Sunday, May 29, 2011

3 weeks

It blows my mind that Nathan is already 3 weeks old! Where does the time go?!
We're continuing to settle into our new life with a newborn and learning all of his little quirks and traits. And while we have our moments of complete, overwhelming helplessness in knowing what to do, I think Ryan and I are doing okay and make a great team raising this tiny blessing. I am so grateful that God chose us to be his parents!
Nathan is just plain adorable and melts my heart each time I look at him. His personality is still forming, I'm sure, but already we've seen he has quite the temper and can be quite impatient (like his parents) - especially when he is hungry. But he also has moments of sweet, snugliness that I could just eat up! He also stays more alert with each day and I love staring into those navy blue eyes wondering what he is processing in that little head (and if they'll stay that color).
The last week brought about a few firsts for our little monkey. He got his first piece of mail... We finally got to leave the house for the holiday weekend. A big trip out to lunch and then to Publix gave me a sense of sanity back (I've been going a bit stir crazy at home).
Then, dinner out with friends finished our big day out.

Nathan was an angel and slept through the entire meal. Thank goodness!We took him to the outlets and mall today, too, and he continued to impress with his ability to sleep through the entire outing. Planning our treks out of the house in between feedings is a challenge, but so far he has been doing great!

Jax has been doing great with her little brother and while she may be a little jealous at times, overall she seems to be adjusting well, too.

At 3 weeks, here are some other things that are going on:

  • We are not on a schedule by any means and continue to feed on-demand. It ends up being about every 3 hours, but Nathan has gone a few 4-5 hour stretches. I just wish they would be in the middle of the night and not during the day so mom and dad could get better sleep!

  • I am only 5-7 pounds away from pre-pregnancy weight, which is amazing to me. Thank the constant night sweats, breastfeeding, and the antibiotics that have an awful side effect of not letting any food stick with me (tmi, i know), I suppose. But even with the number being close to what I was, my body is a totally different shape. It was a huge mistake to attempt clothes shopping today and I left empty handed and depressed that this is not my body.

  • Nathan is definitely growing and filling out his newborn size clothes better. He may even be getting a little long for some of his outfits that definitely show some extra stretch now.

  • We've been using gas drops for the poor little fella because he seems to have a hard time burping. They have been a huge help and I think they're providing relief for him.

  • I fall more in love with this boy each and every day and I am so excited to watch him grow (although, I'm fine soaking up this time when he's teeny-tiny...he doesn't need to rush it!)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Nathan and his Hattie

I was lucky to have my wonderful mom here for two weeks after Nathan was born. She arrived with my dad, sister, brother-in-law and nephew on Nathan's birth day, Mother's Day, and stayed after they all went home to take care of me and her new grandbaby while we recovered at home. To say she was a huge help would be the understatement of the year. From cooking and cleaning our house, to taking care of the munchkin in the early morning hours so I could take advantage of a few delicious hours of sleep, to changing diapers and burping Nathan in between feedings, she was truly a lifesaver as I slowly entered the world of motherhood myself.

When she left this week, I was awash with emotion and gratitude for her putting her own life aside for two whole weeks so she could be with us. It meant the world to me to have her wisdom and guidance in these early days and I would be lying if I said I wasn't terrified for when she left for all the unknown that was to come. I've managed these last couple of days learning the ropes of having a newborn and balancing hygiene with sleep and eating (that's about all we can get to each day right now!) but I definitely miss my mom's company and having her around.
Thank you, Hattie, for taking such good care of us and for sacrificing so much to be with us. We love you and can't wait for your next visit!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Big 3-0

I am in denial that I just turned 30. With a new baby and recovering from major surgery, it was kind of a non-event to me and something I was happy to overlook.

But Ryan, as sweet and loving as he is, wouldn't let it pass without some kind of celebration. He and my mom (who was thankfully still in town at the time) did an amazing job pampering me for the day and helped make the day special.

My mom took Nathan and me to Briar Patch in Winter Park for our first outing from the house. Lunch was delicious and it felt so good to be out of the house for a couple hours between feedings! I was so grateful for my mom's company and to have a quiet meal with just her.

Ryan made it home from work early with a gorgeous bouquet of flowers and he and my mom got to work on a gourmet meal of surf (crab cakes) and turf (beef tenderloin). Yum! My mom even baked a beautiful chocolate cake with homemade whipped cream that was the perfect end to our meal.Yes, they really did put 30 whole candles on that cake for me to blow out!

