Tuesday, December 29, 2009

White Christmas

Christmas was a little different for us this year...OK, it was a LOT different! Normally we travel to Clifton or San Angelo for Christmas to be with Brent's family or with my family. However, since I had a C-section exactly 2 weeks before Christmas, travel was out of the question, so we had a quiet Christmas as a new family of four.

On Christmas Eve, we had family portraits taken at JC Penney and it started snowing as we were heading there. ( I will get the pictures at the end of the first week of January and will be sharing them with you then. I can hardly wait!!) The snow was really coming down hard as we headed back home and this is what our yard looked like that afternoon.

I thought that I would be VERY sad and lonely on Christmas morning, but instead, it was Christmas Eve that was so hard for me. I started crying after getting off the phone with my aunt, who was playing games with everyone at her house. When Brent asked me what was wrong, I couldn't come up with anything to say other than "I want to be playing games with everyone" and then I was crying hard enough that I couldn't say anything else. It seems strange that Christmas Eve was the day that was so hard for me. And it is even stranger that I was so upset after getting off the phone with my family, because this was a year that we were supposed to be with Brent's family. But, regardless, I was sad and missed being with our extended family altogether.

We had planned to find a Christmas Eve service to attend in The Colony, but with the weather so cold and icky, we decided it would be best to stay home with the new baby. Samantha got to open one present from us on Christmas Eve, this was her Elmo pajamas and slippers. If you haven't been able to tell, Elmo is just about Samantha's favorite anything, so she was very excited to wear Elmo to bed that night as she snuggled with the stuffed Elmo that Memaw gave her the weekend before.

On Christmas morning we found that Santa was actually able to find our house, even though he had never been there before.

He brought a "bicycle" and filled Samantha's stocking. He also brought some Sesame street friends to keep her Elmo company.

Samantha loved the doll stroller and swing that she received from us and was happy to play with them until we pointed out that she had other presents to open. She had a lot to do! It's not that anyone went overboard, but several people sent 2 or 3 things for her to have on Christmas, so she ended up having many presents to open.

She opened several presents, but then wanted to take a break, so we went out to play in the snow. It was very cool that Jacob's first Christmas was a white one. This was the first white Christmas in Dallas since 1926. Samantha was NOT ready to come back in, but Jacob was hungry and crying and Daddy was cold (he wasn't even wearing a jacket to go out in the snow! Crazy man!) so it was time to come inside. She did decide to open the rest of her presents after that, though.

And here are both of my cute little Christmas two weeks after Christmas 2 years ago and one 2 weeks before Christmas this year.

Once we knew that we would be alone on Christmas, we invited Glenn and Susan (aka Nana and Papa) to come to our house for Christmas dinner. Susan responded by saying that we should come to her house, because she did not think that I would be up to cooking dinner and entertaining with such a new little baby. So at lunchtime, we packed up and headed to their house. There was a lovely group of people there this year...Glenn and Susan, Ann, Aidin and Emma and Jim and Kay Bush and Kay's brother. Susan not only didn't let us cook, but she also had a gift for each child and they all loved their gift. Samantha's was a tea set, with a tea pot that sings a song and says please and thank you. She loves it and between that and the tea set she received from Memaw, Brent and I are constantly being asked to have tea with her.

We had a wonderful time eating and talking with everyone and didn't go home until after 7 that evening. We are so blessed to have friends to be with when we are separated from our family. We had a wonderful Christmas as a new family of four and hope that your Christmas was just as special as ours was.

Early Christmas

Brent's family came on 12/19 and 12/20 to celebrate Christmas with us since we could not go to Clifton to be with them for Christmas this year. We all had a great time together, it just wasn't long enough!

The William's (even baby Amilia who won't be born until Feb or March) got to meet and hold Jacob.

Samantha had a wonderful time playing with her cousin Emma. In fact, we heard "Amma, Amma!" much more often than we heard Mommy or Daddy. And Emma is a WONDEFUL big cousin to play with Samantha so much! The day after everyone left, Samantha was still asking for Emma, and she gets very excited everytime she sees a picture of Emma now.

All 4 of the Grelle grankids...although we will have to update to a picture of 5 of them before too much longer :)

Grandpa made Samantha a new toybox, and Memaw gave her an adorable fabric tea set. She LOVES them. We sit on the toybox and have tea all the time now! A stuffed Elmo and an Elmo sweatshirt, and a new baby doll made Samantha very excited, too.

We were sad to see everyone leave and look forward to getting together again soon! We only wish we lived closer together so it would be easier to get together more often.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

A completely different experience

When I got pregnant with Jacob, I prayed that things would go differently than they did in my pregnancy with Samantha, and that prayer was definitley answered the way I wanted it to be. Other things were different, too.

