Thursday, March 29, 2012

One Month Old

I cannot believe that Gavin is already one month old. This sweet little man has abundantly blessed our family and we are so thankful for this precious life. He had a check-up this morning and is weighing 10 lbs. and is 20.25" long. :) He is honestly an awesome baby and rarely ever cries. (I am so happy about this because every time he does cry, it breaks my heart!) Here's a summary of his first month!

Sleeping and Eating: He is a pretty great sleeper. For the first two weeks we were having to wake him up every 2-3 hours during the night so that he could eat. This kid slept straight through the night! But that was short lived and turned into him waking up two to three times a night. I am happy to report that last night he slept 5 straight hours (!!!!!) and is taking a few naps during the day. As of this week, he has been more alert during the day and it has been so much fun. As for his eating habits, he is breastfed and bottle fed and currently eats between 3-4 ounces per feeding. During week 3 he had a pretty significant growth spurt and his eating increased drastically. He has not had any colic, but he does have gas like an 80 year old man...and boy is it stinky! I've been trying to adjust my diet to try and figure out what's causing this. 

Likes and Dislikes: Gavin loves to do skin-to-skin with Mommy and sitting in his boppy pillow. He also likes to be in his swing and loves laying on a blanket and looking at the ceiling fan. During bath time he is very relaxed and isn't bothered if water gets onto his face. He loves the song "You Are My Sunshine" and it always calms him down whenever he is fussy during a car ride. (I love this about my little man) As for dislikes, the only thing I can think of is this: He hates having a blanket on him, but especially over his feet! He is just like his Daddy in this sense. :)

This month was filled with many firsts, including Gavin's first trip to Charleston, South Carolina and Charlotte, North Carolina. He also met his Great-Grandmother (my Me-Maw) and stayed with his Grandmaw Pam while Mommy and Daddy went on our first date since having Gav. This has been an amazing month for our family, but it has definitely been one filled with learning experiences. For me, adjusting to this no-sleep-for-mommy schedule has been rough. I have never in my life been this exhausted. Motherhood is tough and not a joke! But, this rough month has also been the most rewarding and joyful month I have ever had. Words do not describe how happy Gavin makes me. A few weeks ago, Keith, Gav and I went to Home Depot to purchase boxes for our move. Keith pushed the cart and I pushed Gavin in his stroller...and guys. I had the hugest smile on my face the whole time. I was so proud of my little family and had a fantastic time buying plain ole boxes. :) 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

So Little Time...

So much to do! 

First off, thank you guys so much for your kind words about Keith's new job! We are absolutely thrilled and very excited for this new chapter in our life! :) This was the job that he interviewed for back in the beginning of February and the one we were praying he would get. This job not only gives Keith employment, but it is also the best job he'll have ever had financially! Thank you God! The benefits are fantastic and we will also be moving back to Charleston, SC. Keith was born and raised in Charleston and he is over the moon about our move back. As for me, I must confess that I'm excited, too. I lived in Charleston for 2.5 years, and while I wasn't too fond of it then I am hopeful that things will work out and that I'll truly get to know this enchanting city. :)

 Date Night in Charleston, 2010

I am claiming that this time around is going to be different, and not just for the obvious reasons. First starters, Gavin is here! Our family has expanded and this sweet child adds so much joy (and sleep deprivation...hehe) to our life. :) I can only imagine all of the things we're going to be able experience because of Gav. Also, the home that we own in Charleston is currently occupied by our very sweet tenants and will be this way until August of 2013. So, we are currently looking for a rental home. This is very exciting to me because we'll get to experience a different part of town.

We're actually heading to South Carolina this weekend to look at houses and apartments and we're hoping to find something we like and get everything situated...because we're moving in 30 days! That's right -- we have 30 days to pack up our home in Atlanta and make our way back to Charleston. Did I mention that my husband is going to be in training for this new job for two of the four weeks? As in, not home! Lol looks like Gavin and I will have to pack as much as we can! The other day I didn't get to brush my teeth until the early afternoon after 5pm (and not because I didn't want to, but because I truly did not have time!)...wonder how I'm going to juggle mommyhood and packing! 

You live and you learn, right? :)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Stopping by to say...




This is absolutely an answered prayer and Keith and I are so thankful for this news! Thank you God! Gavin and I are very proud of you baby! He'll be starting at the end of March, and...

We're moving back to Charleston! 

That is all. :)

Friday, March 9, 2012

Friday Favorties

Traffic Jelly

Hi readers! Today I'm linking up with Al at Traffic Jelly for Favorite Post Friday!

From Al:

It's time to select a post you've written that ranks up there on your favorites list. Can be sad, happy, funny, short, long, photo crazy, or today's post. It doesn't matter. The whole point is to see a special side of the person behind the blog.

