Friday, May 31, 2013

annie's birth story

Wednesday, May 1.

I met a friend at the splash pad, met my mom for lunch, and had a relaxing afternoon at home.  I cooked dinner and when Adam got home we played outside in the pool with Luke.  I had no signs of labor.  I felt great.

11 pm:  Adam and I were watching The Help.  It was just about over.  I was laying on the couch.  I had a really tight braxton-hicks contraction and felt a gush.  My shorts were wet.  I got up to go to the bathroom thinking that maybe I'd wet my pants.  Nope.  Too much fluid.  Lots of fluid.  I let the movie finish and told Adam that my water broke!

11:15 pm:  More fluid.  Lots of fluid.  But no contractions.  I didn't want to go to the hospital before contractions started, but I knew I'd have to go eventually.  My bag was just about packed, but I finished packing and Adam started packing a bag, too.  We were giddy, giggling, excited.  I realized that I might not sleep for a very long time and started to feel weary.

11:30 pm:  Contractions started.  My contractions don't joke around.  Once they start, they are for real.  They were 2-4 minutes apart and painful, though I could still talk through them.  Back pain started and never stopped.  There was no relief from back pain, even between contractions.  I straightened my hair and changed my clothes and Adam ran around like a chicken packing and cleaning.  He even remembered to pack Luke's lunch because the next day was a school day and he knew we might not be home for much longer.

Midnight:  I text my babysitter, giving her a head's up.  I wanted to labor at home for a bit and was determined to do so.  Contractions still 2-4 minutes apart and painful, but not getting any stronger.

Thursday,  May 2, 12:30 am:  Contractions got stronger.  Told my babysitter to come quick.  She's awesome, so she did.  She came in about 15 minutes.

1:00 am:  I kissed Luke goodbye and got in the car.  I cried because I knew that the next time I saw him, things would be so different.

1:15 am:  Arrived at the hospital.  Pulled into the circle drive so Adam could drop me off.  A car pulled in right behind me and a girl that I go to church with got out!  Her water broke, too! We couldn't believe that we'd run into each other under these circumstances!  Contractions getting stronger, difficult to talk and walk during them.  We checked in at the nurse's station.  They put me in a room and began the process.  Back pain was severe.

1:30 am:  Nurse says I'm 3 cm dilated and 100% effaced.  This disappoints me greatly because my contractions hurt really, really, really bad but I didn't want to get an epidural at 3 cm.  I told her I would labor on my own for a bit.  I stood beside the bed and rocked.  I was trying to turn the baby because I knew from the horrible back pain that she was anterior.  Contractions were almost unbearable.

2:30 am:  I "give in" and tell the nurse I'm ready for an epidural.  She checks me again and tells me I'm 3-4 cm dilated and calls the anesthesiologist.

3:00 am:  Anesthesiologist begins the process.  Adam has to leave the room.  He starts to text our family telling them that I was in labor.  He thought we had lots of time because I was only 3 cm.  I am crying through contractions and complaining a LOT.  This pain is no joke.  It hurts really, really bad.  There is a needle in my back and the doc keeps telling me to stay "in position."  I can't.  He seems irritated with me and that hurt my feelings.  I feel her coming.  I scream really loud, she's coming out of me!  I'm not kidding.  I felt her come out of me.  It was like someone had ripped me open.  About ten people run into the room and start gowning and gloving.  Anesthesia pulled the needle out of my back.  The nurse lays me down on my side and opens my legs just a little bit.  She was right there.  She was coming out.  The nurses held my legs together and made me stay on my side because they knew if I moved, I would deliver.  My doc was on his way.  Adam text my mom to Hurry! I screamed a lot.  I begged the nurse to just deliver her, she wouldn't do it.  They kept telling me not to push.  I couldn't help it.  I couldn't help it.  It hurt so bad.

3:15 am:  My mom comes in.  She made it!  I was in too much pain to even really realize she was there.

3:20 am:  Doc comes in.  My feet go up on stirrups.  He says, Jennifer give a gentle push, the baby is here.  My body was already pushing.  She came out.  I felt everything.  Oh. My. Gosh.  The pain.  The cord was around her neck.  He cleared the cord and let her come out the rest of the way.  Adam cut the cord and she let out a huge screaming cry.  I was hurting really really bad but seeing her was the most amazing thing.  They put her straight on my chest and finished things up down there.

