Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Two-Week Checkup

Evelyn had her two-week checkup today at the pediatrician.  I was rather impressed that the two of us made it out of bed, showered, got ready - with makeup and dried hair! - nursed, clothed, and made it to the office only 2 minutes late!  Not bad for our first morning out!

Her 2-week statistics:
Weight:  8 pounds (not quite back to her birth weight yet) - 60th percentile
Length:  19 1/2 inches (grown 3/4 of an inch since birth) - 50th percentile
Head circumference:  36 1/2 inches (I've never tracked this before...) - 95th percentile

She did great at her appointment, and is doing well.  Being the first time parents that we are, Dan and I were a little concerned that she is spitting up/vomiting quite a bit of milk after she feeds.  Her pediatrician said she classifies Evelyn as a "happy spitter", so there is nothing to worry about.  With time, her digestive system will mature and take care of it.  She also has a little rash on her face, which apparently is a residual effect of my hormones working their way out of her body.  She also had another chiropractor adjustment today, so we're interested to see if this begins helping with her digestive issues.  Overall, she has been MUCH happier since we started getting her into more of a routine.  She's rather fond of the Harms family nightly routine of bath time and infant massage.  It's one of my favorite times of the day as well!

Mommy is also pretty proud to say that she is back to her pre-pregnancy weight (yay!) and can wear her pre-pregnancy jeans (yay!).  This may be the upside of gestational diabetes!  I haven't done anything to lose my pregnancy weight yet (we are being WELL fed by Grammie/church friends) - so I'm excited that I'll be able to start working away at the extra pounds I was carrying before pregnancy once I get through my postpartum appointment.  I'm hoping to get the green light to start walking this week - mostly to give Evelyn and I a chance to be out of the house once a day!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Let the Church Arise!

I am so proud of my old church in West Lafayette...I miss them terribly!

It All Started Two Weeks Ago...

It was two weeks ago that we were keeping ourselves busy through a Saturday that would lead us to the hospital and change our lives forever. She wouldn't be born until the next day, but she was already letting us know she was now in charge.

We left for the hospital at 5:00pm, so we could grab dinner on the way knowing after 6:00pm it was going to be fasting fun until she was born for me.

Here's a shot of us getting ready to leave the house, the car packed with way more than we really needed!

And my last "belly shot"...

We had a liitle more time after dinner, so I requested ice cream to top off my last supper. Who knew that Dairy Queen doesn't make chocolate soft serve ice cream anymore?! I settled for vanilla.

The last time I saw this side of our hospital with a baby inside me instead of in my arms!

Once we were all checked in, the nurses hooked me up to the fetal monitor before starting the cervadil, only to find I was already starting labor on my own! I had been having what I thought was really bad gas pains for a lot of the afternoon, but had no idea that I was actually in labor! My doctor opted to use the cervadil anyway, to be sure my labor would progress. Our LD nurse that night was Jeanette, who had come in at the last minute to help out because they were short-staffed. As we settled into the room, she said that we were in her favorite room because she had delivered her daughter in that room almost 13 years ago. As she was writing her name, the date, etc. on the room board, she wrote, "Happy Birhday," then asked what our baby's name was going to be. We told her, Evelyn, and she turned around with a shocked look on her face. Her daughter's name, the one born in the same room, was Evelyn! So we had an instant connection with her.

Everything progressed well through the night, and we started pitocin in the morning. I was definitely feeling the contractions at this point and, as promised, the pitocin took them from 0-160 on the pain scale in about 2 minutes!  Dr. Nowitzky broke my water a little bit later, and we were off and running.  Because of Evelyn's size, my doctor didn't give me much of a choice over an epidural.  It wasn't my favorite - I hated not having any feeling/control over my legs.  At one point my new LD nurse, Carole, checked me - and I figured I had to be at least 6cm.  She said I was 4 1/2cm and I was ready to quit.  I couldn't believe that I was only that far given the frequency and intensity of my contractions (I could still feel them on my right side...the epidural pretty much deadened just my left side).  She was pretty new, so she had her supervisor check me...and I was actually 9cm!!  Talk about a second wind!  The last cm went fairly quickly.  Once it was time, I pushed through 3 contractions and she was out!

