June 29, 2012

Without further ado....

Let's get to it.  Isaac Lee Griffis is here!!

He was born at 12:52pm on Wednesday, June 27, 2012.  He is a big boy, especially compared to his brother - weighing 8lbs 12oz (Jude weighed 7lbs 11oz) and 20.5" long!

Who knew you could love so much.

Adding to our family only makes me love each of my family members more.  I love Jordan as a father of two.  I love Jude as my son, and now also as a brother to Isaac.  It's just a big ole love fest in my heart right now.

And he is just the sweetest little boy.

But, doesn't he look a bit familiar??

I cannot get over how much he looks like Jude as a newborn.  I was preparing myself for a totally different looking child, but nope.  Apparently we're the type of couple whose kids will all look the same.  I'm preparing myself for the twins question down the road. :-)  Good thing they are darn cute. ;-)

Praise God for such amazing blessings.  Surgery went awesome.  Recovery has already been a million times better than it was with Jude.  And I have two perfectly healthy sons.  I'm eager to heal up to 100% so I can be a fully-functioning Mama to the two of them.  In the meantime, Isaac and I are still in the hospital until tomorrow and Jude is having a blast hanging out with Daddy and Mamaw and Papaw.

I'll be sure to write down the birth story soon!  I gotta say, I am thankful that this one doesn't include 80 hours of labor.

Thank you for all of your prayers and love as we welcome this sweet boy into our family.

June 19, 2012

Another c-section?

As soon as Jude was born, the question lingered in my mind.  Despite my very best efforts, I had needed a c-section.  It wasn't what I planned for, or wanted.  But it was what was best.  And right away, knowing that I wanted more children, I wondered - how would this story play out next time?  Would I get another c-section?  Or no?

That is a good question.

I told myself at the time that it was far off and I didn't need to think about it.  Hah.  Well - I needed to think about it much sooner than I anticipated.  And the "much sooner" part does play a role in my decision this time around.

In planning Jude's birth, my goal was to have a natural, medication-free, birth.  We took birthing classes, practiced relaxation, and hired a doula to hopefully a achieve this goal.  My main motivation was to avoid a c-section, since I come from a history of women who needed surgery to have their children.  I naively thought that if I did everything right, I could avoid it.  That maybe they just didn't try hard enough to avoid it.  And I would try harder.

Well... I tried... and I tried hard.  80 hours of med-free labor hard.  But God and Jude had other plans for his birth.  And I had previously spent a lot of time praying that I would be emotionally okay with whatever the outcome was of his birth.  And I truly truly was.  I never felt that I had been robbed of the birth experience I desired.  I never felt regret over any of my decisions.  His birth was perfect.

But here we are, 15 months later.  I have a scheduled c-section a week from tomorrow.  And I have had many people ask me about this decision, knowing how adamantly I tried to avoid it the first time.  So, I thought I'd talk about it a bit.

One of the major differences this time around is Jude.  I have more than just one baby to worry about.  And at this point in his life, anything that affects me also affects him.  One of the biggest risks of trying for a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) is uterine rupture.  I know this is a small risk.  But I do know that the closer your kids are together (ahem - 15 months) the more real this risk is.  I also personally know people that this has happened to.  I personally know one person specifically who had an emergency hysterectomy due to this happening.  If my kids were two or more years apart, I might be more adamant about trying this and push off the scheduled c-section.  But, in all honesty, it makes me nervous to have kids so close.

I am also thinking about after the birth.  I am going to have two babies to take care of.  And I had a very long and painful recovery after Jude.  I was told not to lift anything heavier than my 7-8lb baby and my body regularly reminded me to take it easy.  Well, now I have a nearly 26lb baby along with a probably 7lb baby to take care of.  In an ideal world, this would be a reason to fight for a VBAC (since I've heard most people have a much easier recovery, especially if they avoid medication).  But I also know that labor + c-section = a much harder recovery, as opposed to no labor + scheduled c-section.  I've heard many c-section Mama's tell me their second scheduled c-section made a world of difference when it came to recovery.  I'm trying my hardest to make the best choice for both my boys.

