Saturday, November 29, 2008

November 28th Photo Shoot

Thanks to Colleen for the beautiful homemade quilt - the colours are spectacular! :)
Peyton was quite accommodating for these shots - it was her first time in jeans - so grown up!
Kurt and I had a nice evening out - and Peyton had her first time being babysat by Nana and Papa - it went well - she's been invited back anytime we need to go out. ;)
(Interestingly enough, her onsie says, "That's it! I'm going to Grandma's!")

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ps: I'm trying to left placement with the pictures to avoid more being cut-off.... but now I look at my blog and think it's off-centered! :( Can't win! (lol)

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Difference Between Kurt and I...

... is that when I have a strand of burnt out Christmas lights, I just get a new box (I bought a package of 4 from Costco 4 years ago in anticipation of some burning out).
Kurt goes through each (each!) light bulb and checks them until he finds THE burnt one and then systematically changes all the other burnt out lights until the strand is finished. He does this as his wife says, "Just get a new strand! Seriously, Kurt - it isn't worth your time... I'll get the new strand FOR you!" :)
But it worked - the tree is lit.I guess he's saved us a few bucks. And (after having no spirit for the season last year) I'm all set up for Christmas! :)
A few other random mental meanderings:

- About the gassy baby: It isn't that she has been that way the whole time which is why I'm puzzled. The spit-up seems to be when she's super-full. Babies are like goldfish - they don't stop eating! (I found that out before Kurt and I were married and I was watching his fish for him - he still married me after a few cranky comments about mismanaging children... ha! Got him anyway!) I have a list of 4 possible things that could be contributing - also a possibility is the vitamin D drops - it's been worse when I give them to her. But thanks for all the feedback and suggestions. I'll keep you posted.
Here she is being comforted by her daddy. He's good at it even when exhausted. ;) I think the picture below was followed by a very firm, "Okay, Kendall - ENOUGH." What, darling? You don't like the flash when trying to sleep? (lol)
For the careful observer: she's wearing her "I was born at Royal University Hospital" sleeper - that thing was HUGE (unwearable) on her when we came home. What a little chunk! (grin)

- We spent last weekend in Southey where Peyton got to meet both her Great Grandma (and aunts and uncles) and her Great-great grandma.
Five generations: Kurt, Gord, Great-great Grandma Manz, Great Grandma Manz, and - of course - the star of the show.

- Anybody want to buy a truck? (click it to see the add) We're selling ours. Sigh. I LOVE that truck (it has heated seats - bestill my heart!) - but with fuel prices it's better to keep just the car. We'll need two vehicles when I go back to work - but for the winter one will work. (I just hope there are no major blizzards we have to drive through.) The fact is that if I had to go back to work early JUST to make the truck payment I'd be irked... so this, although sad, is a very grown-up and mature decision to make. (soft tears falling)
(This is actually our truck... we took pictures for the advertisement. Nice, huh?)

- Peyton is going to be babysat for the first time by Nana and Papa tonight because Kurt and I are going to my staff christmas party. I haven't started her on the bottle yet - so the plan is to run-and-gun it. I'll take her there - feed her, and hope all stays well for a few hours while Kurt and I enjoy an evening out. :) I'll have my cell phone in case I have to come home early... but I'm sure they'll do fine - and I'm not saying that in a pointedly doubtful, "I sure HOPE so!" kind of way. They raised me and did an okay job. ;-D (In my personal opinion...)

- Peyton has recieved some pretty big stuffed animals so far - but we got the one that trumps them all from our friends at church. The mother of all teddy bears. Don't believe me? Observe:
We had to seatbelt it in on the way home. :) Really. You should have seen all the funny looks from people in other cars. But we love it - and I'm sure she will appreciate it more as she grows. Thanks Gary & Susan! :)

Hmmm... that will have to do for random mental meanderings for now. Peyton is making squawks from the other room... so I'll put up this last photo to prove that occasionally I hold the baby (when awake... chuckle).Thanks for reading, everyone... I know I always say that - but seriously - thanks!

postscript: I just noticed that some of the pictures are cut off and I'm not sure why. Just click them to see the full picture and I'll try to figure it out for next time... cruddy technology...

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happenings (not really)

So I've been meaning to post for several days - but Peyton has had other plans. I could list all the spit-up incidents... but I'm sure that would be unnecessary. She's kept me busy. 'Nuff said...

Time has moved so fast that I even got a notice in the mail the other day from the SRNA telling me that my registration was about to lapse (gulp!). So I've been frantically trying to get all those ducks in order so that I can still be a RN in good standing. (I worked out all those final details just before I started this post - sigh of relief!)

We're busy - Peyton is more gassy which makes for a fussier baby... but I'm going to try to eliminate dairy from my diet for a few days and see if it makes a difference. There is also the possibility (I suppose) that it could be some kind of reaction to coffee. But since I only drink one cup a day, and I need a cup of coffee in the morning, I'll see if the dairy experiment works first. :)See? Before coffee neither one of us function too well. ;)

Otherwise... I HOPE to post soon. HOPE.
Thanks for reading, everyone....

Friday, November 21, 2008

How Peyton Spent the Morning

... while Mommy was doing laundry because someone (not daddy) decided to spit-up ALL over the duvet cover and sheets.
Cozy digs, huh?
Hmmm... is she repentant?
I'd say probably not.
I love being this little girl's mommy - spit-up and all. :)
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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

One Month (and reflections on a year)

Today, my sweet little Peyton, you turn one month old.
How can I begin to describe the love that fills my heart for you?One year ago all I felt was grief. I knew the rest of my life without your big sister was stretching out in front of me, and I had no clue how the Lord would get me through it. I was so close to despair - often finding myself lacking hope and joy. It was a dark and horrible place. Only Jesus' love got me through.
But one year has passed. That phase of my life, while still tenderly painful, is over. I have you, my darling baby girl... and not only has the Lord "got me through" the last year - but he has lifted my head and made a broken heart full again. I love you - so much it brings tears to my eyes to think of the joy you bring me.
Being your mommy has brought life back to me. Looking in your eyes, watching your little chest rise and fall as you sleep peacefully, feeling your tiny fingers squeeze mine, nursing you, seeing you cuddle with your daddy - changing your diapers... baths, tickles, sad and angry cries, your sweet smell, chubby cheeks and soft hair - all if it makes me so grateful to be here with you and your Daddy. It turns my heart heavenward.
I was never "maternal". I didn't see babies and long for the day when I would have one. When we lost Autumn I realized - probably for the first time - how badly I really and truly wanted to be a mother. And now that I have you in my arms I realize that this was what I was created for. For however long I have you, I will cherish being your mommy...
There were so many options for your first middle name: Hope. Joy. Faith. But "Grace" is what I have been shown - and it - like your life - is from God alone. I am so thankful He gave you to us, honey.
I love you, Peyton. Happy one-month Birthday...
Love always and forever,

Peyton Grace Elaine - one month old

Monday, November 17, 2008

Please Pray

About a year and a half ago I found Emily's blog. Her daughter - Alivia - had cancer. The blog was really her mommy's journey through the diagnosis, treatment, and ultimately her death. Emily didn't post too much after that - but I put her blog on my reader anyway so I could catch updates as they came.
This past month or so it was revealed that they were in the process of adopting a little boy. He was born the day before Peyton - but was much, MUCH bigger. :)

Griffin Allen Haughery
Griffin is about as cute as they come - and it was such a blessing to "hear" her joy after a hard and sorrowful year.
As it turns out (and as you can see on her blog) right before he was going to come home with them, the birth mother changed her mind and took the baby. It was horrible for them - but then - miracle of miracles - she changed her mind again and they got him back.
They've had him for one month, (less a day) and she has posted "regular" (well, about as regular as I post) updates with pictures. But tonight she posted this.
I cannot imagine losing two children - and my heart breaks for her. Please pray for this family.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

How Peyton Arrived

Well, Peyton is quietly resting in her crib, and it feels like as good a time as any to give the story of how she got here. :)

On our way to my 36-week checkup, I said to Kurt jokingly, "I've got half a mind to ask him to bump up the induction to next week." Kurt looked at me twice (dangerous while driving) and asked, "Do you think that is possible?" I just shrugged and kept thinking about my aching pelvis, back, and legs. :)

Anyway, when we got there, everything was great - my weight gain was still holding steady, and the plan was to continue with the original idea to go in on the evening of the 23rd and hopefully have her by the 24th. (With the speed the induction worked with Autumn there was no reason to expect anything longer with Peyton.) I was still completely undilated and non-effaced. (Bummer...)

