Monday, October 5, 2015

Fall Family Photos!

My talented (and 38 week preggo!) sister, Lindsay, snapped some family photos for us on Saturday.  They turned out so beautifully!!  It was a super overcast day so the lighting was really nice.  She did such an outstanding job even thought Giddy was pretty bummed to be cold.  We warmed him up in between shots and he was a great sport about it. Poor bubba!  But Lindsay worked around his sadness and caught some really nice shots.

Fall is my favorite time of year so it seems to be becoming a tradition to have them done in October.  Plus its so fun to see how much our lives have changed in just 1 year.

On the right was us in 2014 and then of course here we are in 2015.  WOW!  I could never have dreamed we would have this perfect, sweet baby in our arms just 1 year later.  God is so good.

Here are a few more pictures capturing the day.  We did a few Christmas ones but I'll save those for a couple months until it's the right season to post!

We took these shots on our favorite trail in Golden.  The leaves were changing and it was the most perfect October day.

My favorite shot of them all!

Haha!  This is a terrible picture of our little bubba but I thought he looked so chubby and yummy with his cheeks and tie

I just love how squished his fat face looks.  He is the sweetest little baby boy!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Joy Bombs!

Here are a few things that just overwhelm us with joy lately...

Joy Bomb #1: Drying our own fruit!

We have started drying our own fruit in a dehydrator Ryan's mom got us.  So far we have dried peaches and green apples.  They are such a delicious, healthy snack and so easy to throw into trail mixes!  What else can you dry?

I've heard bananas and pineapple and we will make elk and deer jerky once Ryan hunts this year...other ideas?

Joy Bomb #2:  Gideon in a collared onsie

He is SO yummy this one!!!  There are the cutest little overalls that go over this onsie that my mom got him.  He made all the girl babies that saw him schwoon!

Joy Bomb #3:  Quiet times and MOPS

This a s 2-for-1.  I find that if I feed my little chunky monkey and then moby wrap him up nice and snug I can get just about anything done in the morning.  So I've tried to set aside some chunk of time (even 5 minutes!) to getting in the Word and read the new devotional I received.

The devotional is from MOPS which is another new activity I look forward to!  I joined the one in Golden and it's a phenomenal group of women.  We get together twice a month for encouragement, community, sometimes a speaker, food, and connection.  I'm thrilled to be a part of it as a new mom!

Joy Bomb #4:  Red hair!

I kiss this rolly little neck all day and touch those soft baby hairs every chance I get.  I love Gideon's red hair and I hope it stays that way forever!!

Joy Bomb #5:  Getting to see Ryan be a Dad

It's been one of the greatest joys of bringing our little man home.  Gideon happens to adore his Daddy and often time settles down when he is upset much faster with Ryan than he does with me.  These two are two peas in a pod.  They have the same eyes, nose, expressions, adorable's Ryan's mini-me!

 It makes my heart just swell seeing Ryan spend time with Gid and pour into him.  I hope Gideon grows up to be just like his Daddy, that would be a complete parenting success in my opinion!

Joy Bomb #6:  Community

There are A LOT of people who are in love with our little Gideon.  We have had friends and family pouring in the last 6 weeks to bring us food and support but more than anything to meet Gideon.  And everyone is so sweet with him.

Nothing makes a better visit than when people are just crazy for our boy.  It's a joy to see the people we love most in the world holding him close and caring for him.  Our hearts are just brimming after those kinds of visits.

We have tremendous joy these last few weeks for so many reasons.  We often tell the Lord, we don't know what we did to deserve such good gifts and a rich life!  His grace is overwhelmingly undeserved and sweet.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:13

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

My First RN Position!

I never really thought I would be a mama at 26 so when I reflect on how I pictured my career trajectory at this point in life, a different picture came to mind.

But then my new little hearthrob arrived on the scene last month and everything changed!  

(I just told Ryan today my "taste" in men has really changed in the last 6 of the swooniest guys I know is chubby, balding, likes to wear overalls, smells like still my heart!)

But I digress!

