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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Fam Bam

Jasper's already four weeks old today.

And since he was last weighed (last Friday - as in five days ago), he's gained 10 oz!  I'm hoping he will be a chunk of a baby.  That's my favorite.

I am so blessed to have family nearby - I wish they were just one town closer, like it was with our Riverside house, and the Mendoza house, but it's great to know that Miles and Jas will get to know his cousins.  Jasper met his Auntie Sara, Uncle Spencer, cousins Naomie & Olivia, Grams (his great-g-ma), and puppy friends when he was only three days old!  Uncle Scotty had to work, so they haven't met yet.  We all went over to pick up Miles, who wanted to hold his "Baby Ja'per."

"Um, he cryin.  Shh, shh.  It's okay."

Jas & Olivia

Jasper & Naomie

Then the very next day, Mom & Matthew flew into town!  James picked them up from the airport - along with our new (to us) double stroller from Sarita & fam!  Everyone walked into the house as  Miles and I were heading downstairs, so it was perfect timing!  Of course, Mom and I were crying (Matthew was teasing me about it later - Mark told him to take a video...), just so happy to be together again!  Miles was so excited to have visitors, especially his Nona and his Tito Maffew.  Jubs was in his swing downstairs, so he got to meet them right after they came in.  James and Mom went right back out to grab breakfast from McDonalds since they got in super early (it was 6:30 our time, so 3:30AM California time) and everyone was hungry.  We had such a wonderful, relaxing time together.  It was wonderful to have help with Miles, to eat my Mom's cooking, and just to have the support of my fam bam for two weeks!  We even got some sight-seeing in while they were here.  Two weeks seemed so short - and Mom left a few days before Matthew did to attend a wedding.

I'm just so thankful that we got to spend that much time together, especially with Jasper being so new!  Even though my Mom wasn't there in the delivery room this time (which, consequently was our bedroom - ha!), she still got to see baby as a very new newborn.

We sure had a time trying to get a mini-van.  Apparently, if you don't pick your rental car from the airport, Enterprise wants a bunch of documents proving you live in the area.  But why would I rent a car for the weekend if I lived in the area?  It was so weird.  It took three tries before we finally got a car that would fit all six of us.  [sorry, rant over]

But it was probably for the best since I, you know, had just given birth a few days before!!  Seriously though, it was lovely to be 'stuck' at home with my Mom and brother visiting.  I loved that they got to see Miles being his crazy self, and learn Jasper's sleep/wake schedule with me.  Matthew watched so many movies with Miles - several of them over and over again, especially Peter Pan.

It was really hard to say goodbye to them, and my heart hurts any time I wonder when I'll get to see them next (or Michelle, or Mark, or any of the rest of my lovely fam).  I seriously thank the Lord for the internet and cell phones.  They at least take the edge off of being so far away from everyone!  It's always cool to do a video chat, and see my Mom, sitting at the kitchen table in her usual spot, drinking her coffee, or Sophia hanging out in Michelle's room with Phillip.


On to the pictures!

Happy, sleepy, full-tummy baby

Jasper's first wash:
Hair, face, & neck over the sink...
... he didn't like it very much

He liked it when his head was warm

Friday, 8/16
(These photos are from my Mom's camera)
We finally got to Atlanta!

first stop, The Varsity for lunch

"Whattya have???"

Cheese!  Burger!

This little fool

Next stop, the Georgia Aquarium

"Aw, see Dory?"

Miles:  "Whatcha got there, Tito Maffew?"
Matthew:  "These are my Reese's Puffs..."

Out front with the dolphin statue

The dolphin show was Matthew's favorite.
You should ask him about it.

Saturday, 8/17
We had lunch at P'Cheen
Miles looks like he's up to something here.

Nice pose, JB


Next tour:  Coca-Cola Museum!

Loved these giant bottles

Woo hoo!

"I can't see anything!"

Have a taste?

Nice pose, Bubbas... :P

"Luuk, over der!"

Who is this guy?  Matthew?

That night we grabbed dinner
at the City Cafe & Bakery

Miles had little wax strings to play with
"Tweest!  Tweest!"

Nona & Jubs

(I am so outnumbered...)

Pop-pop and the boys

Sunday 8/18
The next night we had Cracker Barrel for dinner
... for the second time!

"Sweet teas, all around."
No, not really.

I'm ordering the exact same thing as two nights ago!

"I'm crazy!"

Back home in his jammies
He almost doesn't fit in them already!

my littlest boy

Random things of note:

Miles-isms from the weeks Mom & Machu were here
  • "I wan I wan I wan chokwit milk."
  • "I wan watch Peter Peawn."
  • "I wan Nona stay."
  • "G'morning, Tito Maffew." - even if Matthew was asleep!
  • "Bewn bewn!" - like a laser gun
  • "Da-buh, da-wuh, a-dee-ah-wee-ah-ee-day..." - trying to sing "Following the Leader" from Peter Pan
  • "I wan play moto'cycle?"
  • "Dat my phone.  Oh, it chargin'."
  • "Oh no!  He bonk a head!"

