Monday, February 22, 2010

My Sweet Oma

I meant to write this publish this post a while ago, but I got a little busy. I have been now an entire week without my mom's help and I have missed her every second. I have been so blessed with a husband who serves me nonstop and without a word of complaint, but there is just something so special about having your mom with you after you have a baby.

I have always had a great relationship with my mom. We talk often and easily. She is so compassionate and tender hearted. I would bet your a million bucks that you will never find a woman who loves God or her family more. I adore my mom and have always wanted to be like her. Well this time with her increased that love for her even more.

Mom and dad came up about a week before she was born and mom stayed for two weeks after. She was such a blessing to Jonathan and I. She cleaned every day and helped take Penny in the early hours of the morning so that we could get more sleep. She would take little Pen and read to her what she was reading in her quiet times. REALLY?!! Amazing!! My mom is so incredible and Penny is lucky that she has two sets of Grandparents that love her and more importantly, the Lord.

Not only did my mom work for endless hours serving us, but she also made me laugh, comforted me when I cried and encouraged me. She is so much fun and there were times that we would wake up Jona because we were laughing so hard. I miss her like crazy and am counting down the minutes that she can come see us again. I love you Oma!!

An Adjustment

I literally only have like 5 minutes to write this post. I will even be surprised if I don't get interrupted in the middle of those 5 minutes :). I am amazed when I get to the end of the day and find out that the only things I've accomplished are eating a bagel and showering.

I cannot tell you how much I love being a mom. I'm not sure how great I am at it, but I do know that God has made me for this. I love Penny so much!! She is the biggest blessing to Jona and I. Yesterday she turned one month old and I can't even believe it! It feels like I just came home from the hospital yesterday. Sometimes it feels that way too.

Recovering from this c-section has been so weird. I have moments where I feel better than ever and then the next I feel like I just got cut open again. I am ready for these restrictions to pass. It's hard to not be able to drive or pick up anything, but I can see why they don't want you to.

Emotionally I have been a total wreck. I am so confused about the post partum depression stuff. I wouldn't say I'm depressed at all. As a matter of fact, I can't think of a time that I was happier. Its just that I am SO emotional!! I have at least one major break down every day and it's always over something so stupid. The other day I decided to let Penny "cry it out" because I was trying to get a couple of things done. She was screaming and I was afraid a blood vessel would burst in her little head or her eyeballs would pop out. When I finally decided to pick her up I discovered she was covered in poo. I know its not a big deal, but I felt SO bad. I don't know how long I cried about it afterwards. I love her so much that I don't want to do things that would cause her harm or discomfort. Before you skip right to the comments to tell me that I'm crazy and that if I love her I will eventually have to let it go, I understand all that. It's just that in the moment it seemed a little much.

Stupid huh? I am not a fan of the hormones. I wish that I could get back to normal, but it's obvious that God wants to teach me through this. My mother-in-law was such a huge comfort to me the other night. She gently told me that everything was okay and that everyone goes through this. I was so incredibly thankful for her encouragement to me.

Before you think that our home is just filled with poopy babies and free flowing tears, I have to tell you that it isn't. Jonathan and I laugh all the time at this cute little baby. She is so funny sometimes and it cracks me up that she was born with this permanent scowl on her face. It's like she is always saying, "really?! You can't do any better than that?". We call her "squeaker" and "monkey" and for some reason my weird husband has taken to calling her "beagle". She is going to be so confused about her animals in a couple of years. :)

Anyway, I'm loving this time. I wish that it would just stop and I could bask in every second of this little blessing! I'm shocked that Pen has actually stayed quiet long enough for me to post a couple of pictures of her!!

In explanation, a sweet friend and teacher over at SCCS offered to come over and take pictures of Penny. I had no idea how amazing they would turn out!! Thank you so much Darcy! We have another friend who will be coming over soon to take more pictures of her. We can't have enough of our little Monkey! :)

I think the only physical quality of mine that Pen has is my toes :)

Pen's has taken to smiling in her sleep.

She loves her tongue :)
By the way, an awesome woman from my home church, Gale Light, made
Penny the beautiful hat and blanket that she's laying on. I LOVE THEM!!

This is my favorite face Pen makes.
I always take it to mean she wants a kiss from her mama :)

This is my absolute favorite picture of the bunch!

Thank you so much Darcy!!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Beautiful Pacific Northwest

Pen, Jona and I are up in gorgeous Washington. We came up here last week right after Penny's two week appointment. It may have been a little crazy to make the trip so soon but I am so thankful we came! Penny was unbelievable, she didn't cry at all. As a matter of fact I think I cried more than she did :) It was pretty uncomfortable at the end of the trip but we went with our doctor's blessing and got plenty of pain meds and instructions to get out and walk every two hours.