4:00 am:  I held my baby girl for over an hour, skin to skin.  Adam and I cried and laughed and just stared at her and talked about how fast everything went and how we couldn't believe she was here.  She was here!

And that's Annie's birth story.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

big brother

I think one of the things that has surprised me the most in the last two weeks is how well this little man has adjusted to life with a little sister.

One of the things I worried about the most when I was pregnant was him.
How would he handle the change?  Would he be jealous?  Would he be defiant?
Would he feel neglected?  Would he regress?  Would he reject me?

My precious, precious son has done better than I could have ever dreamed. 
It's as if he was meant to be - supposed to be - as if he longed to be - her brother.
He loves his Annie.  
He has accepted her into our family completely and wholly and it's a beautiful thing.

He asks for her when he gets up in the morning.  He kisses her goodnight before bed.
He shares his toys and his juice and loves to pat her.
When she cries, he tells me to give her milk.  And when she yawns, he says, night night!

And otherwise, he's completely gone about his business.
Doesn't even seem to think things are too different around here.
OH how I love him!  

Monday, May 13, 2013

her name: annie elise

Last Friday we took a little trip to Huntsville to introduce Annie to Adam's grandmother, Annie's namesake.  Even before we knew if this baby was a boy or a girl, Adam loved the name Annie and wanted to honor his grandmother by using her name.

It couldn't be a more perfect fit.

Of course, grandma thought she was super sweet and she just laughed and laughed and laughed as she held her.  Grandma Annie is ninety years old and we counted that she has thirty three grandchildren + great grandchildren (with #34 on the way!).  She is an incredible example of grace and strength and spunk and beauty and legacy.  We couldn't be more thrilled to have a daughter named for her.

Annie Elise.  

In Hebrew, Annie means favor and grace and the English meaning of Annie is prayer.
Elise means consecrated to God or oath of God.  Elise is my middle name, too.  :)

Sunday, May 12, 2013

mother's day 2013

Over the last ten days I've experienced a myriad of emotions.
Postpartum hormones, lack of sleep, and breast feeding tend to do that to me.

But mostly, I feel thankful.  Truly, truly thankful.
Thank you, Lord, for my kids.

I have never known a love like this. 
Luke and Annie have taken my heart to a place where love abounds and nothing else matters. 
I cannot imagine two greater gifts in all the world.
They are amazing and wonderful.  They are joy and humility.  They are hope and light.

Thank you, sweet babies, for making me a mom.  There is nothing else I'd rather be.  


We celebrated Mother's Day by going to church (Annie's first Sunday! She slept the entire time!), resting at home, and then having my own mom and Cramer over for dinner and splashing in the pool.  It could not have been a more perfect day.

All dressed up for church.

Just keeping it real, folks.  :)

The longer that I am a mom, the more I appreciate my own.  Funny how that works.  I have the best mom in the entire world, and I am so thankful that she models patience and selflessness and humility and love for me, so that I can model the same for my little ones.

Happy Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

annie's first bath

Annie had her first real bath today, after her umbilical cord fell off a few days ago.  But what I really wanted to show was how much she and Luke look alike as newborns.

Annie's first bath:

Luke's first bath (two years ago!):

Their little faces are so similar to me.  They've got different coloring, and Luke was a little smaller, but their eyes and noses and mouths really favor each other.

They are both just so precious!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

meet Annie Elise!

Our precious, precious gift was born in the wee hours on Thursday, May 2 after a crazy fast labor and delivery.

Meet Annie Elise Martin.
She weighed 6 pounds 5 ounces, and was 19 inches long with dark brown hair and the sweetest face you've ever seen.

Big brother thinks she is pretty great, and he has been so sweet.  He wants to hold her all the time, he loves to put on her socks and her hat, and he's already tried to share his firetruck.

We came home Friday - the most beautiful, cool day that a Texas May has ever known - and we are getting settled in and adjusted to life as a family of four.  On our first afternoon at home, I went outside for a while to enjoy the weather and watch Luke play.  He crawled up in my lap and the three of us sat in a lawn chair for 20 minutes just talking and cuddling.

Oh how I wished I could just freeze time.  Hold onto that very moment forever.
It was the sweetest.

I still can't believe that she's here and that we have a daughter.  She is just beautiful and I am overwhelmed with joy and thankfulness and and love.