: Books and Music

In an effort to keep this blog from becoming solely about little Maryn, we've decided to start an occasional series on what we're currently listening to and reading (because, although you may not be able to tell, we do have other interests besides parenting). So, here's the first:

Our current favs on the iPod:

Sandra McCracken - In Feast or Fallow
-Kate: "This album is eloquently spoken, straight to my heart. Plus, Sandra's richly textured music and familiar gravel-y voice make my ear happy. Truth infused and comforting for a (sometimes fearful and discouraged) stay-at-home mom's soul."

Justin King - Humilitas Occidit Superbiam
-Billy: "Justin King's newest album is acoustically driven, passionately lyrical, and simultaneously haunting and beautiful. It's not one of those rare albums where you love every song; I tend to skip over a couple. But the majority of the songs are wonderfully inventive and catchy - familiar qualities of this virtuoso. Did I mention he wrote, produced, and played all the instruments on this album?"

What we're reading:

Everything
-Billy

George Marsden - Jonathan Edwards: A Life
-Kate: "So, I lost a bet and now I have to read this book. It's ok though, I had decided I would read it even if I won. This book changed the course of Billy's life - how can I not read it? I haven't made it very far, and it's a very big book (Billy says the abridged version doesn't qualify). But I'm looking forward to reading this epic work."

Upton Sinclair - The Jungle
-Kate: "I'm not sure why I decided to re-read this book from high school. I think it was because Billy was studying labor union reform and industrial workers in his modern American history class. It's a good read, but wow is it depressing."

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Surgery

Most of you know (but a few may not) that Maryn was born with a large skin tag overgrowth above and behind her right ear. It pushes on her ear and makes it fold kind of inside out. You can see it in the above pic (isn't she such a cutie pie?). Nothing serious, purely cosmetic; but it does need to be removed. Last week, we had a consultation with her plastic surgeon in Grand Rapids, MI. To our surprise, he wants to go ahead and do surgery in January (we thought he would want to wait until she is older). Thankfully, he is very experienced and we liked him a lot; one of his specialties is pediatric ear reconstruction. He assured us that the procedure would be fairly simple; she should heal quickly, and will have to wear a mold on her ear for a little while to reshape it. But the thought of our little girl having surgery and all that entails - general anesthesia, needles, intubation, hospital stay - is so scary. It's very difficult for us not to be fearful and in dread; we are trying hard to entrust her care to the Lord. Thankfully, she is perfectly healthy; there are so many parents who are having to deal with a sick child or life-threatening surgeries etc. But just keep us and Maryn in your prayers, especially on January 26th, that in all things we would glorify Christ, that the procedure would go well, and that we will not give in to a spirit of fear. Pray Philippians 4:6-7 for us. We'll keep you updated.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

And the little one said, "Roll over, roll over!"


Maryn figured out how to roll over today! We caught the second time on video. Please ignore our embarrassing parent-speak. It's also a good view of her "special" ear - see forthcoming post on surgery update.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Three Months Old

Maryn turned three months old yesterday! We can't believe how quickly the time is going. She is getting so big! Still healthy and eating and sleeping well. The last few weeks she has been sleeping through the night (we dropped the 4am feeding). Now she wakes up around 8 or 8:30am, and it's such a joy to get her out of the bassinet in the mornings. She is all smiles and coos! Lately, her head/neck control has really gotten good, she can sit up now with some props. She loves to sit in her Bumbo and look around. She has also discovered her mouth, tongue, and fist - which makes for a slobbery mess a lot of the time! :) Another new development - she has started to laugh! And it's the most adorable laugh you have ever heard (see video in previous post). Her favorite thing to laugh at is her big sister Graycie. She has also started to "sing". Every night at bedtime, Billy and I swaddle her and one of us holds her while we sing a hymn together. Every day the last week, instead of fussing or just being quiet, she has started to vocalize with us, holding out the sounds just as if she were singing (she doesn't do this any other time). It is so hilarious and endearing! Also, when you lean toward her to give her a kiss she opens her mouth really funny and slobbers you, ha! We love you, Maryn girl!



Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Sister Love

Billy caught the tail end of this hilarious giggling session on video. Maryn loves her big sister!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Two Months Old

Maryn is two months old! She is getting so big. We went to the pediatrician for a check up yesterday. She is 10.8 lbs (36th percentile) and 24 in long (90th percentile). Could we possibly have a tall child?! Time will tell, lol. She is healthy and happy, eating and sleeping well. When she turned 8 weeks old, we started laying her down in her bed to fall asleep on her own at naptime and bedtime. It really only took her 2 or 3 days to figure it out; we hold her and sing her a song, lay her down while she is still awake, and now she falls asleep within 5 minutes with very minimal crying. I still enjoy rocking her to sleep at least once every day, though. She is also sleeping a lot longer at night. We still usually have a midnight feeding around 4am, but that's just because I put her down for bed at around 9 or 10pm, so she is sleeping for 6-7 hour stretches. In other news, she is getting much better about holding up her head, although tummy time still isn't her favorite activity. But she LOVES her jungle gym (see video in previous post). And she loves to talk; she has really found her voice! She is just full of smiles, cuddles, and fun. She also does great in the church nursery; she loves watching the bigger kids play. Finally, Billy has taught her to take a bottle - this was a struggle in the beginning, but they have figured it out together. This is a relief for me, since I'll have to pump breast milk for her when I go back to work part time (more on that later). All in all, Maryn is doing fantastic - what a wonderful 2 months we have shared!