Something Matthew never thought he'd hear Mom say:
"We need to go to Walmart and buy groceries."
Sibling Silliness
  • Matthew caught me laughing at myself because I was thinking about Mandy Moore
  • When nobody saw Matthew bonk his head on the lamp, but he told me about it anyway, and I totally laughed at him
It was so great to have them here.  I can't wait until we see each other again.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

My Home Birth Story

I suppose birth stories tend to be instances of over-sharing, but I feel like I absolutely have to tell this story.  And it's a long one, so settle in, we're going to be here for a while.

As some of you know, Jasper was born right at home - no hospital bracelet for the baby book, no IV pricks for Momma, and James got to stay with us the entire time.  The decision to plan a home birth wasn't the easiest one for me to make.  If I'm completely honest, the first phone call I made to Tanya was a very emotional, and somewhat tearful conversation.  I had certain expectations for what it would be like when we arrived here, and then life happened.  How does that saying go?  You make plans, and God laughs.  You know, that can seem sort of like God is mean... but I know it's more of a "I'm your Heavenly Dad, and I know better" chuckle... the way that Miles does or says something, and I laugh because he's my joy - and his two-year-old reasoning is not at all like mine.

So here's Jasper's story:

I really thought he might come early.  When I went to the OB for a routine check at 37.5 weeks, I was already 3cm dilated.  Now, I know this isn't something to be concerned about, but I remembered that Miles was born on his 38 week mark, two weeks early!  So I was in the labor and delivery mindset from that point forward.  Contractions came and went, but they were the Braxton-Hicks type: the muscles were contracting, but the labor pains weren't present yet.  As weeks 38 and 39 passed, I started to get anxious... not in a bad way, but just anticipating baby's birth!  I mean, I had never been pregnant for that long before!

Salli & Sara threw a baby shower for me!  It was lovely, and a lot of fun - we played games, and ate yummy food, and Peanut was showered with gifts!  It was really wonderful to receive support from so many new friends (many of whom I met that day!).  I know we are loved, and God's blessing does not fail to astound me.  I think my favorite game was the "Baby's Arrival" mad lib that Salli had me do.  It turned out so funny!!

That day, Pop called James (who caught a movie with Scotty during the shower) to let us know that the A/C had gone out.  Ay yi yi.  I didn't know what to say.  Salli offered for us to stay over there, but we weren't prepared with any of our stuff, and we planned to go to church the next day - I think that was when James was helping lead worship!  So we went home and tried to tough it out.  That's pretty much impossible when the temperature is 87 degrees upstairs.  Poor Miles, he couldn't sleep at all - his room was the hottest upstairs.  Thank the Lord Pop got it fixed the very next day - I could not imagine giving birth while it was that hot.  Sheesh!

I was really anticipating baby's arrival, and decided that I would do something I had avoided for the last few weeks.  I spent the morning vacuuming the carpet upstairs and down - including the stairs themselves!  I needed to clean anyway - Mom & Matthew were going to arrive the next Sunday!  But no baby.

I woke up to a contraction that I immediately knew was not a BH 'practice' contraction.  I would say these were definitely more like the labor pains I felt when I was getting ready to have Miles.  I started timing them as I felt them, and slept in between

I sent a text to Tanya about the contractions.  At this point they were about 10-15 minutes apart, moderate intensity.  Over the next few hours, they didn't get any closer together, or change intensity.  By 8 o'clock, they were actually farther apart.

I updated Tanya because I hadn't had a contraction for over an hour.  This was definitely not like my active labor with Miles.  James and I were both tired because we had woken up so early to the first contractions, and neither of us got a very good night's rest after that point.  And of course, there was Miles to think of.  The plan was to have him go over to Salli & Dave's house when labor started, but with the contractions tapering off, we didn't want him to go if the baby wasn't actually coming yet.

My contractions started to kick in again, but I decided to help with dinner, and even bake some lemon bars.  Miles was so funny - he was helping me bake, but he almost spilled the lemon curd all over the floor.  We called Salli & Dave to come pick up Miles - whether or not the labor was 'real,' James and I were exhausted, and it was tough to keep an eye on Bubs.  They arrived, and we kissed Milesbaby goodbye.

The contractions were farther apart, but the intensity was stronger.  I knew that we would have a baby soon, but I was so tired.  It was really difficult to rest between the contractions though - especially because the pain had gotten more intense.  James was so great during this part because I knew he had to be so sleepy.  Still, with every contraction, he held my hand, and breathed with me.  He encouraged me, telling me how well I was doing.

I called Tanya and told her it was time for her to come over.  The contractions were very consistent, and were about 5-6 minutes apart, hello active labor!  She was on her way, and we were getting the room ready.  James set out the supplies, and cleared space on the dresser.  I had my snacks on my night stand, as well as my water bottle.  Tanya arrived around 1:30, and I was sitting on my exercise ball.  The second midwife, Mandi, arrived about 20 minutes later.  It was so awesome to have them as our birth team - with both of them attending to baby and to me.  We were doing well, our heart rates were right on track, and my blood pressure was good.