Anyway, while I could never dreamed this would be our current life season, it's absolutely perfect and exactly as it should be!  It's been a growing and positive process to shift my nursing career expectations since having our son.  I had always pictured myself starting in a new grad program in the ER or NICU, working the typical 12 hour nursing shift.  That is what had appealed to me since I started my nursing journey in 2012.

Now I get to re-dream with Ryan to form new goals for my RN license.  And our prayers and searching has led to a pediatric RN home health position!  The Lord answered our prayers VERY specifically with this job and we are overwhelmingly thankful.

My wonderful friend Hannah actually referred me to this agency (she is also a home health RN) and I'm so glad she did.  With this unique field, I get to choose my locations, day of the week and hours.  It doesn't get much better!!

 While I'm not working just yet (more like December-ish), we are asking my hiring manager to keep an eye out for two 4-hour over night shifts each week neat home.  That way I can be with my family as much as possible and don't commit myself to the LOOONG hours of a typical shift.  

That would be hard on everyone and we want low stress.  How things have changed--I used to WANT the ER setting and now I love the gentle, one-on-one focus of a home health position.

We are so thankful for how flexible the field of nursing is.  I would recommend this career path to anyone with a family and a love of caring for people, it's hard to imagine a more fulfilling role.

I'm excited to post more details about my nursing job as it unfolds and I get going in a few months!  From Ryan's sickness in 2012 inspiring my nursing school journey to finally be interviewing for RN positions in 2015...I'm learning to stay flexible, open-handed, and enthusiastic about all of the exciting new turns life has for us.

We are thrilled!

Oh and here we are after my interview celebrating at Old Chicago's over pizza and beer.  Ryan was such an amazing super-dad/husband in this process.  Giddy, Ryan, and I all drove to Denver for the interview.  I nursed Gid (we're exclusively bf'ing) right before my interview and Ryan was a rockstar and kept that little pumpkin happy and asleep for the 1.5 hours I was interviewing.  Amazing man and even more amazing Dad!


 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Jeremiah 29:11

Friday, September 25, 2015

Gideon's First Pumpkin Patch!

Last Wednesday we went to Gideon's first pumpkin patch!  If you are in Colorado you need to check out Anderson Farms.  It was the most authentic, adorable farm for a really good price!

We went opening day mid-afternoon and missed the crowds and most of the heat.  It was still pretty warm though!  We did a hay-less hay ride into a pumpkin patch, picked pumpkins right off the vine, Ryan and I did a corn maze (and failed), and we shopped for fall decorations. 

And Ryan got a chili dog so I think he considered the day a grand success!

It was the most festive, cute place with gorgeous pumpkins of every color all over the farm, animals to pet, and tons of activities.  Gideon was obviously too small for most things but it was still fun to take him there and just get out as a family.

And I had my first experience breastfeeding on a bumpy hayride but Gideon was a champion and now I know I can officially feed that dude ANYWHERE!

We love fall and its so fun to rediscover this season with Gideon :)

A family shot plus Gid and his Gramps sizing him up!

We have the cutest red headed baby who blended perfectly with the pumpkins :)

We put that poor baby in a pile of pumpkins just for a photo haha!  

Grandparents and Gideon!

Regular parents and Gideon!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Gideon: 1 Month Update

Gideon's 1 Month Update

Age: 1 month.  About the 4 week mark we really noticed him becoming more awake and alert and losing that newborn look.  Everyday we say that he looks like a little boy and not even a baby anymore!

Weight: ~10 lbs At his last check up he was in the 40ish% percentiles for height and weight and 79% for his enormous head (aka his  smartie pants brain!)

Length: Not sure exact length but my best guess is 22 inches

Sizes (diapers, onesies):  He is wearing size 1 diapers but can still squeeze into newborn size that we are trying to use up.  I told Ryan I need Newborn 1/2 sized diapers because he's just in between both sizes.   He wears cloth diapers during the day so no sizing on those and I find that he fits really nicely into the Bum Genius and Alva Baby diapers that I have.
He is officially out of most newborn clothing and is wearing 0-3 months comfortably.  He is such a big healthy boy!

Eyes:  A beautiful dark blue just like his Daddy!  If I put him in any shade of blue outfit those eyes just pop!