We invited the Bridges over for a low-key evening (I just wasn't ready for a big group or party) and I am so thankful for the time with friends and family to commemorate the day. Here's to 30 being the best year yet!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Nights and Daze

I spent the night rocking Nathan in the recliner in his nursery and sleeping in the chair with him in my arms so Ryan could get some sleep for an early morning wake-up call. The poor fella seems to have his nights and days mixed up and doesn't seem to want to sleep when his dad and I are ready for some shut eye. Let's just say I am a bit exhausted, to say the least.
It's hard to believe Nathan is already 2 weeks old and we've been at this whole parenting bit for that long. Our time in the hospital feels so far away already and yet everything is still so new that I am a bit overwhelmed.
Nathan has been doing really well - eating with a ferocious appetite, gaining weight and developing as he should. At his 2 week appointment yesterday, he had gained back his birth weight and then some hitting the scale at 7 pounds, 2 ounces. He's also grown a bit and is now 19 5/8 inches long (a whole 5/8 inch more than at birth!). The doctor seemed pleased with how he's doing and we know he's been just great!
I, on the other hand, am a mess. These postpartum hormones are crazy and I cry at the drop of a hat. Ryan must think I'm looney. I'm scared that I may not be doing a good job or that I don't know what I'm doing and there are moments when poor Nathan is wailing and I am so lost that I don't know how to console him.
I know this shall all pass, too quickly I'm sure, and I'll long for the early newborn days when our teeny-tiny relied so much on us (and particularly me) before he became independent and self-sufficient. I just need to keep reminding myself of that at 4 in the morning when I'm at my wits end because the little one doesn't seem to want to sleep.
In the meantime, it's a good thing we got that recliner and it's so comfy! I have a feeling last night won't be the last time I spend my sleep rocking my baby through the night.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Jax meets Nathan

Jax spent the week at "camp" (her grandma's house) while we were in the hospital and she finally got to meet her baby brother on the Friday that we got home. We had sent a blanket home with Nathan's scent to try to prep her. I'm not really sure it did much but at least we tried!
She was very curious about this little sound machine that squeaked and peeped but if you ask her if she wants to see "her" baby, she sits like a perfect lady and waits for you to show her the bubs. Then it's just a bunch of sniffing and near-kisses to explore this tiny creature.
She definitely seems more jealous when Ryan is holding him... But seems fine with me taking care of the baby.

This is a terrible shot of me, but it shows how sweet Jax has been trying to be close to us while her brother is around.

We've done our best to pay her attention and let her know she is still loved. I think it will take some adjustment on all our parts, but so far she's been great.
She's also intrigued by the Mama Roo, a fabulous contraption that lulls Nathan to sleep and keeps him entertained. One night we caught her laying by it, keeping watch."I'm not so sure about this..."

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Visitors in the Hospital

As soon as news got out that Nathan was here safe and we were recovering in our room, everyone wanted to come see the little guy and welcome him on his birth day. We were lucky to have many visitors that wanted to share their love throughout our stay.
His "Lollie" (Ryan's mom) and Uncle Brad (no photo, unfortunately) came to dote on the little monkey first.Then his grandfather, Ryan's dad, made his way over to see his grandson.Later in the day, the Bridges brought Parker to meet his new best bud - they are almost 8 weeks apart exactly and will have so much fun growing up together!And after driving all day from Atlanta, my family (minus Aunt Alex - we missed her!!) made their way to Orlando to meet baby Nathan.
Hattie and Poppy are excited to have a second grandson to play golf and tennis with.And Kelly and Lincoln became aunt and uncle with the arrival of Nathan, while Carter gained his first cousin. He was a little jealous of the baby but hopefully as they grow up together they will be best friends! We were surprised one night with a knock on our door to see my cousin Tricia and her husband, Greg, in town all the way from Puerto Rico. It was so fun to have them visit, perfectly timed with a business trip for Greg.

We spent lots of time with my family while they were in town and friends that popped in to bring us dinner (thanks Bridges and Lewallyns!!), which made our stay in the hospital go so quickly. It was so comforting to have so many people there to support us and welcome Nathan into the world!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Splish, Splash - Baby's First Bath

Until Nathan's umbilical cord comes off, he can only have sponge baths and we thought he was about due on Thursday after we got him home.

