I'll try to do the best I can blogging so I can keep everyone updated on how we are doing! If you haven't heard already, Emory Ryan Arnold was born at 9:45 on Tuesday, November 17th. Here is our birth story:

From my previous post, you can figure I was a little leary about going to the hospital if I didn't know for sure that Emory was coming then. I was a little bummed Monday night because of the whole fiasco that we had gone through on Sunday. I decided to get the Christmas decorations down (or have Andy get them down) from the attic in case I didn't have time to put them up later. I took my time decorating and got a few things put up when I started to have lots of cramping. I thought a bath would make me feel better. I took my time bathing and even shaved my legs, but mid-bath I heard a loud POP noise and automatically thought that my water may have broken since I had heard my sister say the same thing when she was in labor...but it was impossible to tell because I was in the bathtub! I got out and dried off and then realized that no matter how much I dried off, I wasn't getting dry! After a quick call to Medical Exchange to make sure I should come in (and was very happily surprised to get in touch with my own doctor who was on call!), we grabbed our bags and headed to the hospital!

The snap in weather and meteor shower are what people keep saying were the reasons why Emory was baby number 11 born that night. When we got to the hospital we had to wait about 30-45 minutes for a room, and my contractions keep getting stronger and stronger, though it was mostly all in my lower back. We finally got a room and they set me up with an epidural, which wiped out all of the pain! I even got to get some rest while we all waited for me to dilate. Andy was so great the entire time and did whatever I needed to make me feel comfortable, and I was so blessed to have him there!

I started feeling a lot of pressure on my sciatic nerve on the left side as well as increasing pain on the left side around 8 a.m. but the nurses were worried that more medicine would interfere with my ability to push, so I did without another dose of medicine. My epidural bag by that time was empty and starting to wear off, and I could really feel it on the left side. Finally the nurse said it was time to start pushing and informed me that since it was my first baby, we would most likely have to push for 1-2 hours. The first thought in my mind was that I wouldn't survive pushing for 1-2 hours! Around 9:35 we started pushing, and within minutes of extremely hard pushing the nurse had to call Dr. Garner to come over. After only 9 minutes of pushing and 6 contractions total, Emory made her way into the world!

She weighed a whopping 8 pounds and 10 ounces and was 20 1/4 inches long!! We were all so surprised at how big she was and how fast I was able to push her out, but nothing can stop a woman who has her mind made up!

The next few hours were a whirlwind. We got to go home the next day around 1:30 after meeting with my doctor, Emory's Pediatrician, and the lactation nurse twice. We were so happy to be home!

I wasn't feeling all that great on the way home or that night. I had neck and shoulder pain that was so excruciating that I couldn't turn my head from side to side, and along with that I had intense headaches. The headaches were so bad when I first stood up in the morning that it knocked me back down onto the bed. I felt great other than these thigns, but everyone kept saying that the headaches were from getting used to feeding her and that my neck pain was from the extremely hard pushing I had done in the hospital. No matter what we did, nothing helped the neck pain. My feet also had begun to swell considerably - even more than in the hospital.

On Friday Andy and I decided to take a trip to Babies R Us, but when we got there I was feeling really bad and decided to call Medical Exchange to figure out what I should do about the headaches that we now figured were spinal headaches. The nurse told me that I needed to head to the Emergency Room. We were both very scared and apprehensive as we made our way to the E.R. Andy took Emory down the street from the hospital to a friend's house while my sister came and sat with me in the E.R. As we sat there for hours waiting to be called, we realized that Emory hadn't had a bowel movement in over 24 hours and that my feet were so swollen that I was most likely incredibly dehydrated. We tried to call the lactation nurse numerous times but it was after hours so we didn't get a response.

After about 4 hours in the waiting room we finally got pulled back and the dr. immediately knew what was wrong with me; I was very dehydrated and needed some pain meds for my neck and shoulder pain. Andy came up with Emory since I was now in a small partitioned room and we waited another hour or two for the fluids to come. Finally, around 11:30 we were discharged from the E.R. and headed home.

This morning I felt a thousand times better, but Emory still was dehydrated. It had been about 30 or more hours since she had had a bm so we were really getting worried. We finally got in touch with both the lactation nurse and the nurse on call at the Pediatricians office, who gave us some advice on what we could try to stimulate her to go. It worked!! I have never been so happy to see poop in my life!!