Penny is doing great and is filling my heart with love more and more every day. She has loved making her mommy stay up all night long trying to figure out why she's fussy. I'm starting to learn her cries and what they mean. She sleeps all day long and I think she gets mad at us for wanting to sleep when she's wide awake. It is a little hard at times, especially with these hormones but I really have never been happier to be this tired. As a matter of fact, I LOVE IT!!

I've been so thankful for my family. They have served us and just loved on all three of us while we've been here. My mom is absolutely incredible. She takes Penny every morning so that I can get a couple more hours of sleep and I am eternally thankful! I will write more about my mom and how awesome she has been to us in my next post.

It is so sad to live away from my family. I know people at times probably just think I should grow up and get over it, but it is hard to be away from them. I am trying so hard to be thankful for the time we do get with them, but I know it is so hard for them to have to live away from their new little grand daughter. Please pray for them if you think of it. I am thankful that Penny gets to live close to our other parents so that she has grandparents and uncles and an aunt who can love on her in California, but it would be great if we could all be together too.

The c-section recovery is going pretty well, I think. It is so weird because one hour I feel great and then the next I'm needing help just to walk. Jonathan has been checking my incision to make sure its not infected (sorry if that's gross) and its not, but it still REALLY stings sometimes. I think my biggest problem is that I am just SO tired. Between Penny's night time freak outs and these pain meds I am really struggling to stay awake. I'm hoping that when we get home I can just crash and sleep for the next three weeks.

Yesterday I miraculously got back to my pre-pregnancy weight. I gained 37 pounds in total. I totally thought I would be one of those women who gain 100 pounds with their pregnancy. I probably should have with how much pasta I ate! I think about 20 of the pounds I lost was just from water alone. The sad thing is that my pre-pregnancy weight is about 50 pounds heavier than my pre-wedding weight so I have a lot of work to do! I can't wait to heal and get into a routine so I can be healthy again.

Today my PRECIOUS home church threw us a shower. My best friend, Amy Carruthers hosted it and did an amazing job. It was such a blessing to us. These women only had a weeks notice but still took their Saturday morning and brought Penny some of the most adorable clothes and other helpful and wonderful gifts. I was so overwhelmed by their love for our little family. I love my church in California but I have never seen another church like Grace Bible in Marysville. They really know how to be a family of believers. I love them so much!

We are going to church tomorrow and then leaving Monday morning to head back home. I am not looking forward to the drive but it will be good to get back to our friends and family in California and hopefully I will get even more of an opportunity to heal.

Sorry for the random post. I keep being told that I need to blog more. I'm not exactly sure why but I will try to oblige my 3 readers. :)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

She's Here!!!

I cannot believe I have been a mom for two weeks now! I've been wanting to post before now but I haven't been able to find the energy to sit at the computer. I'll try to recap everything that I remember about Penny's birth and I promise that I won't be to graphic :) If it bores you to tears you can just skip to the end to see pictures of our little girl.

I also want to give a disclaimer. As a pregnant woman, I never particularly enjoyed when women would come up and tell me their horror stories about their experience with birth. If you are yet to deliver, maybe don't read this. If you do, just remember, anything "bad" that happened to me wasn't the norm and probably won't happen to you. Overall, it was incredible and so much easier than I thought it would be.

We went in to Glendale Adventist on January 20th at 1:30pm to be induced. I was pretty nervous but knew that I was in for a long couple of days. They checked us into our room and started me on an IV and all that fun stuff. As insignificant as it may seem, the bed they gave me was HORRIBLE. It was broken and I felt like I was laying on a cement slab. They started me on cervadil because I still hadn't progressed at all since my appointment. That was extremely uncomfortable. As it turns out, I was already having contractions 3 to 5 minutes apart. I had been having them for a few days as well as some more significant back pain, but I thought back labor and contractions were supposed to be way more painful so I didn't really think anything of it. I spent the day with my family and Jonathan's family. They came and visited me several times and we just hung out and laughed together.

By midnight my back was really starting to hurt and even though my contractions weren't unbearable I decided to call for the epidural. We were told by the nurse that the anesthesiologist that was on duty was really good so if we were going to get the epidural, we should get it in the wee hours of the morning before she went off of her shift. I have never ever been told a bigger lie!! The anesthesiologist was really not my friend. I don't want to complain, because over all it really was a great experience but this was not my favorite part.

