Wednesday, August 25, 2010

recent reading

By recent I mean since summer started in June... this is an overdue post :) So far I've read two books that were in my original stack, and I added a third that wasn't in the stack but I wanted to read (can't pass up good deals at Half Price Books!). Here are the short reviews.

First I read "Living Faith: Willing to be Stirred as a Pot of Paint" by Dr. Helen Roseveare. If you don't recognize the author, I'd encourage you to find out about her. I first heard of Helen Roseveare while reading "Faithful Women and their Extraordinary God" by Noel Piper. Helen was the contemporary example of great faith as she served as a medical doctor - missionary in Africa for most of her life. Next I was thrilled to hear her speak at a Desiring God conference Matt and I attended when we were engaged a few years ago. She is an amazing woman of deep love for the Lord. She has always been highly encouraging to read (she also wrote "Living Sacrifice") as she is very sincere and honest, while she also sets a great example of loving and serving God. This book was filled with testimony after testimony of the Lord's work and goodness to her throughout various circumstances. The testimonies alone would be encouraging enough, but her added insights make the book all the more valuable and challenging.

Next I read "Notes from the Tilt-a-Whirl" by N.D. Wilson. This was not a book I'd normally read probably. The author writes with a different style that is a bit quirky at times and could even be called scattered :) What I really liked about this book was the way he writes about very important things with a new perspective. He also makes intense and hard topics fairly simple, in a good way. N.D. Wilson explores many aspects of faith throughout this book in an non-traditional way. I'd encourage you to read it, even if it seems to start off a little different than you expected. Thanks to my dear KS, Hannah for the recommendation!

Today I finished reading "First Time Mom" by Dr. Kevin Leman. This book is written directly to first time moms as they embark on uncharted territory in their new role. He writes a lot about birth order throughout the book, as it is obvious we are now raising a "first born" child, and all she entails :) This is a very practical book with helpful insights. I found many of his thoughts to be wise although I probably don't agree with 100% of them. There were however many "gems" throughout the book that made it a good read.

Bit by bit, I've also been reading some of Jerry Bridges' book "Holiness Day by Day"A as recommended by Kara. It's been very helpful to remind me again and again, that the Gospel is transforming us as believers daily. It is very relevant and necessary that we are constantly reminded of the grace God has lavished upon us, and this book certainly does remind me.

Now I'm moving on to John Piper's book about Ruth, "A Sweet and Bitter Providence".

I hope you're enjoying some good reads too... unless you're a teacher who just started school, and I totally understand that there's not too much "free time" to read in your days now!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

baby days

My days are full of many new joys, here's a run down of just a few...

~ Moriah notices her hands and plays with them a lot, it's sweet to watch her stretch out her little fingers, grab my finger tightly, let go, and do it again
~ she stretches her neck out and lifts her head a little when I hold her upright, unfortunately she can't quite master laying it back down gently so it bumps into me instead - I've stopped wearing necklaces since I worry it will poke her little face
~ baby gowns are our new favorite for night time, Moriah curls her legs up and cross them at her ankles which is easy and comfortable in a gown - not so much in a sleeper
~ Moriah makes a very serious "thinking face" as Matt and I call it, I'm sure it comes from her dear dad :)
~ we just finished Moriah's first growth spurt - or so it seems - she ate every 2 hours for about 3 days, with great fervor... I think her little arms seem a bit more plump (but that's all relative as she is a tiny baby, don't let the chubby cheeks fool you)
~ now we're back to our "routine" eating every 3 hours or so in the daytime, and sometimes waiting to eat every 4-5 hours at night!
~ hiccups really upset her these days, so we've started using Gripe Water when they're at the worst and it really works! this morning she'd been unable to get back to sleep because the strong hiccups lasted 30 minutes... I asked Grandma Nancy to bring Gripe Water to us - as soon as little Moriah saw that the hiccups stopped! she really doesn't like the Gripe Water and usually puckers her lips then spits it out, this morning it seemed like she almost made the hiccups stop to avoid the yucky taste (I'm sure that's not really it, but the coincidence was too funny)
~ bath time is a favorite of little Moriah, she never makes a peep and just looks at us while we wash her little body
~ there are lots of little baby body parts that are easy to overlook... I noticed lots of fuzz between her tiny toes which Grandma helped me clean with a q-tip, now I know to look there when we take a bath :)

Monday, August 9, 2010

a baby story

Well, my last post started out to be Moriah's birth story... but then went in a different direction, so I'll try again now.