This isn't meant to obtain more followers, but just to get to know the fabulous women out there who are writing their hearts out every day. So, I'd love it if you could somehow spread the word, even if you don't grab the button. Send a tweet, stick a link on your post, whatever you like. 
I love this idea and I'm excited to link up and meet new bloggers! Head over to Al's blog if you'd like to participate!
Have a wonderful weekend! 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Sneak Peak at Gav's Newborn Pictures

Baby boy is such an amazing kid! He rarely ever cries, sleeps through the night (we have to wake him up to feed him), and is always so happy and relaxed. I'd definitely say Keith and I lucked out! On Tuesday we had his newborn pictures taken and this proud momma just couldn't wait to share a sneak peak of these photos! :D I know it's only been a week and a day since his arrival, but I don't know what I ever did without him. Mommy loves you, Gavin Josiah!

(Check out our awesome photographer's site! If you're in Atlanta, I highly recommend her!)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Two Years

Two years ago, I married the man of my dreams. A man that I met by chance in March 2008 and who forever changed my life. On this day, our son was scheduled to make his big debut, but lucky for us he arrived a week early. Today, we're spending the day together with Gavin and treasuring these moments with our newborn. Keith Joseph, I didn't think it was possible, but I love you more and more each day. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Gavin's Birth Story, Part II

"At 8:00am, the midwife from my doctor's practice arrived and we were thrilled to discover that not only was the crazy midwife not there, but it was the one that I absolutely love! :) At this point I was wishing for a good 6 cm, but was told that this wasn't likely since it had only been 6ish hours. So, you can imagine everyone's surprise when she told me that I was 8 cm!!! My contractions were so inconsistent and definitely not close enough to allow me to dilate this much, but the body is an amazing thing and I was blessed by this dilation. During this check my water actually broke, and that is when things really got intense!" - From Part I.

For the next hour and sixteen minutes, every few minutes, I felt the worst pain of my life. Once my water broke there was no longer that shield protecting Gavin's head from my pelvis and the pressure and pain I felt is truly indescribable. It was very similar to the Endometriosis pain I felt in the past, but on a whole other level. Through each contractions I was moving all over the place trying to find the best position to be in. I had a squatting bar at the end of my bed and I would go from that position, to laying on my side, laying on my back, to even getting on all fours and hugging the back of my hospital bed. This last position really helped to move things along. I kept telling Keith that I couldn't do it anymore. I just couldn't take the pain. But, I had made it to 8 cm and it was too late to turn back now. There was only a little left to accomplish and I was determined to do this!

Luckily, the time it took to get to those last two centimeters flew by and before we knew it my midwife was being paged to my room for delivery. I began to push a few minutes before she was able to get to my room and Gavin was there, ready to enter this world. The nurses were telling me to stop and wait for the doctors and I couldn't believe it! I was literally experiencing the "ring of fire" and they were asking me to wait! Lol I remember not listening and yelling "HURRY UP!!!" They did, and with a few final pushes Gavin was in this world. 

My eyes were closed for the majority of the time at the end, but I did see his big debut and they handed him to me right after. I immediately began sobbing. I was so overwhelmed that my sweet baby boy was finally here. And that I had just given birth the way that I wanted. I only held Gavin for a few moments before he was brought to the side to be cleaned up and checked out. I thought that I'd mind, but in reality I was a bit traumatized. The pain was gone but not forgotten. I was exhausted and sweaty and while an episiotomy wasn't done, there were stitches needed. Then came the placenta and a whole bunch of blood. To be honest, I was a bit scared. I was worried that something was wrong, but apparently this was all normal. 

Once my midwife was finished making sure that I was okay, Gavin was brought over to me and it was a moment that I never wanted to end. 

I was finally holding the precious child that had been kicking me for the past 4+ months. I had never seen anything so beautiful, and in that moment I finally understood God's love for me. It was completely amazing. 

Gavin was born at 9:16am and Keith and I stayed in the labor and delivery room until around 3pm. My sisters and Keith's Dad and StepMom came visit and we spent the day in awe of our son. Once we were moved to our recovery room my Mom arrived and we visited with her for a bit. While I should have been beyond exhausted (I only slept one hour the night before) I was on cloud nine and running on adrenaline. Due to hospital policy for new moms we were required to stay for two days. Keith and I didn't mind at all and we enjoyed resting and learning as much as possible about how to care for our son.