All that to say, I still don't know how this is going to play out.  My Dr. tried to convince me to schedule my c-section or Friday, since he knows how miserable I am being pregnant.  But I pushed it off as far as I could.  I want little brother to bake as long as he needs and still feel guilty for potentially taking him before he's ready.  I also kind of hope that by pushing it off, it gives my body the chance to see if it wants to try for round two - a VBAC.  I admit I feel a bit doomed for a repeat experience.  If I had my c-section simply because Jude was breech I think that I would feel a lot more hopeful.

I still don't know how this story is going to end.  Basically, I have decided that if I go into labor in the next week, I'm going to ride it out and see what happens.  If I am in active labor for 12 or so hours and it is clear that it is going the same direction as Jude's labor and birth, I'm not going to wait for another 68 hours to say I'm done.  I'll just have a c-section.  I am praying that I don't have to make that decision.  I am praying that either I labor and have a VBAC or I just have the scheduled c-section.  I will honestly be fine with either story.

I don't know if I am making the right decision.  I don't know if there is a right decision.  I just had to make the decision I felt most at peace with after a lot of prayer.  I have an entire family to consider.  Funny how that changes things.

So, I will keep all of you updated.  This story... to be continued... in 8 (or fewer) days...

June 18, 2012

10, 9, 8....

Somehow I've let the last two weeks go by without a peep.  That just goes to show how fast this summer is flying for me.  But the countdown is on.

It wasn't long ago I had a couple of months to go before meeting boy #2 and now here we are with less than 10 days to go.

So, what have I been doing?

Hanging out with this guy.

And despite being massively huge and uncomfortable, we've been taking advantage of our freedom and flexibility before baby brother comes.

Even though Jude is young, he still shows signs of somehow understanding that we are on the verge of a huge life change.  Lately, he's been lifting my shirt and giving my belly huge lip-smacking kisses.  I never told him to do that.  We do talk about how baby is in Mama's belly and we are going to meet baby brother very soon.  But the kissing?  Just too too sweet.  And this morning he just sat in my lap with his head on my shoulder, snuggling for a good 20 minutes.  This never happens.  

I know everything will change when I meet baby brother.  But I can't help it - right now my mind is still 100% on Jude.  Worrying about this transition for him.  Wondering if he is going to be jealous.  Praying that he will have an instant love for his little brother.  I know it might be hard.  But in any case, it is a season.  I have been so encouraged by the many women who have kids 12-18 months apart that say that they just LOVED it.  The boys will grow up together, doing the same things at the same time, playing with the same toys, going through the same stages.  

But, in the meantime, I don't know what it is like to be a Mama of two.  It still kind of blows my mind.  I am having this baby in no more than 9 days.  In many ways I anticipate this day as the day I stop being pregnant... and oh, yeah... I'm going to have another baby to take care of.  

I'm eager to get on to the next stage... the anticipation of our "new normal" is somewhat overwhelming.  But I know that as soon as I meet baby brother, it will be instant love.  Just as I would give my life for Jude, I know I would do the same for this little guy.  And we'll just live life together.  One day, hour, moment at a time.    

And I will admit... even though the newborn stage can be exhausting - I am looking forward to this again.

(Daddy's Father's Day instagram... squishy Jude with Daddy only about 2 weeks old)

Because only a short 14 months later, that little squish becomes this amazing wild boy. 

Baby boy - we can't wait to meet you SOON!!!

June 2, 2012

Baby #2 :: 36 weeks

I feel like a whale.

A whale whose body can only handle about 25 more days of carrying this wild boy in my womb.  Thank God 25 days is all I have left.

Let's cut to the chase...

I'm massive.

I'm not totally sure, but I'm PRETTY sure that I'm bigger than with Jude.  My belly button agrees with me.

So, here are the stats.

Today's date: June 2, 2012

How far along: 36 weeks

Total weight gain: 25 lbs... ish.  I've found that one day I'll be up 3 lbs and the next I'll be back down.  Wacky body.   

Size and growth of the baby: Your baby is still packing on the pounds — at the rate of about an ounce a day. He now weighs almost 6 pounds (like a crenshaw melon) and is more than 18 1/2 inches long.

Sex: Still a baby brother!