On Sunday evening I was "nesting" for sure! Matt and I conned our good friends, Andrew and Christian, into helping us rearrange our storage unit. Our storage unit houses all of my teacher things, and since I've been teaching pre-school we make frequent trips to find things that I "need" for school! It was a very disorganized space and tubs were even caving in... so I just really wanted to nicely organize it. Christian's a teacher too, so she understands :) After we went out for Mexican food (it was the first time I ate the entire dinner portion, even the beans and rice) with the Walker's we rearranged the storage unit in less than an hour... amazing! We came home and rested for about an hour before getting ready to go to bed. I told Matt I thought I was feeling a little different, but thought it was only the same Braxton Hicks contractions I'd been having. He told me that maybe we'd have a baby by Friday... I told him I thought it might be sooner.

I slept on Sunday evening from about 9pm to 11pm when I woke up and couldn't ignore the contractions any more. I started timing them and realized they were about 5 minutes apart, but not very strong at all yet. I honestly thought they'd probably stop so I reviewed our Bradley book and decided to take a shower, eat a snack, and do some little projects to distract myself. I did use the restroom and realized I was bleeding a bit. I called our doula (who we'd just met with for the final time earlier in the afternoon) to let her know what was going on. She told me to keep her up to date. I waited to wake Matt up until 1am, and I just didn't think I could wait any longer... really I just wanted his company more than anything as the contractions still weren't unbearable at all by that point. Matt was comforting to me and we continued timing the contractions. They stayed about 5 minutes apart, but did get stronger over time. We called our doula again around 5am to tell her what was going on. She told us she'd be on her way soon. She arrived at our apartment close to 6am and was encouraging as she told me that it was the real thing and probably wouldn't stop after having been so consistent for the last few hours. We continued laboring at home until about 8am when I asked if we could go to the hospital soon. I was dreading a car ride with contractions and knew that the longer we waited the harder the car ride would probably be. By the time we got everything situated and loaded up we arrived at the hospital around 8:45am I think.

When we went into the Labor and Delivery Triage they checked me and told me I was dilated to 6 cm. Since I was far enough along, I was admitted into Labor and Delivery right away. I continued to have contractions and progressed to 8cm around noon I think. My water was still in tact. The nurse told me to roll onto my side and "rest" for awhile because I was stuck at 8cm and not making too much progress over time. Soon after I rolled over on my side I felt baby Moriah give a strong kick and felt something like a balloon popping in my stomach! It was the craziest feeling ever :) Needless to say, my water had finally broken. While that was "progress" I had no idea how much the pain would increase. Moriah's head was turned in such a way that most of my pressure with each contraction was felt in my back. I was able to find comfortable laboring positions, but after my water broke nothing seemed to provide much relief. I labored this way for what felt like a long time, I think about an hour. I was feeling more and more exhausted and overwhelmed by the pain. I really didn't think I could deliver a baby! After talking with our doula and Matt and the nurse, I asked seriously for some medicine. I was able to have 30 minutes of medicine in my IV ("to take the edge off" as the nurse said) which they'd hooked up to also provide fluids to help labor continue progressing. So for those 30 minutes I was able to rest a bit and felt pretty spacey. The medicine wore off totally and I was back to feeling overwhelmed by the pain. I knew that I would need to push eventually but didn't really feel the "uncontrollable urge" I'd heard so many women talk about. Somehow, my body started pushing anyway. Just when I thought the nurse left to get approval for 30 more minutes of medicine she arrived back with my doctor and a team of nurses ready to deliver our baby! Not what I was expecting. I tried pushing in every which way I could attempt for probably 30-45 minutes feeling really uncertain of my ability to have a baby. I honestly thought I might stay pregnant forever! Finally Matt told me he could see her head as I pushed... that was the encouragement I needed to know that I was almost done and about to meet my baby. At 2:50pm Moriah arrived! There was meconium (sp?) in the water when it broke so they quickly suctioned her mouth and reassured us that all was well. We heard her cry, Matt cut the cord, and delivered the placenta as they rubbed her off. Then we were left alone for our "golden hour" according to the hospital's policy to encourage bonding and skin-to-skin contact right away. Moriah started nursing at that point too.