After we found out I was 9cm...just about go time!  Dan told me to smile...this was the best I could do under the circumstances!

Here are some pictures of her first few minutes in this crazy world!

Dan was thrilled that her first sight after entering the world was basketball.

Evelyn and Dr. Nowitzky (Dan did great getting pictures!)

Holding my baby girl for the first time! 
(minus the 3 seconds they let her lay on my chest before they cleaned her up)

Our little family of 3...so happy!!

Daddy holding his baby girl for the first time!

Friday, May 27, 2011

First Chiropractic Adjustment

Evelyn had her first adjustment from our chiropractor on Wednesday.  I started going to Scott for adjustments back in December when I was dealing with crazy sciatic pain during my pregnancy.  At that point, I was 15 weeks pregnant and could barely walk at times.  I was adjusted weekly through the remainder of my pregnancy, and was moving (including swimming and walking for fitness) better at 38 weeks than I was at 15 weeks!  Through his practice, Dan and I learned a lot about the benefits of chiropractic care for wellness, and not just fixing something that is hurt.  After talking with a number of other parents who have taken their kids to a chiropractor, we decided to start Evelyn early - where rather than fixing nervous system disturbances when they come (i.e., allergies, colds/sickness, as well as the back pain we tend to think of chiropractors as fixing), we hopefully prevent them from occurring.

She was a little hacked off at being woken up from her nap...

He said she was pretty tight in the area where digestion is controlled, so we are hoping this will help with her gas and digestive problems she's been having.  She'll see him every week for the next month, then will probably just need to go monthly to keep everything aligned!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Midnight Car Rides

This commercial became reality for us last night...well, not the driving through McDonald's part - but the "we'll do anything to help you stop crying after 3 hours" part.

We're not sure what's going on - but the last few nights, Evelyn has started scream-crying from about 10pm-3am almost non-stop. We'll get her calmed down and seemingly asleep, only to have her wake up 10 minutes later and at it again. It breaks my heart because I don't know what to do for her.

The car ride did work, she fell asleep (as did Mommy sitting with her in the back seat)...but woke up again about 10 minutes after we got home. She finally snuggled up with Daddy on the recliner and sort of slept after that - then was her normal, happy, content eating-playing-sleeping self when he brought her in at 5am to feed. She's been a pretty easy baby during the days, but for some reason isn't a big fan of 10pm-3am. I think she misses her Grammie (Grammie took this shift a lot while she was here). The good thing (for me) is that she always sleeps like a baby (such an ironic phrase...) after that feeding for about 4 hours. Unfortunately for Dan, he has to get up and head in to work. My Mom helped to take on one of the mid-night shifts while she was here so Dan could sleep, but last night was our first night Grammie-less. I am so blessed to have a husband who shoulders this with me, even though he can't be sleeping with her during the day (which I need to get better at doing...aka, quit blogging!).

Will you pray that we will have discernment in how to respond to and meet whatever needs she is having that are bringing this on? I hate seeing her cry so violently! I know that newborns just take some time to figure eating/sleeping out, so hopefully she's doing just that!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

What's in a Name?

A number of you have asked how we came about Evelyn Sophia as a name for our little girl.  We put a lot of thought into the names we chose for her because we both believe that a name not only identifies someone but it describes them.  As parents we are speaking the meaning of that name over our baby's life at birth.  I first mentioned Evelyn Sophia back in November.  I remember exactly where we were for some odd reason.  We were driving on I-70 in Indianapolis (near the Post Road exit...to be exact!).  We were throwing names back and forth to each other, at that point not knowing if we had a little girl or a little boy.  When I said the name, Dan didn't seem overly excited, but he didn't give it the veto ("Is it me, or is 'Veto' starting to sound really good?").

When we found out that we were having a girl, after the ultrasound we were sitting in my OB's waiting room and Dan said, "I think I know what name I want."  And so she was named.  We chose early on not to tell anyone her name until she was born - which was fun to keep a surprise until she was born!  So here's how we came about the name, Evelyn Sophia...