Now, we are all feeling better. I still have a lot of headaches but have some pretty good medicines to take in the morning (they are loaded with caffeine so I can't take until the morning) but my neck and shoulder pain are feeling much better and Emory is getting back to normal. It has been a great but exhausting week for us.

Andy and I never imagined all you could feel for such a little person that you have never met before, but she has us both wrapped around her fingers. We are so thankful that she is doing well and can't wait to move forward, but I am trying to cherish every moment because I know it won't last for very long.

Just a quick thank you to everyone for your Facebook comments, texts, calls, food brought, etc. We are so blessed to have such loving friends and family and I can't wait for Emory to meet every one of you!!

I'm going to attempt to keep this updated, as I said earlier, so everyone will be able to keep up while I'm off work. Now it's time to get about an hour of sleep before our next feeding! But, again, I wouldn't have it any other way :)

*Pictures to Come*

Psalms 127:3
"Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward."


Contractions but No Baby...

I wasn't sure if I wanted to blog about this because right now I'm very tired, frustrated, and anxious, and having another light contraction. But, I know it will be good for me to get it out.

Last night around 10:30 I started having very light contractions. I thought they were nothing at first, but then the longer that I had them the more regular they became, so I thought they could be the real thing. I waited for awhile and then decided to just go to bed around 12:30, thinking that the real thing will wake me up. Well, I was woken up around 2 to very strong contractions that I began timing. They were falling right at 3-4 minutes apart and were more and more uncomfortable. Of course, I have never had a baby before, so I didn't know if I should go in or not. Andy and I decided that it would be much better to go in and see then not.

We arrived at Baptist at 2:30 and I was hooked up to the contraction machine and the baby monitor. My contractions were still a steady 3-4 minutes apart on the machine, but when the nurse checked me, I was only 2 cm dilated and 80% effaced. The on-call Doctor, Dr. Wyatt, made his way in and looked at the machine. He then gave me two options..."Well, I can break your water and you'll have this baby, or we can wait and see." I was pretty shocked. I had no idea he would even mention that breaking my water was an option. I turned to Andy and his immediate response was "We'll wait." (Score one for my husband for thinking clearly).

Dr. Wyatt then said he would go home and get some rest and maybe see me back in a little while. The nurse turned off our lights so we could both get some rest, which I was unable to do because of my increasing pain with the contractions. I had a lot of lower back pain and was just very tired and also very hungry since I hadn't eaten since 8:30 the night before (this was now around 3-4 a.m.). Andy fell asleep in the chair next to the bed. Finally, at 5 a.m., the nurse came in to check me again and I had not changed. She offered to let me walk around but I was just too exhausted to do much of anything. We discussed my options at that point and she said she thought I was probably in early labor and that I should probably wait for Dr. Wyatt to make his rounds in a few hours and then go from there, but she wasn't sure what time that would be since it was the weekend. She mentioned that if I had let him break my water, I would have had a baby in the next 18-24 hours, and my immediate thought was EIGHTEEN to TWENTY FOUR HOURS!? I don't want to be in labor for 18 to 24hours! So I say to the nurse, "I guess I'm just afraid I'll have to be induced." which point she responds, "If your cervix doesn't respond, they will start Pitocin and you'll have to be induced."

This is not in my plans at all. My doctor and I have talked about induction but only if I go over my due date, so Andy and I were again reassured that our decision to wait was best. The nurse left the room and I slept for awhile. When she came back in, I let her know that I was very hungry and feeling nauseated - by this time it had been about 10 hours since I had last eaten, which is not favorable for gestational diabetes. I was worried about my sugar as well as the baby's sugar. She checked my sugar which was getting low and said that they couldn't let me eat as long as I stayed there. She said she would check me again to see if I had made any progress and that would determine if I should stay or not.

This time, I had almost reached a 3. After she checked me, she said I had made progress and asked me what I wanted to do. I had no idea. I was so tired and uncomfortable, but I was starving and the thought of waiting for Dr. Wyatt to come back whenever he felt ready to was not very pleasing. Andy then said, "if we leave we can get you some food and you can rest at home in your bed." (Score two for my husband for being thoughtful and again, thinking clearly when I clearly was NOT). I looked at the nurse who FINALLY gave me a straight answer - "if I were your mom, I'd tell you to go home and get some rest." That was all I needed to hear from both of them to say I was ready to go home.