It was so wonderful to be in labor in such a calm, comfortable setting.  We only had the closet light on, and it was quiet (except for me... especially later!).  Much of the active labor was spent the same as the early labor, just James and I working through each of the contractions.  Tanya and Mandi were in and out of the room, checking the baby intermittently, quietly discussing information in the hallway.

*  *  *  *  *

It was really wonderful to not have the bright hospital lights, IV pricks (I was stuck three times before they got it to stay in properly when I went to RCH for Miles!), all the machines that forced me to stay in one place, as well as the beeping and monitoring.  Tanya didn't even check me until the contractions were much closer together.  By then, I was 8cm!  She knew that checking me would probably cause the contractions to intensify - which they did!  Transition started right after!

This part was definitely different than when I delivered Miles.  Since I had both Stadol at 6cm, and an episiotomy at 9cm - transition and delivery felt much different this time!  Yikes!  Medication-free childbirth is crazy, but awesome.  I seriously feel like I could do just about anything, now that I've done that!  I tried a few positions before we settled into a semi-reclined posture, with James supporting me.  He was so much more involved in the process than our first L&D.

Jasper Ulysses officially joined our family!  I think it might have happened sooner, but I was so tired from being up early the day before.  I pushed for about 30 minutes, and was praying the entire time!  At any rate, I know he arrived at just the right time!  I was so relieved to be done with labor, and to meet our new kiddo that we forgot to check if he was a boy or girl for a few minutes!  Tanya wrapped him in a towel and set him right on me.  After a quick check to see that Jas and I were okay, she and Mandi let us have some bonding time as a family (I didn't need to be stitched up or anything!  Seriously a miracle considering the last time... sorry, TMI).  It was wonderful to not have my baby taken off of me for over an hour, except to get a clean, dry towel.

When Tanya and Mandi came back in, they handed James the camera before moving baby at all.  T took our picture, and James snapped a few shots himself.  He cut the cord, and Tanya measured Jasper's length and weight, as well as his head.

After I rested for a while, Mandi helped me to the restroom so I could shower and get some pajamas on.  Jasper met Pop and Nannie downstairs.  I got to relax in bed - which was perfectly made up with our regular sheets, and grab a few snacks.  Meanwhile, Tanya filled out her paperwork, and our Birth Record with all of Jasper's info.  Baby came back upstairs, and James and I fell asleep with our newest addition.

*  *  *  *  *

I have to say, planned home birth is definitely my preference, compared to planned hospital birth.  I loved that I didn't have to share a tiny, overcrowded room.  I enjoyed showering in my own bathroom.  I loved how calm and comfortable everyone was.  And really, the best part was curling up in bed with my husband, and brand new baby.  If we have another one down the road, we will definitely plan for another home birth!  It was a beautiful gift from God, and His presence was over us, in us, and through us the entire time.  Not that He wasn't at the hospital, but with fewer distractions, I felt His Spirit moving in our bedroom.  It's hard to describe, but I know that I felt much more at peace, even while I was in labor!

After resting, James got up and cooked breakfast for us, allowing me to stay in bed.  He helped me to the restroom every time (except when I got up while he was sleeping, and I had an "Oops-I-forgot-I-just-gave-birth-and-need-help-so-I-got-up-too-fast-and-then-fell-over" episode - scary!), and made sure I was eating and drinking enough.

That evening, Salli and Dave brought Miles over to meet his new baby brother.  Salli told me that when she showed Miles the picture that morning, he said, "Dat my baby."  He's so sweet!  He held Jasper for a while, and then got distracted when he saw his Ammy's phone.  He loves playing Angry Birds, and this driving game that James downloaded.  Ammy and Grandpa Dave held baby for a long time, and James and I served up taco soup for dinner, and lemon bars for dessert.  After that, they headed back home to give us a few more days of rest before Miles came home.

My Mom & Matthew came to visit shortly after, but that's a whole other post.  Of course, Jasper and Miles got lots and lots of love from Nona and Tito Maffew.  But until then, here are a few Bubs and Jubs fun facts:
  • Miles' favorite movies are: Peter Pan, Hotel Transylvania, Aristocats, Men in Black III, and Robin Hood
  • His jams are:  "We Can Fly," "Following the Leader," "Captain Hook's Theme," and "Let's Go Fly a Kite"
  • Jasper has light brown hair, and his eyes look like they might be hazel (can't tell for sure yet)
  • Jas already gained 1 pound and 9 oz since birth!
  • Miles is getting big, fitting well in his 3T shirts
And here are pictures from the day Jasper Ulysses was born:

Hi there, little one!

Nice to meet you, friend! 

All smiles!

James cutting the cord

"Hi Ms. Tanya..."

Trust me Jas, these are better than
injectable vitamin K
(He actually liked the two drops)

Having a snack while T & M measure Jubs

calm baby 

naked boy!

later that morning... 



Ammy love

Grandpa Dave time!

M: "Is Angry Burbs on here?"
J: "Sheesh!"

This was on a different day, but why not
post a gratuitous potty picture?  :D