{Belated} Merry Christmas!

This is a late {of course} review of our first Christmas as a family of four!

We had 2 Christmas Eve services at Providence this year – at 4pm and 6pm – so Jordan headed up to the Church around 2:00 to get things ready with the rest of the staff. The boys & I went to the 4pm and then headed over to my parents – Jordan met us there after the later service. We had strawberry waffles (the annual Hodges Christmas Eve tradition!) and did our Christmas with my family and then headed home.

We always reserve Christmas morning for just our little family. We finished our advent study/had a sweet time of family worship after a special Christmas breakfast – – I’ve been searching for the “perfect” recipe for the past 4 Christmases since Jordan and I have been married – – and this year I found it!! But I’ll save that for another post…

After we did our own thing we headed over to Jordan’s parents to do Christmas with his side. That was fun as his WHOLE extended family {the Stone side} was there at one time! I don’t remember the last time that everyone was under the same roof for a holiday – – seems like one or two are always MIA.

After brunch/lunch I took the boys home and we all napped. Jordan stayed for the annual Stone tradition of gingerbread house decorating competition…somehow all the guys ended up on a team together…and they won! Which is a big deal – – as Jordan & his team always ended up in 2nd place in years past. He was pretty {very} excited. Competitive IS his middle name you know.

We are super thankful for both of our extended families AND that they live so near to us – – it makes things so nice, especially at holidays! Especially when you have a baby right before Christmas…

P.S – How many of you noticed that in a previous post I said Owen would be 2 weeks old on Christmas Eve?? Sleep deprivation = really poor math skills! 2 weeks is FOURTEEN days, not TWELVE 😉 I didn’t even realized until I said something out loud about it and my SIL sweetly reminded me that he was born on a Monday, not a Saturday, and was indeed not 2 weeks old yet. Seriously. I am losing my mind…

Ok. Enough chatting…

Here are the pics!

2 cute boogies in matching Christmas Eve jammies!! Can’t even stand the cuteness…

Merry 1st Christmas precious boy!

The 5 knuckleheads who ended up on a team together and WON

This is their masterpiece…it is The Polar Express…

Four generations of Stone men (not that you could tell they are related by looking at them ;))

Merry {late} Christmas from us!!

Praying you had a joy filled time celebrating the birth of our Savior and longing for His return!

{Owen} 10 days

Owen is 10 days old today yesterday!

I wrote this yesterday but forgot to post it…

We went to the pediatrician for his 2 week check-up (had to do it a little early since he’ll be technically 2 week on Christmas Eve). O is looking GREAT. He weighed 7lbs 8oz and is 20.8inches. Big man!!

The goal was to be back up to birth weight by 2 weeks – – which was 7lbs 4oz — so he has surpassed it. Yay Owen! Over achiever…he is so our kid.

It was such good encouragement for my heart. Breastfeeding has seemed to go SO so well thus far according to all the signs I can see (lots of poops & pee, he latches well, my boobs aren’t sore, etc) but, weight gain is the true indicator of how well things are going and you can ask Jordan…I get worried about every other day that “something is wrong” for no reason other than that I feel anxious in that moment. It is primarily rooted in the sin of wanting to be in control. My children are so especially good at bringing this to the surface of my Mama heart!! I try to be quick to tell Jordan when I start feeling anxious. It helps to speak my fears aloud, he graciously points out my sin & the error in my thinking and stops whatever he is doing to pray for me. It is such a precious expression of love. I sure am grateful to be married to my guy.

Other Owen details…at 10 days he is eating every 2.5-3 hours. Some nights he will do a 3.5-4 hour stretch, usually after his 4 o’clock feeding.

He had his first bottle this week and did super! I like to introduce the bottle within the first 3 weeks – as long as breastfeeding is well established. Then we do a bottle feeding once a day…that way Jordan can participate in feedings too (and we can do things like go on dates) AND when I go back to work Owen will eat while I’m gone! Which is kind of a big deal! I’m really a believer that (as long as breastfeeding is well established) introducing a bottle EARLY is the key to him taking a bottle easily later in life…it worked with Hudson at least!

10 11 days in to having two kids I am tired but LOVING it!!

My boys

Hudson held Owen for the first time today! No, we didn’t do that right after we got home from the hospital. I decided we’d wait a little while and let him get used to Owen & being gentle. Hud has adjusted so well thus far. It is such a blessing to see him turn into a big brother overnight. Even though he is so little, he loves & cares for his brother already. He desires to help out. He checks on him when he cries.

This first week has been such an answer to many prayers from this Mama’s heart.

