Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Daddy Helping

Precious Hands

Present at the birth was Jeff's mother, Sharon. I love this picture because it is Jeff and Sharon's hands with little Jack's footprint tying them all together.

Together At Last

Mommy and Jack


Monday, November 28, 2005

Beautiful Boy

I awoke Monday morning thinking of all the things that I needed to "do" before the day ended. Anne and Bryan were coming for a visit, the family was coming to have Thanksgiving dinner, I needed to go grocery shopping, get all the beds ready, plans the meals, clean the house, etc., etc., etc. So right then and there I decided that today was NOT the day that I was going in to labor. I had too much to do. So I worked--all day--up and down the stairs, all the groceries in the cart, out of the cart, in the car, out of the car, in the cupboards, the vaccuum cleaner upstairs, the beds made, and on the list went. I finally collapsed in my bed at 11:30 p.m. but I couldn't sleep. Nothing unusual--I hadn't slept well in weeks. I sat in bed and read a book. I must have dozed some after 1:30 a.m. At 2:10 a.m. I woke up with a bad cramp, and a warm trickle. I was shocked. I jumped out of bed and ran to the bathroom, and, thank you Lord, I made it to the toilet before the "big gush" came! So there was no mess and I was positive that my water had broken. I sat for a minute just waiting. I wasn't sure what I was waiting for--I think for contractions to immediately start or something. I woke Jeff up and broke the news to him. He took it well. Since I was not in any pain, I suggested that he take a shower and put fresh clothes on while I got the rest of my things together. By 3:30 a.m. we were on our way to the hospital, calling Grandma, Nana, Lee, Gaylene and Mark and Laurie on the way.

We got in our room at the hospital and got hooked up to all the monitors and such. From there was just sat and "relaxed" while we waited for something to happen. About 8:00 a.m. they checked me and found that I had not progressed in my dialation at all, so they started the pitocin drip. At first the contractions were very manageable, and I was enjoying the whole "labor" thing with the breathing and the relaxing. Turns out that I wasn't really doing anything and once the contractions started to come every 2 minutes and extremely hard, things got a little scary. We went from relaxed breathing to frantic "hee hee hee hoo's" in no time. It was NOT fun. At about 11:00 a.m. I started begging to be checked in case I was ready for my epidural. The nurse was skeptical that I could have progressed so far in such a short time, but she decided to humor me. Surprisingly, I was a 4! And the anesthesiologist was on his way! Dr. Hutchinson breezed in the door and became my best friend in the whole wide world! The epidural was NOT painful at all. It was very easy and I wouldn't have cared where they were sticking it, as long as it got rid of the pain. It took effect very quickly and in 15 minutes I was asking for my lipstick. From there we just played the waiting game. Everything I knew told me that it would be a long wait, but before long (just a couple of hours) I started to feel a lot of pressure and asked to be checked. I had progressed to an 8! We were so excited! By 2:30 p.m. I was complete and ready to push. It took me a little while to get the hang of the pushing thing, but I was driven by everyone's encouragement. Jeff stayed beside me the whole time, holding my hand, counting for me, taking the breath with me (and as a side note, he was also pushing with me, so much so that he had to leave the room for just a minute to, um, use the restroom). As the baby's head came out he would lean over and look down and tell me what he was seeing. We quickly ascertained that Jack had blonde hair. I pushed for about an hour and was ready to have him, when word came that my doctor was in the next room delivering another baby! So I did little "half" pushes for about 20 minutes until Dr. Harrison arrived. Then I pushed for about another 5 minutes and out he came! It was truly amazing. I don't think it could have gone more perfectly, and suddenly my greatest dream in the world was lying in my arms. I am amazed that my first birth went so smoothly, but then I shouldn't be, I had prayed for it, and God had been faithful to answer my prayers up to this point. I cannot describe the feelings that I have for this little boy. I know, every mother gets choked up about their children, so I won't gush into great detail, but I am just overwhelmed with the incredible grace of God, that He would choose to give me this gift. I am thankful, humbled, fearful and completely satisfied. Enjoy the pictures. I wish that you could all see the real thing!