My last question for the nurse was "If I am already having contractions 3-4 minutes apart, how will I know when to come back?" She told me my contractions should get a lot more painful and to come when they got to that point. So, Andy and I left, went to McDonalds so I could get a sausage biscuit and some water, and then I returned home and slept from around 7 a.m. to about 1 p.m.

It was an exhausting night. As soon as we got in the car leaving the hospital I was overwhelmed with so many emotions and just burst into tears. It was probably from being overly tired, anxious, and hungry as well as a low blood sugar on top of everything, but I was just simply overwhelmed. Andy was so great at calming me down and again when I woke up around 1 p.m. and was upset again. He offered to take me to get some lunch and said we could go wherever I wanted to since I probably needed to walk some. Andy is not a big shopper, but went with me to walk around the entire Target store and then Kirklands, and then we went to Lowe's (his choice of course).

What a fabulous husband I have.

Anyway, to sum it all up, we have an appointment in the morning at 9:40 to see my Doctor, but I am so relieved that Andy helped me think clearly and make the decision not to have them break my water. Since I was only 2 cm at that point, it could have easily lead to an emergency c-section. Even though Andy and I had no idea what we were doing or why we were making that decision, I feel that God was leading us in the situation. We had no idea what breaking my water would mean at the time, but somehow something made Andy say no. Although you never know how a birth can turn out and there may eventually be some reason as to why I need a c-section at last minute, I am reassured that at least it will be for different reasons.

So today is week 39 and the day my mom picked for Emory's arrival. I guess she didn't get the date right, either. But I'm okay with that.

Romans 8:28
"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."


Just So You Know

Who knew I would blog this much at the end of my pregnancy? Probably because each day feels like a week!!

Just so you know...

I'm emotional.
I'm extremely moody.
I'm tired.
I'm in pain sometimes...
and then I'm not.
I'm frustrated.
...but then thankful.
I'm overwhelmed.
I'm sick of going to work.
I'm anxious!!

How many times I've heard that the last month of pregnancy was the absolute worst, and how many times did I ignore it and think, it can't be that bad? What was I thinking? I'm so happy to be at this point and to be healthy with a healthy baby inside, but I get so overwhelmed just letting the time tick away and nothing is happening. I am only 38 weeks 2 days now so I still have a week and a half until my due date, but man, is it going by so s l o w.

Today we had our 38 week appointment. Dr. Garner said everything still looks good. He said expect at any time the "thief in the night" (when we left I told Andy I'll be welcoming to the thief!!). He told me when to go to the hospital and we talked about what may happen if she doesn't come by 40 weeks. I asked him how long he lets women go after their due date before inducing and he said usually a week, but that would put us on Thanksgiving weekend which would not work for either of us, so if that point comes he will check my cervix and then re-assess where to go from there.

I'm trying to be positive and am so hopeful that she comes in the next week and a half!

On a happier note, I had a great birthday on Saturday. I spent the day shopping and relaxing and eating with my family. My wonderful hubby got me a North Face jacket (he remembered from last Christmas that I wanted one!!), my mom got me an iPhone (finally, a phone that works!) and my mother-in-law got me a 1 hour pregnancy massage that I have scheduled for tomorrow afternoon!! I'm pretty excited and had a great last birthday before becoming a mommy.

That is all for now. We are in the process of cleaning out the extra bedroom, which has left our house in a disaster, so I'm slightly overwhelmed thinking that she could come and we would have to bring her home to this disaster! Better get to work on that...until next time...

Ps. 46:1
"God is our refuge and strength; an ever-present help in trouble."


Another Week Down and Happy 26th!

Well, I have made it through another work week! I have been saying for the past few weeks that I'd like to make it through this first week of November so I can get all of my November evaluations done at work, and today I finished up the last of them. I left a stack of envelopes on my desk to mail out and instructions on top in case I don't show up on Monday. Not that I have a feeling or anything that I won't be there, but I just want to be prepared in case I'm not there. My job at work is pretty independent and no one really knows all that I do so I definitely wanted to make sure there were specific instructions laid out for my Director!