Friday, September 17, 2010

Maryn at the Gym

Maryn loves her baby gym. She lays there every day and talks to the animals, coos, and smiles. It is sooooo cute!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

OOOOOOOOO-U!!!!!

Can I just take a moment to say that I am so happy it's football season? And I get to watch OU football on TV today? Although I always want my Sooners to do well, I don't even care so much about winning. I just know that watching the game makes me feel like I'm home. Boomer Sooner!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A Quiet Heart




I've been experiencing a lot of unrest lately. It really troubles me that the apartment is very far from unpacked, the dishes are rarely done, and my plans to go grocery shopping usually fall through. Most of this is simply attributed to the fact that caring for my sweet Maryn takes up the majority of my time, and Billy is working nearly 60 hour weeks already with school. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE staying at home and meeting the infinite needs of my darling baby. I just have to learn that if that's all that gets done, that's okay. I'm trying to depend on the Father and keep a quiet heart, but it's hard. Reading this quote today helped:

"I think I find most help in trying to look on all the interruptions and hindrances to work that one has planned out for oneself as discipline, trials sent by God to help one against getting selfish over one's work. Then one can feel that perhaps one's true work--one's work for God--consists in doing some trifling haphazard thing that has been thrown into one's day. It is not a waste of time, as one is tempted to think, it is the most important part of the work of the day--the part one can best offer to God. After such a hindrance, do not rush after the planned work; trust that the time to finish it will be given sometime, and keep a quiet heart about it."

~Annie Keary, 1825-1879 (qtd in Keep a Quiet Heart, p. 9)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Six Weeks

Six weeks ago this weekend we brought our little girl home from the hospital. We can't believe how fast the time has gone. And she is getting so big! Her personality is really developing and she has started talking. It's so much fun to listen to her baby jabber. Her favorite word is "ah-goo." And look at these beautiful blue eyes - we can't get enough of them!!
According to all of our parent-friends, 6 weeks marks a point in time in which things start to get a lot easier. I'm not sure what "easier" looks like, but we'll see. She has started sleeping longer at night, so that's nice. Can't wait until it's all night!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Goodbye Norman, Hello South Bend

Well, we successfully made the big move! Here is a family pic in front of our apartment door in Norman - it was so hard to leave! We will definitely miss good old #1509. But even more we miss all of the friends in Norman we left behind! We had such an amazing community of people who love us. We really felt the weight of our loss this morning. We visited a church, and although we really loved the service and the people, and we will likely be returning, we really missed our friends at Trinity. Here are some snapshots of just a few of the dear Norman folks we love:
Sarah and Laura helped us pack - what a blessing! We'll miss Jon too!
How fun that Ben and Rachael were in Norman for the summer!
We were so blessed to be able to spend time with Blake and Carol upon their return from overseas. They even gave us a shout-out on their blog: http://livinglindley.blogspot.com/2010/08/goodbye-friends.html
Oh, Penningtons, we will miss you - Carol, Anna, Molly; Shane & Mathan too. And the American Girl doll. :)
And finally our dear friends Russell and Katherine.
And so many more that we don't have pictures of! We miss you all so very much. Thank you for loving us and for all you have done for us, over the years and recently with the new baby and the move. Stay tuned for more posts about our adventures in South Bend!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

One Month Old

We'll do a monthly post to keep you updated on how Maryn is growing. Happy one month, Baby!

5 Generations


We got these neat pics of Maryn with Billy's family - five generations! Great-great Grandma Deane, Great-Mamaw Kaye, Nana Tammy, Billy, and Maryn. We have a similar pic of Billy when he was a baby. We actually could have taken more pics with two other great-great grandmothers but didn't have the right family members together at the same time - one other great-great grandma on Billy's side, and one on mine. Not many kids get to have a great-great grandmother, not to mention three! What a blessed kid Maryn is!

Sweet Smiles

Here's a sweet video I took a couple of weeks ago:

video

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Maryn's Birth Story


Well...needless to say things have been incredibly busy around here. It has been a month since Maryn was born, and in that time we have moved to Indiana in addition to learning to care for a newborn. So the birth story post is way past due. And I have lots more posts coming soon. Anyway, birth story: better late than never, I suppose.