As our doctor was getting ready to leave the room, he asked, "Do you have any more questions or concerns?" Kurt piped up and said, "Um, yeah. Would it be possible to induce at 37 weeks instead of 38?" I was stunned he actually asked - and even more stunned when the doctor replied, "Well, she's measuring to be a big baby, and Kendall is really uncomfortable... with your history it wouldn't take much to convince me to go that route."


My mind started spinning right away: as bad as I am at surprises - getting induced a whole week early would really be great as far as shocking everyone waiting for the baby. Plus - for both of us - the anticipation of actually meeting our baby was getting unbearable. The year that had passed seemed almost endless. So when we left the office, it was with the plan to talk at the next appointment about how I was feeling with a possible induction to be scheduled for the 17th.

The cons were there: "early" babies don't always nurse as well, they can get more jaundiced... and any induction carries with it the risk of c-section. Not to mention if we were going to do it we would have to lie to every single person who asked us if the 23rd was still the day we were going in (and everyone was asking us).

The pros were that we could avoid all the painful anniversary dates (the 19th-26th) being shared with this new baby (remember: I progress quickly), no more aches, meeting our baby, surprising everyone... hardening my conscience... ;) you get the point, I'm sure. It was like Christmas coming a week early! I was giddy. We just kept looking at each other all the way home and saying, "She could be here next week!!" and then I'd do a crazy little scream-ish noise and we'd laugh and calm down until the next time one of us said it. Good thing we're best friends, or we'd think each other odd...

So the next week on Tuesday, we went for our checkup and the decision was made to induce me on Friday. (!) Interestingly enough - that was the day we also had to put down Oscar. But I've blogged about that before: all I can say is that God's timing is always best. Even as we buried him, we had the hope of meeting our daughter in only a few days - and that made it much more bearable.

They called us the morning of the 17th, and we headed to the city with the realization that next time we came home it would be (Lord willing) with Peyton. My mom phoned before we left and I told her we were going to the city to "Do some stuff." She didn't even question it (big sigh of relief...) and we hoped that would be enough explanation if/when people tried to reach us for the next couple of days. We also turned down our cell phones and only checked them every couple of hours.

Long story shortened: they didn't get the cervadil put in until 2pm - and the resident that did it was not my doctor. In hindsight, I'm pretty sure she didn't do it right. That isn't a slam... but when my doctor had to redo it 24 hours later it HURT - and I (quite obviously) went into full-blown (from 1cm to 5cm) labour 6 hours later. (See? I told you I go fast.) God's timing. I woke up Saturday the 18th with a heavy heart and told Kurt, "I think God's going to give us this baby on the 19th." He just looked at me and smiled softly. All our (actually MY) scheming to avoid that day seemed foiled - and as it turned out it was foiled... but God did it better and in a more joyful way than I could have planned. He knows me better than I know myself - and what would TRULY make me happy... and that I've blogged on before, too. :)

Anyway, after my doctor did the cervadil I started to get very uncomfortable. So my nurse gave me a morphine/gravol shot so I could sleep and relax - which I did. Kurt rested, but eventually went to watch the hockey game in the family room with the instructions to come check on me every 20 minutes or so - which he did. At 8pm - pretty much on the dot - I felt a sharp "snap" and actually said "ouch" through my drug-induced rest and then realized my water broke. After quickly checking for meconium (there was none - praise God! :)), I rang for the nurse who arrived a mere minute before Kurt who was coming in for his 20 minute check and she announced joyfully, "Your membranes ruptured!" :)

Less than 10 minutes later (and after realizing I was 5 cm) I was in the delivery room and waiting for my epidural. I just beat the rush: after I got down there 8 (EIGHT!) ladies followed me in. Anyway, I was fully dilated and nicely numb from the mid-rib line down by 11pm - and I was thinking I would maybe have this baby on the 18th after all - but Peyton was only at station 0 so they figured I'd get tuckered out with all that pushing and decided to let my contractions do the work.