I can't say he loves the body washing portion of bath time (poor guy just gets so chilly!) but as soon as he's bundled up and we massage his little head, he is in heaven. He takes after his mama - I love a good shampoo!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

It's Been One Week

It's hard to believe we've been home for a whole week and Nathan wasn't even scheduled to arrive until today! I am so thankful he decided to come early (and on his own time) so we could love on him that much sooner.
Already in one week I feel like Ryan and I have grown a lot and have gotten pretty comfortable at being parents. I fall in love with him more and more each day seeing him interact with Nathan and having him take care of us.
Here are some observations from the first week that I wanted to be sure to capture:

  • I am recovering a lot faster than I thought I would and seem to be getting around pretty well.

  • However, I still very much need my pain meds!

  • The first day back at home I had only lost 3 pounds and I was devastated. Since then, though, I've lost a lot of fluid retention and I'm down 18 pounds. Phew! (Still quite a ways to go but I'll take it!)

  • I am not sure how we're getting by with so little sleep but somehow it's working out. Ryan and I make a great team and I am so thankful for his help in the middle of the night.

  • I often have to force myself to put Nathan back down to sleep after a feeding in the middle of the night because I just love cuddling with him so much.

  • Nathan is a little Zoolander and his constant facial expressions crack me up.

  • I didn't think staying on top of blogging, Facebook, photo organization, etc. would be so difficult - how do these other new moms do it?! I feel very behind and a bit overwhelmed.

  • I knew I would love my baby but I had no idea how much my heart would grow and that I could actually miss him when we're in the same room.

  • I have no idea how many diapers we go through a day but it's comical at times when I've just put a fresh one on and Nathan decides he needs to "go" again. Seriously, I do laugh because what else can you do?

  • Nathan is like a little piranha when it comes time to feeding - he has a serious appetite and goes for it like he hasn't eaten in weeks! We're getting the hang of this whole breastfeeding business and so far it's been successful.

  • We have already established quite the list of nicknames for baby - Monkey, Chipmunk, Squishy, Mush Mush and all sorts of cutie, sweetie, angel pie types of monikers.

I have all sorts of other insightful, astute thoughts as I sit in bed nursing or rocking Nathan to sleep but of course as soon as I sit down to type they all escape me. I just know I love being a mom and I could not have asked for a more perfect baby. God truly blessed us and it blows my mind that Nathan came from Ryan and me - it makes me tear up with joy each time I praise Him for this gift!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Coming Home

After spending almost four full days in the hospital, we were ready to take Nathan home and get settled in. I had run a fever after the surgery (not sure why, even after xrays and countless rounds of antibiotics in my IV) so they wanted to keep me for 24 hours after it finally went down and by Wednesday I got the green light.
Nathan got the all-clear from his doctors, too, and after a quick wardrobe change, we were ready to go.

We stopped by the nurses' station to get Nathan's "lojack" removed from his ankle and to thank everyone for their help and care. We loaded up the car and took one more family portrait at the hospital before heading home.

Nathan was very snug in his carseat and slept the whole way home. It killed me to sit in the front seat and not be able to stare at him during the ride! We made it home safely and are ready to start our life as a family of three!

I think Nathan is pretty excited!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Nathan's Birth Day in Pictures

Here's where it all started... Finally on drugs and waiting for the procedure to begin...

He's out!

Meeting my son for the first time...

Proud daddy and his boy...

Already finding those fingers and sucking away...

Nathan's first bath in the nursery...

Settling into our room with my sweet, sweet boy...
My two boys. They melt my heart!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Nathan's Birth Story

Just when I thought I had two more weekly posts to capture my pregnancy milestones (weeks 38 and 39), Nathan decided he couldn't wait any longer and surprised us all by coming 8 days earlier than his scheduled c-section (and 12 days earlier than his due date).

On Thursday before his arrival, I felt like he had "dropped" - there was a new (uncomfortable) pressure in my pelvis and I was having a lot of trouble just walking (without a severe waddle). By Friday night, I was really uncomfortable and after a lovely dinner out with friends, I had a hard time walking back to our car.