I was told it would take at least an hour for her to come so I called early to mentally prepare myself for the epidural. She ended up being available right at that moment so she walked right in and said, in a very quiet but THICK Russian accent, "Sit up and arch your back, don't move or I'll kill you." Okay, she didn't say that last part but that's what it felt like. She even yelled at Jona for something. We weren't really sure what she said, but it was enough to scare us. I was trying to hold on to Jona and brace myself for the first stick. That was no big deal, but immediately afterwards I felt a knife enter my spine. I felt all of it, she didn't numb it properly because she said the "space was too deep". She yelled at me to arch my back so I tried, then yelled at me again for moving. Our nurse was very kind and was trying to interpret exactly what she wanted me to do. I was crying at the point and told Jonathan that I changed my mind and I don't want an epidural anymore. The anesthesiologist told me it was too late and that she had to do it all over again. The second time was much better but I was pretty upset from the experience.

I went numb pretty quickly and fell asleep pretty soon. I woke up a while later shaking like crazy and I vomited quite a few times. I know it sounds kinda bad, but it really wasn't. I couldn't believe that the process was really that easy. I wasn't in that much pain and the shaking and puking wasn't killing me. I was feeling pretty good. The second day was a little harder. I was progressing through the night and my contractions were 1 to 2 minutes apart. Things were looking really good.

I ended up getting a really bad backache and migraine from the bed and the epidural but my dear friends Rachel and Michelle helped my through a lot of the pain. At about 1pm the top of my neck was starting to feel numb and my entire chest was numb from the epidural as well as my blood pressure dropping so they turned off the epidural and I had to wait for the new anesthesiologist to come in and adjust it. That was supposed to take 20 minutes but it took almost 3 hours so I started to feel the heavy contractions. Even still, it wasn't that bad.

Around 3pm I had stopped at 7cm. Penny's head wasn't engaging so they started talking about a c-section. I prepared myself for it and was starting to get excited about the prospect of getting it all over with and finally meeting my baby. At about 6:30 the nurse checked me and told me that her head had dropped and that it would be a vaginal birth after all. I tried to prepare myself for that shift and was beginning to be ok with it again, when my doctor came in and said we need to do a c-section because my pelvis was too small and her head was too big. So we flipped again. They said the OR was open and I would be having my c-section in 15 minutes!

Jona got suited up and I was prepped. I got to see my parents and laugh a little bit and then they wheeled me into the OR. I prayed that God would help me to be calm and that I wouldn't feel anything. They made Jona wait for a little while and the new anesthesiologist (who I loved) started getting me ready. I threw up several times because of the big boost of drugs but besides that I loved the c-section. I shook a lot but was not in pain and I enjoyed looking into my husband's beautiful brown eyes as he stroked my face and wiped my tears.

At 7:35 pm, I heard the doctor say "here she is" and I saw Jona's tears. It was quite possibly the sweetest moment of my life to hear her sweet little squeaks and see my husband immediately fall in love with this little baby. Penny never cried, which worried me a little bit but it was just an indication of what a mellow baby she is. Jona cut the cord and got to bring her over to me and I got to kiss my little girl. Jonathan was able to record both of us meeting her and since her birth we have watched it probably 20 times with massive smiles on our faces.

Things went a little downhill from there as there was a drug mix-up in the recovery room. It's a long story, but basically, due to a drug allergy I wasn't given medication to help once the epidural wore off. I was in the worst pain of my life. I remember screaming as Jonathan tried to comfort me and hold my hand. It took about 4 hours before they got the situation under control and we had to deal again with the first anesthesiologist. Once everything sorted out I finally got to go back to my room and hold little Penny.

It was sometimes a little annoying during the pregnancy when I was told 5 billion times how worth it it would be. I knew that it would. I never questioned that. But, I had no clue HOW worth it. I held that sweet little swollen baby in my arms and my heart swelled with love. I didn't sleep for one second that night. I just stared at my little angel and thanked the Lord for her.

We stayed in the hospital for 3 more nights and were blessed to be visited by several friends and family members. We struggled a lot with feeding, but a few days out of the hospital we were able to get together with a lactation specialist and things are very slowly getting better.

I have never in my life been happier. I love this family God has blessed me with and I am amazed at how my love has grown for Jona as I have watched him love our daughter. I could write books about how sweet she is and how much fun we are having with her (eventually, I may try :)) but for now I'll just post some pictures.

Meeting My Little Girl

Penny meeting her Oma Zimmer

Penny Meeting Her Papa Zimmer

Penny Meeting Her Grandma Johnson

Penny Meeting Her Grandpa Johnson

Penny & Her Daddy

Pen & I Taking A Nap

We Get To Go Home!!!

Sweet Little Penny

I will try to write more soon about life as little Penelope Mae's mommy! Thanks for your prayers!