Overall, my labor and delivery experience could not have gone better. I was able to have the natural birth that I wanted and had a pretty quick labor, at around 9 and a half hours, once we arrived at the hospital. Even though the natural birth wasn't exactly what I had in mind, I absolutely do not regret going this route. I was able to experience the true process of giving birth and feel incredibly grateful for both the good and not-so-good parts. Besides the soreness, I felt truly amazing afterwards. Lol and actually, I was eating lunch (a Big Mac) an hour after Gav arrived. If anyone is thinking about going natural, I highly recommend it. It's not easy, but it sure is worth it. At this point I feel like I can tackle anything I set my mind to. Taking the LSAT? Law School? Climbing Mount Everest? Psht. No biggie. (I'm obviously joking a tad, but I do feel so empowered) I also had a doula present during my labor and she was such a big help. She offered encouragement and advice on pain management when it was needed, and Keith and I don't know what we would have done without her.

Another factor that contributed to our experience was the hospital that we delivered at. Keith and I were so impressed with all of the nurses and staff at Northside Hospital - Main Campus in Atlanta, Georgia. The kindness and hospitality that we received was fantastic. Each and every person we came into contact with was especially helpful and made our experience so special. To our nurses -- Janice, both Jennifers, Maggie, Connie, Darlene, Rebecca and Fabira -- THANK YOU! You guys are superb. 

And while this isn't an award show, I'd also like to express how grateful I am for this experience and for the love and support I felt from my husband. Keith, I love you so very much and appreciate your strength during my times of weakness. You had just as much to do with the success of this labor and delivery as I did. I love you. And last but certainly not least, I could not have done any of this without the strength of my Lord and Savior. Without a doubt, His love, mercy and grace carried me through.

Dad and son.

Bath time!

Sleeping Angel

View from our room


Monday, March 5, 2012

Gavin's Birth Story, Part I

I cannot believe that I am writing Gavin's birth story...2 days before his due date! :D Okay, where do I begin...

On Tuesday of last week, I wrote about the contractions that I had been having since Monday morning (2/26). These contractions were tolerable and consistent, but were short in length. On Monday we went to the doctor and I found out that I was only 1.25 cm dilated, but 70% effaced. I was told that it could still be two weeks before Gavin's debut, but we were hoping that he would come quick! I woke up Tuesday with the same contractions, but by Tuesday night I was in excruciating pain. I had fallen asleep that night at 10pm thanks to Tylenol PM, but by 12pm I was awake and miserable. Beginning at 11pm, I began having contractions every 7 minutes, according to Keith. Every 7 minutes, I would toss and turn and moan in pain, and he was timing them. By midnight I was awake and being crippled by the contractions. We called the midwife on duty and she advised us to wait another hour or until the contractions were 5 minutes apart to go to the hospital. We didn't have to wait long, because by 1:30am we were heading to the hospital! :)

 So excited that it was finally time!

We only had a 10 minute drive before arriving at the hospital, but the two contractions I had in the car were intense. I kept praying that I was dilated enough to have Gavin soon because as much as I wanted a natural birth, if I was still at 1-2 cms I didn't know if I was strong enough to make it through. Around 2:30am I was checked by the sweetest nurse, and told that I was dilated to 4 cm! We were so excited to hear this news! From 2:30am until 8:00am it was just me, Keith and my doula, Amber, in the room. My contractions kept the same intensity, however they would range from 5-8 minutes. During this time period, we listened to a CD of relaxing and encouraging music that I had made and I also watched the movie Serendipity. The song that sticks out in my mind is By Your Side by Tenth Avenue North. I remember being in the middle of a contraction and hearing:

And I'll be by your side
Wherever you fall
In the dead of night
Whenever you call
And please don't fight
These hands that are holding you
My hands are holding you
Even now, I tear up reading those words because I know that on the night of Gavin's birth, right in the middle of all the pain, God was right there with me by my side the whole time. It was so powerful. 

It was a bit of a waiting game and during the contractions I focused on my breathing. I also used a hand massager that Amber had brought with her and I just kept massaging my legs to distract from the pain. Believe it or not, deep breaths and the massager actually worked to get me through it. 

At 8:00am, the midwife from my doctor's practice arrived and we were thrilled to discover that not only was the crazy midwife not there, but it was the one that I absolutely love! :) At this point I was wishing for a good 6 cm, but was told that this wasn't likely since it had only been 6ish hours. So, you can imagine everyone's surprise when she told me that I was 8 cm!!! My contractions were so inconsistent and definitely not close enough to allow me to dilate this much, but the body is an amazing thing and I was blessed by this dilation. During this check my water actually broke, and that is when things really got intense!

To be continued...

Thursday, March 1, 2012

He's Here!!!

Gavin Josiah Christmas

Born February 29, 2012 at 9:16am

7lbs. 8oz. and 20"long

Mom and baby are doing great, 
and this momma was able to go natural! 
Praise God!!!

Updates to come...we are so. in. love.
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