All day Saturday I was miserable. It felt like I was getting my period - I was cramping and feeling Braxton Hicks contractions all day and was just lethargic. By the evening, I started wondering if those "false" contractions were the real thing and I went to take a shower to see if it helped relieve any pain (and to prep for a trip to the hospital, just in case). I also started packing. I just had a feeling - whether this was real or not, we were going to the hospital that night to be sure everthing was okay.

By 9 o'clock, I was timing contractions and they were coming every 5-6 minutes and lasting about a minute. Ryan texted our doctor and he called back to chat. I explained how I was feeling and he said he didn't think it was real labor because I shouldn't be able to talk through the contractions (which I did while we were on the phone) but he would be ready to go to the hospital if we wanted to go.

I tried to stick it out, thinking for sure this couldn't be it since Nathan was breech and not in the right position to start labor. But if I had to go another week feeling like this, in false labor, before my c-section...I was going to die.

We headed to bed, with the pains continuing to come and me squeezing Ryan's hand each time. I got up around 12:45 to use the bathroom and when I got back to bed, I sat on the edge (bent over in pain for another contraction) and my water broke.

My water broke! On its own!

Then I knew. This was real. We needed to go. Now!

Ryan called the doctor as I struggled to the bathroom to put on make-up. Ridiculous, I know, but I wanted to look good in my photos and I was looking pretty rough at that point. Ryan also tried to get in touch with my family, whom I had kept in the dark all day thinking this was nothing, but to no avail.

We finally gathered our things and made it to the car. Ryan was able to get a hold of my mom and as she tried to console me and encourage me over speaker phone, I was shaking uncontrollably and writhing in pain. If only I had practiced my breathing a bit more - I could not focus on it!

When we pulled up to the hospital, Ryan ran in to grab a wheel chair and I struggled to get out of the car. We wheeled over to triage and the nurse at the desk asked me to fill out a clipboard of paperwork while Ryan went to move the car. I think I actually said "Are you kidding me?" I had already preregistered, afterall. She also asked why I was there. Seriously?! I'm having a baby! She must have finally taken pity on me because she offered to fill out the papers based on my insurance. Um, thanks lady!

Once we got into triage, another nurse started asking me questions and wheeled me into a room by myself. She went through a list of what I'm sure are very important things but why Ryan couldn't be in there was beyond me and I could barely speak to answer her. All this time I had my eyes shut, so I don't even know what was going on around me.

At the end of her list she asked if there was anything else she needed to know. "He's breech." I told her. That got us moving to an examination room for the next stage of torturous waiting.
It seemed like an eternity for anyone to come into the room with us. Finally, a nurse appeared and started doing a check of my vitals. When she got to the internal exam, I was stunned.

I was at 8 cm already!!

I had never even had an internal at my doctor's office, so who knows how quickly I got to that point but 8 cm! I was pretty freaking impressed with myself that I got that far through labor without any help of drugs.

The news of my progress sent everyone into a rush and finally got us some attention. I changed into a gown and got wheeled into the OR just as my doctor came through the doors. It felt very "Father of the Bridge 2-esque." Ryan stayed behind to change while they prepped me for surgery.

I was still shaking non-stop when I had to shimmy onto the operating table and provide limbs for probes and pricks. Another nurse (or maybe the anesthesiologist?) hovered over my face and started going through a bunch of legal jargon to have me sign the paperwork for my spinal. "Are you kidding me? Just do it, please!!" But I was required to give a signature before they could do it and they were in quite a rush to get the drugs working so I scribbled something on a few pages.

Then, I was asked to try and control my shaking because it was making it tough to get the spinal in. Ha! I wish I could have! They had me roll to my side and try to curl into the fetal position, but I was struggling so I am very thankful, they were finally able to get it because I couldn't help at all.

Once that was in, I started feeling some relief. My arms got stretched out to each side and they wrapped them in blankets, along with my head, to try and warm me up.

Ryan appeared in his yellow scrubs and face mask, camera around his neck, and I've never thought he looked so adorable. What a sight for sore eyes!

The curtain went up and I started getting tested for numbness - "can you feel this? what about this?" There wasn't a lot of time for the drugs to kick in before they had to cut so I'm glad they worked their magic in time!

I am sure I appeared as a completely different person once the drugs were flowing and I was able to talk to Ryan and the nurses that surrounded me. All the while, in the back of my head, I was thinking this was it - we're about to become parents. We're having a baby!

The surgery started and after quite a bit of effort, I was told the baby was out. I listened, but didn't hear anything - why wasn't he crying?!

Finally, the most beautiful sound in the world, Nathan made his first few peeps and then wails. I started tearing up and was staring at Ryan in disbelief for this miracle we created. It was 3:21 am on Sunday - Mother's Day. What timing!

They began the long process of sewing me back up as the nurses brought the baby over for me to meet. God is so good and Nathan was absolutely perfect! It was love at first sight, for sure.

We had some family time and then my boys were whisked off to recovery to wait for me to arrive. Unfortunately, it seems that Nathan's position caused a bit of extra tearing in my uterus and I had additional bleeding during the procedure, so it took almost an hour and a half for them to finish putting me back together.

After the eternity of being all alone in the OR (alone with a dozen hospital staff working around me), I got wheeled into recovery and reunited with my family. To be honest, I don't remember a lot except that I was in extreme pain, couldn't stop shaking, and was in and out of sleep. They tried several different pain meds to help me but nothing seemed to work and I wasn't allowed to leave and head to my room until it was under control.

Hours later (four or five), it was finally time and we were able to make our way up to a private room to rest. It was 10 in the morning and I felt like I'd been through the entire day already. Nathan was here, we had made it through labor and delivery and a new adventure was starting!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

He's Here!


Nathan Brooks Morgan

born Sunday, May 8, 2011

3:21 a.m.

6 pounds, 11 ounces

19 inches long

God blessed us with this tiny miracle on Mother's Day and I can't think of a better gift as a new mom. We are so in love!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

37 weeks - Full Term!

The past week has been a mix of emotions.
Grateful, for a seemingly healthy baby and a supportive husband that I know will be my rock as I prepare for a c-section.
Sad, that I won't get to experience contractions or labor because of Nathan's position.
Relieved, that I won't have to go through a 24-hour labor only to result in a c-section anyway.
Excited, to know when I will get to meet my son and the prospect of finally seeing what he looks like.
Humbled, that surely this is what God intended and His reasons are beyond my comprehension right now but I need to trust in Him.
Now that we know an exact date that Nathan will be coming, the planner in me (and Ryan) is content to have a countdown and know how many days are left for final preparation. It's been nice to plan out my family coming down knowing for sure they won't miss his arrival.
It's also put me into major nesting mode, both at home and mostly at work, trying to finalize every last detail before it's too late.
At the doctor this morning, there was a moment where we all thought Nathan had made the move and we were all anxious to pop into the sonogram room to confirm whether or not he was head-down. Nope. That tricky little guy was just fooling us and he remains breech so we remain on schedule for May 16.

How far along: 37 weeks - full term!

Size of baby: Swiss chard, more than 19 in. and about 6 1/3 lb.

Total weight gain/loss: still +29 lbs (I actually lost weight last week but it steadied back out again).

Maternity clothes: even some of my tops are now becoming too small for my growing bump and I have to be careful they cover the maternity band on my pants! With the news of my impending c-section, I need to buy a few summer dresses so I don't have waistbands hitting right on my incision. Another shopping trip!

Gender: a boy!

Movement: I haven't felt such strong kicks but he's definitely still wiggling as much as he can for the tight quarters. What fooled us at the doctor today was the location of his heartbeat - it seemed to be coming from the "right spot" for him to be head-down (according to my doctor) but I would think it would basically be in the same area either way because it's in the middle. But I'm not a doctor, so who knows.

Sleep: I've been getting up more each night and my hips can't stand being on one side for too long but I'm still generally sleeping well and so thankful.

What I miss: lots of things, but with the end in sight none of it really seems to matter because I'll get to meet my little one soon! (I'm also really excited for a glass of wine and some good sushi.)

Cravings: watermelon, which I've had a few times this week, and chocolate covered pretzels, which I have not (because we don't have any). I haven't been as hungry as Nathan continues to take up so much space in my belly and I've even taken to skipping my mid-morning snack at work most mornings because I don't need it.

Symptoms: same as last week (swelling, heartburn, sciatica, waddling, increased clumsiness) along with dizziness, crabiness, and Braxton Hicks.

Best moment this week: finding out that Nathan's Hattie (my mom) is cancer free for the first time in four years! We rejoiced with the news that her latest scan came back clear and there is nothing to watch as there has been for so many appointments. God is good and definitely answers prayers!