Friday, November 25, 2005

Jack Douglas Gray

Our little Jack was born November 22, at 3:57 p.m. He weighed 6 lbs and 12 oz and was 19 1/2 inches long. He is PERFECT. Absolutely beautiful. The labor and delivery went great and we have been home now for 24 hours. I apologize for the sparseness of this blog, but being the holidays, we have a whole house full of family, including the big sister and brother, so things have been kind of crazy. I promise a full report with pictures and everything very soon. For now, praise God for His unbelievable grace to us in giving us this precious gift!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Week 38

I now officially have only two weeks more to go. Of course, that is really a load of hogwash since you can't tell when you're going to have a baby! Over the last couple of days I have experienced several good "signs" that would indicate the beginning of labor, but when you look it up in the books they tell you that you could go for another two or three weeks with these "signs". So, it's completely inconclusive and totally exasperating. I went all day yesterday thinking that maybe it was the "day". I even made Jeff load my suitcase in the car (which is where it will stay from now on) and strapped in the baby seat since we were going to be spending the day in Lafayette and we might need it--"just in case". Well, we didn't need it. I came home just as big and pregnant as when I had left. Oh well. I decided today when I got up that I couldn't live from minute to minute thinking that every little thing I felt was an indication of labor. I have a whole houseful of people coming for thanksgiving, including the twins (yeah!) and I need to get some work done. So today I'm going to do my best to just be normal and prepare for the holiday. I'd have to do the same thing if Jack was outside my body, so I may as well get over it and be glad that I can carry him inside, instead of in his heavy car seat!

Monday, November 14, 2005

True To Form

I'm nesting.

Last week I didn't have the energy to even get up off the couch and cross the floor to answer the phone. Today my plans include: finish painting Jack's room, vaccum the floor, shampoo the floor, and get ready to hang the border. What???!!

It might have to do with the fact that the ladies at church gave me a TERRIFIC shower yesterday, but all the presents are still in the truck because at this point the room is not ready enough to move them in. It could also be that as the time draws closer I'm freaking out a little bit about what the labor and delivery part is actually going to feel like, so I'm content with occupying my mind with other things. Or it could be that I'm just following the same form that pregnant women through the ages have followed and I'm "nesting". At any rate, I've got to go because there is just too much to do!

Friday, November 11, 2005

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Words In The Night

Since I posted about my time of "sickness" I've been finding myself thinking about that time alot. I have to say that it really was a nightmare time for me for several reasons. We were going through some trials other than the pregnancy at the time and the stress of those situations seemed to make my morning sickness that much greater. God has a way of using the choices that we make and the consequences for them to draw us closer to him, and this time was no different. During the worst times, in the middle of the night, when my husband would wake to find me moaning and thrashing around our bed, he would put his arms around me and draw me very close and start praying out loud to God to help me. In those times I felt so close to my husband, and knew beyond a doubt that God was there. I can't say that I always felt better, but somehow I was able to calm down and handle it better. I can't say enough about how much I love my husband. To me, he did the best (and only) thing that he could do for me--he brought me before God. I pray that you have a friend or close loved one that would do that for you. I am so lucky that I do! I love you, Jeffrey B!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Our Little Girl

From the moment that I discovered I was pregnant, I was SURE that I was having a girl. I don't know why, but I just felt that as the mother I had this "sense" that I would know the sex of my child. I passed this on to Jeff, who was only too happy to believe me. We named her. Grace Renae Gray. "Gracie" for short. Jeff would talk to her and I would answer back in this little Gracie voice. It was so real. I imagined what she would look like and what I would dress her in. I had her room all planned out in my mind. I saw us walking together out in the fall leaves, this little curly blonde-haired girl named Gracie. We were so excited when we went for our first ultrasound. It was an unusually clear picture. We saw her little hands, her little feet, her kidneys, her bladder, her legs, her.......what the heck was that? Um, seems that Gracie isn't a Gracie after all. We were STUNNED. Jeff was very excited. After all, he didn't care if it was a boy or a girl, and neither did I, except........if it was really a boy, then where would Gracie go? You see, she was already real in my mind. I had made her up. I was a little sad--not that I was getting a boy--but that there would be no Grace. She is still there in my mind, my little girl, just waiting for the right time. But now there is this sweet baby boy. This boy who kicks me and has the hiccups. Baby Jack, with his little foot that moves when I push on it and turns little flip flops. His room doesn't look at all like Grace's. It's red, white and blue with an American flag border on it that says the Pledge of Allegiance. All of his baby blue clothes are waiting for him to wear. I couldn't be more in love with him if I tried and he's not even here yet. Don't worry Grace, your time may come. For now my world is filled with Jack.

Little Tidbit

Ok, here's a juicy little morsel for the grandmas and the other "eager beavers" out there. I went to the doctor today and had my Strep B test done. Don't know the results yet. She also checked me and found that I am 90% effaced! For those of you who have no idea what that means, it means that the baby has dropped and pretty low down. She was surprised and said that I am more effaced than most normal first time pregnancies. She also told me to make sure that I had my bag packed and my hospital registration done. Evidentally there is some "rule" (old wives tale) that says I could deliver in a week. But we all know that it could also take MUCH longer than that and the effacement could mean nothing! But it was a good incentive for me to get the suitcase out and drop my paperwork off at the hospital. So I'm ready to go. Now I'm sure with all that done it'll be a longgggggggg wait.

