What a busy week it’s been for me!
If you remember my last post, I shared with you my birth story, and the happy news about finally finding our perfect home to move into, and the even happier news that Aaron is back working full-time! Also, that my graduation ceremony was just days away.
God has certainly been throwing lots of big life changes our way, and no matter how busy or stressful I’ve been, I have to remember how blessed I am. This week, however, God gave me and my family another life altering experience; one that I would have preferred to not experience. My Grandma passed away.
She was 94 years old, and lived a great life. She died in her sleep. We couldn’t have asked for a better way for her to go and meet Jesus. However, I’m so sad that she did not get to meet Josephine. I had planned on going to see her in a couple weeks so she could meet our new baby girl.
Once preparations for Grandma were made, I was planning to take Josephine to her casket as a way of saying hello and goodbye. Unfortunately, the day of her wake was the day of my graduation ceremony. I thought about just skipping the ceremony, but I realized that Grandma would want me to be at my graduation. So I went. I know Grandma was there with me in spirit. My thoughts were on her as I crossed the stage to get my degree. I have to say, I was so emotionally overwhelmed that day. Experiencing my graduation, and knowing that my family was saying goodbye to my Grandma at the same time.
Once the ceremony was over, we went straight home and went to sleep. We had to wake up at 4am so we would have enough time to get to her funeral in Chicago by 10am in the morning. I didn’t sleep much because Josephine wakes up to nurse every couple hours, and she has also been feeling yucky. Gas pains and spitting up. Poor thing. I was exhausted once the alarm woke me at 4. I got the girls ready and we all hit the road.
We had to stop several times so I could nurse Josephine and change her diaper. She was not a happy girl and it took a while for her to calm down enough to get her back into her carseat so we could drive on again. We were late to the funeral service. Once we finally got there, Josephine was awake and crying. I had to leave the pew and I went into the bathroom to nurse her. I got to hear the service through a speaker in the bathroom. I started crying when I realized just how late I was. I heard someone say, “Ok gentlemen, take your gloved hand and grip the handles…” They were carrying her out the doors to the hearse. I heard a sweet familiar song through the bathroom speaker; an Irish lullaby called Tura Lura Lura. It’s a song that Grandma sung to all her children and grandchildren when we were born. I softly hummed the song to Josephine as I nursed her and wept.
Aaron and Faith were waiting for me by the doors when I finished nursing Josephine. We drove to the funeral. It was such a cold, windy and gloomy day for mid-May. Aaron stayed in the car with Faith and Josephine as I stood with the rest of my family near her casket. We each grabbed a few flowers to take home as keepsakes. The casket was lowered in the ground.
Afterwards, we all went to lunch. I was so tired, and my back was hurting horribly. Jo was awake and wanting to nurse again. I went out to the car to nurse her. I decided to leave early. I was extremely exhausted and in pain. I wasn’t looking forward to the long drive home. I knew we would be making lots of stops to tend to the girls. I knew we wouldn’t be home until late. I did get to take a couple pictures while I was there. Everybody loved seeing baby Josephine, and I was so glad that my girls put smiles on their faces :)
The drive back home wasn’t as bad as the ride up north. We got home about 8:30 pm. Aaron and Faith went to sleep. Josephine was still having tummy trouble. It took a few more hours for her to finally get to sleep. Her and I slept on and off throughout the night. It’s tough being a newborn. So many changes happening to her little body. I’m sure she’s as exhausted as me.
The concept of death has been a hot topic for Faith lately. I think she somewhat understands that Great Grandma is in Heaven with Jesus. Great Grandma didn’t need her old body anymore, and that she has a new Heavenly body now. She is happy and healthy again. Faith has so many questions. This is one thing about parenthood that I didn’t practice how these conversations would go in my head.
When my girls are older, I hope they will consider this blog as a modern day baby book for them. What I want my girls to know from this week is this; life happens fast. Big things happen when you least expect it. Some good experiences, some bad experiences. Sometimes changes happen quickly, and sometimes very slowly. No matter what happens in your life, keep hold of the Lord’s hand and you will get through it all! Every life-changing, bitter-sweet, happy, sad and exciting moment is an experience that God has allowed you to go through for a reason. Grab on to Him tightly, trust Him to always guide you, and always always stop to remember how blessed you are.
“To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:
A time to be born,
And a time to die;
A time to plant,
And a time to pluck what is planted;
A time to kill,
And a time to heal;
A time to break down,
And a time to build up;
A time to weep,
And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn,
And a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones,
And a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace,
And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to gain,
And a time to lose;
A time to keep,
And a time to throw away;
A time to tear,
And a time to sew;
A time to keep silence,
And a time to speak;
A time to love,
And a time to hate;
A time of war,
And a time of peace.”
I love you Grandma. Until we meet again…
We are home and settling in to our new routine. Lots to update you on! I’ll start with my birth story…
Induction was set for April 25th. At around 5:30 we dropped Faith off at grandma’s house, and Aaron and I headed to the hospital. Thankfully our room wasn’t freezing cold like it was when I had Faith. They inserted the Cervidil around 8:30 pm. I had dinner; 2 soft tacos from Taco Bell. They told me I didn’t need to take my nightly Glyburide for blood sugar. During the night, I slept ok. I wasn’t freezing cold, but I had to pee every hour. When I was in the hospital to have Faith, I was freezing cold all night and had to pee every 20 minutes… I didn’t sleep a wink! At least this time, the night was a little better for me. I was so thankful for that. During the night, I started feeling crampier and crampier. My whole abdomen was getting extremely tender with every movement, and getting up in the night to pee was painful. Walking, sitting, and lying back down in bed was extremely uncomfortable, but tolerable.