This week has been one very crazy week at work. My friend Angela started her NEW job as a Marketing Rep for Rivendell on Monday so it has been lonely without her there, and some other staff changes surprised us all, but we made it through. Tomorrow is also my 26th birthday! I am super excited because it just means another day closer to Emory's arrival. I have been told of a variety of "natural" ways to induce labor, such as walking, eating pineapple, etc., etc., so maybe tomorrow I will start trying a few of them and just see if it aids the process any! My dad and brother-in-law got home from Nebraska today so now I feel a lot better about Emory's arrival since they will both be able to be there!

So far I am feeling pretty good. I have good days and bad days. Last night I had my first 9 month pregnant hormonal breakdown. I think I was just overwhelmed and tired. I was a little upset so I went to lay down in the bed and Andy walked in and being the wonderful husband he is started lifting my feet up to prop up on some pillows. I took one look at my swollen feet and burst into tears! He climbed into bed with me and held me and talked to me while I got it all out. I was pretty exhausted and just kept saying, "I'm so tired of being pregnant!" I don't feel that way all the time, but the last month is definitely hard! I'm so thankful for such a loving husband who makes me feel better all the time and really takes care of me! I know he is also so ready for Emory to be here and that it's on both of our minds all the time. Every morning when I wake up he says, "how do you feel this morning?" and throughout the day I'll get a random text from him just asking if I'm feeling okay. I am definitely blessed to have such a great husband!!

We still have some stuff to do around the house that I'd like to tackle this weekend...yeah, right! I keep saying that but it never happens. We'll see! At least Emory's room is done!

I almost forgot to say that so many people, especially at our Sunday school, have been so nice to me lately! I have had various older men tell me that I am just beautiful and have never looked better. I have also had a host of my co-workers and friends tell me how great I look. This has really lifted me up when I feel bad and I'm so thankful for all of my wonderful friends and co-workers!!

That's about all...this post was pretty uneventful, but we are really just watching the time tick away at this point.

Ephesians 5:25
"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the ecclesia and gave himself up for her."


Slacker at 37 Weeks

Yes, I do realize that I'm a slacker. It has been another crazy past few weeks and I haven't posted much at all. I finally took a picture yesterday to document the 37 week milestone mark - officially full term!!

Andy and I have been very busy lately. Between us both working and both being in school as well as try to prepare for Emory, there isn't a lot of time for other things. When I get home from work there is always so much that I want to do but my gigantic swollen feet won't allow it, so many times I have to put those things on hold and sit on the couch for awhile. I guess that would be the perfect time to start blogging but I have also started my last MBA course ever!! In 5 weeks I will be completely finished with my MBA with emphasis in Health Care Management. I'm so excited to be done but also wish that I was in my last week right now so I don't have to wonder how the last 2-4 weeks of class will be with a newborn. I have an amazing family and husband so hopefully I'll pull through just fine and finish up nicely :)

My family has started making bets on Emory's arrival. Andy - 12th, Mom - 15th, Brenna - 16th, Annette - 18th. Andy asked me last night what date I had picked and I just couldn't pick one. I can't do that to myself at this point since I am already so anxious, tired, and hormonal!

The last month of pregnancy is just what I had always heard it was - tough. I have short bursts of nesting energy but they are quickly drained by extreme fatigue. My feet are huge, I can barely walk, there's lots of pressure and random pains. I have started having lots of cramping and lower back pain as well as pressure and occasional contractions. Nothing is consistent, though, and this could definitely go on for a few more weeks until she comes. This week I am trying to finish up all of my work for November. My birthday is Saturday, and after this work week I think I'll be perfectly ready and waiting for her to come since I will be able to take my mind off of work completely!

Andy and I go to the doctor again on Wednesday and I'm excited about this! We are also going tomorrow for our carseat check at ACH.

In other news ... there really isn't any other news. This may be incredibly boring, but being 9 months pregnant completely consumes me and at this point that's pretty much all that I think about!

Here are two pictures taken this weekend. The first is me at 36 weeks 6 days teaching the preschool class at our November gathering. My sister snapped it when I wasn't paying attention, but you can really see my belly :)

This next one is me after meeting on Sunday at 37 weeks. Wow, I look HUGE. That's okay, 'cause I feel huge, too.

Hopefully my next post will be of us in the hospital...but I'll try not to hold my breath :)

Psalms 37:5
"Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass."