Friday, February 25, 2011

An Increased Sense of Awareness

Lucas is now 6 weeks old. Wow! I can't believe how fast it's already gone, but then again, it seems he'll be in this stage forever!

I'm anxiously awaiting the time where he can hold his head up, but for now I'll settle for his smile:)

And oh, what a smile it is! He has just this week become more aware of Nick and I and his surroundings. He doesn't want to be held in a cradle position anymore, he wants to face out so he can take it all in. Can you imagine what it would be like to see the world for the first time? I wish I could be in that position again; to breathe it all in and be in constant awe of God's creation would be amazing.

He is starting to notice Nick and I for the first time which makes me a little nervous. We are his parents, whether he likes it or not:) We are going to be the ones he looks to for guidance and love for the rest of his life. I hope he likes what he's starting to see!

To make him smile, we make silly noises and vibrate his diaper rag or our lips on his. He loves it!


Is that not the most amazingly beautiful smile you've ever seen?

P.S. This picture was taken from my phone, so sorry for the quality. It's hard to capture this smile because it doesn't last a long time, so my camera takes too long to process.

Also, we are experiencing our first case of "sickness". If you can even call it that. His eye is very watery and gooey. The pediatrician told me to keep it clean with a warm washcloth and watch it over the weekend. If it's not clear by Monday, he'll have to call in some drops:( Poor thing! Something so minor and I still hate it for him.

What can I say? My cup runneth over.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Newborn Photo Shoot

My dear friend who took our Maternity Pictures in December...

took Lucas' newborn pictures. He was 3 1/2 weeks old.

And because I love his tiny hiney:)

These are not all the pictures she took and not even all our favorites! There are so many! I love these pictures! I think we took them at the perfect time. His skin looks amazing. He's not so skinny and sooo little, but he's still tiny and fresh:) I will treasure these pictures forever.

It's also amazing that only a few short months ago, he was in my belly. He's now here in our lives and he has made them so much better. Our lives are full now and we are so excited for the chance God gave us to raise this little man to serve Him.

Monday, February 14, 2011

One Month: A Letter

Dear Lucas,

Wow! Yesterday was your one-month birthday! What a month it has been!

Since the day we brought you home, it has been an emotional rollercoaster! You were in our home only an hour when you had your first fit! You cried non-stop for over an hour. Mommy tried to breastfeed you to no avail, to change you, and do everything she knew how (after only 2 days of actually being a mommy) and nothing worked! Finally, we stripped all your clothes off and you started nursing. Ever since then, our lives have been all about trial-and-error.

We had our first real scare when you were only 5 days old. Mommy had been nursing you, but it didn't seem at all like it should. You would suck for over an hour and act hungry again an hour later! Mommy was getting worried. You would fuss between those times and you never really slept! It was consuming our entire day and you would get so frustrated! We called the doctor after you hadn't pooped in 2 1/2 days. The doctor didn't seem too worried about your poop, but more worried about your pee! She asked if you'd been peeing normal, and Mimi and I didn't think you had. She said you were probably dehydrated and we needed to bring you to the emergency room. Mommy freaked out! She started digging through your diapers from the past 24 hours and she did notice a little pee on the gauze from your circumcision, so we decided to not freak out just yet. Mimi told Mommy to try to pump to see how much milk she was producing and she didn't get an ounce total out of both sides! Mimi told Mommy to give you some formula and you drank 2 ounces in 5 minutes! Mommy had been starving you. She didn't know it and she was so sorry. You started peeing normal after that and within an hour you had soaked 2 diapers and pooped! You've been on formula ever since. Those first few days of breastfeeding, you did get all the good healthy milk and you helped Mommy lose weight quicker. You and Mommy did bond those first few days and she wouldn't have changed it for the world, but it was about your health now and we wanted to do everything we could to make sure you were happy and content.

You now sleep 5-7 hours/night straight after your 10p feeding and 3-5 hours more after that. You started sleeping in your crib when you were 2 weeks old because Daddy is a very light sleeper and he would wake up to every sweet little noise you made. We do love those little coos you make, but Daddy has to get up early for work and Mommy will have to soon, so it was best for us all.

You eat 3-4 oz every 3-4 hours during the day and at your two week check-up, you weighed 7 lb 6 oz. They didn't tell Mommy how long you were then, but she will find out at your next appointment. Daddy weighed and measured you when you were 4 weeks old and you weighed 9 lb and were 22 in long. You are a growing boy!

You take a pacifier like a champ and you love your baths now that you can soak in the water. You hated them before your chord stump fell off:( You are so strong and can lift your head up when you have tummy time. You also turn it from side to side a lot! You are starting to smile at us, too, and we can't wait until you are able to look us in the eyes and grin from ear to ear:) You have to have your arms up over your head to sleep. We know you are totally relaxed and in deep sleep when you do this. They were like that when you were in my belly and we absolutely love it when we see this:)

You have been to Pryor a few times and the first time, you got to go to Grandpa Doug's wrestling tournament! It was so fun, little man! They annouced over the speaker that Doug Rial's first grandson was there and that you were born on his birthday. Everyone was so excited for us!

Valentine's is your first holiday! We went to Sho Gun last night (just like we do every year) with the Rials for Cuz-aunt Megan's birthday. Aunt Cassie got you a Valentine's shirt and you looked so cute! You also got to stay with Mimi, Poppy, Aunt Cassie, and Uncle Cal this weekend so Mommy and Daddy could go on a date. This was the first time we had left you and we were really sad, but you did so good! You also went to the nursery for the first time yesterday and they said you were wonderful:)

Even though this letter is a day late, it is totally appropriate that we are writing this on Valentine's Day! We are absolutely head over heels in love with you, sugar, and we can't imagine life without you in it! What did we do before you were here? We want you to know that you were born into a home of so much love and we will heap that love on you as long as you live! You bring so much joy to our lives and we can't wait for many more months with you:)

All our love,
Mommy and Daddy

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Hospital Stay

They whisked Lucas off to the nursery at 7a and Nick followed. Dr. Clark finished sewing me up (he cut, I didn't tear) and I just rested for a little while. My mom stayed in there with me and chatted about the delivery and I proceeded to call, facebook and text family and friends about our special delivery.

It dawned on us that school hadn't even started yet! I couldn't believe it. He was out and it was still so early in the morning. We are all teachers and none of us even needed to call our schools to tell them we wouldn't be in yet. I usually call at 7a if I'm not going to be at school. It was just now 7a! This thing had gone so fast.

Nick came back at about 8a and showed me pictures of Lucas and my nurse informed me it was time to get up and move to my recovery room. She said I would need help getting up because I was still probably a little numb...she couldn't have been more right! My right leg was worse than my left because I had to lay on that side for a little while before I pushed. When I stood up, I almost fell! It was crazy. They told me to lock my leg and put it down on the ground, it was the most bizarre feeling. I couldn't feel my leg at all! The numbness in my leg lasted until about 5p that night! I got a little nervous that it would never go away, but it finally did:) I got all cleaned up and into a new gown and they got me in the wheelchair. Now, this was my other favorite part of the morning (besides my son being born). As they wheeled me to recovery, they played a lullaby over the speakers of the whole hospital to let everyone know a new baby had been born. This was Lucas' lullaby; his song. I was overcome with emotion. I so wish someone would've been videotaping this, but we forgot:( I cried the whole way to recovery. It was just a super sweet moment that I will never forget.

I rested in recovery and ate a little breakfast and waited and waited for Lucas to be brought back to me. It was so surreal. We'd been in the hospital for 5 hours, I had delivered a baby, but he wasn't with me. It was like a dream. Like this hadn't just happened to me. Friends and family started pouring in and finally at 11:30a, they wheeled him in. He looked so different already and he was mine! He had to stay in nursery that long because he had a lot of air in his lungs and yucky stuff and they needed to make sure he was all cleaned out and breathing good. They also had to check his blood sugar (because of my gestational diabetes) and give him his first shots. It was a long wait, but it was definitely worth it! His face was still pretty swollen at this point and his head was still very elongated. Even though he was in the birth canal, I couldn't push because of my crazy cervix. I guess he was in there for awhile:)

At this point, I got to watch my husband hold his baby for the first time! I didn't realize how wonderful this would be. He was so sweet and gentle and in awe of his new son. I just watched and dreamed of all the times they would share as father and son and all the things Nick would be showing him in his lifetime. Very, very sweet.

We stayed in the hospital until Saturday afternoon and the three of us got to know each other a little bit. We put him in cute outfits, learned to change his diaper and care for his circumsicion. I tried (with moderate success) to breastfeed and learn to hold this new person. We got very little sleep and watched our friends and family members meet our new addition. We were overcome by the amount of people that came to see us...especially because we delivered in Joplin. That's an hour and a half away from my family and friends and 30 minutes away from Nick's side. Distance didn't matter and we were so appreciative.



The drive home on Saturday was emotional, too. We were leaving with him. He was our responsibility and would be for the rest of our lives. God had placed him in our care and it was time to introduce him to the real world. We were ready for this new journey to begin...little did we know what an amazing (and scary) journey it would turn out to be!

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Birthing Story (cont)

*Edit* I said I need to be better at blogging so I can remember all that's happened the past three weeks...make that the next 18+ years!

So, where did I leave off? Oh yeah...