Maternity clothes: Must you ask??  Look at me!

Sleep: Ask me again when I don't have a sinus infection.  Sleep?

Best moment(s) of the week:  We got to spend some time with family the past few weeks as Jordan's brother graduated from High School {Yay Joel!} and we got to see his sister Rachel from Texas!  Pretty much as soon as we got back from that, I've been bed-ridden trying to kick a sinus infection.  Today I at least got out of the house to go to Jordan's other brother's track State Finals.  Fun fun!  

Movement: He's wild.  He particularly likes to party around 10:30pm - when I am trying to fall asleep.  

Food cravings/aversions:  I don't have as big of an appetite these days.  Not sure what that's about.  

Morning sickness: Not feeling nauseous if that is the question.
Symptoms: I feel like my right leg is about to crack off any minute.  That will probably happen at the same time I split in half.  
Labor signs:
  Braxton hicks here and there, but not daily right now.

Belly button in or out:  
 It's OUT baby.  

What I miss:  My body... of course I will forget all of these pregnancy aches and pains about .2 seconds after I meet my son.  

What I'm looking forward to:  Chiro appointment on Monday (maybe I'll get some relief?) and then an OB appointment on Wednesday.  I think sometime this week we'll pack the bags, seeing as I'll be full-term in a week {WHAT?!?@@!#)$} 

See how things were going when I was 36 weeks pregnant with Jude!

June 1, 2012

To gratitude.

I've been complaining a lot lately.

I know this because my sweet hubby has told me so.  :-)

But here's the deal.  I'm 8 months pregnant.  I regularly feel like my legs are going to disconnect from my body and I might split down the middle.  Oh, and this week I came down with a sinus infection.

Preggo Mama + sinus infection + adorable little tiny tornado = me waving my white flag and giving up on the day.  Let's just say I'm going to need that nesting energy desperately to get things in order before #2 arrives.

So, I'm just frustrated.  My ears are still clogged and I have done everything my OB, Primary care doc, and Dr. Google have told me to to try to unclog them.  I think it is a matter of time.  I just hope it doesn't last another month.  I really hope to love on my newbie with a clear head.

BUT.  That said.  This post isn't about complaining.  In fact, even though all of the above things are true I am writing today to deliberately NOT focus on it.

Let's talk about gratitude.

Before my sister went to Jamaica we decided it would be fun to read a book together across the ocean.  Kind of a deliberate way to connect and make sure we stay in touch in the midst of our chaotic lives.  We looked at many books.  We were planning to do a Beth Moore book, but after hearing my favorite Monday morning ladies rave about this book, One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp, I suggested we maybe look at that one instead.

So, we started reading a week or two ago.  I'm only three chapters in.  But WOW.

I had never made the connection of gratitude being so connected to salvation.  To knowing God.  And to living a full life.  It's all over the bible, but why so overlooked?  In everything give thanks.  Yeah yeah yeah.  I'm thankful and I make my lists at Thanksgiving of things I'm thankful for, but really.  In everything give thanks.  After reading three chapters I'm convinced that if I truly put this into practice it would be life-changing.

The One Thousand Gifts are a list of one thousand blessings, gifts, that Ann decided to list and give thanks to God for.  One thousand ways she had received God's love.  And she was listing those blessings back to God.

So, I'm going to do the same.  Maybe not make a list of specifically 1,000, but I am going to deliberately give thanks daily.  For the everyday, mundane and for the extraordinary.  I'm going to recognize and name my blessings back to my creator.  Because I believe that in that I will find His joy.  His fullness of life.

I've never been much of a tweeter. :-)  But I've found that this might be a good avenue to share my thanks.  On twitter and instagram people will post their thanks with the hashtag #1000gifts.  I also found an iPhone app to help remind you and help you keep track.  LOVE.  So, I'm going to be doing this. :-)   If you know me on Twitter or Instagram, I'd love it if you'd join in!

It's little things like this that can make an ordinary day into something great.

I've been a bit blog-MIA in this season, but I really hope that changes soon.  This weekend I'd also like to share with you about a study I've been doing.  #SheReadsTruth - look it up. :-)  I'm loving it.