As we passed midnight I said to Kurt, "I can't believe we're going to have this baby on the 19th. And I can't believe I'm okay with this." I called the nurse around 2:45 (exactly one year since I had felt Autumn move the last time) and said, "I have to push." When she felt Peyton's head right there she called the doctor. ("Cross your legs." she said. Ha, ha...?) He arrived, managed to change into scrubs and delivered Peyton - after 3 pushes - at 3:09am. Our poor baby came out face up and so managed to bruise her nose on my pelvis - but otherwise was in great shape.

They plopped her on my chest and said, "Rub her so she'll cry!" and so I rubbed like crazy. I know the first thing I said was, "She's soooo beautiful!" and to hear that little squeak and see her move and blink... it was so shocking at the time - but it brings tears to my eyes now. Kurt summed it up this way: everything was so similar - the room, the preparation, the contractions. But to see the nurse turn on the baby-warmer... and hear our baby's heartbeat on the monitor... the joyful contrasts far outweighed the similarities this time.

Peyton had to be suctioned a lot because she came out so fast - but after all that was done she was fine. I nursed her, had a shower, ate some toast and we headed up to postpartum where the girls (despite it turning out to be a crazy night) all made it in to say hello, give us hugs and be the first ones to meet Peyton. :) I called my mom at 4 am with the announcement, "I've decided to tell you the baby's name." To which she replied, "Is that because I have a granddaughter?" :) Yaaayyy!!!! She cried! Surprise accomplished! (BIG GRIN)

So there are parts I've left out or glossed over... but the gist is that Peyton was born exactly when and how she was supposed to and we praise God for her every single day. Even the cranky days. (Lets just say I won't be eating Brussel sprouts again for a while... chuckle...) I can hardly believe she's been here 3 weeks already. Time is in so many ways moving slow - but at the same time so very fast. I remember thinking last year that Autumn would be so-many weeks each week for months... and seeing other babies around that age was so very painful. But this year the contrast in emotion couldn't be greater. I cherish the days spent with her - the lack of sleep. Her little noises, the open eyes which are starting to study me, the "almost" smiles... I am content. Happy. Joyful. And thrilled to share that with those of you who honor me by reading this blog, rejoicing with us, and keeping us in your prayers. :)

But speaking of little noises: it sounds like nap time is over and cuddle time is about to start... so I had better publish this and go - but here is a picture from yesterday of our little "Sweet P". Okay - maybe a "few" pictures. :)
Sitting pretty - much more balanced (and bright-eyed!) this week.

Peering through the slats on the crib.

Wrapped in Autumn's blanket - bittersweet for me - but I'm so glad we have another opportunity to use the gift made with such love.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

One Year (and a little bit) Later

I praise God for the opportunity to take pictures like this with my second daughter.
The ache for Autumn is still there. Each day with Peyton is sweet and yet carries subtle longing for the child I lost. Sometimes I just stare at Peyton as she sleeps and tears of mingled joy and sorrow come to my eyes. Jesus knows - and this comforts me more than I can say. I'm not overwhelmed... just thankful for both my girls and the lessons I have learned because of both their lives.
But for this perfect little hand - full of life and trying to move away as I take a picture - I am amazed, humbled and so, SO grateful.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Picture Time!

This little piggy... was a gift from Uncle Kiley & Aunty Jessica. My (hopeful) plan is to take one of her with it each month for a year. We'll see how I do...

Sleeping in her crib with the blanket Baba made her.

We've been doing a lot of this, lately (just home from watching Rider game at Nana & Papa's)

My happy girl :)

Happy Mommy!

Like I said - doing a lot of this...
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