The Hebrew meaning of Evelyn is "LIFE".  Some etymologies suggest Evelyn to be derived from Eve, which means, "GIVER OF LIFE" or "LIFE GIVING".  We loved the multiple meanings behind such a name.  We want this baby girl to grow into a living, breathing, vessel of the Holy Spirit who truly gives life to others by sharing Christ with them.  We want this little girl to stand for LIFE in all circumstances. And we want this child to understand Who has given her life.

Evelyn is also my grandmother's (my Mom's mother's) name.  So given the meaning of Evelyn and the sweet tribute to my Grammie, I have always loved this name.

Sophia is another name I have always loved.  In Greek, Sophia means "WISDOM", which many of you know is my maiden name.  Those of you who knew me as Dan and I were getting married know that I struggled a little with 'giving up' my maiden name (I mean, really...who doesn't want to be Dr. Wisdom?!).  I had always hoped that Dan would agree to Sophia as a middle name for a girl as a tribute to my own family roots.

And so Evelyn Sophia became the name of this precious baby girl.  We pray that she will truly grow into her name and bring LIFE and WISDOM to a searching world surrounding her!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Evelyn's First Photo Shoot

A couple of months before Evelyn was born, my friend Susan entered her into a raffle for a free newborn photo session with Cat Herndon.  Cat is a new photographer and was offering the raffle as a way to help build her portfolio with some newborn photos.  We were thrilled to hear that we won, and even more thrilled as we saw the resulting pictures!  Here's some of our favorites from our little diva's first photo shoot!

She was such a trooper, and Cat was really wonderful.  She came to our house for the session, and was so relaxed and calm.  Evelyn had a rough night the previous night, and so I wasn't able to feed her right before the session to keep her good and sleepy.  Cat was great and took time out of the session to let me nurse her...which wasn't a quick task, if you've ever nursed a newborn!  She had been naked for the session, so I wrapped her up in a blanket to nurse her, and learned my lesson on naked nursing!  She peed all over me at one point, but the best was the huge blow out she had.  It was one of those laugh or cry moments and I chose to laugh.  She had not pooped in 2 days, so we were thrilled that she was finally pooping!  Oh the things you celebrate in the Mom Club!  Cat was wonderful and just sat and chatted with Dan while I cleaned up the little pooper and got her back to her photo shoot.  I was so blessed that Cat was so calm about it, normally taking up an hour of someone's time would have stressed me out, but she had me totally at ease!

Now for the task of choosing which ones of these to print!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Second Day Home

We got home from the hospital on Tuesday just a little after noon.  Here's a shot of Evelyn's "I'm coming home!" outfit.  The headband is totally too big for her head right now, but it was too cute not to wear! :-)

We were only home a couple of hours and it was time to go pick up Grammie & Grandad (Stacey's Mom & Dad) at the airport.  There was a lot of new going on for a little girl in those few hours, from a new house, to new parents who don't know you shouldn't rush a baby feeding to get to the airport, and new milk coming in for Mommy...it kind of rocked the nice little schedule she was on at the hospital!  She would eat, usually fairly easily, for about 30-45 minutes, then sleep for about 3 and sometimes 4 hours at a time.  Praise the Lord for the nursery where we let her sleep at night so Mommy and Daddy could get some rest (as much rest as Daddy says he could on the "torture racks" they give for the Daddy in the postpartum room!).  That whole lotta new turned into a rough first night of nursing and sleeping - where Evelyn spent most of the night snuggled in either Mommy or Grammie's arms in the recliner with yucky gas.

Fortunately Dan did get some good rest the first night home because he walked out into the garage on Wednesday morning to find water leaking everywhere from our hot water heater.  Fortunately number two was having Grandad here to help him deal with it!  We ended up having to replace it (which is always good news on your second day home with a newborn!).

My Dad thought that I would like the whole ordeal documented (which is right...) - here's our plumber!
 And a picture of the front of the house with the water leaking out...this was after they had the water turned off for a while.

We made it through...and are thankful for the Lord's provision in getting this replaced!  My Dad wants to know how we got it to blow out while he was here to help clean it up.  After his trip to Corpus in February (beginning to set up the nursery), we promised he wouldn't have to do any work this trip.

