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:
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:

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!)