In the morning, at around 7 am, the contractions were quickly becoming painful. Fortunately I didn’t puke or have diarrhea like I did when I was in active labor with Faith. This time, no flu-like symptoms or body shivers so that made things easier. However, the contractions were much more painful than I ever experienced. Much more. I was told labor would be easier the second time, but when it came to the pain.. it seemed it was 5x worse! The contractions became so intolerable that I ended up asking for an epidural. Then, they brought in a large yellow “peanut ball.” I laid on my side and they placed the huge yellow Minion between my legs to help open my cervix even more. Immediately after it was placed, I felt a pop and my water broke! About 5 minutes later I was 10 centimeters dilated, and ready to push! 9 minutes later Josephine was born! Only 9 minutes of pushing! After the first push they said, “The baby is crowning.” I was shocked! With Faith, I had to push for 2 hours. The only thing that was easier delivering a second baby was the time it took; a short labor and even shorter delivery.
I would say that active labor was from around 7 am until 11:47 am when she was born. So about 5 hours of true labor. Labor was much much shorter than I expected. With Faith I started having painful contractions about 12 hours after the Cervidil was placed… and then finally delivered her almost 20 hours later! So I had about 20 hours of active labor with Faith! I would say that this labor/delivery was better based on the time it took… but if I had to compare the pain level… laboring with Josephine was pure torture.
Looking back on my labor, I think it was much more painful because I was dilating much faster than I had with Faith. I think because my cervix was opening so much quicker, my body couldn’t keep up with the increasing pain this time. I mean, it was only 5 hours of active labor this time compared to about 20 hours of active labor with Faith. I also think that I must have already been pretty close to 10 centimeters dilated when I asked for the epidural. They didn’t check me before the epidural. I wish they would have because they may have told me I was already close to pushing, and I wonder then if I would have just refused the epidural if I was so close to delivering.
She was born 7 lbs and 1 oz! Almost a full pound less than Faith, and she is very petite. She has skinny little chicken legs like me. She has long toes and long delicate little fingers. Her eyes are already turning blue. Her dark hair has blond highlights, and her eyelashes are all blond! I thought she would look more like Faith but she’s her own little person. Our little Josephine :)
Josephine’s blood sugars have all been normal so my gestational diabetes has not negatively affected her. She passed all her newborn screening tests. No heart defects and perfect hearing. She is alert, happy and healthy! I feel so sad for her though. She had her poor heals poked at for blood sugar testing several times a day for the time she was in the hospital. They were constantly squeezing her little heals until they turned purple just so they can get the blood out! They are so bruised and scattered with tiny little purple dots where the needles went in. And if that wasn’t bad enough… they also had to poke her heals for all the standard newborn screenings that needed to be done. She is a tough girl though. She cried a lot, but there were a few times she didn’t even whimper. I’m just glad it’s over for her!As for my health… my blood sugars have rose since they had me stop taking the Glyburide. The hospital food they gave me made my blood sugar spike. My fasting blood glucose is high just like it was before taking Glyburide. They say it can take 6 to 12 weeks for my blood sugars to normalize, but I’m just not optimistic :( I’ve read that 80 to 90% of women have normal blood sugars right after delivery. I’m not one of them. Every single morning since I gave birth, my fasting blood sugars have all been above 110. It should be below 95. I’m losing weight fast. I was 145 after giving birth last week, and now I am 139. I know that rapid weight loss can be a sign of diabetes… but I also know that rapid weight loss can happen if you breastfeed exclusively. So I’m not sure why I’m losing weight, but I’m glad I am! Losing weight really helps your pancreas control insulin better. So this weight loss could normalize my blood sugar.
A couple days after we were home, we had a little “meet and greet” party for Josephine. Friends and neighbors that haven’t see her yet came by, munched on some snacks and engaged in some meaningful baby-talk. It was wonderful!
This is my boss and friend of 16 years meeting BabyJo for the first time :)
This is my Realtor and long time friend, Marci :)
Neighbors Steve and Linda :)
My neighbor, Deborah :)
Neighbors Grady, Marilyn and their grandkids :)
I really enjoyed our little party and I can’t wait to show Josephine off to the rest of the neighborhood when I get the chance! :)
Here is Josephine’s video debut! …
More good news to update you all on! … We found our perfect home! We made an offer! The offer was accepted! And even better news for all my neighbors that I love so much… our new home is just a few streets away! So you’re still my neighbors! I can walk to your homes! Goodness, when I told you all that we’re still staying in town… I didn’t think it would still be in the same neighborhood! Yay! GOD IS GOOD!!!
This new home has twice the sq ft as our old home! Tons of space! A full finished basement! Walk-in closets. Cathedral ceilings, and even 9 ft ceilings in the basement! It’s on a dead-end street so very little traffic! A nice sized backyard and a huge multi-level backyard deck! It also has a brand new roof, furnace, AC and water heater! Built in 1992. No major upgrades needed! It’s everything we’ve been looking for! So much room to grow as a family! And right in town! We are so blessed!
More good news! Aaron is no longer laid off! He went back to work today! Thank you Jesus! Now we have to start packing. We should hopefully be moving near the end of June. Faith’s birthday is July 3rd, so we may have to postpone her birthday party because we will probably be moving into our new home that weekend! This is going to be such a busy summer!
Like I said, life is moving fast! Just last week I had a baby, and just yesterday our offer was accepted on our new home! Next week will be my graduation ceremony! So many life changes happening all at once. I’m holding God’s hand and following Him… but it’s hard to keep up while He’s running! This is no leisurely stroll! And I love it!!! :)
Breaking News!!!… Josephine’s umbilical cord just fell off! She has the cutest little belly button! :)