In the first trimester with Samantha, I felt sick 3 or 4 times and got sick 2 or 3 times. With Jacob, I felt sick nearly all the time in my first trimester, but never threw up at all.

With Samantha, I went to the hospital at 34 weeks 6 days due to extremely high blood pressure which turned out to be pre-eclampsyia. I was put on magnesium sulfate that afternoon and don't remember much of the next two days...I have only a couple snippets of memory of the delivery room...and I wasn't able to hold Samantha until her 3rd day of life because she was in the NICU and I couldn't get out of bed while I was on the magnesium.

With Jacob I started to go into labor at 31.5 weeks and once I found that out, I was terrified. I lost my mucus plug on 10/19/09 and called my doctor because there was a bit of blood. But I really wasn't worried. I had lost my mucus plug at about 33 weeks with Samantha, and didn't go into labor. Because there was some blood, the doctor had me come in for an exam. He said that I was a tiny bit dilated and he did a fetal fibronectin test. He said to rest that evening but that I could go back to work the next day. The next day he called and told me that the test was positive, which meant that it was likely that I would have the baby in the next 2-4 weeks. He put me on sort of bedrest (I wasn't allowed to do any housework or walk around much, but I could sit on the couch with my feet up rather than having to lay in bed) and had me come in for an ultrasound on 10/23. That was when I started getting worried.

After the ultrasound, he said that he saw some changes that said I was preparing to have the baby, but that my cervix was still plenty long, so I wouldn't be delivering too soon. He said that since my job mostly involves sitting, I could go back to work on Monday, as long as I kept my feet up and I did nothing but lay on the couch once I got home. I told him that I was planning to not have the baby until at least December...and he laughed at me. He definitely thought the baby would be coming sooner than that. I started having weekly appointments at this time.

I followed the almost no activity order and went back for another fetal fibronectin test and another ultrasound about two weeks later. The ultrasound was the same as before. That was good. Then the fetal fibronectin came back negative this time. Woohoo! Dr. Levy said that whatever had caused me to start going into labor was resolved and things looked good. He said that I could resume almost normal activity, just not push things to much.

Looking back, I figured that I probably had pushed to hard the weekend before losing my plug, because we were on the go and walking a LOT that weekend. And I was very worn out at the end of it.

I resumed more normal activity, but still took it pretty easy in the evenings and on the weekends. Brent's mom came to our house for 2 or 3 days nearly every week from then until Jacob was born. She cooked and cleaned and did a million things to help us get ready for the baby. She was an amazing help, and I am so grateful to have her for my mother-in-law. I am so grateful that she was able and willing to help us in this way.

I surprised the doctor and made it all the way to our scheduled delivery date. I walked into the hospital on my own at 5:30am on 12/11/09, still not having any contractions. I walked into the delivery room and got up on the operating table on my own. I remember Christine, the nurse anesthetist, putting my epidural in, and I remember the warm feeling that was actually the lack of feeling starting at my toes and moving upward. I remember the aneshtesiologist poking me along my ribs and telling me to let him know when I could feel sharp and scratchy like I felt near my neck. There was no NICU doctor or nurse present. There were just two newborn nurses for the baby.

I don't know why, but I felt nervous. I had already been through a C-section once. Why should I be nervous? Maybe because I didn't remember the first one. I remember a smell, and asking what that was. I said that it reminded me of a smell from my anatomy class in college and Dr Levy joked that he had never had an anatomy class. We had 2 cameras in the room because we had just bought a new one. Brent took pictures with one and Christine took pictures with the Brent was in the pictures, too. Christine encouraged Brent to look over the curtain to see our baby as the doctor was pulling him out. And surprisingly, Brent did look...and took pictures...and even took a picture of Jacob before he was even fully out of my body.

After seeing how much Jacob weighed, Dr Levy joked that we would leave the next one in a little longer to see if we could actualy get to 10 lbs.

After Jacob was weighed and measured, the nurses swaddled him and brought him to me. I was able to hold him on my chest even as the doctor was sewing me up. I cried again, just as I did with Samantha, at holding my baby for the first time. After a little while, the nurses said that they had to take Jacob to get bloodwork and do some testing, and Brent went with them. But I didn't have to wait long until I was able to see them again. Dr Levy didn't have to cut through anything unexpected to get to the baby. There were no complications at all.

When I got back to my room, I found out that Jacob had low blood sugar and had to be given some formula while I was still in the operating room. He drank an entire ounce! Samantha was a couple months old before she would drink that much at once.