For those of you who see this as too much information, I am indeed sorry, but get used to it!

Monday, November 07, 2005


I'm taking a break from "catching up" past events to write about a current event. Currently I am HUGE. I have four weeks until my due date. I am slow. I waddle. I have back spasms and leg jerks. My belly button is popping out. I wheeze when I go up the stairs (which I try not to do). I am having braxton-hicks contractions hourly (and yes, sometimes by the minute, although nothing to rush to the hospital with yet). I am miserable, and I love it. My baby is sticking his heel in my rib as I write. I can't wait to see that little heel.

I also have cravings for PIE! Any pie will do, but particularly pumpkin pie and apple pie with ice cream and caramel sauce dripped on top. MMMmmmmmmmmmmm.....

Here's a picture of a pie I made just last week. I find that my cooking skills excel with the cravings that I have. This is the best apple pie I think that I've ever eaten. My hubby is diabetic, and I think I almost killed him, but he's still alive and I got to eat my pie......(what is it about pregnancy that numbs me to the needs of those around me? What was I thinking--making a pie that I KNOW my husband shouldn't have? I have to admit though, I ate a whole lot more than he did, and not because I wouldn't share, but just because he wasn't fast enough!) Maybe he'd like to blog about my second favorite craving.......Dairy Queen Pecan Mudslides! I've been loving enough to "share" mine with him! Go ahead, darling, tell them all about it.

A Word From The Big Sister

Yep, that's my dad and step mom (she is the coolest step mom
ever!) They are very nice. I am 11 years old and have a cat named Sally. I love horses and rabbits! My favorite hobbies are soccer,horseback riding, and fourweeling. I like to hang out a lot with friends and family! I get some A's,B's, C's, and D's. I'm going to get a baby bro in a few weeks! His name is Jack Jack. Well thats all folks!

Posted by Anne-marie

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Can You say "SICK?"

I've debated about just how much of this period in my pregnancy I want to share. On one hand, it would be a great way to remind Jack of "just how much Mommy went through" with him, and on the other hand, remembering it in any amount of detail could very well be the main deterrent to having a second child. At any rate, nothing will make me forget that I was SICK.

It started out just being an afternoon thing. Around 4:00 p.m. or so I would just feel a little bit nauseous, but it was very manageable at first. A couple of weeks after that it was full-blown, 24/7, if I wasn't vomiting then I was either thinking that I was going to, or worse, wishing that I could so I could just get it over with. I think that it was also a very hard time for Jeff, because I was so miserable, and there was nothing he could do to help. I tried two prescription medications before I found the combination that would work--one B6 vitamin and one Unisom tablet taken simultaneously. It knocked me out, but, what a relief that was! My constant morning sickness lasted into my 4th month, and then it started to taper off, much like it had begun. Here are some interesting statistics for you......

How it started: a strange metallic taste in my mouth
What seemed to help: Nothing, really, although it seemed to be more bearable if I ate
What I really didn't want to do: Eat
What I ate: Mashed potatoes and gravy, Banquet frozen dinners (more specifically turkey with dressing and mashed potatoes, and yankee pot roast with mashed potatoes)
Weird cravings: None at this time. It was more of what "sounded" like it might stay down if I ate it
How I slept at night: Sitting up in the bed, leaning over my husband's legs. I have no idea why this helped, but it was the only position that I could get to sleep in. Once I fell asleep I would be able to lay back down after a while, but I could never fall asleep in a lying down position.
What disgusted me most: Smells. Any pregnant woman will tell you that it really is the smell of something that will get you. Also, kissing. I could NOT stand to have something covering my mouth. My poor, newly wed husband went through several different brands and flavors of toothpaste trying to make his mouth more appealing. Poor baby. He was glad when that part finally started to subside.
Most miserable moments: Jeff took me with him to Milwaukee on a work weekend. We stayed in this quaint little hotel with an Irish pub attached. The room was very romantic, it was springtime, I love Milwaukee, I was free to explore downtown while Jeff worked, and all of our meals were covered by Jeff's work. I spent the whole time in the hotel room, too sick to even watch TV. When I wasn't in the hotel, I was with Jeff at work (after hours), laying in the floor of one of the bosses' office.

You know, that memory is enough to make me stop thinking about it. Time to move on to better things.