I'm hoping to get some more pictures of little Miss Evelyn's first few days with us posted soon.  She is such a joy, I find myself cracking up at her all the time.  I think God knew what He was doing when He made her so beautiful and adorable - even when I'm sleep deprived and figuring out you actually CAN survive on 2 hours of sleep for multiple nights in a row, my heart just bursts with how much I love her!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Introducing Miss Evelyn Sophia Gaines

Evelyn Sophia Gaines
Born Sunday, May 15, 2011
8 pounds, 8 ounces
18 3/4 inches

100% perfect

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Our Last Day as Two...

For those of you who haven't heard, we are going in to start the labor induction process tonight at 6pm.  They will officially start pitocin tomorrow morning, so tonight will mostly be getting everything ripe and ready so to speak! :-)  My OB is on call tomorrow, which is nice because she'll likely be the one to deliver me.  It's a little bit odd knowing the day that you are going into labor, it takes some of the stressful excitement out of it.  But being the planner that I am, this has actually been pretty nice for me!  We had another ultrasound yesterday (Friday) morning, showing her to have grown a little more.  This time she was measuring 9 pounds, 2 ounces...which is crazy, and thankfully most everyone I have talked to who had "huge" babies in their ultrasounds were delivering 7-8 pound babies in the end.  It was my understanding that we would do the ultrasound then see my OB one last time to set an induction date.  So we did the ultrasound, then headed up to her office to sign in.  After a few minutes, the receptionist called me up and asked if I had an appointment.  I told her yes, and she informed me that Dr. Nowitzky was not in today.  Uhhh...  I told her what I thought was happening, and she was getting ready to send me home when another nurse told her to wait a minute to see my file.  Once she saw my file, she called me back up and said that she was supposed to call Dr. Nowitzky with the results of my ultrasound, and that Dr. Nowitzky would call me if any of the instructions that I had already been given needed to change.  Again, uhhhh...we have not had any instructions given to us!  So I told her that and she took us over to the Labor & Delivery scheduling area where we found out that we have been scheduled to begin induction tonight at 6pm.  Whirlwind of thoughts...  It sounds like the date has been set for a while, but somehow we didn't get the message.  So, Dan and I immediately went into, "what do we have to get done" mode (which really was nothing - we've been ready for a couple of weeks!).  We both worked yesterday, but then began our last 24 hours as two.

We had dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, La Playa.
(which ended up being a terrible decision on my part because I was up half the night with terrible heartburn and indigestion!)

Dan mowed the lawn while I did laundry and baked a casserole to freeze.

We slept for one last night in our house with no newborn.
(neither one of us actually slept that well...)

We played Words with Friends.

We went shopping for his Father's Day gift - a new lawn mower.
(we figured it would be easier now than in a month with a newborn!)

We went swimming.
(I gave Dan some swimming lessons, while he noticed that there was a basketball goal just outside the pool.  I'm fairly certain in the future he'll be shooting hoops with the baby in the stroller under a tree next to the goal while I swim.)

I took a 20 minute shower.
(and thought about it being the last time I'll get to do that for a while.)

Dan took a nap while I blogged about what we did.

We watched the minutes tick by willing it to be 5:00 so we could go eat and head to the hospital.

And the best part of today, was so looking forward to holding that baby girl in our arms that we barely cared that today was the last day we would be able to do many things easily because we were just two.

Because in less than 24 hours (hopefully!), we'll be three.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Adventures at Collier Pool

The last couple of weeks, we have been on Dead Week and Finals schedules out at A&M-Kingsville.  Normally for me this means that I'm still out there every day getting caught up on everything I didn't find time to do during the semester (and, deal with the fun end of the semester student inquiries about how they are failing your class when they haven't shown up since Spring Break!).  This year, though, I really only went out on days that I had either class or an exam scheduled.  The other days I spent at home in heavy nesting mode.  My baseboards and cupboards are probably the cleanest in Nueces County right now!  :-)  I also spent some time getting the courses that I will be teaching online this summer completely ready to go online so that all I will be doing throughout the semester is monitoring their discussions and grading.  For me, the most difficult and time-consuming part of teaching online is getting everything ready, the actual class goes fairly easily!