Hair:  RED!!!!  Oh be still my heart.  Nothing is yummier in this world than a red headed baby.  He has quite a bit of hair and has since he was born.  Right now it's super straight and my exact color but Ryan keeps hoping it will get a little curl like his :)  
On a side note, nothing gets you attention from people in public like a baby, but a red headed baby?  Oh my.  I should start tacking on 15 extra minutes for every outing because this little dude makes the ladies SWOON!  

Sleeping:  Gideon is a very sleepy boy and we try to get him as much good, deep sleep as possible.  He sleeps during the night for 2-2.5 hours stretches.  Sometimes his tummy empties quicker and I'm up at the 1.5 hour mark.  He sleeps swaddled up in his swing on a medium speed at night.  
During the day he sleeps for 1-2 hours stretches either in his moby wrap or in his swing but I try to keep him on me for the most part.  He is so chill in his moby wrap and lets me do chores of all kinds while he is strapped to me.  Thankful for that!

Eating:  I should just write "like a champion" and move on!
Seriously this child is so wonderful at eating.  At his last pediatrician appointment our doc said they want kids gaining 3/4 oz per day.  Gideon is gaining over double that at 1.7 oz a day!!  He loves his milk!  He eats every 2-2.5 hours at night but it's on demand so if he's up sooner I feed him sooner.
During the day I find that he eats more like every 1.5-2 hours or sometimes more frequently.  Again, we feed on demand so if he's crying I just nurse him and he's a happy camper.  Plus I'm trying to chub this kid up so it doesn't bother me!

Milestones:  Since Gideon was born he's had a lot of neck strength but he's more reliably and more confidently using his neck and back muscles to hold his head and upper body up for short spurts. 
He doesn't have a lot of super significant "milestones" yet I suppose but he loves to look at lights, has longer periods of wakefulness, grasps objects placed in his hand, perks up when he hears Mom or Dad's voice, and is doing longer tummy times each day

Memorable outings:  We took Gideon to his first restaurant at 9 days old so we thought he was a rockstar for doing that!  We headed out with my parents to a pumpkin patch a few days ago and just last night he slept through an entire dinner at Old Chicago while Ryan and I chowed on pizza.  We take walks every night and he loves his stroller and taking in all the new sights and sounds.  This weekend we have a wedding that's 2.5 hours away so that will be his first really long trip in the carseat.  Pray for us.

Favorite toys/activities:  His favorite activity is nursing, ha!  But I try to set aside time everyday where we read books (I read and Gideon rudely stares at whatever light source is nearby), tummy time, singing songs, listening to the Baby Einstein channel on Pandora while we "dance"/exercise his arms and legs, and of course just snuggle as much as possible. 
As far as toys Gideon will hold onto whatever toy I place in his palm but he favors soft toys and usually lets go of plastic or wood toys more quickly,

Words/sounds:  We call this child the Baby Gorilla because of the grunts, hoots, hollers, and noises that come out of such a tiny human!  He is SO noisy!  Whether he's nursing, getting to sleep, or just chilling out you can always tell where Gideon...just follow the noises!

Nicknames:  Giddy Bear, Giddy Up, Gid, Giddy, Itty Giddy Titty Monster with the tiny hiney (he won't be embarrassed of that at all when he's older...), G, Peanut, Sweet Thing, Mister, Man Cub

Funny moments:  When this little one "smiles"/probably just has gas it makes us just burst out laughing because it's SO adorable!  He makes us laugh with his hilarious grunts and noises.  I laughed out loud the first time I saw him in overalls which are my absolute favorite outfit for a baby.  Ryan always laughs when I'm burping Gideon because whenever he finally burps I am thrilled and give him a little kiss right on his head as reward for his burp ha!

Looking forward to:  More smiles (this sweet angel has dimples in BOTH cheeks so that pretty much makes our hearts explode every time they appear) and seeing his personality blossom.  Everyday we see a little more of who this baby boy is and it's the most thrilling, wondrous gift.  Sometimes we just stare at him in absolute adoration.  We are so in love with this tiny human!

Friday, September 11, 2015

All Things Yummy Baby!

