Monday, December 31, 2012

3 Months...and a super late post on Thanksgiving.

Life has been super busy around here with all of the holidays, family time, and going back to work a few hours a week. Silas is growing bigger, longer, and cuter each day; he is such a joy!

This little nugget is always smiling and getting very talkative. He makes so many sounds, some of which sound like the actual word or phrase, such as "hi", "hello", "good", "I love you", and "God bless you" after he sneezes. I know, he's only 3 months old, but this boy is a quick learner!

One thing I'm very excited about is how much Silas loves to be read to, especially from his "Jesus Storybook Bible". He's also a big fan of "Curious George" and "I Like Trucks". I love that he has such rapt attention for reading :).

Silas is a big mover. He is able to roll from his belly to his back from both directions and already tries to roll from his back to his belly! I've also found him a few times rotated a quarter turn from where I originally placed him.

We celebrated Thanksgiving at our house this year; it was so nice to not drive hundreds of miles in one day like we usually do!

 Adam was in charge of the turkey...yay for me!

 Lane and Adam enjoying some playtime with the sacrificial bird.

 Silas was pretty exhausted from all the festivities.

 I had everyone write things they were thankful for. My personal favorites were "awkward silence", "bad dancing", and "skinny jeans". I went for the obvious: Adam and Silas ;).

Thanksgiving weekend, we drove to Kentucky to visit Adam's grandparents and to watch AL beat Auburn. Silas also got to meet his cousins Romie and Knox.
 Sweet, precious boys! Knox is telling Silas a secret.

 After awhile, getting your picture taken gets tiring.

 Grandma Carol and two of her great grand babies.

 Adam and Silas practiced their planking abilities.

 Silas won a wrestling match with his Daddy.

Four generations of Elmore men: Grandpa George, Adam, my father-in-law Greg, and Silas.

On his 3 month birthday, Silas finally met Baldy who was also celebrating a birthday: his 93rd! It was so sweet to watch my grandpa with my son; he kept saying things such as, "He's a good boy!", "He's good looking!". Baldy can be a pickle sometimes, but I love him anyway. I hope that Silas not only bears Baldy's name (William, not Baldy), but will also have a love for making music.

Proud Baldy!

Look at that precious face! I am constantly amazed at how much I love him...my heart feels like it's missing when I go to work. Being Silas' Mommy is the best job I've ever had :)

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

All About Silas: Months One and Two

Life with your first little one: people can tell you their stories, you can read books, but nothing truly prepares you for all of the great (and tough) things that come with a newborn. First, I have to say that we have only had a few rough moments, most of which happened as Adam and I adjusted to less sleep when we first brought Silas home. There is a need for lots of grace when you're both extremely tired and your baby is screaming at different intervals throughout the night. Silas only screamed like that a few times in the early weeks and now just whimpers when he's hungry or needs to be changed. I am very thankful that we have a very sweet, fairly easy, baby :).

I promise Silas could breathe in this picture!

What a face!

We have learned a lot about this little boy the past 7 weeks; here are some highlights:

Silas LOVES being held! He just wants to hang out in someone's arms or laps and will often fall asleep. He also sleeps best when right next to someone which means that we are co-sleeping by pure accident, thanks to breastfeeding. I figure we can break "bad" habits later: it's also terribly delicious to have a sleeping baby cradled in your arms. He does not like to sleep in a room by himself; he can sense that he's the only one there. We are finding that he sleeps great in his bassinet or swing during the day as long as we are in that room, which is very doable.

Silas also seems to be a very intelligent and wise, young man. Adam and I often get the feeling that he is pondering great truths and solving wonderful mysteries because of the intensity at which he looks at things. We also know he is taking everything in since he is just a baby, but perhaps Proverbs could be referring to a baby when it says there is great wisdom in silence ;).  He does try to communicate through various grunts and sweet cooing sounds though. My favorite is when he looks really excited and then gets very still and says, "Aah-ooo"; it slays me with cuteness! He's beginning to laugh and giggle too.

Silas is very social and likes to go on outings whether it's watching football or going to a wedding, he is a great sport!

1 week old with game faces on!

My Dad, Silas, and Adam enjoying music at my cousin's wedding.

Proud grandparents :)

Walking around the Greene Street Market. It looks like he's saying, "Have you thought about this?"

We love the fall and one day decided to take Silas to Monte Sano for a hike to look at all the changing leaves. He slept in the Moby Wrap until the hike was over, but we got some great pictures.

 I accidentally cut Adam out of this one to capture Silas' smile.

My funny boys.