One big bonus of being home is that I've been able to swim every day at an OUTDOOR pool.  Our pool at school is an indoor pool, and it's been great to have it close by to swim in 2-3 days a week during the spring semester.  But nothing, NOTHING, beats an outdoor pool.  It just reminds me of so many years of lifeguarding and pool managing - which brings back some really fun memories of different phases of my life.  Now I'm on the other side of the lifeguard tube, and find myself grinning as I listen to the guards complain about things that we used to complain about, and becoming a 'regular' who they undoubtedly make up stories about to keep the time passing and guarding interesting.

"My" pool in Corpus...Collier Pool

My favorite about about the pool (other than being weightless and releasing so much hip pressure) is the people.  This is one of the things I used to love about guarding, the people watching.  Over the last couple of weeks, I have been sharing a lane with an elderly gentleman.  I still don't know his name, so I'll call him Elmer.  Elmer cracks me up, he is the stereotypical 70-something year old man who has lived a full life and doesn't really care what people think of him.  My first day at the pool, I chose his lane because he was a slower swimmer and I knew that I wouldn't drive him nuts swimming slowly myself.  The first couple of days it was just a smile here or there, and the cursory "have a good day" as one of us left.  He asked about my due date after a few days, but other than that we didn't really talk.  So I was cracking up yesterday when he asked me, "What are you going to do if that baby comes out here?  Those lifeguards look too young to know anything."  I smiled and told him I hoped he'd be able to help. He then chuckled, and told me, "Good luck!"  So I guess Elmer isn't volunteering to help out should little Miss Gaines decide to make an appearance at Collier Pool!

Today, I was about an hour later getting there than normal, and I had him thinking I was having the baby.  He told me that he and the guards were thinking I must have gone into labor because I wasn't there right at 11:30 like I usually was.  Which brought a smile to my face, because I remembered being those guards - the ones who knew peoples' schedules and hypothesized what was going on when they weren't where they were "supposed" to be.  It makes me smile being on the other side of the story now.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Another Glimpse at the Nursery!

Here are some updated pictures of the finished nursery!  There are still some things I need to put away, and a few things we need to get (nothing necessary for the first few weeks, though!), but it feels good to have it finished!  Here are some pictures for you to get a glimpse!

If you were hoping to get a peek at her name...sorry, I took it out of this picture!  
But it will be in big pink letters between the butterflies! :-)

The wall you first see as you walk into the room
(see here for some "before" pictures)

The corner I anticipate spending a little time in over the coming months!
(again...sorry, I took her name out!)

And the fantastic painting my friend Jade did for the baby!
We opted to have her paint a canvas so we'll always have it, rather than a mural on a wall that will someday either get painted over or will get left behind (say, when we find jobs in Colorado or Indiana...).

I'm officially 37 weeks tomorrow, and definitely ready to be done being pregnant.  The only time my body doesn't hurt is when I'm swimming.  If I could just live in water for the next two weeks, that'd be great!  I am down to 3 more days of work - I give two finals on Friday, and one on Saturday.  My plan is to stay out in Kingsville until the last one is graded and grades are posted on Saturday so that my maternity leave can officially start!  I'm planning to head out for graduation if I'm able to, but otherwise don't plan on seeing my office again until August!  I can't wait...but even more, can't wait for this little girl to get here!!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Little Chubbers

If the ultrasound we had Friday is any indication, we have a little chubbers spending her last couple of weeks in mommy's tummy.  The ultrasound measurements are showing her to be nearly 8 1/2 pounds already (at 36 weeks).  I've heard from a number of people who had similar ultrasound readings who delivered high 7 to low 8 pound babies, so I'm feeling a little better!  My doctor wants to induce at 39 weeks to be on the safe side, but doesn't want to go much earlier than that because a lot of brain development happens in these next few weeks.  Apparently her head circumference is fine, her waist circumference is what is causing concern.  My OB said that babies with bigger waists usually have bigger shoulders, which obviously can pose a problem during delivery.  I am thankful to have a doctor who does not immediately turn to Cesarean for something like this!  I go in again on Thursday, and we will talk about dates for the induction, unless she comes earlier on her own.  I am done with giving finals on Saturday, so if she could wait 5 more days, it'll help Mommy be less stressed! :-)  We pretty much have everything ready for her at home now, and my work schedule becomes increasingly lighter as this week progresses.  We're definitely excited for her to make her appearance!  It all kind of set in when we realized we were likely approaching the 2 week mark this week now!