So while it wasn't totally natural all but 30 minutes of the 14 or so hours were! I quickly told Matt that I'm not sure I could do that again :) I know there were many great things about delivering naturally, but it was honestly a lot harder than I ever could have anticipated. I've been told that by the time we're ready for another baby I will have forgotten some of the less comfortable details... maybe so, but for now they're still pretty fresh! When we left the hospital I told Matt I felt like I was leaving with the grand prize of our little baby, and the moms coming in really didn't know what they were getting into :) This has been very long already, so I think I'll stop sharing and go hold my sleeping beauty. I'll update with more about us later!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

a precious baby to love

Well, our little baby Moriah has arrived! She was born last Monday, August 2 at 2:50 in the afternoon. She weighed 7 pounds, 1 ounce and was 19 inches long at birth. Despite her chubby cheeks like her dad (as a baby) she's really a tiny, tiny little girl. When we came home from the hospital Wednesday she'd lost down to 6 pounds, 10 ounces. I'll be excited to find out Monday at her check-up how her weight gain is going and where she falls in the percentiles... to me she's a little one! She has more hair than I expected (only because I didn't have much as a baby) and it's dark too. I think it looks a little auburn in the sunlight sometimes, but I may just be wishful :) It also doesn't help that when we gave her her first sponge bath I used as much soap on her hair as I could've on her whole little body... it came out faster than I expected! So today, before Grandma Nancy arrives, we'll have another bath and be sure to get all the baby soap out :) She did enjoy her first bath as Matt held her and we washed one little part at a time, attempting to keep her wrapped up otherwise for comfort and warmth. Being wrapped up and swaddled is her favorite way to be! I'm hoping to practice using my Moby Wrap soon because I think she'll really enjoy it. The doctor told us an evening walk would be okay if the temperature was below 90 degrees... those days have been few and far between so we haven't really ventured out yet (except a quick trip to Target for some essentials). When we brought her home Wednesday it was the warmest day of the summer... 100+ degrees! (crazy to say the least).

She's been such a sweet baby who has learned to nurse well (we had good helpers in the hospital) when she can be roused from sleep by mom. She sleeps so soundly and even enjoys being awake for little bits of time too. Her face can look very serious (not mad like my mom thought), as she seems to furrow her brow and concentrate... it won't surprise you that she probably gets that from dad! :) We've enjoyed reading little board books together, singing hymns (Jill Phillips is our favorite while nursing), and listening to lots of good music (Mozart Wombsong free download, a Celtic Lullaby CD which was a gift, etc.). Dressing up in cute, cute little girl clothes is also a favorite activity of mom's :) I can't resist a little bow with just about every outfit, although she often makes her serious face and looks at me like it's really not necessary! We're excited to have some baby pictures taken this week with a coupon I won as a door-prize from a Seminary Wives luncheon. I look forward to a new family picture.

Matt has been a wonderful father already, as I knew he would be. He's taken lots of chances to talk with her and tell her all about the world. He's told her about friends near and far we're excited for her to meet. He's explained many things of the Lord as he studies and reads his Christianity Today magazine. He even flipped through the pages and showed her every black and white picture he could find, while explaining it's significance! So sweet to watch :) He loves her dearly and told me the other day that it just brings him so much joy to see her. He hurried to get me last night when he went to wake her up to eat and found her sleeping like this:

He thought her little folded hands were the sweetest thing he'd seen! He's been a very willing helper to me, getting things I need when my hands are full or I'm moving a little too slowly. He's excited to practice his diaper changing skills too!

We've enjoyed introducing her to many friends and visitors so far, but look forward to meeting more in the future. Today my mom will arrive for her week long visit which we're all really looking forward to! I'll have to post more of a "birth story" later... let me just give you a teaser and say natural birth is very, very hard work to say the least :) I had no idea what I was getting into... Grace you are an amazing woman!