Since he already had a full belly, Jacob wasn't much interested in nursing for a while, but he was plenty strong once he was interested. My milk came in quickly and there was plenty for him. It took a long time for that to happen with Samantha. Other than that bottle immediately after birth, Jacob has not had any formula, and he nurses like a champ. He has already gained back all the weight he lost after birth. We were buying formula for Samantha until she was about 5 or 6 weeks old and feeding her a combination of milk and formula, because I couldn't pump enough milk until then. This time I already have a little bit of milk stored in the freezer.

I am so grateful that things were different this time around. I am grateful for no complications. I am grateful to remember so much about the birth of my child. I am grateful for my child being healthy.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Meeting Jacob

Friday, December 18, 2009


Jacob Thomas Grelle, born 12/11/09 at 8:01a.m., weighing 9lbs 11.6 oz and measuring 19.29 inches long.

Look at those chubby cheeks!!! And there are rolls all over the rest of his body too!

Holding him for the first time...while the doctor is still sewing me up. Yeah for making it to the planned date and having a completely healthy baby!! :)

One last pregnant picture, the night before we went to the hospital. Definitley NOT the greatest picture of me...I can't believe I am actually showing this to you.

December snow

I woke up the morning of December 2 to see huge snowflakes falling from the sky when I went out to put Samantha's diaper bag in the car. 15 minutes later I took Samantha outside and found the car covered with snow. Samantha was so excited and told me, "Raining, Mommy!" I told her that it was snow, not rain, but she continued to tell me it was raining. Then she was very unhappy with me when I told her it was time to get in the car. She wanted to stay out in the "rain" rather than go to Mrs. Nancy's house.
This wasn't her first snow...that happened when she was only a month or two old, but she was too young to take out for pictures then, so this is her first ever snow picture.


Kathy and I were running an errand the day after Thanksgiving when Brent called and asked how quickly we could get to the park near our house. This is what we found when we arrived.

How did my sweet little baby get so big? She is now loving going down slides designed for 5-12 year olds?!!! There is no stopping her, she just keeps growing and doing more and more...I remember predicting that we would be running along behind her as she does things we may not think she is ready for...Apparantly that day is just about here.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Thanksgiving weekend

Steven, Kathy and Benjamin came to our house for Thanksgiving, since I am in the no travel allowed stage of my pregnancy. My parents were also hoping to come, but Dad had bypass surgery 2 weeks before, and then he ended up back in the hospital over Thanksgiving with a blood infection. Thankfully, he is better now and back home!

Those of us who were at my house had a great time and Kathy and Brent took care of almost all the cooking and cleaning, so I got lots of rest! Thank you guys!!

I'm not sure how it happened, but I took alomst NO pictures the whole time they were here, in fact the only pics I took were of Kathy and Samantha taking a walk together, so here those are:

Even though I didn't take pics, Brent did get some good video, so watch for that to come :)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

(almost) 35 weeks

Tomorrow I will be at 35 weeks in my pregnancy. That means that today is the day in my pregnancy that Samantha was born...and no blood pressure issues so far, praise God!! One month from today is the day I am scheduled for my C-section. Any bets as to whether I make it that far or not?

So I thought I would use today's post to reflect a little bit, on the I will, I won't and I'll love.

Once we have the baby, things I will miss...
Having the baby with me at all times, even at work.
Feeling the baby move even when no one else knows that I do.
Being able to reach down and feel the baby anytime I matter what.

Things I won't miss...
Leg cramps in the middle of the night.
Having my ribs bruised from the inside as the baby practices his/her kickboxing skills.
Being too worn out to walk through Walmart.
Losing my breath so easily.
Constant backaches.
The baby using an already teaspoon sized bladder as a punching bag.
Getting up 15 million times a night becasue of the teaspoon sized bladder being used as a punching bag.
Needing pillows surrounding my body to sleep somewhat comfortably.
Being unable to sleep on my back or my stomach.

Things I will love...
Meeting the baby face to face.
Seeing Brent and Samantha meet the baby face to face.
Seeing Samantha give our baby kisses.
Holding the baby in my arms.
Seeing Brent snuggle with the little one...and the bigger one.
Having a baby fall asleep in my arms again.
Seeing God's grace in another sweet little face in our lives.

I'm not ready for the baby to come yet...but we are getting closer and I am looking forward to being at that point.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Halloween 2009

Aunt Kathy went to visit Uncle Jason in Korea and spent quite a bit of her time there looking for traditional clothes for Samantha. She came home with a beautiful hanbok and it arrived at our house about a week before Halloween. She did a great job of getting the right size, so Samantha was able to wear it for Halloween this year. Isn't she the cutest little blonde Korean girl you have ever seen? :)

(These are a few more of the picures by Stacey Collodi)