As you know, I went well past my due date (July 3rd). My midwife decided we would induce on the 15th if I didn't go into labor on my own. I really did not want an induction, I thought a natural birth would be much more difficult in that circumstance. So in addition to trying every thing possible to start labor, we did a lot of praying. On the 12th I was dilated to a 3-4cm and was 50% effaced, and the midwife swept my membranes to try to encourage labor to start.

Lo and behold, I woke up at 2am the morning of the 14th to painful contractions. They were pretty far apart though so I was able to go back to sleep and I didn't bother waking Billy. When Billy got up to go to work, however, the contractions were getting pretty painful and they were 4-5 minutes apart. We knew this was the real deal - we had already experienced false labor and this was different - so Billy called in to work. We wanted to labor as long as possible at home, so Billy helped me get in the shower so I could focus on relaxing. About an hour later, the contractions really slowed down and became less intense, maybe 10 minutes apart. This happened several times throughout the day - close together, far apart, etc, nothing consistant. So, we just stayed at home and relaxed as much as possible (difficult though, because we were so excited!). At one point we took a walk, and I'm pretty sure we watched every episode of 30 Rock plus a movie or two. At midnight that night we were still at home. About this time contractions were becoming consistently closer and we decided to go to the hospital - after nearly 24 hours of labor at home!


For some reason, grabbing our stuff and getting into the car made things really pick up! Contractions became much more painful and were coming every 2 to 3 minutes. That seemed like such a long car ride! We got to OU Childrens and started the check-in process; I was super uncomfortable and it seemed to take forever. They finally got me into a gown and checked me - I was dilated to 6cm and was 80% effaced. I thought that meant baby Maryn would be arriving very soon...

Once we were in our room, the really hard work began. I must say, I never imagined the pain would be so bad. Contractions were so close, and I didn't have time to rest in between. I tried every position and nothing was comfortable. All I could do was focus on surviving the next contraction. Billy was wonderful, there is no way I could have had a natural birth without him. He patiently coached me through every single contraction, and made sure all my needs were met. God gave me such an amazing husband. And I was not easy to coach - Billy says I had 3 transitions, haha - I really thought I was going to die!


Around 4am I was only 7cm, and the midwife felt I would progress better if she broke my water. Wow, there was a lot! And it felt really weird - in one sense it was a relief to have some of the pressure gone, but it also made contractions more intense. Thankfully, Maryn's heart rate was always beautiful on the monitor throughout the entire labor (I only had to be on the monitor for 10-15 minutes every hour). Around 8am, I decided to get into the tub; the hot water felt so nice and I was actually able to fall asleep in between contractions. Just before 9am, my contractions dramatically changed - my body started pushing involuntarily! That was such a strange sensation. So, they got me out of the tub and got me ready for the pushing phase. I still had a rim of cervix left, but the midwife let me go ahead and start pushing with the contractions. I did most of my pushing in the squatting position, using the squatting bar on the bed. The next two and a half hours were exhausting and intense; pushing was so hard! Toward the end I had to switch to my side because I was so tired and my feet started falling asleep. I literally thought she was never going to come out, and I was starting to despair. Billy could see her dark hair and his sweet encouragement was the only thing that kept me going. Then with one big final push, out came a head, quickly followed by her wriggly body. All I could think was "it's over!" Once I saw our beautiful girl, all pain was gone, and despair was replaced by immense joy.


Maryn was placed on my tummy and Billy cut the cord. I'll never forget those first few moments. The first thing I noticed was her sweet chubby cheeks! Then Billy went with Maryn while they weighed her, got her footprints, etc, and I watched jealously from a distance while the midwife sewed up my second degree tear (which really wasn't that bad). Thankfully, they didn't have her away for very long, and they brought her back and she nursed immediately. She was so alert! What a blessing a healthy baby is!


So...that's the story. Billy and I still can't believe we did it...we had a baby! We are so thankful for the grace of God in our lives through labor and Maryn's birth. And it has been a whirlwind of a month getting to know our beautiful baby girl! Such joy!!!

(PS - for those who have been asking, we were soooo pleased with our experience at OU with the midwives, such a blessing to us! And our nurses were super too! We highly recommend!)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Maryn Elisabeth Smith





Maryn is finally here! She arrived July 15 at 11:23 am, weighing 8 lbs, 1 oz, and measuring 20.5 in long. If you ask us, she is the most beautiful, sweet, fantastic little baby ever born and we are immeasurably blessed! Birth story to come soon!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Due Date


Well, today is Maryn's due date. No signs of a birthday party anytime in the next several days, however. We are just anxiously waiting and trying to be patient!

Have a happy July 4th!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Full Term


As of last Saturday, baby Maryn is officially "full term", which means the brownies are done in the middle as our midwife jokes. So now the waiting game begins - labor could start as soon as today or as late as nearly 5 weeks from now! Thankfully we still have lots of things we need to do before she comes, which will help pass the time. We are just so excited to finally get to meet our precious girl!
Graycie is ready too. :)