I know we will have hard days, but these first few have been so so so sweet. I trust that the Lord will continue to grow my boy’s love for each other.

I really think my heart might just explode with love for them!!

* * *

See how excited he was!

I think Owen’s face is too funny in this one 🙂

Be still my heart!

Looking at his little “bear” feet

Kisses.

Could they be ANY sweeter?

Thank you Jesus!

{Birth Story} Owen Paul Stone

This is Owen Paul Stone’s birth story. I wrote it out for me – to remember – so please don’t feel obligated to read it!!

***

Also – I feel the need to say – I had an epidural with Hudson (whose birth story I’ve never posted, but I will upload it sometime soon) & a natural labor with Owen and both were absolutely precious, beautiful experiences and I am blessed to have 2 healthy, gorgeous boys. I have no regrets about either experience and I do not judge the way that you choose to labor! So please, don’t compare yourself to my experience. Every pregnancy and every labor is unique. I really wanted to labor naturally with both of my boys. One I didn’t – and it was exactly right that I didn’t – and one I did – and it was exactly right as well.

***

December 12, 2011

I hadn’t been sleeping super well because I was cramping/contracting irregularly & needing to pee often. I got up around 3:45 to go to the bathroom again & started having some bleeding {I’ll spare you the details, but it was not my mucous plug or bloody show, so I was concerned}.

 I woke Jordan up & called the on-call physician and told her what was going on (this happened to be the same physician who was on-call the night Hudson was born!). She thought everything was probably fine but said to go ahead and head to the hospital so they could check on Owen.

I called my mom to come over and stay with Hudson so we wouldn’t have to wake him up & drop him off somewhere. Jordan threw our stuff in the car & we hit the road. At this point I was still calm externally but freaking out inside over all the possible things that could be going horribly wrong to result in me bleeding. I wasn’t feeling much movement from Owen either which just added to my anxiety. I was mentally preparing myself to be rushed to the OR for an emergency C-section as soon as we checked in. Jordan held my hand, prayed over us, and got us to the hospital very quickly.

We got up to L&D and they put me on the monitor and immediately found Owen’s heartbeat – and it was 135 – such sweet relief!! We got checked in, signed paperwork, they monitored me for a while, drew some blood, and put in my IV (for my antibiotics & in case of emergency). Owen continued to look good. We hung out, Jordan read a book & I took a nap while they monitored me and we waited for my doctor – Dr G – to arrive & check me. At this point I was not in labor (pre-labor/early labor, but not active labor). I was contracting but not significantly.

Dr. G arrived around 7:30 – I was 3cm dialated and 90% effaced. He was confident that if he broke my water I would go into labor and progress fairly quickly. However, I wasn’t ready for him to break my water – for fear that I would not progress quickly, so he agreed to let me walk around for a few hours to see if I could get labor going on my own.

Jordan & I walked the halls and walked the stairs. I had contractions somewhat regularly but they were not particularly long or strong. Dr. G came back to check on me at 10:00. I was still a 3 and 90%. So, knowing that I still really didn’t want him to break my water, he said we could go home after they monitored me for 30 more minutes and that he expected us to be back and truly in labor soon.

At this point I was disappointed that I hadn’t progressed, but I wasn’t really surprised due to the nature of the contractions I’d been having. I was also super excited about the idea of leaving because I was so hungry having not eaten since dinner the night before. I was not at all in despair because I felt like I’d be in real labor before the day was over.

They put me back on the monitor at 10:15. Well…while I sat waiting for 30 minutes to pass and trying to decide what I wanted to eat I started having really regular & much stronger contractions. My nurse Brandy (who was AMAZING) came in and expressed some concern with the idea of us leaving, she felt like my labor was really starting and that I would progress quickly and we might not make it back to the hospital before I delivered OR that if we did make it back the process of checking in all over again and getting a whole new IV would be really hard on me. I acknowledged that these were more “real” contractions…but I still really wanted to leave and go eat. We decided to have Brandy check me and see if my cervix had changed. I was now a “stretchy” 4cm (which means somewhere between a 4-5cm). So, we decided it would be wisest to stay at the hospital. Brandy updated Dr. G and he agreed.

The morning had been such a roller coaster of emotions for us…we left the house not knowing whether Owen was okay or not, whether I was in labor or not, whether we’d been meeting Owen today or coming home to wait more…then after seeing Garner the first time, we were all geared up for labor to start…then it seemed to not, and we relaxed and were ready to leave and wait some more at home…and now I was truly in labor! So we were back in “go” mode.

We walked the halls again. This time my contractions were much more frequent and much stronger. I was having to stop and breathe and focus to relax through them. I would lean on the wall or the windowsill or Jordan. It was really helpful when Jordan used counter pressure on my lower back during a contraction. In between contractions we held hands and walked and talked about how excited we were to meet our little boy soon. It was a really sweet & exciting time. My contractions took focus but they were very manageable and I felt very confident in handling them.

After a little while we went back to the room so that Brandy could put me on the monitor and check on Owen. I sat on the birth ball for a while and leaned my head on the bed…I napped in between contractions. Jordan rubbed my back & continued to encourage me through each contraction. I also sat in the bed for a while, we adjusted it to be like a chair…straight-backed and the part where my legs were lowered. Both of those positions were really comfortable.

Dr. G came back to check on me at 12:15. I was 6-7cm!! I was surprised I had progressed so quickly! I agreed that he could break my water at this point. My contractions continued to get stronger, as expected, after my water was broken. At 12:30 I got in a hot shower which felt wonderful! I was really feeling the brunt of the contractions in my lower back and the water felt so good. Back labor is a good indicator that baby’s head is not in perfect position. After I got out Brandy helped me into a kind of crazy side-lying position in the bed that can help move the baby into a better position. My contractions were getting pretty intense at this point. I labored on my hands & knees for a long time, this helped relief a little of the pain I was feeling in my back.

At 1:35 I was measuring 9cm and working hard to stay focused during my contractions. In between I would try and rest but it was more and more difficult to stay “in the zone”. I asked if there was anything I could have in my IV. Brandy gave me a dose of Demerol which she said would help me relax…it definitely did! I was surprised how sleepy it made me…but it really helped me tune everything else out and rest between contractions, Jordan says I was pretty out of it between contractions. I remember hearing things that were going on around me but not really acknowledging them. My contractions were super intense and I didn’t think there was any way I could keep going. Jordan kept telling me that it was one less to work through, that I was doing great, that he loved me, and that we’d be meeting Owen soon. There is absolutely NO way I could have made it without Jordan. He never left my side & was my biggest comfort.

Brandy checked me again and I was still at 9cm. At this point I pretty much gave up, cried, and begged for an epidural because it was so hard (even though rationally in my brain I knew there was no way they could get my epidural in before I delivered…I still begged). At 1:55 I felt what all the books described as, “a burning ring of fire” and I knew it was time to push. This is the moment just after Brandy ran out to use the bathroom. I told Jordan, “I have to push…He has to be crowning…He is coming out! NOW.” He paged the nurses and they called Dr G (who had to run up from his office 3 floors down) and a whole bunch of people came in the room…but I don’t remember any of that. I remember Dr G running in the room and putting his gown & gloves on and asking me to hold off pushing for just a sec, but there was no way that I could wait. My body had instinctively taken over and there was such relief with pushing. Dr. G did however make it in time to catch our boy.

Owen Paul Stone was born at 2:04p.m.  7lbs4oz and absolutely perfect!!

There had been some meconium in my amniotic fluid so the nurse took him over to the warmer and suctioned him before bringing him back to me. He snuggled into me as soon as they handed him to me. He was wide-eyed and altert, he latched on and started nursing right away.

I am so thankful that I was able to labor naturally – it was one of the hardest things I have ever done and I am proud to have accomplished it by His grace – not “proud” in the sense that I am now a super mom for having a baby with no epidural (I am not!). But I am proud because it was my goal and I accomplished it. It hard, it took me to the end of myself, it brought my closer to my husband, it required endurance & perseverance, it required a new kind of reliance on the Lord – the One who makes all things & holds all things together. Glory & praise be to Him for it is only by His strength that I even draw breath.

May this little life, Owen Paul Stone, and our parenting of him glorify & magnify His name to the ends of the earth.

***

I was so exhausted & hungry // it was so chaotic with all of our family in the room that I didn’t get a picture of us as a family of 4 at the hospital! Ugh. It is a huge regret.

{16 months}

I just realized that I missed the past 3 months of Hudson updates…where did the time go?

Sweet boy…you are 16 months old today!

You are SO fun. You are all big boy these days. You run everywhere & talk constantly these days. Your vocabulary is exploding and you are getting more & more understandable. A lot of your words sound very much alike, but for the most part Daddy & I can always understand you – even if no one else can! You imitate just about everything that we say & do.

You love to make us laugh & do so often with your funny antics. You also love to show off for other people, especially when they come over to our house. You are a total ham.

You LOVE vehicles right now…especially trucks. ESPECIALLY the trash truck!! This fascination started a couple months ago. We anticipate Mondays (trash days) all week!! You also love tools, the garage, & the lawn equipment. You’ve recently been helping Daddy rake leaves in the yard. Oh – and brooms! You still love cleaning – vacuums, the swiffer, brooms, dusting, etc. I *really* hope that you keep this love 😉

You recently learned how to push yourself on your riding toys with your feet (this is also a marker of how much taller you’ve grown recently!), you are working on learning to use a fork & spoon while eating (we started this around 13 months I think),  you love to throw balls & just recently have started kicking them as well – Daddy is teaching you to dribble a soccer ball.

You have officially dropped your morning nap. That happened within the last 2 weeks. As a result you now go to bed a little earlier at night, this is pretty normal & healthy as you are sleeping less during the day. So now you wake up between 7:30 and 8 most days and go to bed at 6:30. You go down for a nap right after lunch and sleep from 1-3.

Your life changed radically this week as we welcomed your brother Owen into the world. You love him already. You give him the sweetest hugs & kisses and bring him his blanket. When he cries you run to check on him. You are Mama’s big helper & throw his diapers in the trash for me. We pray that your love for one another abounds.

Hudson Mark – you are such a blessing! You bring so much joy & laughter to our home! We LOVE you and are so stinkin’ thankful to be your parents!

40 weeks

Welp, today was our due date and unless something crazy happens in the next 3.5 hours it looks like I am going to be right and this little boy is going to be late.

I’ve been psyching myself up to go past my due date this whole pregnancy, so I am really not too disappointed.

Honestly, I physically feel wonderful & not at all like, “he must get out!”

However…

1. I am really really really ready to meet this little baby!!

2. I really really really want to avoid being induced.

(I am not judging if you were induced and had a great experience. I am happy for you! But personally, that is one of my worst fears…)

This is the verse that is taped on post-its all over our house right now…

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You. Isaiah 26:3

Some moments I am at perfect peace waiting on the Lord to bring our son into the world.

And some moments I am so anxious being so out of control and anticipating all the ways this delivery could NOT go the way I desire.

I have had to do a lot of confessing & repenting my sin of not trusting Him. Children are sure incredible tools to sanctify us!

Pray that my mind would be STAYED on the Lord so that I would be KEPT in perfect peace.

Pray that we will cherish the rest of our time as a family of only 3 as we anticipate Owen’s arrival.

Pray for labor to kick in soon. Pray for stamina as we wait and as I labor. Pray for a healthy, uncomplicated delivery of our sweet Owen Paul.

Pray that breastfeeding will go well from the get-go.

Hopefully my next post will be a picture of our little boy in person!

🙂

39 weeks

How Far Along: 39 weeks

Fruit/Veggie: A mini watermelon

Size: 7-something pounds and 19-ish inches

Baby changes: He is pretty much ready to come out! His lungs will continue to mature and he will continue to gain fat until I deliver.

Best Moment this week: I love Providence Church.  I was so blessed to worship with the body of Christ today, to sit under fantastic teaching, and be part of sweet community. Seriously. We are so thankful to be part of the staff/body there. Also, I’ve had some really sweet time enjoying my firstborn and our last few days of just us.

Gender: Boy. {Owen Paul Stone}

Movement: He is still a sweet, calm, rolly little guy – though I can tell he is feeling a little squished!

Food Craving: Um. I don’t think I have really had any cravings lately…

Sleep: I have been sleeping SO hard this week. So hard that I’ve hardly even woken up to go to the bathroom, which means when I DO wake up I have really got to go. So hard that my hips kill in the morning because I don’t wake up and roll over. That is the sign of good sleep at the end of pregnancy – a bursting bladder and sore hips – it has been a sweet gift before the short nights to come soon!

Symptoms: Still lots of pre-labor symptoms. Lots of low belly cramping. A few good contractions every day. Hoping it will all equal a labor that moves along easily and speedily!! 🙂 People as all the time how I am feeling and I have to say, I never expected to feel as good as I do! Honestly. I feel a little bad that I feel so good because I know a lot of girls feel terrible at the end…but I am super thankful! I know it is just the graciousness of the Lord. It also makes me think Owen won’t be coming out any time terribly soon…hopefully he won’t have to be evicted!

What I am looking forward to: Continuing to enjoy my time with only Hudson before his brother shows up! We’ve had some fun Mama & Hud dates lately. I am trying to soak in every moment of being Mama to only one as it is all about to change!

My belly: No pic today…I’ll try and get one uploaded tomorrow. I am still sharing Jordan’s computer as mine remains kaput.