Silas has to be the most easy-going baby ever! He likes car rides and walking around whether being held, wrapped in his Moby, or chilling in his stroller. He loves to look at anything with light. Perhaps all babies are like that, but I also prayed that Silas would be attracted and drawn to light so that he can relate to needing Jesus, the Light that removes all darkness. 

We went to Tate Farms and took lots of pictures of our little guy with all the pumpkins. He was a great model :)

 Check out those gorgeous eyes!

 This is one of my favorites.

 I'll take this good looking pumpkin, please!

 Family portrait.

 Hugging a pumpkin.

 We picked out this tiny pumpkin and a larger one to put him in (pictures to come later).

 Silas is still so little! He weighed between 8-9 pounds according to their scales.

Silas is a Baby Ruth candy bar for Halloween so he would fit in with our 1920's theme. He is much sweeter than the candy bar. The poor guy may have dents in his head from all of the kisses Daddy and I give him daily.

The other thing we have learned about Silas is how much we love him and how that love grows deeper  with each smile, cry, grasping of our fingers, laugh, etc. Children really are an amazing gift from God! Adam and I both have found deeper understanding of God's love for us as we stumble through our imperfect love for Silas. If we, being sinful and imperfect, would do anything to prevent Silas any heartache and to do everything we can to provide richly for any of his needs, how can we ever doubt how much more God loves and provides for us since He is perfect? Silas is a wonderful piece to the mysterious ways of the Lord :). My cup overflows....

Friday, September 21, 2012

Silas' Debut

The Lord really convicted me the last few weeks of pregnancy;  I love that He uses every day life to show us His character and to steer our hearts in the right direction. I became convicted not because of my excitement about how Silas could come at any moment, but how I have never felt that excitement about Jesus coming back at any moment. There are so many parallels between different stages of life and God's Word and I have found that pregnancy and labor have given me so many new insights I never had before. For example, having the excitement and anticipation about Silas' arrival and how that parallels with Christ's return, the pain and endurance of labor and how that correlates with painful trials we experience before we come face to face with our King, and how no matter how much we can dream or think about it, we just don't know how amazing and wonderful it will be to touch and see our Savior for the first time.

As I mentioned in my last post, at my 36 week doctor's appointment I was already 90% effaced and 1 1/2 cm dilated. We were so excited and also a little nervous that, sooner than later, our little boy would be here! It's funny to think that for 9 months, you count down the days and they seem never-ending, but then all of a sudden it's like "Whoa! Slow down!". It's so exciting to know that at any moment, your baby could come and it would be okay.

So, at my 37 week appointment, I was sure I had made even more progress and that my doctor would tell us something along the lines of, "He'll be here in x number of days, etc.", but no progress; same amount of dilation and effacement. I admit, I was disappointed. I know it's best for babies to "cook" as long as possible, but I was ready to meet Silas and felt convinced he didn't want to stay in for 3 more weeks. However, I resigned myself to the fact that he wasn't coming any time soon. *Very important: I did NOT do anything to induce labor. That is a dumb thing to do at 37 weeks gestation.*

This was taken about 14 hours before Silas was born.

My doctor's appointment was on Wednesday; the picture above was taken on Friday. Friday was a typical day: pain in my side from Silas' bum, ravenously hungry, tired (so I took a nap), went to get my hair cut, and hung out with friends like we do every Friday night. Silas was really active that night, kicking and showing his foot for our friends Kayla, Winnie, and Beth. Before we left to go home, Kayla told Silas to come out and meet everyone very soon....he was definitely listening.

It started out as a usual night: up at 1:30 to use the bathroom, waddled back to bed, tried to find a comfortable way to lay, and fell back asleep. At 3:30, I woke up because I felt a small gush. Had I just lost bladder control? Another gush came and I woke Adam up saying, "I think my water just broke." He was unconvinced until he turned on the light and saw the puddle beneath me. 

Now, most people would probably call their doctor at this point. What did we do? We started googling and looking through our birthing books to see what to do next. Was the water clear? Yes. Was I positive for Group B Strep? No. Contractions had not started yet and everything we read said labor would start sometime in the next 24-48 hours, so we went back to bed. At 4:00, I started having contractions and they were already 3 minutes apart, lasting for 1 minute...and they never slowed down. 

We had taken the Bradley Birthing Method classes because we wanted an all natural labor. Some might call me crazy, but I wanted to experience the entire process of labor and birth; this would be my "marathon" and I was pretty convinced I could do it. We had prayed for months about Silas' birth, that the Lord would help both Silas and I to endure it well and in the last month or so, we had also began praying for a quick labor.

After an hour or so of breathing and moaning my way through contractions, Adam called his mom, Joan, who would serve as our doula, Marcelle, our friend from church who would be our labor/delivery nurse, and Kayla. Joan and Kayla came to our house and took turns with Adam, helping to hold me steady through contractions on the ball or hovering over a chair. Kayla took some amazing pictures for us throughout the labor and birth; we cherish those pictures!

 This was between contractions.

 Contraction on the therapy ball.

Contractions felt like a cross between bad menstrual and poo cramps and someone taking a belt and squeezing your belly as tight as possible. Labor kicks your butt! The easiest thing to do is let it kick your butt and try to relax through the contractions and especially between them. 

This was when we decided to go to the hospital. I was going into transition and started feeling my body pushing. Where the other contractions had been tolerable, these had become more painful and I was having a very hard time relaxing. Adam called Marcelle again and she said she would meet us at the hospital. 

Thankfully, we live about 5 minutes from the hospital (another reason we waited at home so long) because contractions were right on top of each other. I believe we arrived at the hospital around 7 or so.

 My sweet husband helping me out of the truck.

For some reason, there were no wheelchairs to be found at Huntsville Women's and Children when we arrived, so I walked. We got in the elevator, but it took us to the wrong floor and two young children and their grandparents joined us. I bet those kids were scared when I started moaning; I remember hearing Adam explain that I was in labor. I'm sure those children are somewhat traumatized now. 

We finally made it to labor and delivery and the nurse at the desk wanted us to fill out paperwork before they took me back (there were still no wheelchairs). Adam starts filling out paperwork when another contraction hits and I promptly sat down on the floor (I had a towel between my legs so I wasn't concerned about germs). The nurse calmly asked what my social security number was (the lady must really be a stickler for protocol) as three nurses come running, telling me to get off the floor.  
Joan swooped in and put her arm around me and told them, "Don't touch her!" since I was in the middle of a contraction. Finally, a wheelchair appears and as they start taking me to a room, I hear them say, "You three wait out here.", but I piped up and told them I needed my husband, so Adam came back with me.

I don't know why, but suddenly there were 8-10 nurses in the room, some gawking, three stripping me down and putting on my gown, someone trying to get blood, another two nurses putting the monitors on my belly and one unfortunate nurse who I yelled at because she had the audacity to try and do a vaginal exam in the middle of a contraction; she politely waited. Once she checked me she said, "I hope your birth plan was to do natural because you are 9.5 cm dilated." I was shocked; I guess I expected I was somewhere between 6 and 8 cm dilated. Marcelle comes in the room at this point and clears everybody out (she's a minimalist). I had one more contraction and Marcelle checked me and said, "Your 10 cm. You can push when you want." Kayla and Joan were let in the room around this time and Kayla starts calling my parents to tell them to get to Huntsville. 

Relaxation went out the window during the pushing contractions as you can tell from the picture above.  Contractions at this point weren't painful, but the feeling of trying to push out what felt like a stone the size of a watermelon was. During some of the pushing, I became convinced I had hours of pushing ahead of me and I had the thought that they would just have to cut Silas out because there was no way I could do it. I pushed laying on my side, on hands and knees, and with the squat bar. Oh how I loved the squat bar; it seemed to help me make the most progress.

Marcelle, being awesome.

Pushing with the squat bar.

 Relaxing between contractions.

This is right before Silas came. I think it's one of my favorites :).

Marcelle and Adam held my legs and I started pushing with everyone cheering me on (they were great coaches), but I had no idea how close Silas was. Kayla took video and I'm so thankful because I get to see and hear things I didn't when I was pushing (I had my eyes closed most of the time). As soon as it got so very painful, I felt Silas slip out and his warm, slimy body was placed on my stomach. That is a feeling I will never forget; it was awesome.

I think this is where I said, "Silas that hurt so bad!"

When Silas came out, Adam's first words were, "There was a person in there!"

Dr. Reidy, who is not my regular doctor, was great during delivery. She probably didn't say more than 10 words and she just sat back and let me do what was most comfortable. I'm so thankful that she was supportive of what we wanted considering she knew nothing about us.

Silas took to nursing like a champ. He's a little piggy ;)

 Adam holding Silas for the first time.

 Adam giving Silas his first bath. Adam is really good at baths and changing diapers; yay for me!

Everyone at Silas' birth were so amazing in how they served us. Marcelle was such a wonderful picture of what the church is meant to be: loving, selfless, serving, etc.

Little Silas, we are SO glad you're finally here and we are excited to watch you grow into a man after God's own heart! You certainly already have ours :)

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