Our last three weeks have both flown by and been some of the best and slowest of our lives.  Reflecting back, it feels like something sacred has been going on in our home; meeting a new life, loving on a tiny, new human.  Just soaking up our SON!

I know people will hate us, but this kid is seriously the nicest, most well behaved little baby!  He lets us sleep, and "cries" (makes a little wailing noise for about 3 seconds) if he is hungry or cold.  We are blessed with a very, very good baby.  The worst of our tiredness was right after the hospital when we had a collective 3 hours in two days.  Other than that Gideon makes sure to give us 2-2.5 hour stretches at night and sleeps very independently in his swing.  We are so grateful for his easygoing personality.

We LOVE being parents.  I feel like this is a season that Ryan and I are both really enjoying and are good at.  We aren't perfect, but we are working really hard to communicate well, continue loving on each other, and make the most of this unique season.  

Yes, we have had tired days, but on the whole this season is unbearably sweet and we keep telling our little man to stop grow so fast on us!

Another reason this new transition is going so well is because of all the help and support we have.  We have been brought delicious meals for the last 3 weeks, 3+ times a week.  And we have many weeks more ahead of us with help!

 People have dropped off filet mignon (not kidding), grilled chicken with the freshest sides, Chipotle, pulled pork sandwiches, 15 lb lasagna, an appetizer dinner that rocked our world, "boobie bites", grilled salmon, lactation cookies, and so much more.  We are so thankful for the help and unending support.

Gideon is our world right now so not much else is going on.  Ryan has the most astoundingly generous work and they have given him 6 weeks of part time paid paternity leave!  Say wha?!?

So Gid and I look forward to his very early arrival home each day.  We spend our mornings nursing,  napping, reading, doing tummy time, and letting him explore anything new to look at.  The doodles usually join us for tummy time and they are very gentle with him.  We still go on a walk each evening which is so nice and Gideon either sleeps or stares with so much wonder at everything we pass by.

Obviously our gratitude and love is overflowing and I could blog forever (and with a million more pictures!) about our gorgeous baby boy.  Alrighty, that's about it for us-have a great week doing whatever it is you are up to!

I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him.

1 Samuel 1:27

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Gideon's (very long!) Birth Story

This little dude totally surprised us coming 10 days before his due date!  We felt like such dopes because Ryan and I both thought he would be a September baby.  I even marked in my planner that I thought he would come September 6th!!  Apparently he was done cooking and ready for the world!

One of the highlights of his birth for me was that I accomplished Gideon's labor 100% natural with no medications.  I am SO proud of this!  It was my goal and something we worked very hard to achieve with classes, practice, and determination. Don't listen to nay-sayers, if you want a natural birth you can have one...I cannot recommend natural labor enough!

So his story...

Around 2:00 a.m. on the 19th I woke up to some very mild contractions but I dismissed it as a Braxton Hicks and went back to sleep easily.  About an hour later I was up with the same feeling but again could get back to sleep.  This happened every hour until about 6:00 a.m. when I became a little more uncomfortable and decided to get in a bath.

I lost my mucus plug right before I got in, waddled into our bedroom to tell a sleepy Ryan (who I assured I was ok to be alone), and then climbed into the bath.  Contractions were a smidge closer together but I honestly just though it was false labor.

Ryan woke up and got my some breakfast and offered many times to stay home with me that morning.  I assured him it was probably false labor (ha!) and that I would take it easy that morning.  He left and I went back to bed, waking up to contractions that were 10-15 minutes apart so I could time them.

Maybe it's because we still had so much time before our due date, but I still thought this wasn't the real deal.  I vacuumed the floors, did a little laundry and napped throughout the morning  I just didn't want to be that first time mom that rushed to the hospital because a contraction hit.  

I had a routine 38-39 week appointment with my midwives that day anyway at 1:00 so I thought I would just let them check me out in a few hours.  Better than calling and having to go in earlier anyway. Around 10:30 I did text Ryan to tell him my contractions were about 14 minutes apart but still mild to moderate in intensity.  That being said, I didn't think I should drive myself so he happily took off work to get me.

In the time it took him to get home I had a very random (and Holy Spirit inspired!) though to get our hospital stuff together...juuuuust in case.  Just a mama instinct feeling I suppose.  I gathered our suitcase, last minute items, the carseat, and important documents.  I put them all by the door so Ryan could load them up thinking what a waste it was to load all this just to unload it back at home in a few hours.  HA!

Ryan picked me up and when he got home I was laboring on our birthing ball.  That definitely felt best.  He loaded us up and I was still alert enough to ask for some Chick Fil A for lunch!  Contractions were still 12-14 minutes apart so I was doing great.  

Something about the car though really kick-started labor and in the first few minutes in that car my contractions went from 12-14 to 3-5 minutes apart FAST.  It was brutal.  Ryan stayed so calm and got us to the hospital safely while I moaned my way through each wave.

We got to the midwives office in a totally different state than when we had left the house!  I was chatting and wanting a fried chicken sandwich just 20 minutes earlier.  Now I was holding onto  a door frame moaning and swaying through a contraction.

Labor progression was a fast process from me and I swiftly moved from one stage to the next.

We got checked in at the office after many stares and questions if I was ok.  My midwife came into the exam room and immediately smiled and said, "You have the labor look about you!"  haha  She checked me after I reluctantly agreed (again, didn't want to hear that I was like 2 cm just to get sent home) but she SHOCKED us and told us I was 5 cm and 100% effaced.

Well, alright then.

Now Ryan wheeled me back down the car and we took the (painful) 2 minute drive over to the main hospital entrance.  We skipped triage and headed straight to our labor and delivery room where Nell, our L & D nurse, met us.  She was one of the best parts of our experience.  So calm, so reassuring, so incredibly flexible to our needs.  The woman kneeled for HOURS next to me on the hard floor to monitor the baby's heart rate instead of making me get into bed and strapping the monitor on me...which would have been way easier for her.  So grateful for a flexible nurse who supported our birth plan.  Once we were in the room, Nell did have to hook me up to the monitor for 20 minutes of continuous monitoring which was required to assure baby's heart rate.  That was rough because I had to just sit on the bed and it made for more painful contractions.

After establishing that baby was healthy and not in distress, I got up  because I had to vomit so I proceeded to fill up 3 barf bags and all the while my sweet husband and Nell just took care of me.

After that I wanted the tub right away!  Ryan had been in communication with our doula, Danielle, and my mom and they both met us at the hospital shortly after we checked in.  Danielle (oh my, this woman absolutely rocked our birth.  I cannot brag on her enough) ran my bath with lavender oil which was perfect.  Ryan got in with me and I just labored over the side of the tub.  It really helped me to make low breath sounds and moaning sounds so I did that while Ryan massaged me in between contractions.

Eventually I wanted out of the water and onto the birthing ball.  I'm not sure when but somehow I ended up totally naked and was just walking around like that ha!  No modesty at all which of course no one cared about.  I went back and forth between so hot and chills so while I swayed on the ball, leaning over the bed someone would put warm blankets on me and I would throw them off when I got hot and then they would replace them when I started shivering.  Quite the cycle!  

When I was on the ball I was in transition and this was definitely the hardest part.  I had a 10 minute stretch of contractions at one point with no break.  Um, no thank you.  I was later told by Ryan that he could actually see the bones in my pelvis opening up and widening from behind me.  WOW!  I breathed through it, made those low noises, and let Deirdre and Ryan coach me.  It was so hard but I made it through!

Ryan was AMAZING in labor. My husband knows me and said it was like a game just trying to learn when helped me minute by minute in labor.  He sat behind me while I was on the ball and massaged, touched, coached, and was just there.  I was very anxious if I couldn't see him so he had to stay with me all the time.  He only left me 4 times total in labor to pee.  While I was on the ball swaying my water broke all over him, just soaking his jeans.  He said I christened him!

Once my water broke they wanted to recheck me and I was 7-8 cm.  My birth team worked very hard to get me in a comfortable position in the bed.  Of course nothing is terribly comfortable but everyone was so committed to having me comfy and then they worked around me.  Deirdre, my midwife, was incredible!  This woman brought me so much calm and strength.  She held my hand and used pressure points to help with the pain.  She would just hold eye contact with me and then nod when a contraction was coming so I knew.  We had some telepathic communication happening I think :)  

Ryan tells me she would come into the room, stand back, assess, and then with all the confidence in the world step into this silent authoritative action.  She was so amazing and exactly what I personally needed in a midwife.

I knew things were getting real when they started setting up a sterile table with instruments, basins, and all the medical supplies you need to get a baby birthed!  I ended up on my back at 9+ cm to start pushing with Ryan holding one leg and Danielle holding the other.  My mom supported my head while I pulled my legs back towards me with each push.  I never thought I would push on my back but it really did work best for me and the baby.  Now lets talk about my mom!  She was a huge blessing on our birth team. She was our communication person with the outside world, kept Ryan and I hydrated, brought me warm blankets, and helped us in so many ways.  She was so important to have in the room for this birth!

The final part of this labor was pushing for about 2 hours which was the most empowering and productive part so far in this process.  Deidre really coached me through "the good push" as she called it and helped me know exactly what to do.  Eventually, Gideon, was crowning but with every push he would just get sucked right back up.  Deidre gave me a lot of time to push without suggesting intervention but finally told me if she gave me an episiotomy that she thought the next push would bring our little one into the world.

I was terrified.

I started crying and just told Danielle how scared I was of the pain and the recovery.  She brought me back down and assured me, coaching my through the Bradley method of using B.R.A.I.N (how to evaluate medical decisions in birth).  I agreed and after some numbing medication, Deirdre did her work and Gideon's head was out with the next push!

My amazing, involved husband had wanted to catch our baby so Deirdre coached him, moved out of the way and Ryan hooked his thumbs under the litttle guy's arm pits and pulled our son into the world!  WOW!!!  Gideon was facing me and Ryan goes, "He's slippery!  I can't see what it is!"  So I pulled the legs apart and proudly announced to our birth team and all the nurses in the room that we had a son!


He immediately went on me for skin to skin time.  He cried a big healthy cry, was pink and so aware.  He got a score of 9 on the Apgar scale!  One of the reasons I so highly recommend natural labor is because Gid came out alert and strong.  He amazed us with his neck strength, rooting, and eye contact.  He was very, very alert.  While Deidre sewed me up we just stared at and kissed our little man.  At this time they also ran a bag of Pitocin into me because I had already lost 500 mL of blood and they need it to stop ASAP.  Apparently red heads bleed more but they had anticipated this and got everything under control quickly.  They ran that into my IV while they "massaged" aka pounded on my uterus to get it contracting to stop the bleeding.  Ouch.

 We celebrated and rejoiced and were in awe of all that happened.  We never could have imagined that we would have our son in our arms that night.  After the excitement settled, Danielle helped me get Gideon to latch and he nursed like a champion.  The nurse gave him his immunizations and measured/weight him etc.  Then it was Ryan's turn to cuddle his new son and, like his dad told him, Ryan is the epitome of a proud papa :)  Just totally in love with his son and so proud.

My parents came that night to meet Gideon and brought us cheeseburgers, fries, and chocolate milk because I was starving.  While everyone swooned over Gid, I chowed down and rested.

Eventually we needed to move over to the Mom/Baby unit so our new nurse after shift change helped me get ready.  Again, natural labor = strong recovery.  I was able to stand independently even after all that blood loss and use the bathroom.  I dressed, got into a wheelchair and was handed my little baby burrito so we could head out.

We checked into our Mom/Baby room and met another one of our favorite nurses, Mayna.  This woman was so wonderful.  She gave us the low down and took amazing care of all of us. We settled in for the night.  I nursed Gideon while Ryan took a shower and then we went back and forth between cuddling, nursing, dozing, and processing what just happened!

And that is essentially Gideon's debut into the world!  I know there are parts I don't remember or wasn't aware enough to remember.  But I love his story.  It was perfection.  The most important parts were our Bradley method classes, having a doula/midwife delivery team, a strong birth team, and going in with the goal of all natural.  

We love you Gideon!  We praise God you made it into this world safely and without complication and that we have a wonderful birth story to remember.


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