My water broke at midnight and we had called the hospital to let them know what was going on. They said that if he was still moving, than we could take our time and come whenever. He was moving, so "taking our time" meant me straightening my hair and putting on a little base and mascara. I look very young and sleepy with no makeup and with my new bangs, I had to fix my hair. Now, I had said that when my water broke, it wasn't a gush. Well, by the time I was done with my makeup and hair, I had changed pants three times. Probably tmi, but worth mentioning, I think:)

Nick put a towel down in the car, just in case, and we headed off at about 1:30a. Nick called his mom and dad and I called my mom. When she answered, I told her we were on the way to the hospital and she said, "why?" Haha! I told her I was in labor, but I'd know more when I got to the hospital and not to rush, but get ready and head that way.

When we walked into the hospital, my fourth pair of pants was drenched down to my knees. The nurses at the desk said I definitely passed the test and I was definitely in labor. I was wheeled into the delivery room at about 2:30a and I was already dialated to a 4 and my contractions were about 5 minutes apart. I was shocked; just the Friday before, I was only dialated to a 1. They asked me what my pain was on a scale of 1-10 and I said a 4. It wasn't that bad. I could handle it. She asked if I wanted my epidural and I said, "I don't think I need it right now". Famous last words:) Well, they decided to start my IV and empty the fluid into me and to see what I felt after that. Well, it took 30 minutes to start my IV and by that time, I was hurting pretty bad. My pain was about an 8 on the scale and I still had to empty the whole bag of fluid! Oh my goodness! I didn't think I was going to last.

Once the bag was empty, they got my epidural in quickly, and I was good to go. My mom and step-dad and Nick's parents all got there about 4a and by that time, I was good to go. They were telling me how big my contractions were, but I didn't even notice. At this time, I was dialated to a 7. I was moving pretty fast. When I talked to my sister Cassie at 5a, I told her I thought he'd be here before noon, but not to rush. Well, at 5:30a, I was dialated to a 9! This was moving faster than I thought!

Here we are after I got my epidural:)

By 6a, I was dialated to a 10 and I started pushing at 6:13a. Lucas Rial Maxson joined us at 6:48a. It was hard to push. I don't know how all you veteran moms out there push for hours upon hours. I had only pushed for about 10 minutes when I threw up. It was the first time I'd thrown up the whole pregnancy! But that totally threw my "fixing my bangs" out the window, because I had a wet rag on my forehead for the last 25 minutes and in my first picture with my son. Oh well! I didn't care. When he came out and started crying and they put him on my chest, it was like we were the only people on the earth for those few moments.

Don't get me wrong, Nick was there too:) He was amazing. He and my mom were both in the room the whole time and they helped me so much. They were so encouraging and reasurring during the whole process. I couldn't have done it without them, either.

After they'd weighed him and warmed him up, they brought him back to me for just a few moments and he locked eyes with me. It was the most amazing thing I've ever felt. We were only together for about 5 minutes before they whisked him off to the nursery and I'll finish the rest of my hospital story on the next post.

Here's our first picture together as a couple:)

And now when I'm actually smiling (with tears running down my cheeks) and looking at the camera! See, isn't the rag beautiful?!

Friday, February 4, 2011

3 Weeks

I know I was terrible about posting the last few weeks of my pregnancy. Well, I have to be better at it now if I'm going to remember all that's happened the past three weeks.

I will start off with the story leading up to our departure for the hospital. That will probably be long enough for now.

I'll start off showing you my last belly shot before Lucas came into our lives. Nick took this on Tuesday, January 11th.

Thursday, January 13th came and changed our lives forever. Events leading up to this day prove that God has a divine plan for our lives. Nothing is coincidence. He has a perfect time for everything.

Tuesday, January 11th, I had the day off work because of snow. I was able to do laundry, pack my hospital bag, get Lucas' bag finished, and make last minute lists of items needed and things to do. Please remember, Lucas wasn't due until January 24th, so I was really getting a jump start...or so I thought:)

Wednesday, January 12th, Nick took a picture of my actual belly. We had not done this during my whole pregnancy. I will not post this picture on the internet, but I will forever have it to remember. Also, we totally cleaned our house that evening. We scrubbed, dusted, swept, and vacuumed. I didn't want it to be dirty when we went to the hospital; still didn't think he'd be joining us for 12 more days. We prayed that evening and had major discussions wondering what it would be like when I went into labor. Would my water break? Would I just start having contractions? Who knows?! At about 10:30p that night, Nick decided to pack his hospital bag. We now know why, but at the time, he just thought, "why not?".

That night, I couldn't sleep and 30 minutes later, at exactly midnight, my water broke. I didn't know what had happened at first, because mine wasn't a gush, but I knew something was different. Nick called the hospital and they knew to expect us pretty soon.

Now, most of you know that January 13th was a special day for my family, even before this little man came into our lives. It was my dad's birthday...Lucas' Grandpa Doug. He had this birthday for three years by himself and then his little sister came along and shared it with him (my Aunt Theresa). Then, his second daughter came along (my little sister Cassie) and shared it with him, too. Well, my daddy died 10 years ago this coming August, so when I found out I was going to have a baby in January, this is the date I wished for.